Wednesday, March 23, 2005

JIM WALLIS: HOPE VS. CYNICISM. "The choice before us as Christians is not the choice between belief and secularism, the choice is between hope and cynicism. And hope is not optimism, hope is not idealism, hope is not a feeling. Hope is a decision based on what we know about the outcome of history. Hope is based on the resurrection. Hope is based in the confidence of the triumph of God's purposes in the world. King said that the long arm of history bends toward justice. He wasn't saying, 'I'm kind of a hope guy.' He was saying, 'I know who's going to win. I know how history is going to come out.'"

THE WAY OF GOD'S FUTURE. "Nelson Mandela didn't know that he'd get out of prison, didn't know he'd be the first president of the country, but he knew that eventually South Africa would be free. For Archbishop Desmond Tutu, that was a religious conviction. He isn't an idealist or utopian person. I was there in Cape Town in his cathedral when the place was surrounded by soldiers and police who outnumbered the worshipers three to one. They came into the sanctuary. He was preaching. They stood along the walls while he was preaching with tape recorders and pads, writing down what he was saying. They had already put him in jail. They were saying to him in effect, 'Go ahead, be bold, be prophetic, and we'll put you right back in jail.' He looked at them and pointed his finger and said, 'You are very powerful, but you are not gods. And I serve a God who cannot be mocked. You have already lost, so I invite you today to come and join the winning side!'"

JOIN THE WINNING SIDE. "The place erupted. People were on their feet dancing. The police didn't know what to do with dancing worshipers. I was at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, and I said, 'Bishop, do you remember what you said that morning?' He smiled. I said, 'Today, they've joined the winning side.'" -- From an interview with Jim Wallis by the folks at "Homiletics" online.

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