This is part 2 of a multi-week study of Acts and how we can continue to build a progressive Wesleyan movement that manifests God's Kingdom on earth in our local churches. Any study of the New Testament church will both critique where we are currently as a church as well as stir up visions for where God is leading us.
And so with that in mind, I propose this as a conversation that white liberals need to take seriously… and this is only the beginning of the conversation, not an exhaustive vetting. Gun laws affect people of color disproportionately, just like many/most other laws enacted in the United States. If you think that gun laws are any different from drug laws or property laws, then you’re probably white
The violence on Tuesday has created an expected and much-needed reflection by political leaders of both parties. But, as equally expected, this reflection has been superficial at best. My hope is that their time of reflection would give time for us to look at the unnecessary violence injected into the world and rethink more than just their speech, but the very policies they are enacting.
One thing I love about Father’s Day is that my wife, Marti, and my two amazing boys, Elisha and Isaiah, have to at least pretend to listen to me for a day. And like my dad, I love to tell stories – and most of them are even true! So, here are a few I am not sure I have yet told my boys so I hope they will at least read this and maybe even humor me by listening to them also.
The disciples' question shows us how asking the wrong questions can bring us to an entirely different end result from what God desires. The disciples want to know about their national greatness and their individual advancement. Jesus wants to recruit them to join the mission of transforming the world as witness of the coming of the Kingdom. So, many things depend on what kinds of questions we ask.
The pride I feel when I share where I grew up and where I now minister is due in part to the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the area. It makes me pay special attention then, when events like the nationwide March Against Sharia, originally set for Portland, occurred this past Saturday in Seattle. These marches were planned for 23 cities in over 18 states. Let’s be real, this is not what our community stands for.
Recently I attended a Parent-Son Banquet at my son’s public school for a program called Cohort, which serves young men of color at Wakefield High School. They have successfully created a band of Black, Latino, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American young men who meet each week, talk with one another about the impact of racism on their lives and all of society, and encourage one another to set goals for their lives and to achieve them. And this is why I am thankful for public schools.
What we HAVE to realize if injustice is to be effectively resisted is that so often the biggest of changes occurs in the smallest of ways; through small groups of people with shared passion, led by people directly impacted by injustice, and willing to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to achieve real, concrete change.
Said's prophetic critique of these religious tourists, is a critique of U.S. Christianity. It is selfish. It spends its resources and time seeking some otherworldly and selfish salvation experience. It is so preoccupied with its own salvation stories, it has lost touch with the savior who became human with compassion.
The following is a transcript of a call between donald trump and President Duterte from the Philippines who has been roundly criticized for his abuse of human rights in his relentless murder of drug addicts in his home country. More than 6,000 people have been killed under his brutal rule and Fig Tree Revolution has talked about this before.
Duterte: Thank you for calling and good evening, it is night over here.
donald trump: Okay I hope it’s not too late? It’s okay isn’t it? It’s not too late?
Duterte: No it’s okay, we are just having dinner with some of the members of ASEAN.
donald trump: I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.
Duterte: Thank you Mr. President. This is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation.
donald trump: I understand that and fully understand and I think we had a previous President who did not understand that, but I understand that and we have spoken about this before.
Duterte: Yes, I know that. Thank you.
They go on to talk about other things. Below are their final comments.
donald trump: Thank you Mr. President. You are a good man. Yes, certainly in November. Welcome and thank you and we will certainly be happy to see you, Rodrigo. I look forward to seeing you. If you want to come to the Oval office I will love to have you in Oval office. Anytime you want to come. I will be in the Philippines in November, but anytime if you are in DC or anywhere, come see me in the Oval office. Work it out with your staff. Seriously, if you want to come over, just let us know. Just take care of yourself and we will take care of North Korea. Keep up the good work, you are doing an amazing job. Say hello to the people of the Philippines for me.
Duterte: They know that you are calling. It is the last day of the ASEAN Summit and everyone was asking. Sultan Bolkiah just left but I will tell remaining guys here what you told me. We are all for peace, there’s no secret about that.
donald trump: Good, you take care of yourself, come see me before November, you are invited anytime.
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Instead of demanding that Gianforte get thrown out of Congress because he was an “illegal,” I thought it would be fun to use the Republican approach to Gianforte’s illegal behavior to create how they would approach “illegal” immigration if only they would treat immigrants the same as a rich, white businessmen running for elected office under the Republican banner.
The United Methodist institution is careening towards dismantling. What is sad is that the church seems so solely focused on its survival that it often forgets the substance of its calling – to love and to serve. It is time for progressive people in “leadership” positions to put their proclaimed values into action. Here are a few suggestions:
This week the President is expected to sign an executive order that uses religion as an excuse to permit discrimination. It will likely focus on LGBTQ people and women, but it will also affect those of minority faiths as well as non-theists. It even explicitly sanctions discrimination against people who have sex outside of marriage. Yep, the religious triumphalists have taken over the White House.