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July 04, 2004

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A dangerous move, but a wonderful declaration. We had a similar message this morning, but not nearly so bold or well put. Very appropriate, in my opinion.

As a Brit I find this interesting, to say the least! I think that I would like to issue a challenge to go one step further, given that a common, and not entirly unfair criticism of USAmerica is that it is far too independent, a law unto itself and and not an international good neighbour; how about a declaration of interdependence with the rest of the world? [And I'm only too painfully aware that the UK has its own similar problems with a 'little Englander' mentality.

A risky move for your pastor-friend, but a moving declaration -- maybe it galvanized some people to think seriously about these issues.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow emailed a Declaration of Interdependence to his mailing list a few days ago. I wish it were online so I could give you the link; all I can find is this brief article about investing one's Independence Day celebration with religious observance. Anyway, his Declaration of Interdependence would make an interesting companion-piece to what your friend presented to his congregation.

Maybe we focus to much on God's capacity to provide safety and comfort. While there is an abundance of scripture that soothes and reassures, it usually follows an example of divine sacrifice. Revival is never born of comfort and safety. Spiritual impact is full of risk, but surprisingly simple if you remember that God wins in the end. The American Christian's faith has become as soft and overfed as we have. I doubt if anyone disagrees with the content of the declaration. Should a pastor be so bold? We should all be so bold! I would never turn over the pulpit the Lord has blessed me with to a political candidate, but faith and politics is not merely appropriate it is a crucial issue for the family of God. We too can "Think Globally and Act Locally".

I like the general idea, but the whole "return to God" part made my eyes glaze over. I know the myth of America as Christian Eden, now fallen to Sodom. I just don't believe it. We are not farther from God now than we used to be.

The "renewing and rededicating" thing just makes me tired. But I'm pretty sure this is just a "my tribe / your tribe" thing. I don't hang out at places where we do a lot of that, and so I don't have theological pockets for it. Doesn't mean it isn't good, just means I don't get it.

"We are not farther from God now than we used to be."

Agreed

I think it was risky, your mixing of faith with politics, as I sometimes see the Flag of the USA competing for the affection of our Father's Children.

I fear sometimes we are soo comfortable that we resist seeking that "city, whose builder and maker is God" And while a resident of the US, and a Navy Veteran, I claim citizenship with Heaven. I even go so far as to say I am not part of the American Nation, but of God's.

Am I delusional? I hope not..sigh. But as far as some have gone mixing politics with our faith...I think you did okay.

b'shalom

I'll cast my lot with my buddies from the ooze michael toy and shok. If I hear one more comment about rescuing our faith from the secular culture, I'll scream!

Some of the comments here have to do with the half empty/half full perspective. We are not further from God than we used to be? Probably not, but maybe it makes more sense to say that we were not any closer than we are now. As a nation. Perhaps then the focus can shift to where we should be and not to "where we were." We've never been where we should be.
Past DP posts have dealt with issues of national or corporate faith and sin. Collective sin, and how the OT talks about this. But a difference occurs to me in that Israel was a nation grown and formed when God created a nation from his people. We try to create an identity of God-people from a nation.
We tend to use biblical language that doesn't apply. Renewing and rededicating was applicable to Israel's straying. Turning and dedicating is applicable to ours.
I've got more thoughts, but I'll shut up now.

I find the words to be challenging and very much needed in our congregations, but I can't help but be put off by the gimmicky nature of it. It feels like something out of a CBA workbook.

Awesome. Totally inappropriate, an offensive rebuke... and righteously correct. You ministers didn't sign up to be appropriate and inoffensive, did you? I pray the offended huffed and harrumphed all the way out to the parking lot and will be happy in an appropriate and inoffensive new church home; and that those with open ears and open hearts stayed and prayed. I give it an "Amen."

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