The Common Good

The Christian Post

The Christian Post Press Items
Signers of the Feb. 23 letter include Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners; Joel Hunter, an evangelical megachurch pastor in Orlando and a member of President Obama’s faith advisory council; Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism; and Morna Murray, president of Catholics in Alliance.
“The faith community is ready to lead our nation’s return to a place of welcome and opportunity for everyone,” said the Rev. Jennifer Kottler, a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and director of policy and advocacy at Sojourners. “Let there be no question of where the faith community stands collectively on this issue: we stand on the side of the widow, the orphan, and the stranger among us.”
In September, progressive evangelical leader Jim Wallis, who is a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, contended that there is a need for faith-based charities to “preserve” their religious identity. “[S]ervice provision is not the same thing as hiring,” Wallis stated in a blog found on the ministry Sojourners’ web site. “To do what they do, faith organizations must maintain their identity.”
“Teachers, social workers, small business owners and our men and women in the armed services all know what it means to sacrifice for the good of our country in tough times, and they do so with pride,” said Jim Wallis, CEO of social justice ministry Sojourners and author of the forthcoming book, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street – A Moral Compass for a New Economy. “I refuse to believe that Wall Street is the one place in the country that is exempt.” The event denouncing Wall Street bonuses while calling for greater protection for homeowners was organized by PICO National Network, Faith in Public Life, Sojourners and the Center for Responsible Lending.
Still, progressive evangelical leader Jim Wallis and other religious leaders associated with the Left praised the NAE for its support of immigration reform. “You know the wind has shifted in Congress when moderate and conservative evangelical leaders testify before the U.S. Senate in support of an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,” wrote Wallis, who is not a member of the more theologically conservative NAE, in a Huffington Post column Wednesday. The head of the anti-poverty ministry Sojourners went on to compliment the evangelical body for setting a model for all Christians to take “seriously the call of scripture and act prophetically” when it comes to moral issues.
Religious charities that receive government funding should be allowed to keep their religious identity in terms of who they hire, says progressive evangelical leader Jim Wallis. Though no faith-based social service provider should ever discriminate who they serve if they receive public funds, there is a need for groups to “preserve” their religious identity, the founder of Sojourners ministry wrote in his blog Friday. “[S]ervice provision is not the same thing as hiring,” Wallis asserts. “To do what they do, faith organizations must maintain their identity.”
Organized by Bread for the World, the Alliance to End Hunger, and other U.S.-based organizations, the Faith Leaders Summit will draw Christian leaders including Dr. Galen Carey of the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. William Shaw of the National Baptist Church, Major Betty Israel of the Salvation Army, and the Rev. Jennifer Kottler of Sojourners.
Participants of ONE Sabbath are offered resources to help them organize events, including materials developed by, Christian hymns, and a DVD curriculum called “Start-Becoming a Good Samaritan” hosted by Pastor John Ortberg. The curriculum features leaders and teachers speaking about the fight against global poverty and disease. Some of the people featured in the DVD include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Kay Warren, Jim Wallis, and Rich Stearns.
“This isn’t a political issue, it is a deeply theological issue, a biblical issue, and a moral issue,” said Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, at the launch of the campaign last month. “So we are not going to at any time during the debate weigh in on the particulars of policy questions…[We’ll] leave the plumbing to the politicians.”
WASHINGTON – A panel of diverse Christian leaders sent a strong message to churches Wednesday when they stated that poverty is not a political issue but a biblical one.