Last week I shared my thoughts with Episcopalians about the events in Charlottesville and how we as Christians are called to respond. I noted that evangelism in its best sense is to see the risen Christ in everyone. I also said that one aspect of evangelism is to “Evangelize our friends. Evangelize our fellow employees. Evangelize our political leaders.”

I make it a practice not to ask of others what I refuse to do myself. This week I have written both senators in Arkansas and the congressman representing central Arkansas, where I live. I want to share a portion of what I said to them:

“This nation needs to be doing more to insure good jobs, health care, and voting rights for the least among us, instead of taking actions—through legislation and executive orders—that keep enlarging the inequalities in income and opportunity that we are experiencing and that give cover to supremacists to denigrate others on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or the other markers by which some people want to separate us.

As a Christian, I try to affirm that I will see the risen Christ in all other people, and then to treat these people as Christ’s own self. To do any less is to deny my faith. And to remain silent while political leaders act unjustly is inexcusable. Please take the necessary stands and make the necessary votes to get us back on track toward being a moral beacon.”

This is not the wording that I recommend that every Episcopalian use. These are merely my words. But I do believe that the country needs an authentic Christian witness now, and politicians—who make life and death decisions through legislation—need to hear it. Sometimes we have to open our doors—not so much that people can come in—but so that we can take the Good News into a world that is so hungry for it.

Evangelism in Practice – Letter from Bishop Benfield

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