New voice for Christians: “Common Grace”

Common Grace, a new “Christian action platform” has launched on social media and today launches its website. It aims to build an online community with a welcoming and gracious approach to asylum seekers, action on climate change and other justice issues.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 8.09.45 am“We want to use new technology to celebrate efforts for justice,” says Jess Smith, a spokesperson for the new group.

Perhaps surprisingly, Common Grace is not simply made up of members from more liberal churches. Instead, the organising group has a big proportion of Pentecostals and Anglican evangelicals.

“We’re using the online campaigning approach of other organisations but bringing a deep theological framing to it,” says Smith. The launch of Common Grace comes from a conviction that Christians have focused their public campaigns too narrowly in the past, on “moral” issues, or scepticism about climate change, for example.

“I feel as though I am part of the audience Common Grace is seeking,” Smith tells Eternity. “I am a Sydney Anglican (a conservative evangelical) doing Bible study and praying – that is what my life is. Our teaching in the church is really strong on hearing from Jesus that your life is different from the world around you and it’s going to overflow in love. I struggle to work out how that looks in terms of the justice angle: for the homeless person, the planet and the children in detention. Advocacy has become part of discipleship in a way.”

Refugee advocate Jarrod McKenna has been seconded by World Vision to be national director of Common Grace.