Jim Wallis has a powerful column this month on his relationship with Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ.

For years the two men were bitter enemies. Their polar opposite views on how Christians should be involved in society spilled over to "a bitter polarization" between the two, including a showdown at a meeting of religious leaders.

Here's what happened a few years ago, ad Wallis tells it:

More than two decades later, Bright and I found ourselves at yet another religious leaders’ dinner. When I saw him across the room, I swallowed hard and headed in his direction. He obviously didn’t recognize me after so long. I introduced myself, and he became quiet. I said, "Bill, I need to apologize to you. I was in a hotel several months ago and knew you were there too. I should have come to your room and tried to mend the painful breach between us after all these years. I didn’t do that, and I should have. I’m sorry."

The now-old man reached out and wrapped his arms around me. Then he said, "Jim, we need to come together. It’s been so long, and the Lord would have us come together." We both had tears in our eyes and embraced for a long time. Then Bill said, "Jim, I’m so worried about the poor, about what’s going to happen to them. You’re bringing us together on that, and I want to support you."

They met together, and shared their testimonies--of how God had worked in their lives and how their political beliefs were shaped by faith. They prayed for one another. They didn't agree--but they were reconciled. A few days before Bright died, he sent Wallis a letter and contribution to Sojourners.

Here's Wallis's conclusion:

The experience of my relationship with Bill Bright has taught me much about the promise and power of reconciliation. I will never again deny the prospect of coming together with those with whom I disagree. It is indeed the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to break down the walls between us. Thank you, Bill. I will never forget you.


Is Bush Really Pro-Life ?

Here's a story worth following up on. Glenn Stassan of Fuller Theological Seminary > and an investigative reporter say that the number of abortions have gone up under President Bush.

Stassen and Kane argue that Bush's economic and social policies--fewer jobs, a growing number of women without insurance, among others--have contributed to the rise.

What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, insurance, jobs, child care and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need a president who will do something about jobs, health insurance and support for mothers.


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