The Common Good
March 2008

Speaking Truth to Power

by Larry Rankin | March 2008

In Jim Wallis’ article, “A Call to Repentance” (January 2008), he indicts all American churches as having lost their Christian consciences in regard to the U.S.

In Jim Wallis’ article, “A Call to Repentance” (January 2008), he indicts all American churches as having lost their Christian consciences in regard to the U.S. war against Iraq, the threat of war with Iran, and U.S. policy in general. He leaves the impression that all American churches decided that it is theologically and biblically correct to support the policies of the American state rather than be the Christian conscience allied with world Christianity.

It is regrettable that Wallis did not mention any examples of churches that from the start of the Bush rhetoric that drove the U.S. to war have declared their protest and have joined with other churches across the world to be a voice of Christian prophetic conscience to that disastrous policy. My church, the United Methodist Church—and specifically the Council of Bishops, the international body that leads our church, as well as the General Commission on Church and Society that promotes the policies for justice and peace as enacted by our General Conference—has continued to articulate, preach, and encourage church members to do the same against these dangerous policies. Granted, many of our members have ignored their church’s teachings and supported Americanism over their true faith. The president and vice president are United Methodists. We have much work to do.

I have been a Post-American and Sojourners reader for decades and will continue to be, along with the newer Sojo blogs, because of Sojourners’ motivational power in my spiritual and activist Christian life. However, I hope in the future Wallis and other writers will include the voice and influence (though lessened in recent years) of the peace and mainline denominations that continue to speak for peace and for Christian prophetic conscience.

Larry Rankin
Lakeland, Florida

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