The Power of Reconciliation

There is probably no more divisive time in America than an election season.

There is probably no more divisive time in America than an election season. So I thought it appropriate to tell a personal story of reconciliation that is very important to me, and one that I have never told before. It is about my relationship with a fellow Christian who, if he were still alive, would likely be voting differently than me in the upcoming election.

Bill Bright was the founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ, an evangelical organization on campuses around the country. Motivated, above all else, by the Great Commission, Bill Bright wanted to reach every person on the planet for Christ "in this generation." Concerned about the "moral degeneration" of America, Bright wanted America to come back to God - which for him meant an ultra-conservative political agenda. Bill and I were both evangelical Christians, but we clearly disagreed on a whole range of political issues.

In 1976, Bill Bright joined a far-right member of Congress named John Conlan and other conservatives in a project to mobilize evangelical prayer and cell groups for political purposes. It was, in fact, the first attempt to create a "Religious Right" in American politics - several years before the founding of groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition.

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Sojourners Magazine November 2004
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