347: NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY #22: THE WHITE TRAIN CAMPAIGN

Welcome to Zingcreed. You’ll find it full of Christian ‘stuff’ even though it’s written by an atheist – watch and learn!

This account is taken from a sermon delivered by Jim Wallis in London in June 1986. He was and probably still is an evangelical activist in a rundown, predominantly black area of Washington D.C. He ran a group known as the Sojourners, was described by Time magazine as one of the most influential men in America, and was spiritual adviser to an American president, Clinton I think. When I went to hear him (in 1986) at a rally in London I was somewhat taken aback by his desire to get arrested, and to take all of us with him. He marched us all up Whitehall to Downing Street with no clear goal in mind. He wanted to get stopped by the cops just so he could appear a martyr, another feather in his radical cap to impress his followers back home. Pointless and ridiculous. Of course he made sure the press were there to record this moment in history. For those of us with jobs to keep down, getting arrested is no light matter; it should only be risked if the cause is a really good one, and if there is no other way. I walked away from this flamboyant showman and went home. I didn’t want a criminal record.

A year later I was arrested on the same spot – but that’s another story!

This is Jim Wallis’s (good) story:

“One of my favourite stories of all is about the train that used to be called the White Train that carries all the nuclear warheads produced at the main bomb factory at a place called Amarillo, Texas. it carries the warheads to deployment sites all over the country. The White Train always travels unnoticed and unhindered. Its cargo is the deadliest freight in the history of trains – up to 200 hydrogen bombs per trainload are carried.  But that was before the White Train Campaign. Now, whenever the train moves, a national network of prayer and action springs to life along the tracks with vigils all along the route. Wherever the train goes it is met, blocked by thousands of people, most of them Christians, offering their prayers for hope, their prayers for peace and their prayers of resistance. We have not yet stopped the train but the train was so conspicuous as the White Train, they have now repainted the train. It is now painted so that it can blend in more easily with the surrounding countryside – a kind of a dull green. So far we have caused them to repaint the train and we won’t rest until the train no longer carries that deadly cargo through towns and villages across our country.”

Source:
Wallis, J. “The Rise of Christian Conscience” The 1986 CMS (Church Missionary Society) Annual Sermon. p.8

 

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Alphabetical index for other ‘Now that’s what I call….’ Posts

[346, i&l, t&c]

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