As the royal couple prepared to embark on their life as husband and wife, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Michael Curry, brought forth a message of gospel priority and prominence that has prompted people to sit up and take notice.
Yet, for all the popular fanfare and adulation that comes from a spotlight on the level of a Royal Wedding, Bishop Curry and 23 other faith leaders in the United States have been quietly working on a vastly different royal proclamation. As a matter of faith and commitment to Christian and Biblical values, these leaders are launching a bold campaign to reclaim the name of Jesus.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are living though perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This foundational statement in the recently-released document Ã¢â‚¬Å“Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in at Time of CrisisÃ¢â‚¬Â is a faithful and biblical call for legitimate Christian authenticity in an age when many followers of Christ have corrupted the name of Jesus by using it for personal political gain.
The confession of faith boldly rejects white nationalism and racism, as well as the use of such evil to divide people. It recognizes that women have been historically the subject of flagrant discrimination, misogyny, abuse, and harassment. The statement recognizes that such unequal treatment of women is wrong and must never be supported by the church.
Christ made a very clear declaration to his followers that the way we treat the most vulnerable in the worldÃ¢â‚¬â€the poor, the sick, the foreigner, the widow, the orphan; just to cite a few examplesÃ¢â‚¬â€is characteristic of how we treat Christ. Therefore, the statement rejects the policies and politics that undermine the full human integrity of the most vulnerable in society.
In the age of so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“fake newsÃ¢â‚¬Â and the rampant normalization of lying that has permeated our culture and politics, the statement rejects the culture of lies can calls on national leaders to speak truth.
Acknowledging the legitimacy of ChristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s example as leadership through service rather than dominance and the recognition that Christ is Lord of the whole world and not just certain nations, the statement categorically rejects Ã¢â‚¬Å“America FirstÃ¢â‚¬Â and all policies, practices, and politics that presumably place America as somehow better than other nations. Likewise, as service is the Biblical and Christian model for leadership, it denounces the sin of autocratic rule and any attempts to lead by dominance.
The name of Jesus has been sinfully used and abused for political and personal gain. The refreshing call to Biblical authenticity and credibility from some of our nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most respected Christian leaders is profound. The very soul of our nation is at stake. Yet, as the Church, there has been no better time than now to rise up and be the Body of Christ by rejecting the racist, hateful, discriminatory, and destructive forces that have permeated our land.