Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. Shane worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. He heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living “as if Jesus meant the things he said.” Shane is a champion for grace which has led him to jail advocating for the homeless, and to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to stand against war. And now grace fuels his passion to end the death penalty. Shane’s latest book is called Executing Grace.
What advice can you give to pastors to help them balance the seriousness of their call with the joy of Christ?
How should Christians go about protesting?
How do people of God find unity in the midst of so many differing opinions on things like the death penalty?
“If there’s something I’ve learned from conservatives and liberals, it’s that you can have a lot of great ideas and not have much fun.”
“Jesus had joy and imagination and I think that the movement of Jesus in the world needs that joy.”
“For folks that are dealing with social justice issues, we can get this self-righteousness and we can get overwhelmed by the needs or by ourselves.”
“Jesus didn’t come to give us guilt; Jesus came to give us life.”
“I don’t think guilt is a good motivator. It can be a good indicator that things aren’t quite right. But I think love and joy—these things have to motivate us.”
“Part of what Dr. King said was the real job of protest is to expose injustice so that it becomes so uncomfortable that people cannot remain silent—that they’re moved to act.”
“I don’t know many people who get argued into thinking differently. I know a whole lot of people who get moved by their heart and they get story-ed in.”
“If we believe that murderers are beyond redemption, we can rip out half the Bible…the Bible would be a lot shorter without grace.”
“The Bible belt is the death belt. 85% of executions happen in the Bible belt.”
“We think we’re killing the worst of the worst, but the truth is we’re killing the poorest of the poor, and disproportionately people of color.”
“The death penalty wouldn’t stand a chance in America if it weren’t for the support of Christians.”
“We’ve lost the cornerstone—our centering on Jesus—and when we lose our centering on Jesus, we end up talking a lot about things Jesus didn’t talk about, and we don’t talk about things Jesus had a lot to say about.”
“One of the things we need in the church is a consistent life ethic.”
“I want to be pro-life from the womb to the tomb.”
“I think one of the most dangerous things in the world is self-righteousness.”
“Right now I don’t think the world is looking for Christians who are perfect; they’re looking for Christians that are honest.”
“I think in the United States right now, fear casteth out love, it doesn’t have much room for love.”