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Filtering by Tag: culture

People Are Worth It

Hye Sung

by Hye Sung

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

Many who followed Jesus hoped for a revolutionary, a leader who might liberate Israel from its imperial oppressor. Christ could have been the answer.

But he died.

And I wonder, if Jesus wanted an insurrection, then why did he die on the cross? Why didn’t he accomplish a revolution?

I’ve been sitting on this question, waiting and thinking. In the meantime, my apocalyptic theology has grown more and more anarchist. I’ve been impatient and angry. But my sense is that this isn’t the way of Christ.

God in Christ reveals what it means to be human. It is love – to live in communion with God and with your fellow children of God. It is to be surrendered to God’s liberating love, embracing the way we are all connected and bound to one another, and following the riskiest and most beautiful implications of this connection, even unto death.

Jesus embodied the truest, fullest way to be human.

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Ignorant Eyes

Tiffany Graham

by Tiffany Graham

There is so much I don’t know.

I don’t know what justice is. Or how it should look in my culture. Or where to start.

I was walking by a building in another country. I heard the screams of a child. I sensed panic, fear, pain. A man was yelling words I somehow knew, in a language I didn’t understand. There was a muffled thud. The screaming stopped. I stood there, still listening, as people walked by me on the street. I knew they heard it, too, but nobody stopped. After a few more moments of waiting, I walked away.   

Four days later, home again, the screams echoed in my memory. They were so sharp. I hadn’t told anyone. How could I describe it? I didn’t say anything.

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When I Grow Up?

Juniper Klatt

by Juniper Klatt

What do you want to be when you grow up? I remember answering this question many times as a child, and spending hours before sleep pondering my exciting grown-up life. I wanted to be an artist. A ballerina. A doctor.

As life, and my uncoordinated limbs would have it, dancing never became my thing. And my incredible distaste for hospitals, needles, and vomit prevented my doctor dreams. Even though indeed I am an artist now (and have been adult-ing for a time), my childhood dream was a little more involved than I’ve ever lived out. You see, I wanted to live in a tree house in the woods for 5 years by myself, and once I emerged, I would be a famous painter.

Alas, my little heart didn’t yet know how extroverted I would become, or my love of hot showers. As I became a teen, I found that I loved writing, and working with people. Gearing up towards college, I decided I wanted to be a screenwriter (in Hollywood!), and change the world with my words.

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Hope Is Coming

Sarah Griffith Lund

by: Sarah Griffith Lund

How much hope is enough? I understand and experience hope to be “leaning into better.” Hope is trusting that as things change, good will come. When we are hopeful, we lean into things getting better, not worse.

Is hope a precious natural resource? Is there a limited amount of hope in the world that we need to carefully monitor? Or is hope a renewable energy, like the wind?

What if hope is sourced from a divine energy, limitless and eternal? Hope never runs out. The supply is unlimited.

We live in a time of a “scarcity culture” says social scientist Brene Brown. A culture of scarcity is where we live in fear of not having enough. If she’s right, then this mentality of scarcity is impacting our national supply of hope. We feel as if we are running low on hope. And too many of us are flat running out of it. Our hope gauge is on empty.

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When people say that only being “Christian” or “human” matters…

Darren Calhoun

by Darren Calhoun

Christians who are white seem to often get into conversations about “Christian” being the only identity/label that matters. They wax poetic about how this is core to their faith and often weaponize this idea against people of color, and especially against LGBTQ people.

The problem I have with this is that it’s a narrative that only works for the dominant group in a society. Dominant or majority groups have the ease of society being mostly if not entirely centered on them. As such, they don’t have opinions or labels forced on them by an outside group because no one else has the power to do that effectively. Yes, people can call you names, but power is being able to create policy or economic disadvantage for a group that you don’t belong to.

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We Begin to Move

Richard Renshaw

by Richard Renshaw

When Aboriginal people gather there is always dance. Dance is central to the engagement with life.

Dance involves three dimensions.

There is first of all the music that flows through our bodies and touches our hearts. Music energizes. It is central to all social struggles. 

Along with music there are words. Words engage our minds. They call us to think, to wrap our heads around the complex dynamics at work in society; the words help us name things as they are and to discover what needs to be done.

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Examining Our Foundations

Eric Muhr

by Eric Muhr

A friend wrote of his struggle to figure out what is truth and what is trash in popular belief. But his efforts to wrestle with issues have won him few friends among his Christian peers.

“I guess what bothers me about religion and a lot of people in religions is that they completely block out what I have to say just because I have different views, and they refuse to listen to my logic.”

People try to argue him out of his way of thinking rather than seriously considering whether he has anything worthwhile to offer.

That kind of Christianity seems foreign to me (and a little bit hypocritical). After all, if we believe that God gave us minds, then why wouldn’t we expect or allow people to use them? How might that possibly threaten our faith (unless there isn’t really any substance to the stuff that we claim to believe)?

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Culture-blindness and the Bible

Kenji Kuramitsu

by Kenji Kuramitsu

A friend posted on Twitter the other day: “the person that relies on culture for interpretation of the Bible will never be stable.” His tweet raised for me a few larger questions that I have been thinking about recently while studying here in Barranquilla, Colombia.

As James Cone has posited, the awful violence of the cross is simply more viscerally communicated by witnessing a lynched black body than it could ever be by words from someone “sitting up in some mansion somewhere.” In the same vein, my friend Cláudio Carvalhaes has described how we will write theology very differently depending on whether we’re writing about God from a calm seminary office or from a cantankerous, clamoring refugee camp. In climates of immediacy, our theologizing necessarily takes on a sharper, more tenacious tone.

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