Christian: Shane Claiborne

12 04 2010

Bestselling Author, Prominent Christian Activist, Sought-after Speaker and Recovering Sinner.

With tears and laughter, Shane Claiborne unveils the tragic messes we’ve made of our world and the tangible hope that another world is possible. Shane graduated from Eastern University, and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. His ministry experience is varied, from a 10-week stint working alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta, to a year spent serving a wealthy mega-congregation at Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago. During the recent war in Iraq, Shane spent three weeks in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team. Shane is also a founding partner of ‘The Simple Way‘, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped to birth and connect radical faith communities around the world.

Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. He is featured in the DVD series ‘Another World Is Possible’ and is the author of the several books including: ‘The Irresistible Revolution’, ‘Jesus for President’, and ‘Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers’. Shane speaks over 100 times a year in a dozen or so countries and nearly every state in the US. Shane has given academic seminars at Vanderbilt University, Duke University Pepperdine University, Wheaton College, Princeton University, Goshen College and Harvard University. Shane also speaks at various denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe. Shane’s work has been featured in everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to CNN and National Public Radio.

The Ordinary Radicals
Bringing Heaven to Earth!

Political shift; homosexuality

‘Justified’ war/violence; Christian soldiers struggling; Hitler and KKK were both holding the Bible

Selective ‘fundamentalism’

“Once we’ve really discovered how to love our neighbor as ourself, capitalism as we know it won’t be possible, and Marxism won’t be necessary.”

“Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived.”

“For even if the whole world believed in resurrection, little would change until we began to practice it. We can believe in CPR, but people will remain dead until someone breathes new life into them. And we can tell the world that there is life after death, but the world really seems to be wondering if there is life before death.”

“There are some things to die for but none to kill for. ”

“And I think that’s what our world is desperately in need of – lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about.”

“How ironic is it to see a bumper sticker that says ‘Jesus is the answer’ next to a bumper sticker supporting the war in Iraq, as if to says ‘Jesus is the answer – but not in the real world.'”

“I asked participants who claimed to be “strong followers of Jesus” whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time with the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.”

Jesus for President

A book that provokes the Christian political imagination; not about how you vote on November 4th, but rather how you live on November 5th – November 3rd; “if you want to know how we vote, watch how we live”; Amish peace/love

Quotes from his book ‘Jesus for President’:

“Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination – end of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s law and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may posses slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not to Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is: how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor to the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are their degrees of abomination?

7. Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton-polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev. 24:10-16)? Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.”

“Hear the poignant words of US army veteran George Mizo, which were handed to us by one of his friends at a vigil for peace:
You, my church, told me it was wrong to kill
… except in war.
You, my teachers, told me it was wrong to kill
… except in war.
You, my father and mother, told me it was wrong to kill
… except in war.
You, my friends, told me it was wrong to kill
… except in war.
You, my government, told me it was wrong to kill
… except in war.
But now I know, you were wrong, and now I will tell you, my church, my teachers, my father and mother, my friends, my government, it is not wrong to kill except in war
… It is wrong to kill.
” (pg. 207)

“We figure anytime you are about to talk about hell, it’s good to start with a joke, so here goes… It was a busy day in heaven as folks waited in line at the pearly gates. Peter stood as gatekeeper, checking each newcomer’s name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. But there was some confusion because the numbers weren’t adding up. Heaven was a little overcrowded, and a bunch of folks were unaccounted for. So some of the angels were went to investigate. And it wasn’t long before two of them returned. “We found the problem,” they said. “Jesus is out back, lifting people up over the gate.”” (pg. 290)

GREAT message by Shane!

In ‘The Irresistible Revolution’, Claiborne briefly writes about working on the Republican presidential campaign at a time in his life when he was, as he writes, a “Jesus freak”:

“Then a couple of new kids transferred to our high school, and I heard a few rumors about them. They were from a “charismatic,” nondenominational congregation that was much more “radical” than the United Methodists; they spoke in tongues and danced in the aisles. All right, I must admit, something in me was secretly fascinated. I wanted to see passion. But of course, I dared not admit my interest and joined my other friends making weird looks and cult jokes. … But like good evangelicals, they invited me with open arms to worship with them, and I went. I quickly grew to admire their reckless, unguarded worship. And I met people who lived like they believed in heaven and hell, who cried and worshiped like they were actually encountering God.

Before long, I ended up joining that congregation. I became a Jesus freak. I tried to convert everybody, from heathens to pastors. I organized the See You at the Pole meetings at our school, where hundreds of us met at the flagpole to pray, committed to bringing prayer back into the public schools. I was passionately pro-life and anti-gay, and I tore apart liberals. I helped organize the local Bush-Quayle campaign, running around slapping bumper stickers on cars whether the owners wanted them or not. Nobody could stop us Jesus freaks. I went to the malls to do goofy skits and hand out religious tracts to try to save innocent shoppers from the fires of hell. To this day, I have a certain respect for those religious fanatics who stand on street corners. At least they have a sense of urgency and passion and live as if what they are saying is true.

It was awesome being a Jesus freak, and I did it for almost a year, but the fiery newness of it died out, and when they actually let us pray in school, it sort of lost its glamor. I saw the messiness of church politics and egotism. I was driven mostly by ideology and theology, which isn’t very sustainable, even if they’r true. I wondered if Jesus had anything to say about this world, and I began to question how much he cared whether I listened to Metallica. Sometimes when we evangelized, I felt like I was selling Jesus like a used-car salesman, like people’s salvation depended on how well I articulated things.”

Article: Letter to Non-Believers

Blogs by Shane

Blogs by Shane

A great dialogue, via email, between Shane and Jim Brenneman, about Christians and nationalism, patriotism, etc.




2 responses

12 10 2010
I Pledge Allegiance… « Jeff Figearo's Blog

[…] Shane Claiborne (author of, ‘Jesus for President’, and ‘The Irresistible […]

16 10 2011
Jordan Rubin: Beyond Organic « Jeff Figearo's Blog

[…] area of focus for Beyond Organic that aligns very well with my beliefs is their mission to help feed and clothe widows and orphans by partnering directly with ministries […]

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