Leaders from both sides of the pond have urged the global church to ensure its 'Good News' is active and embraces the poor – just as Jesus intended. US-based Christian author Jim Wallis told Joel Edwards that Jesus' gospel and justice go together, during an interview for the 9-week The Jesus Agenda DVD resource for the global Church.
Mr Wallis is best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine and as the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian community of the same name.
During The Jesus Agenda, Mr Wallis said that Jesus' words in Luke 4:18-19 were his "mission statement" for Christians to follow.
He said: "If your gospel isn't good news to poor people it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. He added: "The Nazareth manifesto was Jesus' mission statement: It's meant to be ours."
Former UK Cabinet member Lord Boateng told Joel Edwards that God's love is not a soft sentiment but has to be turned into a strategy for a living, vocal faith. He added: "I don't think activism and advocacy are optional extras to faith."
Joel said: "Lord Boateng is a senior politician who is passionate about faith and justice, and Jim Wallis is respected across the world for his advocacy on issues of social justice for the poor. It was a privilege to interview them for The Jesus Agenda. They both aim to reflect what Jesus' Nazareth manifesto is all about."
The Jesus Agenda aims to see Christians inspired to help end extreme poverty across the world through advocacy and social action. It is being produced globally by Micah Challenge, Christian Aid and Compassion.
The resource is part of Micah Challenge's wider plan to mobilise Christians to remind world politicians to keep their Millennium Development Goal promises made in 2000 to halve extreme poverty.
Micah Challenge, an initiative of the World Evangelical Alliance and Micah Network, is a global movement active in over 40 countries whose aim is to encourage Christians to be committed to the poor, and hold governments accountable to the Millennium Development Goals, signed by 189 countries in the year 2000 which committed to halving world poverty by the year 2015. See www.micahchallenge.org for more information.