As I have read about the Occupy Movement, I have noticed many individual Christians expressing support, but little public support for the movement from the Christian community as a whole.
I have had mixed feelings about this.
Certainly support of the poor, standing up for social justice, most of what the Occupy Movement is about, coincide with what we are called to as Christian people. Yet I think it would be inappropriate for Christians to try to jump into leadership roles when the Occupy Movement is so diverse and when we have so often failed to take a stand on such issues ourselves.
It seems to me that public confession and repentance might be the best way to communicate our support with appropriate humility.
With this in mind I make the following confession as a person of Christian faith. I hope others will join me in this or similar confessions.
People of Christian Churches Confess to People of The Occupy Movement
We confess that we have too often cried “God bless America,” too often claimed our country as “Christian,” and too seldom called our country to repentance when its ways have strayed far from the ways of Christ.
We confess that we have sometimes shied away from preaching and doing justice when we feared it would detract from the offering plate.
We confess that while often generously bandaging wounds and feeding the hungry, we have seldom addressed the systemic injustices that created the wounds and the hunger.
We confess that we have focused on personal morality while corporate immorality devastated our economy and our lives.
We confess that we have allowed fear to curb our generosity, judgment to quench our compassion, and despondency to render us powerless.
We confess that we have avoided the public sphere and politics, or have chosen sides based upon particular issues or trends, rather than standing up to decry a system of greed that has lost any sense of serving the people.
We confess these things with humility knowing we had not the courage to speak up until you did. Therefore, we will not claim this confession for any particular denomination or church body lest we take credit where no credit is due. We will simply share this confession as people of Christian faith. We will lend our presence to the Occupy movement merely as fellow citizens, not waving denominational banners or using the movement as PR for Christianity. We will find our lost humility and serve God’s people....all of God's people, without an eye to our own self-interest. We stand with the 99 percent speaking out against greed for the sake of the worldwide 100%.
Sheri Ellwood is a former pastor, rancher/farmer, and mom. She lives on a farm in Kansas and blogs with her sister-in-law at Faith from the Field.