The Common Good

Blog Posts By Tony Campolo

Posted by Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne 1 year 39 weeks ago
TONY CAMPOLO: Shane, I have a question to ask that may make you squirm a little bit. From hearing you talk and reading your books, you often seem to suggest that Christians not participate in the political process, and that political activism is somewhat futile. Have I understood your position correctly?SHANE CLAIBORNE: The question for me is not are we political, but how are we political? We need to be politically engaged, but peculiar in how we engage. Jesus and the early Christians had a marvelous political imagination. They turned all the presumptions and ideas of power and blessing upside down.The early Christians felt a deep collision with the empire in which they lived, and with politics as usual. They carelessly crossed party lines and built subversive friendships. And we should do that too. To be nonpartisan doesn’t mean we’re nonpolitical. We should refuse to get sucked into political camps and insist on pulling the best out of all of them. That’s what Jesus did—challenge the worst of each camp and pull out the best of each. That’s why we see Essenes, Zealots, Herodians, Pharisees, and Sadducees all following Jesus and even joining his movement. But they had to become new creations. They had to let go of some things. Jesus challenged the tax-collecting system of Rome and the sword of the Zealots.So to answer the question, I engage with local politics because it affects people I love. And I engage in national politics because it affects people I love.Governments can do lots of things, but there are a lot of things they cannot do. A government can pass good laws, but no law can change a human heart. Only God can do that. A government can provide good housing, but folks can have a house without having a home. We can keep people breathing with good health care, but they still may not really be alive. The work of community, love, reconciliation, restoration is the work we cannot leave up to politicians. This is the work we are all called to do. We can’t wait on politicians to change the world. We can’t wait on governments to legislate love. And we don’t let policies define how we treat people; how we treat people shapes our policies.TONY CAMPOLO: So you are not calling for noninvolvement in politics. Instead, you are warning Christians not to put their trust totally in political powers. You are calling them to exercise an ongoing involvement with the political process, to constantly speak truth to power in those places where power seems to be asserting itself in ways that are contrary to the will of God.
Posted by Tony Campolo 2 years 26 weeks ago
The need for Red Letter Christians to no longer be labeled "evangelicals" became abundantly clear this past Saturday following the South Carolina Republican Primary. Most Evangelicals claim to be politically non-partisan, and say they only identify with the Republican Party because the Republicans are committed to "family values."The truthfulness of that claim became questionable this past Saturday when South Carolina Evangelicals voted in surprisingly large numbers for Newt Gingrich, in spite of the fact that he's hardly a model husband in their eyes. Not only is he on his third wife, having had divorce papers served to one of them while she was lying in a hospital bed recovering from a mastectomy for breast cancer, but, if his second wife is to believed, wanted an "open marriage" so that he could have a sexual affair on the side.Now Mr. Gingrich has been converted to Catholicism, and has, as part of his conversion, confessed his sin and asked for God's forgiveness. Evangelicals will say that this being the case we should forgive, forget and move on "to other concerns." I have to ask, however, why they didn't do this when a Democratic president repented of his sin?
Posted by Tony Campolo 3 years 7 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 4 years 9 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 4 years 10 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 4 years 28 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 5 years 18 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 5 years 20 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 5 years 32 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 5 years 41 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 5 years 41 weeks ago
Posted by Tony Campolo 5 years 46 weeks ago
In books and speeches, I have often said that God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I have contended that to make either party "The God Party" is idolatry. This, however, does not mean that Christians should abandon political activism. It has been said that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Consequently, I have long called for Christians to be involved in both political parties, striving to be the "leaven" that [...]
Posted by Tony Campolo 6 years 3 weeks ago
As a pro-life Democrat, and a member of the party's platform committee I will be pressing for the inclusion of an abortion reduction plank in this year's platform. Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life, recently unveiled the organization's "95-10 Initiative," which she believes could reduce abortions by 95 percent over the next 10 years. While I am not that optimistic I do believe that abortions could be reduced significantly if we would address the economic [...]
Posted by Tony Campolo 6 years 8 weeks ago
Samuel Huntington, the Harvard political scientist and the author of The Clash of Civilizations, contends that unless things change, we are facing an era marked by religious wars. Just about every military struggle between 1945 and 1995 was over political-economic ideologies. This was true of revolutions in Latin America and Southeast Asia led by Leninists and Maoists trying to establish Communist regimes, or by the CIA endeavoring to overthrow governments that [...]
Posted by Tony Campolo 6 years 17 weeks ago
During the closing days of January, more than 15,000 Baptists from 30 different Baptist denominations gathered together at the Convention Center in Atlanta. Although all Baptist groups were invited to join in what was called The New Baptist Covenant, official representatives from the largest Baptist group in the U.S., the Southern Baptist Convention, were conspicuously absent. [...]
Posted by Tony Campolo 6 years 20 weeks ago
The Hebrew Scriptures clearly call for the children of Israel to make room for the alien. The Israelites are reminded that they, too, were once aliens in a strange and distant land. [For the Lord your God]
Posted by Tony Campolo 6 years 21 weeks ago
They came to the Georgia World Congress Center by the thousands. They represented thirty different Baptist groups from across the nation, along with an array of representatives from Baptist groups from abroad. This gathering, held January 30 to February 1, 2008, marked the historic beginning of what is being called The New Baptist Covenant. This is not a new "super" denomination, but rather, is an association of separate Baptist denominations that are committing to work together to further [...]
Posted by Tony Campolo 6 years 29 weeks ago
Far too often, activists do little to nurture their souls. Consequently, they "burn out." Ignoring the need for spiritual revitalization to sustain their zeal on behalf of the poor and oppressed, they wear out and fade into oblivion. Often those who were one-time dynamic spokespersons for social justice while living out countercultural values become exhausted from working hard with very little sense of accomplishment. Becoming cynical, they sometimes say disparaging things about those who [...]
Posted by Tony Campolo 6 years 42 weeks ago
In response to Stan Guthrie's article in the October 2007 Christianity Today, "When Red Is Blue: Why I Am Not A Red Letter Christian," Tony Campolo wrote the following open letter as a response. Dear Stan, I have to say, "You got us right!" You said: Though I [...]