…and in the cool
of the quiet evening
it was women walking
silky, as yet unseen
in the garden.
Silver shears caught
slivers of sunlight,
captured them gently
like butterflies netted
with meshed moonlight
and given to a special
catch and release program
to each bush they bowed
in authority and grace
from verdant relieved stems
smiling and murmuring
in the gloam
and moving on
by with eyes
so full of mirrors
they saw nothing
else and everything else
as reflections of reflections,
having used their silver
30 times in their
These are the kinds of things which disqualify ttaf from any serious consideration or pretense to the title of “God’s Anointed“, as the evangelical right has christened him in an idolatrous orgiastic frenzy of drunken power preservation.
Can someone have a horrible background and then have a Road To Damascus experience and become justified?
HOWEVER: When this is genuine, we ALWAYS see a degree of honesty and authenticity and congruence that results in a complete OWNING of one’s past, a transparent willingness to completely take responsibility for it, and not one scintilla of seeking to cover it up.
We see NONE of that with ttaf.
ttaf supporter: quite simply, you support a monster (bad enough), and you do it in the Name of Jesus (far worse).
Dear Monster Lover:
It is with much sorrow and grief that I write…because I know you will take refuge in your martyr pronouncements of “So Be It” and other defense mechanisms that you have used to cover up the essential truth you have been fleeing from: that you have lost your stride in the bogs of self-pity, and that you now believe things that would have appalled you years ago.
I want you to feel the separation that is being forced on these children.
I want you to grapple with the reality that you helped put these children here, with your vote and callous hard-hearted blindness to the reality that your beloved conservatism has been HIJACKED…and all of you on the plane do nothing because they let you sit in 1st Class and have free drinks.
You once bewailed that you were “not being allowed to just be an old foolish person who was indulged in peace and not confronted with opposition”…yeah. You who have not been hauled off to some internment camp, you want that…
…while you support the actions of an administration who deny the actual existential freedom of children and doom them to a lifetime crippled by trauma and maladaptive brain development…
because they aren’t as important as you are…I guess you see yourself as more “the least” than they are and so you shove them out of the way and shunt them aside so you can gobble up your last morsels of comfort.
You watch programs and listen to programs that croon and lull…while simply ignoring the actual truth of the Gospel Message. I am heartsick and repulsed with the wallow you have made in the plains of Idolatry and Complacency.
There is still a chance for you. Repent…repudiate your vote for ttaf….begin to speak the truth you know in your bones.
A wise person changes their mind…a fool never.
I am a psychotherapist, so I work with children who have been traumatized and what they are experiencing is definitely trauma. One of the worst traumas for children is to be separated from their caregivers and then placed in what they calling “temporary detention facilities.” But it’s indefinite detention—they have no idea how long they’re going to be held. They have no idea if they’ll ever see their parents again.
That level of anxiety causes tremendous emotional stress, and we know from the research in neuroscience that constant release of these stress hormones can affect a child’s ability to learn, a child’s ability to self-manage, to regulate themselves.
The long term impact that I’ve seen in my own Japanese American community is this hyper-vigilance, this need to constantly prove themselves, and always being on edge. Japanese Americans are viewed often as the model minority but I see the behavior of needing to strive and not offend and belong and maybe give up their own personal aspirations to fit in has come at a great sacrifice and is a reaction to having been incarcerated unjustly.
You left the prison camp when you were two and half years old. How did those years affect you?
This kind of treatment has consequences for a lifetime for a child. The trauma effect is pretty severe when there’s been captivity trauma. We were unjustly incarcerated when we weren’t guilty of anything.
Today I live with anxiety about the possibility of random accusations or being blamed for something. That’s constantly present. So we are always working hard to please people and not cause trouble. There’s a constant need to be perfect. We don’t show up in the criminal justice system but we end up with a lot of psychosomatic disorders and symptoms resulting from over-achievement. We question our integrity and worthiness. I’m over-educated, for example. I have a Bachelors, Masters, PhD, I’m a licensed therapist, a certified gerontologist, the list goes on.
That high level of anxiety has given me high blood pressure. A lot of us who were incarcerated as children have high blood pressure. A study by Dr. Gwendolyn Jensen found that Japanese men who were detained had a 2.1 greater risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality, and premature death than Japanese men in Hawaii who were not imprisoned. [The study found the youngest detainees reported more post-traumatic stress symptoms and unexpected and disturbing flashback experiences.]
The Department of Health and Human Services released pictures on Wednesday taken at a shelter detaining 1,500 boys. Near the cafeteria, there’s a mural with Trump’s face on it. The mural reads: “Sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.” This is a quote from his book The Art of the Deal. What goes through your mind when you hear that?
That is overt, paternalistic brainwashing. It implies that what’s happening to them is some beneficial oversight. And the message is really saying you need to accept this situation that you’re in and that there will be a benefit to you. That is a common message of an oppressor or a captor to get control over the victim. It’s appalling.
One of the ways you know you’re a victim of mass incarceration is that the perpetrator uses euphemistic language to distort the reality of what’s being done to them.
This is what they told us when we were at the prison camps: This is for your own good. We’re protecting you from harm that others may direct toward you and this is a way for you to show your loyalty. And I think even after the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, many people still believe that.
Please go to the link to read this whole thing if you fancy yourself a Christian and yet think that the absolute fucker is God’s Anointed.
He isn’t…and you’re worshipping a false god if you think he is.
Yes. I am Charissa Grace White, and I approve this Message.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk Humbly.
We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.
It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”
It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.
This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. In this season of Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.
Jesus is Lord. That is our foundational confession. It was central for the early church and needs to again become central to us. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar was not—nor any other political ruler since. If Jesus is Lord, no other authority is absolute. Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God he announced, is the Christian’s first loyalty, above all others. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our faith is personal but never private, meant not only for heaven but for this earth.
The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples, require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.
What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.
I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ, because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.
II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.
III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.
IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.
V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.
VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.
THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.
WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED for the soul of our nation, but also for our churches and the integrity of our faith. The present crisis calls us to go deeper—deeper into our relationship to God; deeper into our relationships with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines; deeper into our relationships with the most vulnerable, who are at greatest risk.
The church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides, as Galatians 3:28 teaches us. But our answer is to be “in Christ,” and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
The best response to our political, material, cultural, racial, or national idolatries is the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Jesus summarizes the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:38). As to loving our neighbors, we would add “no exceptions.”
We commend this letter to pastors, local churches, and young people who are watching and waiting to see what the churches will say and do at such a time as this.
Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent, and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Source: Reclaiming Jesus
You now bow at the altar of Satan, supporter of ttaf. The monster has unleashed hounds of hell and they roam, sating themselves on the blood of innocents and you sanction them with your piety, filthy rags tied tightly over your eyes and stuffed in your shit-stained mouths and wadded into your ears which are deaf anyway…
so you will not see them or hear them…
but you listen to your tv preachers (False Jeremiahs) and your propaganda news and you wrap yourself in justifications (“I am ooooolllldddd, so I get to believe in whatever makes me feel good) and you glut on spiritual bon-bons and chocolate and you look exactly like the great whore of Babylon…
Remember: there is Babylon…and then there is its whore. ttaf is Babylon and you, oh Pious one are his whore.
You are Stormy Daniels without the integrity and morals. You are impotent and played out. Woe to you, having run the race so long and then turned aside to the satisfaction of your appetites within sight of the finish line, there to be mired in the slough of compromise and carnal satiation.
I have no truck with you. Ever.
In 2014, at least 10 trafficking victims, including eight minors, were discovered during a raid by federal and local law enforcement in Portman’s home state of Ohio. As FRONTLINE examined in the recent documentary Trafficked in America, HHS had released several minors to the traffickers. The committee said the case was due to policies and procedures that were “inadequate to protect the children in the agency’s care.”
From 2016…my thoughts on the popular evangelical christian “shotgun passages” they use to blanket condemn anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual. I am reposting this because I sense that there are many readers from the past, several of whom have issued blanket condemnation of me and others like me…and who I have not seen or exchanged a single word with for many years…and yet they somehow know the state of my eternal destiny and current connection with God…
It makes me so sad…but not for me, actually! For THEM! So cocksure, so sage and sad, caressing their chins ever so mournfully and yet so piously, rubbing their beards…and wallowing in their own human pride and selfish piousness. People who claim titles like apostle and prophet, pastor and teacher…
people who Lord it over one another and practice a spirituality that is actually “homo-sect-uality”, and in fact the epitome of that abuse of power that Paul describes in the 1 Cor 6 passage, wherein an older powerful man exploits a younger and vulnerable boy…
I have seen (and experienced) that very exploitation myself.
It is my true hope that scales would fall off their eyes, as they did my own…where I discovered that the REAL transition of my life was transition from a self-righteous pit of death and striving towards a humble and broken compassionate vessel of the Love and Generosity of God.
There is also a link to a blog post by John Pavlovitz, and his listening experience to true christians who have been condemned by others…
“…Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…
and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…”
I am reposting this prose essay that I wrote in 2015. Based on current readership, I think it might hit some hearts that are perhaps now harrowed by grief and plowed by sorrow, and tender, softened by trial to receive seeds of humility that may grow and blossom into the fruits of compassion.
At least…I hope so.
It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping……and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles.
Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.
I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face. I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever. Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.
Constance: if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!
It was a golden time,
a stretched out place back then,
twisting up and over there,
and underneath the sun and more…
a yawn opened in heaven’s floor
and down to earth came Joy and more…
he was and is our so much more…
When John had horrid accident
(Lafayette screamed outloud to Moraga)
and whistles blew so shrill, so quick,
while McElhenny dodged Nomellini oh so neatly
(but poor scared children could not know the drill)
and thus their roar for glory yet to come…yet to come
left them there bereft and frozen
while Joyful John slept, waiting…
and there in Heaven, bleachers full
gasped and held their breath…
one and then year two
until the smile that broke a thousand
cold cold hearts wide open once
again cracked the cold and silent night
and Heaven’s Bleachers roared in joy!
Quicksilver baton twirling,
sigil of the coming glory
and the battered Captain Tittle
smiling humble, signing Y.A.
and the whole beloved story
for a faithful fan of Joyful John
and his undying confidence
in Red and Gold forever held
in jubilance and wriggly ecstasy…
And as that silver wheel spun high
and slicing thru the pale blue sky
the years twirled out as quick as lightening
and slowly Heaven’s Bleachers swelled
with lookers on who cheered and held
the living in their love…
Until the Niners strong and true
(St Clair, RC Owens, Perry, all there)
emerged to follow greatness on
and on into forever…
and even Easter Bunnies stopped
with making eggs to cheer for Rice
and call out loud to old John Brodie…
These many years since then, it’s come
The Wicked Witch of Martinez, thrum
and screech and fear it brings to try
and make our Joyful brother cry
but we stand firm with him and sing
and Heaven’s Bleachers full do bring
their tidings here to us this day
that Joyful John is needed here…
For earthly throng still cheers our team
Beloved Niners, see it gleam, as glory gathers
there beneath the coming dawn so gold, so red
This post goes out to any reader who claims to love God in the “traditional, evangelical sense”…who believes in the Apostles Creed, who believes that the Great Commission means that your life as a christian is defined by how much you witness, how often you go to the building referred to as “the church”, and who sees themselves as “one of the saved” regardless of anything else because of a sinner’s prayer prayed in the past.
Jesus said that there would be deception so great that even the elect would be deceived, and He told a story about how the sorting of the saved will take place: who and what people were doing with “the least of these” being the winnowing fork.
If this fits you, then you turn from reading this article at your peril.
What I have posted below is an excerpt. I recommend clicking here and getting to the speech directly.
May you be awakened from your anti-christ position and support of ttaf (that stands for Trump The Absolute Fucker)…and may you find the grace to return to your first Love, and actions befitting its expressions.
This speech was given by Dr. Labberton at a private meeting of evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, on April 16, 2018. The following has been edited from his notes for clarity and to give context to excerpts that have been disseminated elsewhere.
“…this is not a time of pressing on. I feel a personal urgency to stop, to pray, to listen, to confess, and to repent and want to call us to do the same. Only the Spirit “who is in the world to convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) can bring us to clarity about the crisis we face.
“…As I have sought that conviction, here is what I have come to believe: The central crisis facing us is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been betrayed and shamed by an evangelicalism that has violated its own moral and spiritual integrity.
“This is not a crisis imposed from outside the household of faith, but from within. The core of the crisis is not specifically about Trump, or Hillary, or Obama, or the electoral college, or Comey, or Mueller, or abortion, or LGBTQIA+ debates, or Supreme Court appointees.
“Instead the crisis is caused by the way a toxic evangelicalism has engaged with these issues in such a way as to turn the gospel into Good News that is fake.
“Now on public display is an indisputable collusion between prominent evangelicalism and many forms of insidious racist, misogynistic, materialistic, and political power.
“The wind and the rain and the floods have come, and, as Jesus said, they will reveal our foundation. In this moment for evangelicalism, what the storms have exposed is a foundation not of solid rock but of sand.
“This is not a crisis taking place at the level of language. This is not about who owns or defines the term “evangelical,” and whether one does—or does not—choose to identify as such.
“It is legitimate and important to debate if and how the term “evangelical” can currently be used in the United States to mean anything more than white, theologically and politically conservative. But that is not itself the crisis.
“The crisis is not at the level of our lexicon, but of our lives and a failure to embody the gospel we preach.
“We may debate whether the word “evangelical” can or should be redeemed. But what we must deal with is the current bankruptcy many associate with evangelical life.
“This is not a crisis unfolding at the level of group allegiance, denomination, or affiliation. The varied reality that is American evangelicalism is evidenced in this room.
“We have no formal hierarchy, leadership, or structure and form no single organization, but are sorted and divided today as we have been—for better and worse—for much of our history.
“This is not a recent crisis but a historic one. We face a haunting specter with a shadow that reaches back further than the 2016 election—a history that helps define the depth of the sorrow, fear, anger, anxiety, and injustice around us.
“Today’s egregious collusion between evangelicals and worldly power is problematic enough: more painful and revealing is that such collusion has been our historic habit…
“Today’s collusion bears astonishing—and tragic—continuity with the past.
“Right alongside the rich history of gospel faithfulness that evangelicalism has affirmed, there lies a destructive complicity with dominant cultural and racial power.
“Despite deep gospel confidence and rhetoric, evangelicalism has been long-wedded to a devastating social self-interest that defends the dominant culture over and against that of the gospel’s command to love the “other” as ourselves.
“We are not naïve in our doctrine of sin that prefers self over all, but we have failed to recognize our own guilt in it.
“Our professed trust in Jesus has not led evangelicals to die to ourselves, but often to justify our own self-assertion—even when that means complicity in the suffering and death of others.
“The scandal associated today with the evangelical gospel is not the scandal of the Cross of Christ, crucified for the salvation of the world.
“…it is the scandal of our own arrogance, unconfessed before the Cross, revealing a hypocritical superiority that we dare to associate with the God who died to save the weak and the lost…”
this is about
under the clouds.
by noises here
and there too