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27 Responses

  1. John 20:29 says:

    Silence in Seattle … He asks the question, when was the last time you sat in total silence? Guess he’s never visited a nursing home….. ? there are a whole lot of them… in Seattle…..

  2. Outside T. Fold says:

    Striking how Graham’s regrets are a series of hard won insights (hindsights?) about the workings of political power.
    Goaded by the press to a public act of prayer that led to him betraying a confidence of a conversation with a President, and how he himself was betrayed by a President whose taping of conversations was a political use to his own ends.

    Been thinking of the rise of the ‘religious right’ and ‘moral majority’ (from college days) and seen how this group thought to, in the name of Heaven, take on Washington. Time and again, Washington uses them. Graham at least has course-corrected. Alas, alas for his son who has been co-opted.

    These are things to think on as I continue to reflect on the efficacy of moral engagement in political process, especially just as we’ve observed the 50th anniversary of the slaying of a prophet and a pastor of God.

    No matter where you stand w/ regard to church or spiritual belief (of which see the first name of my ‘nym), there is a great lesson in power, and how it will corrupt.

  3. Outside T. Fold says:

    The contempt that infects our political discourse, he said, stems from “the utter conviction of the worthlessness of another human being.”

    (quote from EO forgiveness sunday article)

    So much this. I’ve been closely following the events of the MLK50 in Memphis, including the dedication of the I AM A MAN plaza. At the heart of the strike of the Memphis Sanitation workers was the declaration that the sanitation workers had dignity, and were declaring their own worth to a city that thought them utterly worthless.

    These are the words of Rev. James Lawson from that time. Some or all of this statement is at the base of the I AM A MAN statue at the plaza:

    “For at the heart of racism is the idea that a man is not a man, that a person is not a person. You are human beings. You are men. You deserve dignity.”

    Rev. Lawson emphasized this over and over again in words he spoke there. I felt an urgency he had, to get this point across. At the heart of it all, is to recognize and embrace the full power of life within, and to let that recognition—soulforce, he calls it—imbue whatever action that’s taken. The ends do NOT justify the means. The means are the ends, and need to be there throughout. (this, in a way, expands what I noted above, about the methods to engage in political process. It must have this deep recognition over and over and over and over again if it is to be liberating.)

    I’m thinking of that as I saw a discussion elsewhere on here (things I think thread) where a commenter used the noun “illegals.” Same thing applies. That word choice—illegal, illegals— to refer to human beings who do not have documentation, is a word choice that reflects utter worthlessness. See, for comparison, the language of wartime: Japs, Hun, Gook, Towelhead. And the language of our internal wars, the n word, and the words we use for the stranger and alien in our midst.

    This statement from the EO/forgiveness article is such a valuable watchword. I take instruction from it. Difficult instruction.

  4. John 20:29 says:

    With regard to OTF’s thoughts at 2 & 3…
    Conflate is another word that is popular here…
    Illegal is a useful term, it describes operating outside the law…
    We need to watch that we do not conflate the secular and the divine – the two kingdoms as some here refer to them
    I guess there’s a sermon or two to preach on the topic… remind the Church that we need to be clear as to what we’re addressing and what our attitude is lined up with……

  5. Xenia says:

    Dear Outside T. Fold,

    We participate in the Orthodox Forgiveness Sunday every year. It is a very powerful thing to stand (prostrate, actually) before everyone in the church, one at a time, and ask their forgiveness. The priest goes first.

  6. Jean says:

    “We need to watch that we do not conflate the secular and the divine – the two kingdoms as some here refer to them”

    Two kingdoms does not mean that Christian values only apply to the kingdom of God. To the contrary, Christians are exhorted to salt the earth and light the world.

  7. John 20:29 says:

    Yes, worth expanding on a bit, Jean
    i would say that “Christian values” are absolutes… They can only function in the secular world in the context of the Christian living his life…. Do non-Christians ever exhibit “Christian values?” Of course they can and do, but the obligation to do so is the Christian’s – not because we are, by nature, more virtuous but by obligation….

  8. Outside T. Fold says:


    That sounds deep and significant and such a meaningful affirmation of a beloved community. Thank you for elaborating.

    (BTW, I replied to a comment of yours on Open Blogging, but as I posted it around your Pascha celebration day, you probably missed it. Also, hi. I’ve been a lurker here for some time, and your discussion from within the EO tradition has been one of the bright things that stands out for me.)

  9. Outside T. Fold says:

    John 20:29, I did a browser search on this page. I did not use the word “conflate.”

  10. Jean says:

    “i would say that “Christian values” are absolutes… They can only function in the secular world in the context of the Christian living his life….”

    And the living of that life takes place in the world, so that the Christian does not put his or her Christian life and values on the shelf when working, whether in the private or public sector.

  11. John 20:29 says:

    OTF, clarification noted, but i did not say you used the word….
    My comment was prompted by reading your thoughts, but not intended as rebuttal to them – sorry, if it was taken as such

  12. John 20:29 says:

    #10 – yes, worth your rxcellent rephrasing. ?

  13. Xenia says:

    Dear Outside T. Fold,

    Thank you for your kind words! I did notice your post the other day, but I was totally immersed in Orthodox Easter and barely had time to brush my teeth. Things have calmed down. 🙂

  14. John 20:29 says:

    Every site i try to visit i am getting a msg, that the connection is not private and my data is not secure, with the exception of this one…
    But i haven’t got anything to add to my morning pontifications here… ?

    I can add a thank you to God however… Our local Mr. Fixit has repaired my car’s wiring problem today and for not so many dollars – the man is a gift to all of us, may God bless him

  15. Jean says:

    The Russell Moore video was excellent. I hope he continues to speak publicly, and that God raises up many more men and women with the same public message, so that at least it’s clear what Christianity teaches on the topic of racial justice.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, word has it that there will be a group at the SBConvention this year calling for Moore’s firing. It won’t pass, but could be a harbinger of things to come.

  17. Dan from Georgia says:

    Josh (16), I’m not privy to what’s going on in the SBC, but I am familiar with Russell Moore. Do you know why this group wants Moore gone (if the scuttlebutt is true)?

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    Just when I was ready to take ‘eschatology seriously’ the article ended and the other links appeared. I cannot take cartoon eschatology seriously but I accept their general point. It matters.

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    @17 – This time, it is because he is “causing division” with his talks of racism.

  20. Dan from Georgia says:



    To borrow an overused phrase from every progressive Christian…

    I can’t even.

  21. Dan from Georgia says:

    Wait!!!!…I missed that…

    “This time..”?

  22. Steve says:

    Thanks for including the story of the Humboldt hockey team tragedy. It’s really hitting home to a lot of people up here in Canada – pray for all those involved, please.

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    Dan – Yeah, when you speak as much truth as Moore, you make lots of enemies. Most of his heat came for speaking against Trump. Particularly from a group led by Jack Graham. He survived that storm, and the dust seems to have settled, but now others are after him for this. He also is under constant attack for being a Calvinist. As I said immediately after the MLK50 conference, no progress can come without pain. Russell Moore is an agent of change in the SBC, and therefore will always have a bullseye strapped to his back. I pray for him often.

  24. Michael says:


    I’m a hockey fanatic, so it’s hit home here as well.
    I thought the pastor did an excellent job…

  25. Michael says:

    I love Russell Moore…but I think his days in the SBC are numbered…

  26. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think so, too. I’ll probably follow him if he goes.

  27. Dan from Georgia says:

    Josh and Michael,

    Funny things happen when you hold up a mirror to some people.

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