Breaking Christian stereotypes
“Liberal”, “evangelical”, “catholic”, “protestant”, “left-wing”, “traditional”, “progressive”, “religious”, “secular” . . . when one organization is branded with that many labels, it’s probably doing something right. And Ekklesia appears to be, with a fresh approach to religion and public policy.
Rather than collusion or confrontation with secular powers, the U.K.-based think tank seeks to make the church an “alternative-generating ‘contrast society’ within the wider civic order.” It draws its main inspiration from the historical “peace churches” (Quakers, Mennonites, etc.), while relating to more mainline streams.
Like how? Well, on the one hand, it approves an Equality Bill, which would outlaw discrimination by age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
On the other hand, a closely-reasoned paper explains four laws passed on religious rights and freedoms over the last 11 years.
Other reports on the Web site deal with:
- A thoughtful piece on evolution, examining what Charles Darwin did and did not say.
- Methods of churches to push for economic justice — including strikes, seminars and investments.
- The conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza, arguing that it can end only through negotiation, not fighting.
- A hard look at marriage, even saying it’s a comparatively late invention.
For those who assume all evangelical Christians are alike, Ekklesia may well be an eye opener.