“Do police officers generally treat black and white Americans alike?
White evangelicals are more likely to say ‘yes’ than any other major religious demographic in the United States. Black Protestants are most likely to disagree.”
Even after a long string of black men and women killed by police, we’re still not listening. Let us give up our pride and our self-assuredness to take up a position to hear our black brothers and sisters.
A new podcast has gone “live.” I am looking at the thought of “leaving the Babylon of our own making.” This episode goes a bit into some history with the American church and leads into where we find ourselves today.
Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdom: Grant that your Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
June 29th Collect of the Day St. Peter and St. Paul
There has been a LOT of reading in this time of coronavirus. I was glad to be able to get an advance copy of Marlena Graves’ new book The Way Up is Down.
In this section she talks about the need for confession in our lives to deal with our sin and dwell humbly before the Lord. She makes the case for the return of the sacrament of confession in the Protestant Church:
“But the sacrament of confession involves confessing our sins to a representative of Christ’s church and receiving absolution. Confession is this traditional sense is of paramount importance. There is something mysteriously transformative in hearing the words of absolution: ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.'”
I am working through one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Acts 19. It has always drawn me and what I love about the study of Scripture is that each trip through a passage can yield new insights and nuances. This trip through has been no different.
For the privileged and the underprivileged alike, if the individual puts at the disposal of the Spirit the needful dedication and discipline, he can live effectively in the chaos of the present in the high destiny of a son of God. — Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited
This address was from our Archbishop Foley Beach. It was given via Zoom since they couldn’t meet in person for the annual provincial meeting. I am thankful for the opportunity to be in this organization!
I am working through current issues in light of some work I’ve done in recent years. I had called it “Living in Babylon” but I am thinking of renaming the working title to “Leaving Babylon.” I have the episode in video (below) or in audio here.
“… the child of the disinherited is like to live a heavy life. A ceiling is placed on his dreaming by the counsel of despair coming from his elders, whom experience has taught to expect little and to hope for less. If, on the other hand, the elders understand in their own experiences and lives the tremendous insight of Jesus, it is possible for them to share their enthusiasm with their children. This is the qualitative overtone springing from the depths of religious insight, and it is contagious. It will put into the hands of the child the key for unlocking the door of his hopes. It must never be forgotten that human beings can be conditioned in favor of the positive as well as the negative.” (Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited)
Howard Thurman’s book Jesus and the Disinherited, published in 1949, is still a prophetic voice into our current world. It is time for change.
Thurman walks through the fear that keeps the oppressed “in their place.” Fear of violent action causes the oppressed to fall into an “unremitting status of inferiority.”
But Thurman also demonstrates how fear works in the lives of the oppressors:
“This fear insulates the conscience against a sense of wrongdoing in carrying out a policy of segregation. (NOTE: Now think of this in terms of our current disastrous immigration policies.) For it counsels that if there were no segregation, there would be no protection against invasion of the home, the church, the school. (Also think of the knee jerk reaction to the phrase: “Defund the Police”.) This fear perpetrates the Jewish ghettos in Western civilization, the restrictive covenants in California and other states, the Chinatowns, the Little Tokyos, and the Street of the Untouchables in Hindu lands.”
Those in power and privilege fear losing that power and privilege and it drives policy, ordinances, laws, and actions. You have to stay in power so you create an enemy.
I confess. I cry a lot of tears walking through this little book.