Meeting in Boston, at the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, a diverse group of Christian Theologians launched the BOSTON DECLARATION at the Old South Church at 12:30 pm on Monday November 20, 2017. In 1934 Karl Barth, Martin Niemöller and pastors of the Confessing Church released a Barmen Declaration, calling out the German Church’s complicity with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Regime. Inspired by Barmen Declaration, the Boston Declaration contends that following Jesus today means fighting poverty, economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression from the deepest wells of our faith.
Excerpt from the Declaration:
As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself” we hear the cries of women and men speaking out about sexual abuse at the hands of leaders in power and we are outraged. We are outraged by the current trends in Evangelicalism and other expressions of Christianity driven by white supremacy, often enacted through white privilege and the normalizing of oppression. Confessing racism as the United States’ original and ongoing sin, we commit ourselves to following Jesus on the road of costly discipleship to seek shalom justice for the least, the lost, and the left out.
Full Text here.
“Today, too many Christians are placing politics over the foundational teachings of Jesus. They make excuses for racial hatred and sexual abuse, and some have even said that it would be better to vote for a pedophile than a Democrat,” said the Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey, Boston University School of Theology. “This is the opposite of Jesus’ teaching of love and mercy.”
“Many Evangelical Christians have embraced the politics of exclusion and hatred, such that the Good News of Jesus has become cover for a social and economic order that can only be understood as bad news for many. Responding to Jesus’ courageous call to love ‘the least of these,’ we pray for the conversion of the converted,” said the Rev. Dr. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, New York Theological Seminary.
Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Spokesperson, 773-641-4992
Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel, Spokesperson, 646-279-6690
Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, Spokesperson, 773-343-5951
Ann Craig, Media Consultant, 917-280-2968