Americanism of this type blinds us to America’s very real, human, failures and sins. Historically, we’re tempted to whitewash things like slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, or Manifest Destiny and the brutal, un-Christian treatment of the Native Americans (you know, the Canaanites standing in the way God’s New Israel.) What’s more, it has a tendency to blind us to some of the dark stains on our current foreign policy record such as consorting with tyrants for the sake of American just cause in the world.
Finally, I would try to challenge the faith-based test audience like this:
- Are we sure we’re not confusing Scripture for our evangelical “headcanon” of its details?
- Are we sure we’re not allowing nostalgic affection for The Ten Commandments to skew our views of newer film versions? Haven’t we already given permission for film adaptations to alter significant details of the account even while preserving the Bible’s overall themes?
- Moreover, didn’t previous generations of Christians also criticize Big Hollywood films such as The Ten Commandments in the way we’re criticizing Exodus today? Does that make us “compromisers”? Or do we simply have the advantage of perspective because we can look back and see that all those changes in The Ten Commandments didn’t ruin our faith forever and actually helped people grow to love His Story?
What makes a church a Church of Christ…Christ’s church? It is that Jesus, through his steadfast love, unfailing grace and unending patience adds us and keeps us there, in spite of our imperfections, imperfect beliefs and even sins. We strive to please God. We strive to repent where we need to repent and be convicted where we need to be…to be led by God as the body of Christ.
So, what are we to do with cussing as it pertains to character? Let’s be sensitive to those who need us to be sensitive while also being authentically who we are in Christ. Sometimes skubalon is the only word that expresses the depths of our hearts. Paul got that. Jesus gets that. Maybe it’s time we get that. It’s time to change the morality score card from a list of do’s-and-dont’s to the reality of a life being shaped by God from the inside out. Character formation is at the heart of the Christian life–not a culturally conditioned morality checklist.
Dying space is sacred space. When the beauty of life meets the reality of death, all things frivolous fade and what is left is holy. What my mother, brother, and I are experiencing right now is nothing short of Divine. Heaven has stooped down to meet us. One of us will go home, the others will remain. But none of us will ever be the same.
Since the late 1600s up to the end of official desegregation, the official local means for enforcing white supremacy was the police. Oh, there were guys in white sheets and pointy hats who made their appearance later. And there were the over-zealous plantation overseers and paddy rollers that hunted down slaves. But even their actions received sanction from the state and police, or at the least a turned head by local authorities. You see, this is the story of men like my grandfather who fought in World War II, only to come back to a segregated America and be publicly harassed and beaten by police officers while in uniform. Not even a battlefield abroad proved their commitment to the country or earned them an equal place in it. There were local uniformed police to make sure of that. More often than we’d like to admit, the ones beating on the door, wearing the hood, burning the cross at night, or falsifying reports by day wore uniforms and badges.
Every one of you was attractive. Every one of you could have advertised that attractiveness with what you wore, drawing attention to the shape of your waist, your curves, or the length of your legs. But you didn’t.
When you worshiped God in front of me and the young man behind you, the most prominent visual of your character was your heart for God. When this young man may have been looking for a distraction, he couldn’t find it with you. Because your heart for God was reflected in your dress, he heard the sermon clearly: a sermon I had been praying he would hear.
Myth 1: Using off-brand chargers destroys batteries.
Myth 2: You shouldn’t use your phone while it charges.
Myth 3: Charging your phone overnight kills the battery.
Myth 4: You don’t need to turn your phone off — ever.
Myth 5: Don’t charge your phone until it’s completely dead.