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Posts Tagged ‘the simple way’

shane-claiborne

Photo: Christian Today
Shane Claiborne and Dr Sally Mann with one of the garden tools made from knives seized from the streets of London by police as part of a peace-focused project. In America, Claiborne beats
guns into garden tools, in a modern version of “swords into plowshares.”

I am not devout like several of my readers, but I love stories about people of any religion who try hard to practice the humane tenets of their faith.

In this story, a Christian called Shane Claiborne was a guest of the radio show On Being to explain what his faith tells him to do about the proliferation of guns used for violence in America. Host Krista Tippett brought him together with Omar Saif Ghobash, a diplomat of the United Arab Emirates and author of Letters to a Young Muslim to talk about how they would like to refocus members of their faith who seem immune to messages of love and kindness.

From the website: “Spiritual border-crossing and social creativity were themes in a conversation between Shane Claiborne and Omar Saif Ghobash, two people who have lived with some discomfort within the religious groups they continue to love. Ghobash is a diplomat of the United Arab Emirates and author of Letters to a Young Muslim. One of his responses to the politicization of Islam has been to bring a new art gallery culture to Dubai, creating spaces for thought and beauty.

“Claiborne is a singular figure in Evangelical Christianity as co-founder of The Simple Way, an intentional neighborhood-based community in North Philadelphia. One of the things he’s doing now is a restorative justice project inspired by a Bible passage — to transform guns into garden tools.” Play the episode here.

And for more on beating weapons into garden tools, there is this story by Rob James at Christian Today.

“Shane Claiborne is no shrinking violet. Prominent speaker and bestselling author Shane heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement that is committed to living ‘as if Jesus meant the things he said.’ Consequently Shane is a passionate advocate against homelessness, war, gun violence and the death penalty. As he sees it, the Gospel of grace is a call to Christian activism, something he talked about when we met at the YMCA’s recent 175th anniversary celebrations in London.

” ‘I’m here to celebrate 175 years of the YMCA because it’s not just been an organisation about words but about action. … Young people are very aware that politicians in many of countries have failed, and as we look at the world we have been handed from our parents we can see that it is very fragile.’ …

“For Shane, faith is not simply a ticket into heaven or a licence to ignore a hurting world. Faith, he believes, should give us the determination to transform the world. … It’s not about ‘going up when we die,’ he observes, but ‘about bringing God’s dream down to earth while we live. …

” ‘The health of any society is not shown by how the stock market is doing or how rich we are but how the most vulnerable are doing. And of course justice issues are all interconnected so it’s impossible to separate caring for the environment from our care for the poor. The folk who suffer the most injustices are the most vulnerable people.’ …

“And for him, the United States is a particularly challenging context at the moment.

” ‘We are living through some historic and troubling times,’ he said. “Just before I came to London I was at the border in El Paso where we have kids who are living in cages, separated from their own families, because our own administration has said they don’t know if they will ever be reunited. …

” ‘This is not about issues but about loving our neighbour, recognising that when anyone is hurting we are all hurting, and until we can all live without fear, until all of us are free, none of us are fully free.’ ”

More at Christian Today, here, and at On Being, here.

 

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