The article removed from Forbes, “Why White Evangelicalism Is So Cruel”

The article removed from Forbes, “Why White Evangelicalism Is So Cruel”
By Chris Ladd

**This was originally posted to Forbes on Sunday, Mar 11. Forbes took it down today. This is the explanation I received from the editor. Here is the original article in full:

Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and an avid supporter of Donald Trump, earned headlines this week for his defense of the president’s adultery with a porn star. Regarding the affair and subsequent financial payments, Jeffress explained, “Even if it’s true, it doesn’t matter.”

Such a casual attitude toward adultery and prostitution might seem odd from a guy who blamed 9/11 on America’s sinfulness. However, seen through the lens of white evangelicals’ real priorities, Jeffress’ disinterest in Trump’s sordid lifestyle makes sense. Religion is inseparable from culture, and culture is inseparable from history. Modern, white evangelicalism emerged from the interplay between race and religion in the slave states. What today we call “evangelical Christianity,” is the product of centuries of conditioning, in which religious practices were adapted to nurture a slave economy. The calloused insensitivity of modern white evangelicals was shaped by the economic and cultural priorities that forged their theology over centuries.

Many Christian movements take the title “evangelical,” including many African-American denominations. However, evangelicalism today has been coopted as a preferred description for Christians who were looking to shed an older, largely discredited title: Fundamentalist. A quick glance at a map showing concentrations of adherents and weekly church attendance reveals the evangelical movement’s center of gravity in the Old South. And among those evangelical churches, one denomination remains by far the leader in membership, theological pull, and political influence.

There is still today a Southern Baptist Church. More than a century and a half after the Civil War, and decades after the Methodists and Presbyterians reunited with their Yankee neighbors, America’s most powerful evangelical denomination remains defined, right down to the name over the door, by an 1845 split over slavery.

Southern denominations faced enormous social and political pressure from plantation owners. Public expressions of dissent on the subject of slavery in the South were not merely outlawed, they were a death sentence. Baptist ministers who rejected slavery, like South Carolina’s William Henry Brisbane, were forced to flee to the North. Otherwise, they would end up like Methodist minister Anthony Bewley, who was lynched in Texas in 1860, his bones left exposed at local store to be played with by children. Whiteness offered protection from many of the South’s cruelties, but that protection stopped at the subject of race. No one who dared speak truth to power on the subject of slavery, or later Jim Crow, could expect protection.

Generation after generation, Southern pastors adapted their theology to thrive under a terrorist state. Principled critics were exiled or murdered, leaving voices of dissent few and scattered. Southern Christianity evolved in strange directions under ever-increasing isolation. Preachers learned to tailor their message to protect themselves. If all you knew about Christianity came from a close reading of the New Testament, you’d expect that Christians would be hostile to wealth, emphatic in protection of justice, sympathetic to the point of personal pain toward the sick, persecuted and the migrant, and almost socialist in their economic practices. None of these consistent Christian themes served the interests of slave owners, so pastors could either abandon them, obscure them, or flee.

What developed in the South was a theology carefully tailored to meet the needs of a slave state. Biblical emphasis on social justice was rendered miraculously invisible. A book constructed around the central metaphor of slaves finding their freedom was reinterpreted. Messages which might have questioned the inherent superiority of the white race, constrained the authority of property owners, or inspired some interest in the poor or less fortunate could not be taught from a pulpit. Any Christian suggestion of social justice was carefully and safely relegated to “the sweet by and by” where all would be made right at no cost to white worshippers. In the forge of slavery and Jim Crow, a Christian message of courage, love, compassion, and service to others was burned away.

Stripped of its compassion and integrity, little remained of the Christian message. What survived was a perverse emphasis on sexual purity as the sole expression of righteousness, along with a creepy obsession with the unquestionable sexual authority of white men. In a culture where race defined one’s claim to basic humanity, women took on a special religious interest. Christianity’s historic emphasis on sexual purity as a form of ascetic self-denial was transformed into an obsession with women and sex. For Southerners, righteousness had little meaning beyond sex, and sexual mores had far less importance for men than for women. Guarding women’s sexual purity meant guarding the purity of the white race. There was no higher moral demand.

Changes brought by the Civil War only heightened the need to protect white racial superiority. Churches were the lynchpin of Jim Crow. By the time the Civil Rights movement gained force in the South, Dallas’ First Baptist Church, where Jeffress is the pastor today, was a bulwark of segregation and white supremacy. As the wider culture nationally has struggled to free itself from the burdens of racism, white evangelicals have fought this development while the violence escalated. What happened to ministers who resisted slavery happened again to those who resisted segregation. White Episcopal Seminary student, Jonathan Daniels, went to Alabama in 1965 to support voting rights protests. After being released from jail, he was murdered by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, who was acquitted by a jury. Dozens of white activists joined the innumerable black Americans murdered fighting for civil rights in the 60’s, but very few of them were Southern.

White Evangelical Christians opposed desegregation tooth and nail. Where pressed, they made cheap, cosmetic compromises, like Billy Graham’s concession to allow black worshipers at his crusades. Graham never made any difficult statements on race, never appeared on stage with his “black friend” Martin Luther King after 1957, and he never marched with King. When King delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech,” Graham responded with this passive-aggressive gem of Southern theology, “Only when Christ comes again will the little white children of Alabama walk hand in hand with little black children.” For white Southern evangelicals, justice and compassion belong only to the dead.

Churches like First Baptist in Dallas did not become stalwart defenders of segregation by accident. Like the wider white evangelical movement, it was then and remains today an obstacle to Christian notions of social justice thanks to a long, dismal heritage. There is no changing the white evangelical movement without a wholesale reconsideration of their theology. No sign of such a reckoning is apparent.

Those waiting to see the bottom of white evangelical cruelty have little source of optimism. Men like Pastor Jeffress can dismiss Trump’s racist abuses as easily as they dismiss his fondness for porn stars. When asked about Trump’s treatment of immigrants, Jeffress shared these comments:

Solving DACA without strengthening borders ignores the teachings of the Bible. In fact, Christians who support open borders, or blanket amnesty, are cherry-picking Scriptures to suit their own agendas.

For those unfamiliar with Christian scriptures, it might helpful to point out what Jesus reportedly said about this subject, and about the wider question of our compassion for the poor and the suffering:

Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.

What did Jesus say about abortion, the favorite subject of Jeffress and the rest of the evangelical movement? Nothing. What does the Bible say about abortion, a practice as old as civilization? Nothing. Not one word. The Bible’s exhortations to compassion for immigrants and the poor stretch long enough to comprise a sizeable book of their own, but no matter. White evangelicals will not let their political ambitions be constrained by something as pliable as scripture.

Why is the religious right obsessed with subjects like abortion while unmoved by the plight of immigrants, minorities, the poor, the uninsured, and those slaughtered in pointless gun violence? No white man has ever been denied an abortion. Few if any white men are affected by the deportation of migrants. White men are not kept from attending college by laws persecuting Dreamers. White evangelical Christianity has a bottomless well of compassion for the interests of straight white men, and not a drop to be spared for anyone else at their expense. The cruelty of white evangelical churches in politics, and in their treatment of their own gay or minority parishioners, is no accident. It is an institution born in slavery, tuned to serve the needs of Jim Crow, and entirely unwilling to confront either of those realities.

Men like Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy group, are trying to reform the Southern Baptist church in increments, much like Billy Graham before him. His statements on subjects like the Confederate Flag and sexual harassment are bold, but only relative to previous church proclamations. He’s still about three decades behind the rest of American culture in recognition of the basic human rights of the country’s non-white, non-male citizens. Resistance he is facing from evangelicals will continue so long as the theology informing white evangelical religion remains unconsidered and unchallenged.

While white evangelical religion remains dedicated to its roots, it will perpetuate its heritage. What this religious heritage produced in the 2016 election, when white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump by a record margin, is the truest expression of its moral character.

You will know a tree by its fruit.


Just Loving Your Own Child Isn’t Enough

Just Loving Your Own Child Isn’t Enough

I used to believe that all people were essentially the same; that across the diving lines of politics and religion, and beneath the surface veneer of language and personality—that we were all really fighting for the same things.

I’ve spent two decades as a pastor, ministering under the assumption that we’re all in this together, that we’re all for one another, that at a heart level we’re each nearly identical.

I don’t know if I believe that any longer.

I’m meeting many people right now in America, who really don’t seem to want the things that I want—at least not for other people.

I think they want for their kids what I want for mine, and so in this respect we’re the same—but that’s about where our paths diverge.

When it comes to those people they don’t naturally feel affinity for or have obvious commonality with, it really seems like they couldn’t care less. Actually, it seems they’re openly hostile to those folks.

Last week after a speaking event, a woman talked about the people she views as her adversaries across the aisles of religion and politics:

“Deep down” she said, “all parents want the same thing; they want their kids to be healthy and happy and safe; to be able to live beautiful, productive lives.”

I knew what she was trying to say, and I suppose that’s likely true—but it also isn’t good enough in the days in which we find ourselves. We need to be people who love on a greater scale than that.

Most decent human beings love and want to care for their children. The desire to protect our own is a hard-wired brain feature built on millions of years of self-preservation and survival instincts. It’s certainly good, but it isn’t all that virtuous either.

This natural impulse explains the rising tribalism we find ourselves in; people hunkered down in heavily fortified bunkers alongside those they deem “their people”— whether based on race or religion or nation of origin or political affiliation.

This highly selective, self-serving compassion is the very heart of America First.
It’s the foundation of a border wall.
It’s the reason someone applauds ICE raids or travel bans, or opposes free lunch programs or universal health care: not wanting someone else to have something they have.

The terrified religion, fierce Nationalism, and rising hostility toward marginalized communities on display in America, is the fruit of a toxic selfishness that needs to horde resources, opportunity, and benefit—for fear it will be left without.

And so right now, the real battle in America right now isn’t between good people and bad people—it’s between open-handed people and close-fisted people. It is a war to cultivate compassion or contempt for those who have less. 

Poised on either sides of the debate in matters of education and healthcare and faith and immigration, aren’t people who love their children and people who don’t—but people who love all children, and those who care only for their own.

In this very fundamental way—we’re not the same.

Yes, I agree that most people want similar things for them and for those they see as their family, their people, their tribe. I just believe that isn’t enough.

My Christian faith tradition tells me that love for my neighbor is my great aspiration and calling, but it also tells me that everyone is my neighbor; not just those who speak my language or share my pigmentation or share my politics or believe in my God.

I can either see myself as a citizen of the diverse, expansive planet—or I can make my home in a gated community of people who look, think, talk, and believe like me. Too many folks right now have settles on the latter—and this is the emotional civil war we find ourselves in.

America has no shortage of people who care about their kids. We’re nearly at capacity.
It is, however, in desperate need of people who care about someone else’s kids with a similar passion and urgency; who want every child to be free from threat and fed well and given hope and encouraged to dream and released to be whatever that dream invites them to be.

Loving your child is a fine and beautiful thing, America.

Humanity asks much more than that of us.

Whether or not we’re willing is another matter.


My response:

I chose not to have children for good and important reasons when I was ten years old and when I was in my twenties and thirties, I saw how wise I was at ten to have made the decision I did, I was fortunate enough, to be among the first generation of the Pill and I had a **choice.**

Something that motivated me was a deep desire not to treat a child the way I had been treated. I did not want to pass that along to another generation. I observed the way my grandparents treated my parents and realized my paraents treated us the way they themselves had been treated and that BS was going to end with me. At least as far as I am concerned. One of my brothers had three daughters and he was as abusive to them as our father was to us.

Sometimes I think I who never had children love children more than people who have them. I have been appalled at the way people treat their kids in the supermarket. Or the way they allow their kids to bully others. I could go on with my observations over the years but I won’t.

John has said a few things I’d like to address.

“And so right now, the real battle in America right now isn’t between good people and bad people—it’s between open-handed people and close-fisted people. It is a war to cultivate compassion or contempt for those who have less.

“Poised on either sides of the debate in matters of education and healthcare and faith and immigration, aren’t people who love their children and people who don’t—but people who love all children, and those who care only for their own.

“In this very fundamental way—we’re not the same.”

Those filled with contempt, who are without compassion, who only care for their own, are people who have been taught to fear that which is different from themselves. They have been taught to believe this right down to the gut level so that their first, knee-jerk reaction is to reject everything which is different from themselves.

When I was in elementary school in Social Studies we were taught about the Melting Pot that is the USA… how people from all over the world come here and cease to be this, that, or the other because we all become Americans, i.e. we all become the same.

Except we don’t, do we? People didn’t come to the USA and change their religion. People didn’t come to the USA and 100% change their languages. People didn’t come to the USA and change their cultural identities. People most especially did not come to the USA and change their skin color.

The Melting Pot only works for those who can absorb into the dominant culture. For the most part in the USA, this means white Protestants of primarily Anglo-Saxon descent. We Amalfitanos and Pavlovitzes stick out like sore thumbs. Even more so when people are not white

If (and I use the little-taught subjunctive here, I am not posing a hypothetical question) we claim to know Jesus, then we know that God is perfect love and perfect love casts out all fear. Since this is true, why do we cling to our fear?

We cling to our fear in so may ways… white nationalism, white supremacy, Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism, various forms of bigotry, racism, gynophobia, misogyny. Etc. There is a litany of fears we embrace instead of embracing Jesus who demands that we face our fears and be healed of them.

Jews, Christians, Muslims all believe in the exact same God. Yeah, sure, Jews and Muslims don’t believe in a Trinitarian God, but it is still the same God. How much fear ought that knowledge to eradicate?

Earliest known human remains have been discovered in Africa, suggesting that once upon a time, all of us humans were black. Whether you accept Evolution as the science or Creation as the sole source of information, it still comes down to the same thing, All us humans were once black and so we probably all still have black DNA. That God chose blackness as the first skin color ought to provide us with a great deal of healing of our fears of people with other skin colors.

It is not easy to confront one’s fears. It is terrifying, in fact. It is also scary to step outside one’s tribe and turn one’s back on the fear that unites that tribe. It is terrifying for a woman to leave her alcoholic and/or drug-addicted husband, take her kids, and start a new life. Any change is frightening because we are all conditioned to fear the unknown. Things are, it is only unknown until we step into it and then it becomes the known because it will turn out we have far more common than otherwise

I deeply believe this. I deeply believe this is the beginning of the spiritual life. This is the way we mature in spirituality.

Refuge is offered in the Facebook group ”Celebrate What Christians Have in Common” where a daily buffet is spread of Asceticism and art, cartoons and quotes, comics and contemplation, memes and meditations, music and musings, photographs and prayers, just about anything that is one of the many voices from the many flavors of Christianity.

There is one discipline required of all who join: one must not utter a negative word because this space is a refuge, a respite, a place of peace and quiet. If one chooses to engage in discussion one may only write about one can affirm in the selection. No arguments, no vitriolic words, no spammers, and trolls will be tolerated,

Please come and celebrate what Christians have in common and let us together remember our faith is based upon God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and not the actions and choices of frail, sinful human beings.


Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a ife of Spiritual Disciplines

Maybe a memoir, maybe a book review of Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner

Honoring my body, it is safe to say, is something at which I have failed. Gratitude for this conglomeration of blood, bones, organs, skin, tissues that God bestowed upon me has not been high on my priorities. Indeed, it would be also safe to say that I was taught to use it but not pay too much attention to it. Mom taught me to call certain body parts by made-up words. No doubt she was continuing a tradition her mother taught her and who knows who taught grandmom? Thing is, I thought those words were the correct ones which led to an embarrassing incident in fifth grade when we girls were locked in the auditorium with black paper over the glass so the boys couldn’t see in. We were to watch The Movie, you see, and I was astounded to find the narrator using other words for Down There.

Up until fifth grade, I don’t recall actually thinking about my body too much though. I have one memory as I sat on the toilet to defecate, I leaned over to peer in between the rim of the toilet and the seat to watch my poop descend. Maybe I was six. But as I said, I never paid too much attention to it as long as my body did what I wanted it to do: run; walk; play; master the bicycle (what a challenge that was); leap over the hopscotch chalk; hide during hide and seek; seek during hide and seek; chase balls; chase the dog; chase the cat; attempt to climb the maple tree in the backyard until the All-Seeing Mom stopped me.

All this carelessness changed in fifth grade. My younger brother and I were transferred from the Roman Catholic private school to public school. In public school, we had gym class. We girls had to change our clothes in the auditorium with black paper over the glass so the boys couldn’t see in. Where the boys changed, I no longer recall. From thence we were lead to the playground upon which lay a bunch of sticks, mostly straight but with a foot on them. The other girls ran to grab a stick and the teacher had to tell me what to do. We are going to play field hockey, you see, which I had never played. Those girls knew how to play, knew the rules, and I just stood there. For the first time, my body didn’t know what to do.

I was a complete failure in gym class until freshman year in high school when we learned to play basketball. None of the other girls knew how to do that either and for the first time in gym class, I was equal to them. In fact, I excelled at basketball and despite being the second shortest kid in the school, I played center forward because I was really good at basketball and had an extremely reliable layup shot. The teacher, who was once our gym teacher for fifth and sixth grades until she was promoted to the high school wanted me on the school’s basketball team but by that time, I despised all sports. I had been miserable at them all until basketball and by then the habit of being failed by my body and me failing to respect my body was entrenched.

So it went for a number of decades. Oh, there were exceptions when I enjoyed having a body and enjoyed the body of another, but on the whole, the purpose of my body was to contain my brain and that I valued.

However, this habit of failing to honor my body has caught up with me and the end result of is a lymphedema issue which requires, among other treatments, that I take a diuretic. I am sure we all know what the natural result of that is and to tell you the truth, I resent having to interrupt my intellectual pursuits to honor my body and deal with the logical consequences of taking a diuretic.

One morning, though, I thought to do something different. Since I had to sit there, why not read? I have no idea what Ms. Lauren F. Winner would think, but I have been reading her book, Mudhouse Sabbath, during these moments. Ms. Winner is a convert from Orthodox Judaism to The Episcopal Church. Well, I betray my Episcopalian chauvinism. She is a convert to Christianity, of course, who chooses to be one within TEC.

In this book, she talks about various rituals and observances of Judaism, compares them to the teachings of Jesus and the early church, as she reflects upon their meaning on her life today. It is riveting. It grabs my attention, fascinating me while at the same time increasing my admiration and understanding of certain rituals and practices of Christianity, particularly within The Episcopal Church.

It happens to be Lent as I experience both the effects of failing to honor my body and as I read this book. Reading this book, perhaps more especially because of when I am reading it and what my body is doing as I read it, tells me I have been wrong to live ignoring my body. Christianity is, after all, an in-the-body religion. It is all about God being in a human body. God honored the human body enough to be born into one so who am I to simply inhabit and use mine? Christianity is such an in-and-of-the-body religion that we in spiritual form eat God’s body and drink God’s blood. Hard to beat that for honoring and respecting the body.

In every chapter, Ms. Winner discusses how in-the-body is Judaism and Christianity. The body is a part of every Jewish spiritual practice. The body becomes something much freer than the sum of those individual parts of blood, bones, organs, skin, tissues that God bestowed upon each of us. We use it not only when we eat but when we worship, mourn, are hospitable, pray, fast, age, celebrate weddings, and pass through doorways. Body, mind, soul, and spirit are a unified whole and I have been very wrong to think of mine only as a vehicle for hauling my brain from point A to B.

Thank you, Ms. Winner, for writing so deftly, in a manner that not only challenges me but unashamedly shares your own challenges. I’ve had a Salami Sandwich moment of my own.


To White Evangelicals and the Religious Right

Just read a piece by one of my favorite bloggers, John Pavolvitz,

White Evangelicals, This is Why People Are Through With You< which you may read at


His words prompted me to write the following.

While I agree that white evangelicals need to hear this, I would go further and address it to the white people of the religious right in the USA, the Roman Catholics on the right, the members of mainline denominations who are part of the religious right. It is is not just white evangelicals, although I admit they have the loudest, most shrill voices.

I believe this essay omits something very important. It neglects the damage that white evangelicals and the religious right are doing to the credibility of the Gospel message.

To put it baldly, people listen to what white evangelicals and members of the religious right do and watch what they do and they say “If this is what Christians are like, I want nothing to do with Christianity, God, and the Jesus they claim to know.”

So many people have said they have lost their faith because of what is said and done by white evangelicals and the religious right. While I might agree that faith should not be based on the behavior of other human beings, there is no getting around that this is what people say and they are convinced their perception is so accurate, that conversation with them to the contrary falls on deaf ears.

White evangelicals and the religious right have become stumbling blocks to their fellow believers. They have become stumbling blocks for non-Christians, who see no reason whatsoever to consider embracing faith.

White evangelicals and the religious right are going to have a very great deal to answer for, come Judgment Day, to use white evangelical language. They will be responsible for an uncountable number of souls lost to Christ. Not to mention their refusal to make sure the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, the sick cared for, and needs of the poor are met.

If you are interested to see the reactions of non-believers and believers you have driven away from the church, I invite you to join my Facebook group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff,

where we frequently discuss the hypocrisy and moral failings of the white evangelicals and the religious right.

As for the people of color who have embraced the GOP on the basis of a white evangelical and religious right version of Christianity, I can only suggest that you research the meaning of the phrase “Uncle Tom” and open your eyes to how you are not only failing to act in your own best interests but how you also betray all other people of color in the USA.


Evangelikkkal Kkkhristianity

Anyone who claims to be a Christian and remains silent and doesn’t speak out against all the evils embraced by this administration and the GOP, in general, is not really a follower of Jesus because this administration and the GOP, in general, have rejected half the Gospel.

The witness of the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures makes it clear that the nations of Israel and Judah, the people and kings of the nations of Judah and Israel had a duty and a responsibility to care for the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, provide what those in need require, welcome the stranger, and basically to make sure that everyone had enough so they could thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive.

Or else, and we all know that the people and kings of Israel and Judah ignored the prophets God sent to them, continued in their selfishness with devastating results. Their countries were destroyed.

Jesus says the exact same thing to the people and politicians of the world and the people and politicians of the USA are also supposed to pay attention to Jesus when they claim to follow Him.

Jesus tells the Christians of the world and the USA that they have a duty and a responsibility to care for the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, provide what those in need require, welcome the stranger, and basically to make sure that everyone had enough so they could thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive. Or else.

Jesus also tells us in Matthew 25 what that “or else” is. “I never knew you,” he tells those who ignored their duty and responsibility to care for the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, provide what those in need require, welcome the stranger, and basically to make sure that everyone had enough so they could thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive.

Elsewhere in the Christian Scriptures, we are told what the results are when we ignore the words of Jesus, specifically Mark 3:28-29. “Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

While I would never say that the Democrats are as pure as the driven snow, indeed they are far far from it, at least they do recognize that we Americans have a duty and responsibility to care for the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, provide what those in need require, welcome the stranger, and basically to make sure that everyone had enough so they could thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive. Or else.

Sadly, the Americanized version of evangelical Christianity has watered down the Gospel so that it is only an issue of personal, individual salvation which Jesus never spoke about. The thing we readers of English overlook is that English is a language which (irresponsibly in my opinion) fails to distinguish between the singular and the plural use of “you.” Thus we read the Scriptures and choose to ignore that, just as the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures did, Jesus to talks about a community, salvation as a community, the community’s duty and responsibility to care for the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, provide what those in need require, welcome the stranger, and basically to make sure that everyone had enough so they could thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive and in turn become wealthy enough so they too could be part of making sure that everyone had enough to thrive.

White Christian friends whose silence we hear, you might as well start spelling it as “evangelikkkal KKKhristinity” because you are guilty of never being known by Jesus and of the apostasy, He mentions in Mark 3:28-29.


Please allow the light of the Holy Spirit to pierce the darkness and allow the truth to set you free.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was one of my heroes and I wept when he was murdered. He has remained one of my heroes all my life, exemplifying that we need to do the right thing no matter how much it costs us personally.

As a white person, it doesn’t cost me as much as it does a person of color. As a white person, I can always hide behind being white and close my eyes, heart, and mind to the ugliness that is happening in the USA.

Thing is, as a Christian, no matter how white I am, I don’t have that option because my Lord did not hide behind His Jewishness and close his eyes, heart, and mind to the ugliness that was happening in Israel in His day.

Sadly though, sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century some selfish people perverted the Gospel and turned into a gig of only personal salvation, making it a matter of the individual and Jesus. That was never the Gospel message. Not even the Reformers taught that the Gospel was a matter of individual salvation. It is something that happens within community.

Jesus is pretty clear what that community looks like. It is a community where ALL are fed, ALL are clothed, ALL receive medical care, ALL have their needs met. Jesus is pretty clear that ALL means everyone, not the chosen few, not the select, but all.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr made us aware that ALL meant all human beings, not just white ones. If you claim to love Jesus, then you cannot be a Trump supporter or a Republican because they have rejected the Gospel message of the community being ALL of us. They only want the community to be rich white people. Their message appeals to white people who also want to be rich and don’t want people of color and the poor to share in the wealth.

I very much fear that anyone in the GOP who has claimed Jesus as Lord has failed to understand the community aspects of the Gospel to such an extent that they have turned their backs on it. I very much fear that anyone on the GOP or anyone who voted for them has committed blasphemy, embraced apostasy and are guilty o the sin of the Holy Spirit. As it says in Matthew 25, Jesus will say “I never knew you.” Sounds cold and harsh, I know, but the truth will set you free even though coming out of denial hurts and causes suffering. In the end, it will be worth it. Please allow the light of the Holy Spirit to pierce the darkness and allow the truth to set you free.


A Testament of Devotion, first section

First reaction:  Why oh why, oh why did I wait so long to read this wonderful little book which I have just started this Advent 1, 2017.

Would you like to read this tiny little book with me, A Testament of Devotion by Thomas R. Kelly, which is one of the The Great Christian Classics? Won’t cost you a dime.
Below you will find an URL to a pdf of this wonderful little book. In copy, the biographical stuff is a preface numbered in roman numerals and the actual text begins with A Light Within on page 3.

HOWEVER, please note that in the pdf, Chapter One, A Light Within starts on PAGE TWENTY-NINE. The Study Guide is written for the paperback version, so when the SG refers to page 4 of the text, the corresponding page in the PDF is 30. Please make adjustments accordingly. Thank you.–TestamentOfDevotion.pdf

Thomas R. Kelly explores the notion of living in Light. He writes, “You who read these words already know this inner Life and Light. For by this very Light within you, is your recognition given” (p. 4). What has been your experience of “knowing” this inner Light? How has it illuminated your “recognition” of God’s move- ments in your life?

(hyperaesthesia defined “excessive physical sensitivity, especially of the skin.”)

My very first experience of knowing was playing with Someone Else in the backyard as a toddler.  This Person had no name and no actual physical form but was quite real to me.  Vividly so.  I called him my “Someone Else” and goodness knows what my parents thought when I chattered on non-stop about him.  It wasn’t until first grade when Sr. Padua had us studying the Baltimore Catechism Revised Number Two that I realized my Someone Else is Jesus. A naive child that I was, I simply assumed every child played with Jesus in the backyard.  Truth to tell that by the time I was in first grade, my experiences of doing this were fewer and desire for that kind of certain daily experience of the Presence has been the driving motivation of my life, sometimes weaker, sometimes stronger.

I have been on the weaker side of that continuum lately and mayhap reading this little book, and I mean little, a scant ninety-seven pageturner, might awaken my Inner Light.