Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dr. Matthew Johnson In Elizabethton



Our little band of peaceniks is proud to welcome Dr. Matthew Johnson to Northeast Tennessee on Thursday, December 2nd.


Dr. Johnson is the National Executive Director of Every Church a Peace Church.



It is time (way past time) for faith communities to get serious and prophetic about peace. I like this guy. Check out this message:

Every Church A Peace Church is committed to the vision of PAXION (peace action) as the method to bring about a just social order, which entails the elimination of militarism (and its pernicious spawn of rabid nationalism masquerading as patriotism) poverty, racism in all its guises, materialism and gender bias. It is our firm conviction that these institutional realities are the structural harbingers of the violence we witness daily in our homes and streets, as well as that perpetrated by our and other governments the world over. This sequela of injustice, greed and hatred has worn the cloak of religious sanctification for centuries. ECAPC is determined to help strip it away by revealing to our local communities, nation and our world the will of God for a humble, just and merciful humanity.

We believe that if you are not actively engaged in overcoming these realities you are in complicity with an oppressive status quo. Jesus of Nazareth was no such conformist. He was a creative non-conformist. Our goal is to help summon the church to its larger call to shake off the apathy grown in the soil of a jaded consumerism, cultivated in a spiritual climate of ignorance and isolationism and take up his cross and follow him. Now is the time for us to respond with head and heart to the challenges before us. The challenges at hand provide the greatest opportunities for a true witness to the living God and her care for a morally depleted and violent world. Join us in our efforts. Become a part of God’s new movement to forge ahead in the realization of the age old vision of a beloved community.

With each church or other organization that commits to the Great Conversation and/or the establishment of a Paxion ministry we’ve answered the call of Christ in our moment and reached another milestone on the King’s highway. Politicians will not and cannot do it for us. Political empowerment is a force, yes, but far too often it peters out at the ballot box, dissolving itself later in bitter complaint and disappointment. Jesus has shown us a more excellent way-Soul Force, the way of truth, love, struggle and sacrifice. We’ve seen it manifest in the movements lead largely by Gandhi and King. Time and again we’ve watched it flare up in hotspots throughout the world only to burn, then smolder. But we must now make a determined effort to sustain the witness by becoming institutionally responsive to the call. We do this through training, dedication and an ongoing Paxion program grounded in spiritual strength and soul force. We must sustain it indeed until the Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of God.

A Friend of the Crucified,

Rev. Matthew V. Johnson Sr., Ph.D.

Join us.

This event is free and open to the public. We hope that all people in our area who are concerned for peace will come and hear Dr. Johnson.

Thursday, December 2nd at 7 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton.

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