This passage leapt into my spirit as the Spirit said, “This is the warning for the self-righteous church in America.”
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Lord, give us ears to hear.
I am working my way through The Long Loneliness, an autobiography of Dorothy Day. As she was beginning her work in journalism, it was 1917 in New York City. A massive time of upheaval.
She was still not convinced of Christianity, but her work in journalism kept her from attending any meetings of Socialists, though she declared herself a Socialist at the time. In her writing and in her exploration of the tremendous upheaval in her world, Day was insightful in her observations of leaders and ideologies.
Some tips from Resmaa Menakem on how we can cause trauma today in the lives of black friends if we are not careful:
I am reading The Long Loneliness, an autobiography of Dorothy Day. It struck me how she went through her own “awakening” in the early 1900s in much the same way I did when I was in college. I reflect on that because “deconstruction” is the “buzz word” of our time… and it’s not really at all. It may look slightly different in every generation, but it’s not something “wholly owned” by any particular generation.
Over the years what I have always read about, heard about, and believed was Billy Graham had a way to proclaim Christ and be a friend of high powered people without having much of a political agenda.
Then I came across a documentary on a Catholic priest named Theodore Hesburgh. It was unreal how he influenced major government decisions across the board, from Civil Rights to nuclear treaties to the Vietnam War.
There is no such thing as race. None… Scientifically, anthropologically, racism is a construct — a social construct. And it has benefits. Money can be made off of it, and people who don’t like themselves can feel better because of it. It can describe certain kinds of behavior that are wrong or misleading. — Toni Morrison
We were right to be angry at the great wrongs of 9/11, but at some point, rehearsing that anger year after year doesn’t move us toward justice, love, or the forgiveness Jesus commands of his followers. It moves us toward resentment, hostility, and bitterness, with all the trouble it brings (Heb. 12:15).
We never knew how to mourn. We just knew how to get angry.
We need to learn all over again how to handle the memory.
How we remember is as important as that we remember, as theologian Miroslav Volf has argued, and we should discipline ourselves to remember “both with the desire for knowing truth and with the desire of overcoming enmity and creating a communion in love.”
It’s been 20 years.
It was a fundamental change in our society. I was reminded of so much in a Netflix short series called “Turning Point.” The footage of the day… the phone calls recorded from people who knew they weren’t going to make it out of the towers that day… the phone calls from Flight 93…
The wars that followed… especially Iraq. I think of that time period and being so naive and losing a close Muslim friend over my bent thinking at the time, and it still brings tears to my eyes.
Forty Days On Being a Five by Morgan Harper Nichols is part of the IVP Book series, Enneagram Daily Reflections. I received a review copy from IVP Books.
I am not an Enneagram enthusiast. The learning I have done in this area has come from my wife and I find it helpful in communicating to others who are truly students of the Enneagram. It has been helpful in communicating to those who really know the Enneagram because I can say, “I’m a 5” and they generally nod in a knowing fashion and say something like, “Oh! That makes sense!” Or, “I didn’t have you pegged there.”
It doesn’t matter the denomination I serve in, spiritual abuse is a possibility. It is being exposed in my current denomination, the ACNA, in a diocese that is different in operation than my own… which is proving to be a bigger problem overall.