The church in the world
Jesus “said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'” Mark 16:15
I was raised with the firm conviction that religion and politics do not mix, a notion which was consistent with what I learned in (Episcopal) church. In that time and place, it seemed possible to discuss national and world events without bringing God into it. This is no longer true. People representing themselves as Christians are not only mixing politics and religion, but they are, in some cases, putting love of country above love of God (see article here). This is wrong.
Under these circumstances, The Episcopal Church has adopted a view which compels us to speak to issues that bear directly on our convictions as Christians. Some have referred to this as the church’s “social welfare agenda.” The truth is that it is Jesus’s agenda. It is Jesus who told us to love the poor, the disenfranchised, the homeless, the hungry, and the stranger. It is Jesus who warned us against the love of power and money. It is Jesus who, when asked who our neighbor is, replied by telling a story about someone the disciples thought of as a despicable, foreign, apostate who nonetheless demonstrated the way that Jesus asks us to follow. And it is Jesus who commanded that we share his message.
For these reasons, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, and the Bishop of California, The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, sometimes issue statements on national events, as both did this week. These statements are based in holy scripture and specifically on the words and actions of our Lord Jesus Christ. You can find them below: