taking the words of Jesus seriously


Commentators on the opening night of the Republican National Convention have focused more than an average amount of attention today on the benediction, offered by Rev. Mark Burns. Writing for Christianity Today, Mark Woods expressed concern that the “weaponizing” of religion to baptize one party while demonizing the other cannot help the republic, especially at a time when we are witnessing daily violence in our streets.


If you missed Rev. Burns prayer, you can see it here.



I take some small hope in the offense that some Christians have expressed at this abuse of our Lord’s name and his gospel. But registering offense is hardly a tactic for proclaiming the gospel. What the world needs–what our faith demands–is a public witness to the truth that can pierce through our culture’s self-centeredness and demonstrate to our neighbors (and ourselves) that another world is possible–that it is, indeed, already here.


The good news for our troubled times is that such a witness already exists. Over 1100 US clergy have sighed the Higher Ground Moral Declaration,  challenging both parties to address the issues of public concern that are closest to the heart of Jesus’ gospel and the sacred texts of other religious traditions. Last week, as the RNC was making preparations for their convention, a delegation of preachers delivered a copy of this declaration to the Quicken Loans Center in Cleveland, OH. Their message is the essential good news missing from the convention floor so far this week.


Here it is in a nutshell. To learn more about when the Moral Revival is happening is your city, see www.moralrevival.org.



About The Author


Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a celebrated spiritual writer and speaker. Together with his wife, Leah, he co-founded the Rutba House in Durham, NC, where he also directs the School for Conversion (www.schoolforconversion.org). Jonathan works closely with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II to spearhead The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Jonathan's newest book is "Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion" (InterVarsity Press).

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