living as jesus lived and loving as he loved brings the kingdom of God here, and now.
the purpose of (un)common good collective is quite simple; we serve as a shared resource organization to provide services and fund the work of churches, organizations and individuals within our growing circle of friends. we seek to develop strong partnerships with friends and partners around the country (and even around the world) who are working toward creating a more just and generous world by giving our time, treasure and talent in a shared economy of goodness.
in more than two decades of doing non-profit and ministry related work, i’ve found the following to be true –
‘doing good’ is quite common.
there are countless people doing good in our world. it’s common. what is historically uncommon, however, is intentional collaboration and the sharing of resources within these communities of do-gooders. many times perceived competition for donor dollars combined with a scarcity mindset limits the range and effectiveness of the work – and stifles our vision of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
to have possessions and to become possessed by them are two very different things.
recently, the president of the largest evangelical christian university in the nation called on his students to carry concealed weapons on campus – presumably, to protect themselves from a terrorist attack. like his late father before him, jerry falwell, jr. made national headlines by making comments in the name of christ that are absurd as they are contrary to the teachings of the very jesus he claims to represent.
in the midst of those headlines, a number of my friends and co-conspirators for goodness in our world added their own thoughts to the fray. brian mclaren penned an open letter to jerry falwell, jr., students and faculty of liberty university on huffington post, rightly declaring,
Your message faithfully represents a longstanding (and ugly) stream of American culture and politics. This tradition goes back to those who argued against the equal human rights and dignity of the Native Peoples and African-American slaves, often abusing the Bible to justify white supremacy under its various guises.
shane claiborne spoke up saying,
It’s hard to imagine Jesus enrolling for the concealed weapons class at Liberty University. And it is even harder imagining Jesus approving of the words of Mr. Falwell as he openly threatens Muslims.
but not all my friends agree with one another.
jesus taught us to live as fully human, tapping into the divine image
– which is within each of us –
in ways those around him found amaizing.
our present circumstances are often confusing.
we could use some ancient wisdom.
yesterday, i shared on social media this post – a HuffPo piece written by a friend and colleague concerning the coming (some might suggest present) evangelical schism. the author proposes that the jesus being taught by a number of self-identified evangelicals isn’t quite the same as the jesus invoked by some others of us who similarly claim to proclaim good news.
from my perspective, the primitively conceived, angry and wrathful (even violent) God of some self-proclaimed christians stands in stark contrast to the benevolent being believed by myself and others who claim to be compelled by the life, teachings and example of jesus.
jesus came to correct
our misconceptions about God.
when we believe God to be less
loving, gracious and benevolent
last month, modern day truth-teller (some might call him ‘a prophet’) rob bell released a youtube video proclaiming some really good news for everyone. about a week ago, in the wake of the attacks in paris and elsewhere, rob released another.
amidst the swarms of senators and others arguing against accepting refugees fleeing the violence of ISIS for fear of bringing in the violence of ISIS across our borders, it seems we’ve lost touch with the reality that our nation has continuously claimed to be founded upon living into the principles of freedom and acceptance.
at the core of our country’s proclaimed ethos is the inscription upon the tablet of the statue of liberty – ironically given to us by the french in the summer of 1885 ::
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
yet our fear paralyzes us.
to create a desired reality,
simply live into a life of love.
the only limits are your own.
i admittedly read articles and blogs shared by those that espouse a much more conservative viewpoint than my own. often times it’s due to my desire to understand those with different perspectives. other times, it’s admittedly closer to ‘enemy surveillance’.
this past week was a bit of a both/and.
i read an article shared by a staunchly conservative, republican-supporting friend of mine in which the author claimed the GOP race has come down to the ‘final four’ – but in its march toward madness it ignores the candidate whom has been the front runner in every republican poll thus far – donald trump – but not for the reasons you might think.