My Response to Jeffress and His Take on Romans 13

My Response to Jeffress and His Take on Romans 13

Though Jeffress and other evangelical triumphalists want to ascribe unqualified fealty to the state, they repeatedly do a very poor job of exegeting Romans 13. But Jeffress is unfortunately not alone. Jeffress joins a long line of palace prophets throughout history who have used (abused is more like it) Romans 13 to justify oppression, murder, war, and other human rights abuses. 

It is Terrorism

It is Terrorism

It is terrorism, rooted in centuries of internalized belief and externalized violence that white people and a myth of a white nation are inherently superior, and all people who we deem not "white," especially those with black and brown skin, are not fully human, not fully deserving, and not worthy of full empathy. "Both sides" is garbage. Worse, it is dangerous fuel on the fire of white supremacy.

A Lament for My Daughter

By A Loving Mother

Where my daughter have you gone?

I have loved you since before I knew you

Your spirit, your heart, your grace, and your empathy

You are like a bright morning star and the fresh dew on the grass

You believe the world rejected you – it has hurt you and made you afraid

 

You have protected yourself by building a wall around your heart

You defend your wall with slings and arrows

You are quick to repel and reject - even those who love you

You have hardened your heart

 

The Evil One has fed your fear and your hurt

He has whispered in your ear schemes and lies

He constantly surrounds you with hate and deceit

He leads you into the wilderness and tells you that you are alone

 

I wish that you knew that you were a child of God - loved with a passion and   intensity that you cannot fathom

You are not alone in the wilderness – God is with you

God sacrificed His only Son just to be with you

He will never abandon you

 

I wish that you understood that you are our child and our love knows no bounds

You are not alone in the wilderness – we are there, calling your name

We cover you with love when the world covers you with hate

We long for the day when we are reconciled

 

Until that time, know that we are there

We will never cease searching for you, praying for you, and loving you

We will be there when your walls come down

Where, my daughter, have you gone?

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Building a Progressive Wesleyan Movement - Acts 6

Building a Progressive Wesleyan Movement - Acts 6

Chapter six shows us that revolutions are not smoothly-run, linear movements where actions build neatly one upon another to be ultimately completed in a pristine picture of what was originally predicted. Revolutions are never neat and clean. Revolutions are giant leaps forward and, all too often, several steps back. Chapter six is more about the several steps back. 

Death on Schedule

Death on Schedule

Like the overall atmospheric tension, the specific topic of the death penalty remains mostly in the ether. It is on everyone's minds, but the actual execution is mostly unspoken. Often, it passes lips only because it cannot be ignored, like when its occurrence pops up on the news of the pod TV. There is an entirely surreal feeling that occurs when this prison, where we are isolated and forgotten, never spoken of as human beings, suddenly shows up on the news that all the state's "normal" people watch.

A Thought for July 4th

A Thought for July 4th

So yes, I will probably cook out on July 4th and will venture into crowded Washington DC to watch some pretty amazing fireworks. But I refuse to view this country as exceptional above all others or rewrite history to wash away the enormous injustices this country has committed against so vulnerable groups and countries. I will thank God for the United States on her birthday just as I will thank God for Kenya, India, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada, Mexico, etc.

Pastor, You Left Me Hangin'

Pastor, You Left Me Hangin'

I went to church a couple of Sundays ago in a beautiful, traditional church in small town America where the music was good and the people were friendly. There was a guest pastor that day who spoke on “Dream Big.” A perfectly lovely sermon topic, but I don’t remember much because all I felt was an emptiness inside. I knew that there was a broken, suffering, hurting world outside that door and that I was going to have to go back out there in a very short hour.

Building a Progressive Wesleyan Movement - Acts 3

Building a Progressive Wesleyan Movement - Acts 3

Too many middle-class churches have become so detached from the revolutionary New Testament church that we like to talk about our ministry "to" poor people more than among the poor. Our ministries never address the causes of poverty and never result in concrete social change. Thus, the poor become objectified, poverty continues, the delusion of the church "caring for its community" continues, detachment between the church and the most vulnerable in the community continues, faithlessness continues.