People We Should Know: William Barber

One of my favorite parts of the Transitional Executive Ministry Training I took last fall was the session on Conferences We Should Attend, Blogs We Should Read, etc.  [FYI: among the must-attend conferences are NEXT Church for Presbyterians and White Privilege for everybody.]William_Barber_at_Moral_Mondays_rally

I have another list:  People We Should Know . . . if we are interested in 21st Century ministry.  Friends, we should all know William Barber II.

I first heard him speak at the Wild Goose Festival in 2013 and 2014 and this was after he had gained national attention as the creator of Moral Mondays in N.C.

Moral Mondays – which has now spread to twelve other states – was created to peacefully protest state government actions which impede voting rights and cut social programs.

Cornel West has described the Rev. Barber as “the only (Martin Luther) King-like figure we have in the country right now.”  His messages are powerful and Spirit-infused.  And in these days when the words of our political candidates are often violent (one wants to “carpet bomb” ISIS until the sand glows) and do not sound Christ-like in spite of coming out of the mouths of those who self-identify as Christians (“I will bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”) Barber believes that – because words can still become flesh – we need to speak prophetic words in the likeness of Christ.

These, for example, speak to us all:  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.”  (Matthew 23:23)

William Barber keeps reminding us what the weightier matters of the law truly are.  You can read more here.

Image by TW Buckner.

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