CrossWalk America was created to seek, explore, and articulate the theological principles behind both faith and politics from a distinctly moderate/progressive Christian perspective without embracing a particular political ideology. While our organization is joyfully and unapologetically Christian, we welcome the participation of Christians and non-Christians alike, from all walks of life.
CrossWalk America (CWA) is both a brand-new organization, and an organization that has been around a number of years:
In 1998, a group of Christian clergy gathered in a Phoenix coffeehouse, concerned about the increasing marginalization of moderate and progressive voices within the public sphere of Christianity. These clergy came from several traditionally “mainline” denominations – United Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Lutheran.
The ministers’ original vision was to speak on a wide variety of topics, offering an alternative voice to that of radical fundamentalism. They also felt it would be important to include laypeople in their membership. However, at the time, there was so much controversy over gay and lesbian issues, largely propagated by Christian ministers, they decided to focus on this single set of issues for the time being, and to do so specifically as Christian clergy.
Thus, No Longer Silent : Clergy for Justice (NLS:CFJ) was formed as a clergy-only group dedicated to offering an alternative voice to Christian fundamentalism, strictly regarding glbt issues. One of the significant products of their efforts is The Phoenix Declaration – a document that, among other things, points out that there is no credible biblical or theological basis for determining homosexuality to be a sin, or for excluding gays and lesbians from the full life of church and society. The essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives in relationship with God with compassion toward humanity. Over 160 clergy in Arizona signed this document.
While NLS:CFJ continues to operate as a powerful voice within and beyond the state of Arizona , this year the original vision to expand both in terms of voice and membership has become reality.
A new organization has been formed, called CrossWalk America . The purpose of CWA is to articulate and act upon a set of twelve theological principles called The Phoenix Affirmations . These Affirmations articulate what it means to live as a Christian seeking to embody Jesus’ great commandments to love God with heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
The basic assumption of both CWA and NLS:CFJ is that moderate and progressive Christians have been overly content to remain silent as fundamentalism has gradually eroded mainstream Christianity in the public sphere. We believe it is time to “stand up and be counted,” calling the church to be church, in voice and action.
A quote by Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984), sums our stance up well:
“When they came for the communists, I was silent, because I was not a communist; When they came for the socialists, I was silent, because I was not a socialist; When they came for the trade unionists, I did not protest, because I was not a trade unionist; When they came for the Jews, I did not protest, because I was not a Jew; When they came for me, there was no one left to protest on my behalf.”