During April 9-10, Shane Claiborne, peacemaker and radical lover of Jesus Christ, spoke at multiple Vanguard University gatherings where he described the genuine, Christ-like faith taught in Scriptures and how his community practically lives out that teaching.
In the heart of the urban empire of Philadelphia, Claiborne started The Simple Way,a Christ-following community and nonprofit, or as their website states, “a web of subversive friends conspiring to spread the vision of ‘Loving God, Loving People, and Following Jesus’ in our neighborhoods and in our world.” As a radical follower of the teachings of Christ who has worked with Mother Teresa, Claiborne shares with audiences around the world how to live the way that Christ instructed and what that looks like.
Along with describing the radical attributes of The Simple Way community, Claiborne described ways for attendees to practically enact the counter-cultural call of Christ in their lives. He said that a great guiding principle to live by is: “what does it mean to love this person right now?” Being in relationship with people is how we help resolve the issues of injustice in this world, he said. “When you have relationships with people affected by injustice, you can’t help but care,” he added.
Claiborne also talked about the importance of being an active member in a community today like the communities of the early church. “Part of why community is so important is because we bear the heavy days together,” Claiborne said at Late Night. At the student leader gathering, Claiborne added that “we can’t just have an idea or vision [for community or what radical changes we want to make in the world]; we have to love the people around us.” Near the close of the student leader gathering, Claiborne said: “It’s not how much you do, but how much you love.”
In an effort to encourage others to take more seriously the words and love of Christ, Claiborne travels and shares this message with communities around the world. He is featured on the blog, Red Letter Christians, which identifies its main goal as: “To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle in the Sermon on the Mount.” Claiborne is also the author of several books: Jesus for President, Red Letter Revolution, Common Prayer, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream, Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers, and The Irresistible Revolution.
To find out more about Claiborne and The Simple Way, click here.