Faith, Work, and Charlottesville

This blog is meant to be a space for faith and work leaders to think about the faith and work movement. We are generally not political (though we ask people to think about encouraging the ethical practice of politics for the common good of the polis) and we try not to post too frequently, because we know you’re busy people.

We had some regularly scheduled posts that fired off this weekend: good and timeless topics indeed they were, but now that I’m back at my Monday desk, and in the face of the events of the polis this weekend, I am breaking into your regularly scheduled faith and work lives with one more thought. (Though I am your humble curator, I’m posting this in my own name: other bloggers may have other things they wish to say, now or later.)

In the mainline context from which I come, the usual way we talk about all Christians being called by God is to say that we are commissioned as part of our baptismal ministry. We take vows at our baptism, or vows are taken for us by parents and guardians (since mainliners are by and large an infant-baptizing bunch): and those vows commission us to minister in Christ’s name in our daily life and work.

On Saturday a friend of mine, Steven Manskar, posted a powerful reframing of the United Methodist baptismal vows on Facebook. In the UM tradition these are asked as questions (“Will you renounce….”/”I will”), but Steven reminded us all that, by answering these questions in the affirmative, they become our vocation:

“Christ calls us to renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of our sin. Christ calls us to accept the freedom and power God gives to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. And Christ calls us to confess him as Savior, put our whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as Lord, in union with the church which he has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.”

That is what faith and work has to do with Charlottesville. That is the basis of what we need to call people to in their daily life and work.

As you were. Well, maybe not.


Images: Wikimedia and Tumblr.

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