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23 Responses

  1. Jtk says:

    How often do we as a society think about “race”?

    How often do *I*?

    I’ve been examining this after an ex-church member through a passive aggressive accusation of “white fragility” at me. It’s sad, because as a student of MLK and the civil rights movement, who cares deeply, I’ve never been afraid to talk about these things. Many great conversations have occurred.

    I’m now studying the various words for “race” throughout scripture.

    Here’s my question:
    How often has/does Jesus speak to you to EMPHASIZE or regard race?

    Certainly our culture and especially the media does all the time.


  2. Michael says:


    Weird question.
    All one has to do is look at the history of the country in regards to race and know that we have had serious issues.
    The idea that those issues disappeared suddenly around 1970 or so is fantasy.
    I live in the Pacific Northwest…and there is still an undertone of racism and ethnic strife that is just below the polite surface of society.
    In 2016 I was telling my personal circle that Trump would win the Presidency…they thought I was nuts.
    The reason I knew he would win was that I saw his supporters screaming at kids skateboarding that they would soon be deported…they knew a fellow traveler when they saw one.
    That resonated like church bells here…and across the country.

    If you want to study Jesus and ethnic issues read the passages dealing with the hated Samaritans…and study the relationship between Samaritans and Jews…

    Having said all that…the current “identity politics” will just make things worse…

  3. Duane Arnold says:

    Today remember Sophie Scholl, executed this day in 1943, who as a member of the White Rose, led others in non-violent resistance to Hitler as an exercise of her faith.
    She was 21 when she was led to the guillotine…
    “The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature…”

  4. Em says:

    I woke up this morning thinking, “why me, Lord?” I am too old to go out there in the cold and the mud to care for the ponies!
    It was beautiful, warm sun, garden hose ice free and i had a lovely hour talking to horses, who understood every word i said. I wonder how many golden mornings i’ve missed looking out for precious me….. 🙆
    As i sit here now reading these posts on Michael’s site, I wonder how many opportunities to stand for the Faith i’ve missed… Sigh

  5. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    just saw the same news over here

  6. pstrmike says:

    Such a tragedy. Is any of us out there of any good?

    I think of Bob who was caught having a long time affair, and yet at the same time was, at least in my opinion, one of the most spiritual Calvary pastors I’ve ever met.

    We have strong desire and seek it fulfillment……. The desire is good, but it can be a fire that burns us.

  7. pstrmike says:

    note on my above post….. I’m not talking about Coy

  8. Em says:

    sad disclosure indeed… i wonder… was it necessary to accuse a dead man? at this late date?
    was he up for Sainthood or ?

    i have said things not flattering about my late mother… however, she was the master of innuendo and left many in my family thinking that i was a low life… when exactly are we justified in disclosing another’s sins?

  9. Nancy Holmes says:

    My thoughts about accusing a dead man. I believe it matters greatly to his victims to have their abuse recognized and mourned. John Howard Yoder was revealed in a similar way to be a long time abuser. It took years, but the Mennonite Church finally did the right thing and acknowledged the rights of his victims to be heard. If the abuse is covered up and never allowed to be disclosed, it sends strong signals to both abusers and victims that silence will be respected and victims will be ignored or defamed. The cry for justice also offers an opportunity for abusers to truly repent. Surely we, as Christians, desire such a resolution.

  10. Michael says:

    Nancy beat me to it…well said.

  11. Em says:

    Excellent answer if the perp is alive, but…
    Another question comes to mind ..
    Are we raising daughters with low self worth? Afraid of or dependent on affirmation from a man? Smack the guy hard across the face, screaming leave me alone and run for your life…

  12. Nancy Holmes says:

    Many abusers are very manipulative. In the situation with both Yoder and Vanier, the men were in a position of spiritual authority which they then chose to use to groom and beguile these women. Probably some women cut and ran, while others more naive and trusting were led step by step into a dependent relationship which progressed into sexual favors even if not really wanted by the women. I wish all girls were raised with high self esteem and confidence but unfortunately too many are set up in their original homes to be submissive to male authority. Affirmation by an important man can be a powerful attraction and too many abusers know those moves.

    I believe that the victims have a hard time establishing their level of responsibility and suffer unresolved guilt for too many years, often trying to bury the pain of the betrayal that they have come to understand.

    In familial sexual abuse (incest), the victim may be inhibited until the death of the older offender from speaking out or even allowing themselves to register the damage. Many victims used to feel compelled to carry their awful secret to their grave because of the shame and disgrace, enduring years of confusion and depression as they tried desperately to be “normal” people. Family members may have been in denial and chose to shun any victim who spoke out before or after the abuser’s death.

    It is a mess for everyone and that is why there is so much reluctance to acknowledge the pain and damage that ensue when such betrayals take place–in the family, in the church and in the workplace.

    My hope is that we will learn how to show healing grace to all who are caught in this tragic and sinful web. Only thru God’s redeeming grace can we all find our healing from our own sins and those sins of others that we suffer from.

  13. Em says:

    Good words, Nancy. I truly believe we are told to pray for those “who despitefully use us” because hell IS a a terrible place and it is not God’s pleasure to see any of us there

    Question is, if an organization is doing God’s work, but a former player/founder was really a rat, do we bring down the whole work, if we expose the rotten apple?
    Perhaps one simply has to do what they feel is right and hope for the best. Dunno… 🙆

  14. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Em, putting the question that directly, the priesthood went on despite Eli and his sons being rejected and cast aside. When King Saul was rejected as king someone else was appointed to do the king’s work. Of course even the monarchy itself was seen as one of many rotten apples. How and why Israel wanted a king like the other nations had was something to be held against them. We’ve shown that we have the same flaws now as people had then. Every team probably has its own desire for king-like champion figures who turn out to be not only no better than us but in many key respects worse. One of the warnings that sticks with me lately in light of Mars Hill’s variety of disasters is the Psalmist warning of idols that those who worship them will become like them. There’s more than one level at which people become like their idols. In the Psalms those who worship idols become as powerless as the idols are powerless to change things.

    But in another way people can become like their idols in emulating their vices, whether the arrogance and temper of one hero or the drug abuse and alcoholism of another hero or the predatory ways with relationships. Michael has described the problems of this kind of thing in ministry in terms of the DNA of the ministry, if memory serves.

    Most of the campuses associated with Mars Hill Church have actually survived. Whether that means they are healthy churches is hard to assess with so many of those campuses a bit far away for me. At this point I’m not sure many people other than maybe Driscoll and his supporters feel that it was bad that the brand/empire collapsed when the vices of the founder became better known.

    The Founding Fathers were in many ways a bunch of deists who compromised on the issue of slavery but that hardly means I have to look askance at the bill of rights or separation of powers. That there is good and bad among individuals and groups is something we have to live with about ourselves as well as others. One of the crucial problems with the star systems we have in place is how powerfully they seem to insulate stars from ever being challenged about their vices; the star system also ensures the halo effect for whatever star is so potent people want to avoid that halo being tarnished.

    There’s another piece reflecting on the Vanier report that caught my eye:

  15. Nancy Holmes says:

    “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” The Southern Baptists are wrestling with multiple exposures of years of cover-ups. Many who covered up have justified that they were “protecting” the church and the gospel from a condemning and skeptical world. The Truth that sets us free does not promise that we will feel comfortable about either the truth or the freedom. The light reveals all the spots and wrinkles on the Bride.

    Similar to an unhappy homeowner who discovers that a slow water leak under the bathroom has rotted out the sub-flooring and requires a major repair, we can choose to ignore the problem but it will not go away. Repairing the bathroom does not destroy the whole house. I don’t know if an untreated leak would, but I wouldn’t want to risk it.

    I believe that God’s work will never be destroyed and His purpose is to cleanse all of us and make us righteous in Him. I advocate major repairs–let truth be spoken and yes Em, let us hope for the best. God’s best will always be sufficient to the task, if we just will get out of the way.

  16. Muff Potter says:

    Extra! Extra! …
    Read all about it…
    Dirty Harry dumps Trump…

  17. Em says:

    Good ponders – i appreciate reading them, Nancy, Hatcet and all

  18. bob1 says:

    I’m generally not in favor of cover-ups. How are our institutions and all lof going to improve if we don’t learn from these transgressions? There’s too much fear in the air. Maybe do the right thing and don’t get all wonky about whether this or that denom. will survive. Maybe they don’t deserve to.

  19. Nancy Holmes says:

    This guest post on another blog draws an interesting comparison between the Willow Creek situation and the newly revealed L’Arche International scandal. There is also a link to the summary report by the L’Arche organization which may possibly be an encouraging template for the appropriate investigatory response to such developments.

  20. Jtk says:

    Thanks, Michael.

    I care about these issues. And I guarantee scripture will mess me up, just as it did when I studied “immigrant”/“alien.”

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