No Longer Nameless

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Yesterday I spoke about a slave girl who is nameless in Acts 16.  She announces that Paul and Silas are “slaves to the Most High God.”  Eventually Paul gets her to shut-up.  For some reason he does not appreciate the fact that the girl is announcing his beliefs and his teachings about Jesus.

I am still fixated on the namelessness of the girl in Acts, as I hold it next to the school girls in Nigeria who are being held captive by the Boko Haram.  In looking at pictures, videos and following the story I come to realize that this is much bigger than a “story.”  This is life for 276 girls who have names, have parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters.  From so far away, what can we do?

How will we respond?  As people of faith what is our obligation to these girls?  How do we share their names and lives?  How do we engage?  How do we help make these girls be “no longer nameless?”

The first step is to tweet #Bring Back Our Girls

Emotional Confusion

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Many of you have heard or read about Bishop Bruce Burnside hitting and killing Maureen Mengelt this past Sunday afternoon.

Allegations are that Bruce was intoxicated and fled the scene of the accident.

As of now (Tuesday late morning) Bruce is still detained and awaiting arraignment.

My post today is to allow you (and myself) a place to question, pray, potentially vent if need be.

Personally, I’m angry, confused, heart broken for Maureen and her family, concerned for Bruce, at a loss for what this could mean for our Synod and the list goes on…

Religious Violence

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“Human beings never do evil so completely and so joyously as when they do it from religious motivation.” ~ Blaise Pascal

“The causes of religious violence are like bad breath: you need other people to make you aware of it.” ~ Paul Knitter

Why Jews need Jesus

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The following is a note that McLaren received from a Jewish man at an Interfaith Conversation.

“[This] is why the story of the gospels is so critically important foe us now. The critical conversation happening in the first century when the church was being born was among Jews, not between Jews and Gentiles. Jesus, as a Jew, came as a reformer, as one challenging who ‘Us’ had become. So that’s why we need Jesus today. I mean we Jews need Jesus.  Not to become Christians, but to become better Jews.”

As a Christian I think that Jesus is still challenging us to break from an “us” – “them” model and learn to live with each other.  This doesn’t mean giving in, or paring down your beliefs. It does mean respecting the beliefs of others.  It most certainly means having open ears to those whom we have separated ourselves from – there is a great deal to learn if we are willing to listen.

Conflicted Religious Identity Syndrome (CRIS)

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Anne Rice, after she announced on Facebook, that she is no longer a Christian.

“My faith in Christ is central to my life. But, following  Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important that Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”

Laughter

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“Our capacity to love God, ourselves, people  and all of life grows with our capacity to laugh…This ability to laugh in the midst of our imperfections in the presence of God is what we call grace.” ~ Samir Selmanovic

 

Have you paid attention to the last time you laughed? I mean really laughed. There is something special that takes over, it goes to the core of who we are, it allows us to be open and vulnerable.

New Book to Discuss

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I recently began a book titled “Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddah, and Mohammed Cross the Road?” by Brian McLaren.

Even within the initial pages, McLaren poses wonderful questions that should help all of us to consider standing in solidarity with “the other”, as Jesus did.

I hope to consistently blog quotations and questions from the book that we can discuss.Image

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