Wesley, Economic Justice, and the #OWS movement @GBCS @UMC @Sojourners

Quote from Jim Winkler,  General Secretary of UMC’s Global Board of Church and Society:

“In our United Methodist Social Principles, we claim all economic systems are under the judgment of God. We believe corporations are responsible not only to their stockholders but to their other stakeholders.”

Winkler believes that if alive, John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, would at the very least support the aims of the Occupy Movement.

He pointed out Wesley’s criticism of 18th century English merchants over their business practices as an indicator of that support.


I know several United Methodist firmly entrenched on the “opposite sides of the fence” on this issue.  There are commenters on UMNS’s and GBCS Facebook pages that viscerally oppose Occupy.  And there are also people who voice support.

But it continues to bother me how little evidence there is of any talk at all.  In my periodic check of Mainline  denominations home pages (even in traversing the various “links in” to the remainder of the Web site or into specially themed sections of the site)  there is very litle  if any sign that there is such a thing as an Occupy movement.  And it seems to me that this is yet another missed opportunity to tell the story of the church,  especially of  its fondness for people’s movements.  Abolition, workers rights, education,
social justice,  etc.  The Church has been either leading the way or very visibly working and advocating.  Today,  NOT So MUCH.  We seem to have “farmed out” these roles to “non-demoninational” organizations.  It’s much like what David Fitch describes in his marvelous book,   The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Oraganizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism,  and other Modern Maladies.

Now he’s not calling para-church orgs such as Sojourners a “modern malady” so muchas bemoaning the fact that such are necessary , given  the  church abandoning being present in  any of these disciplines.  Sojourners arose  out of a failure  of the American church to recognize its captivity and acquiescence to Americanism (and indeed, the initial magazine  was originally titled “The Post American”).

Having said all that,  I very much like the fact that we have Sojourners as a resource for continuing to explore the terrain of the church’s role in the politic America. As a subscriber for almost 20 years, I have found their witness and their resources to be a valuable source of community when I have found myself feeling estranged from the church when I have experienced the scourge of Americanism distorting the message of the church.

About Theoblogical

I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

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