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Monday
Oct082018

The Boston Declaration 

Someone wrote to me recently and asked what I thought about the “Boston Declaration.” So here is my response. The document is a little longer than the italicized portion in this blog, but I think you will get the point. Documents like this surface from time to time and appear to have a faith component to them, but as you wade through the spiritual language you begin to see it for what it really is. It is an ideological paper that wants people to think that Jesus would be carrying a sign and marching on behalf of social justice. I am sure God isn't against justice for all people, but that justice starts with the cross, and that is the message Jesus would carry a sign and march for, because it is the basis for all justice. This document is strictly political, period. The italicized words is the exact wording of the document itself. 

First of all I do not trust any document that begins by accusing people of racist motives…

“We are outraged by the current trends in Evangelicalism and other expressions of Christianity driven by white supremacy, often enacted through white privilege and the normalizing of oppression.” 

Personally I do not think it is proper interpretation of who Jesus Christ is to associate Him with all the social issues in our day and insert a socialistic theology into the plan of God.  

We declare that following Jesus today means fighting poverty, economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression from the deepest wells of our faith.

Following Jesus doesn’t start by concentrating how wicked the world is, we start by submitting to Him and His kingdom, denying self, picking up the cross and following Him. You can’t move God’s heart by your social agenda; you move the heart of God by your surrender to Him and you move God by your thinking and what you believe in your heart. This statement does not sound like a person who has entered into a place where the cross has deeply affected them to “speak for Jesus”. Unless you based your opinions about Jesus around the cross, you are only inserting your theology into Christianity. This Boston Declaration sounds like any radical voice using Jesus to convince others that their cause is righteous. Their cause is personal and has an agenda that is not about His Kingdom, but rather about focusing on a kingdom here on earth. Christianity was birthed in the height of the Roman Empire, and the emphasis of the New Testament wasn’t about the government or the injustice of authorities, it is about the sin in our own lives and how sin prevents us from knowing God. Jesus didn’t come the first time to remove or change human government; He came to set up His kingdom in our hearts. 

And yet, we live in a moment when death and evil seem to reign supreme in the United States, when those with the power of a uniform or the president’s pen or a position of authority or fame or economic tricks of capitalization and interest or sheer brute force… again and again choose death rather than life. In a moment when too many who confess Christ advocate evil, we believe followers of the Jesus Way are called to renounce, denounce, and resist these death-dealing powers which organize and oppress our world, not to embrace or promulgate them.

Our job as Christians is to follow Christ regardless of the system in which we find ourselves.  Division among us is the result of our own folly, our own inventions of human ideology, and it is because we don’t follow the dictates of God’s Word. 

This is a political statement more than it is anything else. Put this over the template of the scripture and it will fall short. It is more critical than it is healing, it is more about an agenda for radical change, and not a heart change that is ruled by God. 

We acknowledge and lament the realities we see around us: broken lives, broken homes, a broken social system that incarcerates more people than any other nation on earth. We lament a broken and corrupt police system, a broken economic system that prioritizes profits over people, a broken sense of national identity. We lament national boundaries that make our worries about security a pretext for destroying the lives of others, and a broken church that disrespects and marginalizes many people rather than honoring and embracing them.

This document is a clever way to deceive people into thinking they are spiritual and their movement has a spiritual base rooted in Jesus. I always ask this question when trying to discern whether something is of God or not. “Who is on the pedestal?”

To me, the Boston Declaration and its ideology is on the pedestal - not Jesus.

This document continues:

We reject the false ideologyof empire building and the myth of racial laziness and substance abuse that harms the people of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the US territories.

We reject the false ideologythat peace is achieved through military strength and that violence is the necessary foundation for freedom, safety, or security. We stand against the manufacturing and proliferation of weapons, which continue to drown the planet in the blood of millions through global war and the terrorism of domestic mass shootings.

We reject the false ideologyof the corporate ruling class that services and supports the US military, dispossess and represses poor communities of color, and which erodes and blocks real empowerment of the most vulnerable of peoples and of any real people's democracy.

We reject the false ideologyof American exceptionalism and the evil of political corruption, calling for integrity in our elected officials and multilateral governance. It is this myth by which moral responsibility is suspended in the pursuit of its interests.

We reject the false ideologyof white normalcy and bigotry. We reject the false identification that exclusively binds whiteness with Christianity, true humanity, and United States citizenship. We reject antisemitism, which is driving much of white Christian nationalism.

We reject the patriarchal and misogynistic legaciesthat subject women to continual violence, violation, and exclusion. We stand strongly against sexual abuse and harassment in the highest offices of power.

We reject violations against the Earth,especially the stripping of her resources and polluting that harms her and the creatures that inhabit her soil and seas.

We reject economic policiesthat are grounded in an illusion of extreme individualism and favor the accumulation of wealth for a few to the detriment of the many.

We reject Islamophobiaand anti-Muslim bigotry.

We reject homophobia and transphobiaand all violence against the LGBTQ community.

We reject all anti-immigrant rhetoric and policiesthat fail to recognize the contributions of immigrants who have come from every corner of the world to strengthen the fabric of this nation—culturally, economically and spiritually

I am not buying it. There are too many categories here in this last statement that basically suggests we accept evil as good. They do not place God at the core of who they are. God is being hijacked to legitimize their world- view. 

Here is another attempt to associate Jesus with a socialistic movement that wants to bring change to a world created in the image of man’s ideology and not after the cross, which is God’s ideology. Don't be fooled by cheap imitations of truth, stick with the Bible, it's all you need to discern and be concerned about the matters in life. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

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