Monday, February 27, 2017

Wendell Griffen on White Christian Nationalism and Costly Grace in Era of Trump: Followers of a Palestinian Jew Whose Family Were Refugees

Wendell Griffen, in his just-published Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2017): 

White Christian nationalists who elected President Trump profess to follow Jesus. Yet Jesus affirmed and included women among his closest followers (Matthew 27:55-56), and they were the first to proclaim his resurrection (see Matthew 28:1-10). During the 2016 campaign, Trump bragged that his maleness, wealth, fame, and commercial success enabled and entitled him to sexually assault and disparage women.
Refusal to condemn white Christian nationalism as a heresy against the gospel of Jesus Christ amounts to affirming, even by inaction, allegiance to and support for President Trump and his threatening political policies and practices. Followers of Jesus cannot be faithful to the rule of President Trump and be faithful to the lordship of Jesus Christ. To be faithful to Jesus requires that we oppose Trump. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in the last century, the "costly grace" of the gospel of Jesus is first and always a call to discipleship to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 
Jesus declared in the lesson of the Good Samaritan that the greatest commandment is to love God with one's entire being and to love others as oneself (Luke 10:25-37). This means that followers of Jesus must now, with the rest of the world watching, decide how to be prophetic followers of the Palestinian Jew whose parents migrated with him to Egypt to escape genocide. While the rest of the world watches, disciples of Christ must decide whether and how to operate twenty-first century versions of the Underground Railroad and create a sanctuary movement in opposition to President Trump's campaign pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. While the rest of the world watches, followers of Jesus must refuse to provide religious cover for Trump's policies towards people who are vulnerable (p. 18).
The graphic is a photo of the cover of  Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope from its Amazon page, linked at the top of this posting.

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