The Oasis - June 29, 2022
Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
June 29, 2022
In what is being called the most significant gun measure to clear congress in nearly three decades, President Biden recently signed a bipartisan gun bill into law. The U. S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has been holding televised hearings.
In a ruling the Wall Street Journal called, “one of the most consequential in modern memory,” the Supreme Court recently overturned Roe v. Wade, opening the door to widespread prohibitions on abortion. In a statement on the United Church of Christ website, denominational leaders said, “We believe all people have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies and medical treatment. We believe women have an inalienable right to shape the direction of their lives as they see fit, and no institution established by humankind should supersede such freedom.” For the entire statement, go here https://www.ucc.org/we-will-stand-with-you-in-protest-national-officers-speak-out-after-sc-overturns-roe-v-wade/
With so many important things happening in the world of politics, I thought I would share some thoughts on the relationship of religion to politics. My preaching professor used to say his intention whenever he entered the pulpit was not to preach social issues, but to preach Jesus. However, in light of the fact Jesus concerned himself social issues, he believed he could not preach Jesus without addressing social issues.
My philosophy is very much like that of my professor. My goal is always to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I believe that Gospel speaks to the important moral issues that affect our lives. In fact, because the church preaches and promotes what Jesus called the Kingdom of God, as opposed to the kingdoms of this world, we might say that everything we do in the church is political.
I believe there are four sources for thinking about matters pertaining to God: scripture, reason, experience, and tradition. As you think about all the important political matters of our time, I invite you to reflect on these. How does the Bible inform your position? What stories and teachings in the scriptures mean the most to you? What elements of our church tradition including hymns and statements of faith add to the conversation? How has your experience shaped your views? How might the experience of others shape their views?
This Sunday we will celebrate Holy Communion. I love the fact that whatever our political views, whatever our religious beliefs we all are welcome at the table. We are not called upon to agree about everything. We are called to follow Jesus Christ and to continue his ministry of “bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” (adapted from Luke 4:18-19).