World Communion Sunday is October 7, 2018

Reposted from ChristiaNet September, 2018 Issue 175

What does “global communing” bring to your mind? A long distance phone conversation between friends in Adelaide, South Australia and Nashville, Tennessee? A table at a 1955 luncheon in Toronto, Canada where women are creating a unique fellowship? Our sisters, strong in faith and ability building homes for families in Mexico or South Africa? Maybe you imagine the smile of women finally leaving the brothel in India on the arms of their mentors and friends. Or a lunch after Sunday worship with folk new to your community.

October 7, 2018 is World Communion Sunday, a celebration that encourages Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. One might describe it as a faith community building event. World Convention founder, Jesse Bader, promoted World Communion Sunday among the Stone-Campbell family as early as 1940, and the tradition continues today.

How do we build God’s community?

James 2:8-9 says the conduct of the faithful should be unbiased. “You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if you play up to so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it.” Then James asks pointedly in verse 17, “Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” (The Message)

Whether individually or with a group, you are invited to dialogue with other ChristiaNet readers through your stories, ideas and pictures where active faith is building God’s community. We’d love to share the ways you and yours share the hospitality of Jesus’ open table in your part of the world. Not just on October 7, but throughout the year. Not just in your church, but in your neighborhood, your city or town, the country you call home.

Here’s how. Tag your “faith-in-action” posts and photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc. with #ChristiaNetCommunity. Search for #ChristiaNetCommunity entries in your browser or social media platform to see one another’s offerings. Together let’s expand our knowing of God at work around the world.

Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. May God be ever present in this experience of our global communing!

Julia Keith

Placeholder | Reconstructing the Gospel Review

Reconstructing the Gospel – Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Foreword by The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II

At Google Books

At a library

5 minute MP3 audio book preview

Every book reviewer lives in a context.

Mine is peppered with influences:

ADRIS Newsletter back in the day (Thank you, David Moberg).

Gailyn Van Rheenen (et. al. from ACU and some professors from FHU) Van Rheenen Thoughts on Church Growth Movement.

Global Church, localized manifestations / incarnations through this lens.

I’m a long-time fanboy of OMSC. Was looking at Thomas John Hastings, What Is This New Thing God Is Doing? in International Bulletin of Mission Research

Saw this in their audio lecture archives this a.m.
Faith and Life: Theological Formation off the Grid – Ruth Padilla DeBorst

While Thomas John Hastings didn’t mention the Spirit’s current emphasis on bi-vocational missioning (Clergy perks, y’all #500thAnniversaryProtestantReformation), Ruth Padilla DeBorst did.

Cybermissiology in global “interdenominational” (church universal / global beloved community / ekklesia)

Also seen recently The Archbishop Romero Trust 

Stephen R. Haynes: The battle for Bonhoeffer

Martin Luther King: Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution

John Pavlovitz: The Sins of Christians Choosing The Economy Over Morality

Max Keiser interviews Dr. Michael Hudson re: “…and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption — From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year.” #PoorPeoplesCampaign

Eric Toussaint: Debt Cancellation in Mesopotamia and Egypt from 3000 to 1000 BC

Michael Hudson: The Land Belongs to God

The Benefits of Debt Relief December 19, 2013

Bridled Capitalism

Stephanie Ruhle and Scott Galloway had a focused discussion on CSuites and workers compensation this a.m. for which I am profoundly grateful. If the National Dems don’t focus on this issue they will go the way of the dinosaur — unless civil anarchy is launched by Trump before the 2018 elections (see Brownshirts) as he declares *martial war* on Mexico or Venezuela. National Dems are just as beholden to CSuite-backed Dark Money and Super PACS (see Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) as are the Republicans (see opensecrets.org).

Minimum wage laws alone are a red herring; while they may be “necessary but not sufficient”, a minimum wage will always be eaten up by healthcare insurance premium hikes. The law must be made to require fiduciary responsibility to stakeholders not just shareholders, over the long term not just the short. There is a “life cycle of nations” and over the long view, (now globalized) capitalism doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about individual nations.

Unless “Say on Pay” is legalized in the US (with legal teeth, not just “suggestions”), Preferred Stock/Restricted Stock Units are eliminated or modified, Stock Buybacks are reined in so that they benefit stakeholders as well as “shareholders” (CSuites), Pre-IPO stock grants to frienemies with associated pump and dumps are regulated in a meaningful fashion, there will be no reinvestment into workers, social safety nets, enterprises. #DiabolicalGreed

How some evangelical Christians are complicit in the cruelty of politics

The other day when I twote: Those carrying water for #GeneralissimoStrongman warn “don’t leak!” #FascistDemonology #ALittleBonhoefferInYourHeilsgeschichte Mark had already published the following. I only add the requisite Ezekiel 34 to the list of prophets he recounts.

Written by Mark W. Hamilton, Contributor, The Dallas Morning News

Late in 1945, amid ruin-choked, refugee-filled cities, church leaders of Germany issued the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt. This short, yet controversial confession acknowledged the church’s partial responsibility for National Socialism. By their acquiescence in the gradual degradation of civil society, the persecution of all who did not “fit,” and their embrace of the national mission of domination, many Christians had failed to stand for the Gospel. Some had pulled the trigger while most had sat by consoling themselves with patriotism and personal morality.

As the “Declaration” put it, however, “Founded on Holy Scripture, with entire seriousness before the Church’s only Lord, we are undertaking to purify ourselves from influences alien to the faith and bring ourselves into order.” The church had to do better.

I have been thinking lately about all those Europeans who had to reckon with their own complicity with fascism and hyper-nationalism in its various forms. Were they different from us, less enlightened, more blind to what was slowly unfolding around them? Maybe not, for the monstrosities of the 1940s grew slowly, as the powerful gradually stigmatized the “other” until their humanity vanished beneath the reckless appeals to renewed greatness and venting of age-old fears. Truths and lies became entangled in the ceaseless propaganda. The European church has still not recovered.

I think of that era because I wonder what faces the church in America after this one. Many evangelical Christians have embraced “influences alien to the faith:” nationalism without self-restraint, fear of immigrants, a readiness to make social warfare upon the young, stern opposition to science and knowledge in all its forms. The list goes on.

Certainly there are noble exceptions such as the objections from ethicists in the Southern Baptist Convention, and of course the call to moral clarity from Catholic bishops. But much of the church pretends to be focused on the gospel while supporting political leaders who promise to make us great again. No meek inheriting the earth for us.

Above all others, however, the most pernicious “alien idea” is the cult of the strong leader. Some evangelical Christians tell us, with all seriousness, that we must turn a blind eye to the character of the leader or the consequences of the policies under consideration and simply fall into line. “Support” means “obey.” Such a person might be a fulfillment of prophecy, after all.

Yet for Christians, such an unquestioning attitude, which reeks of the 1930s, flies in the face of the Bible’s understanding of leadership. While Christians must pray for leaders — all of them, not just those of one party or viewpoint — we also point out abuses of power. How funding for the humanities helps public college students become better Texans

Ever read Amos or Isaiah or any of the prophets? It would be hard to imagine them taking such a supine view of political authority. Think of 1 Samuel 8’s critique of power, which lays out an immediate ancestor of the idea of checks and balances so central to the American system.

Or take Jesus, who insisted not only that his kingdom was not of this world, but that his followers must pursue its commitments with their whole lives, not just on Sunday mornings. Or St. Paul, whose suspicions of authority as a source of violence have been turned around into praise for the state. We badly misread the Bible if we see in it support for the cruelty now celebrated in the public sphere.

Someday soon, then, much of the church will be writing its own declaration of repentance for our complicity in the hate-filled, dishonest, vulgar, rhetoric filling our land. Perhaps we should begin now while there is still time.

Mark W. Hamilton is a professor of Old Testament at Abilene Christian University. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.
Email: mwh00c@acu.edu

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuttgart_Declaration_of_Guilt

The Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt by the Council of the Protestant Church of Germany October 19, 1945