Sunday, November 11, 2007
Organized Religion or Organizing Religion?
I've just finished reading Brian McLaren's latest book, Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope. There are so many things I want to blog about related to it, but I don't have the time, so for now I'll just post a quote that I especially liked.

The hard work of rebuilding community and family is essential - through community organizing, through moral instruction in local churches, through support for women and children through community centers and health clinics and schools, through micro-enterprise projects and drug rehabilitation programs to help people develop employment or become employable.

In my travels, whether in the inner cities of the United States or in slums around the world, the vast majority of these programs are overtly or implicitly faith-based, often drawing inspiration from Jesus’ good news of the kingdom of God. For all the obvious failures of “organized religion,” in these organizations I see the power of organizing religion… people of faith organizing for something truly beautiful and good. As they promote a vision for the common good resourced by Jesus’ good news of the kingdom of God, they promote the seven components of equity: trade with integrity (both free and fair), wise aid, wise debt relief, respect for environmental limits in terms of both resource consumption and population growth, fair wages, the development of justice systems, and community and family development.

If there is a force in the world powerful and good enough to overcome the grinding, destructive momentum of the suicide machine [his term for our currently corrupt and unsustainable global systems of prosperity, security and equity], it is to be found, not in organized religion seeking institutional self-preservation, but in religion organizing for the common good.

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posted by Mike Clawson at 10:41 PM | Permalink |


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