US: Church leaders say "reclaim Jesus"

In a video message viewed by more than 800,000 people, leaders in various US-based churches are urging people to "reclaim Jesus" and reject narrow nationalistic and racist ideas. The video is a lead-up to a 24 May service and candlelight vigil and procession to the White House.

Rev. Dr Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary emeritus of the Reformed Church in America, says that Christian faith must never be made captive to nationalistic loyalties. "Doing so robs the gospel of its power," he suggests. "Over 20 elders, holding positions of leadership in US churches, past and present, have issued a fresh confessional declaration of faith, confronting the idolatrous temptations in their nation at this perilous time. Its message transcends national boundaries, calling all Christians to 'reclaim Jesus' from any who would attempt to use faith for narrowly nationalistic and racial exclusive political agendas."

In the video, theologian and founder of Sojourners Jim Wallis says that the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are at stake. "We believe racial bigotry is a brutal assault on the image of God," he says.

Rev. Dr Sharon Watkins, former general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and a member of the World Council of Churches Central Committee, says: "When politics undermine our theology, we must examine those politics. We believe that Christ's way of leadership is servanthood, not domination." Dr Ron Sider, founder and president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action says, "it's our duty as leaders of the church to speak truth in humility and love." Dr Amos Brown of the National Baptist Convention reflects that, "we believe each human being is made in God's image and likeness."

Barbara Williams-Skinner of the National African American Clergy Network says: "We reject the misogyny, harassment, assault, and abuse of women in our churches and our country. We reject an 'America first' philosophy as theological heresy."

Watch video at:

WCC member churches in the USA

Tags: Bishop Michael Curry, Reclaim Jesus, Jim Wallis

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