Baltimore and Community Reconciliation
Yesterday I joined Lawrence Rodgers, Winston Curry, and Jo El Berean along with several other people from the Westside Church of Christ and we went into Baltimore. There we stood among a group of peaceful protesters just to listen and observe. We wound up talking with a couple of people, just asking them questions… to listen, learn, and pray.
Open Letter to the Woman Who Lost It on Her Son in Baltimore
Anyone can recognize that you love your son, and you wanted him to be better than he was being at that moment. He never raised a hand to you in the video; so clearly he’s not someone whose go-to solution is violence. You must have taught him that. Reportedly, you are raising Michael and five daughters on your own. That’s enough to push anybody over the edge. I just want to go have a lie-down at the thought of it.
Mostly you reminded me of Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, where she marches into the alien’s den. And not just because she’s also wearing yellow and employing curses to make her point. It’s how ferociously she wants to protect the child in her care.
Why Not Gay Marriage?
The issue is not about controlling “what people can do in their bedrooms” or “who they can love.” The issue is about what sort of union the state will recognize as marriage. Any legal system which distinguishes marriage from other kinds of relationships and associations will inevitably exclude many kinds of unions in its definition. The state denies marriage licenses to sexual threesomes. It denies marriage licenses to eight year-olds. There are almost an infinite number of friendship and kinship combinations which the state does not recognize as marriage. The state doesn’t tell us who we can be friends with or who we can live with. You can have one friend or three friends or a hundred. You can live with your sister, your mother, your grandfather, your dog, or three buddies from work. But these relationships—no matter how special—have not been given the designation “marriage” by the church or by the state. The state’s refusal to recognize these relationships as marital relationships does not keep us from pursuing them, enjoying them, or counting them as significant.
New York Times goes to the zoo and reports on those strange Southern animals who oppose same-sex marriage
With a few quick clicks on Google, though, a fuller picture of Kallam emerges. While he opposes same-sex marriage, his bigger issue seems to be one that the Times story downplays: religious freedom.
Yes, the report makes a brief reference to “so-called religious freedom bills.” But the newspaper doesn’t bother to give Kallam an opportunity to discuss his concerns or provide relevant background on his case, such as the fact that his departure as a magistrate prompted more than 500 residents to rally on his behalf this past October.
Fetal Homicide Laws Are a Problem for Pro-Choicers
Even though the bill specifically excludes deaths caused by the mother’s choice, the pro-choice politicians are objecting to it. They don’t want to set a legal precedent by calling an unborn human being a “person,” even if the cases it applies to are strictly limited. This fear is understandable. In order to protect abortion, they can’t allow a logical foot in the door. Once you admit that a fetus can be “murdered,” you raise questions that are difficult for pro-choicers to answer.
Hyper-Headship and the Scandal of Domestic Abuse in the Church
He then closed with an address to men in particular:
Men of Bethlehem, let me address you. I will lay it on the line. At first glance, it looks like there are three possible doors the men of this church can take.
Door 1: side with the abusersm
Door 2: take no side, or
Door 3: side with the abused and stand up to the abusers.
If you are tempted to open Door 2, please know that it is a slide that just takes you to the same place as Door 1. Doing nothing is doing something: it is looking the other way so the abusers can do their thing without worrying who is watching. Saying nothing is saying something—it’s saying, “Go ahead, we don’t care enough to do anything.”
Baptism, the Church of Christ, and an apology…
I am sorry if we ever made baptism the basis of judging others. I believe God is the judge. If he saves every non-baptized believer I will be thrilled. But that is his call, not mine. So I won’t tell you that you are going to hell if you are not baptized.
And I apologize if we ever gave the impression it does not matter if you are baptized or not. As if baptism was a Church of Christ requirement but it is fine if your church has a different requirement to respond to Jesus. Baptism does matter. To all of us. Not just the Church of Christ.
How the Early Church Viewed the Old Testament
While we may sometimes be quick to ignore the Old Testament, we must ask how this aligns with the restoration of New Testament Christianity. If New Testament Christians highly regarded the Old Testament, and if they used it in their preaching and teaching, why would we claim to want to restore New Testament Christianity when we want to throw out what they held dear?
I Can Do All Things
Out of context, Philippians 4:13 is used as a blank-check promise for whatever is desired. But in context, it is a verse is about contentment. It’s not about your dreams coming true or your goals being met. Rather it’s about being joyful, satisfied, and steadfast even when life is hard and your circumstances seem impossible.
You see, this verse is not about winning the football game; it’s about how you respond when you lose the football game, or get injured for the season, or fail to make the team altogether. It’s not about getting that new job, that new house, or that new outfit; it’s about finding your satisfaction in the job you already have, in the house you already own, and in the wardrobe already hanging in your closet.
This is not a verse about being empowered to change your circumstances; rather, it is a verse about relying on God’s power in order to be content in the midst of circumstances you can’t change.
A fan asked J.J. Watt for a ‘get out of work’ letter, and he obliged (Update: it worked!)
Now if only Watt would write us a letter, too … because … you know … we also bought tickets … yeah, that’s it … we totally bought tickets.
UPDATE: Sanchez’s boss — Eric Garza, the district clerk of Cameron County — could not say no to Watt’s request — despite himself being a Dallas Cowboys fan.