All posts by Kent

Author, blogger, Spiritual drifter, and some time retail sales associate.

Would You Pick Up Your Cross and Walk?

“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)

This is what taking up your cross looks like. As many as 1000 or more White Supremacists, and “alt-right” protestors, armed and well organized. Maybe a few hundred or less clergy from all walks of religion and faith, spit on, ridiculed, insulted, hit with tear gas and urine-filled balloons.

We (white evangelical Christians) want to believe that taking up our cross invites us—expects us actually—into the realm of persecution. And make no mistake, these people in Charlottesville endured persecution. But this persecution came at the hands of other so-called “Christians.”  This persecution came from our own. This persecution came from us.

We (white evangelical Christians) need to acknowledge that our legacy, our history, our very cultural makeup, consists, at least in some small measure, of white pride, of white privilege, of racism, of nationalism, of the ugly underbelly of humanity that is present in all of us.

We can overcome this ugliness. But overcoming does not equate to denial of its existence, nor does it equate to fingerpointing at the other side and screaming, “Well, they’re doing it too!”

This is not an “us vs. them”. This is not about “them”. This is us.

Taking up our cross and standing arm in arm with our brothers and sisters, with our neighbors, our poor neighbors, our black neighbors, our Native American neighbors, our Muslim neighbors, our gay neighbors, our immigrant neighbors.

THIS is what taking up our cross looks like, because when we take up ours, we take up theirs as well.

Here are two well spoken essays from two Christian writers who were there, who stood with their neighbors, who took up their crosses,

And walked.

From Brian McLaren: What I saw in Charlottesville

And, from Lisa Harper via Ann Voskamp: Would I Pick Up My Cross 

Related post: Persecution…Comes With the Job?

How is this, in ANY way, Making America Great?

We are creating a nation of “us” vs. “them”; of leftist elites and conservative Bible-thumpers; of West Coast liberals and the common man of the “fly over” states; of those who “resist” and those who hold to the “clenched fist of truth”.
Whoever the “they” is… (Look no further than this latest NRA ad.)

We are creating a nation whose government is telling its citizens to distrust the media, ALL media (except one), those entrusted to being the watchdogs of our society, the 4th estate.

And the touchstone of it all this is this man. THIS man. Our president. A man who thinks tweets like this are okay, funny and, I suppose, necessary, all while simultaneously holding the highest position of our nation.

Continue reading How is this, in ANY way, Making America Great?

Persecution…comes with the job?

“Being attacked either verbally or physically is part of being a true Christian in this world. It comes with the job.”

This is something I read this morning from a Facebook page called “The Christian Resistance”. And this is actually one of the things I’ve come to appreciate about social media: despite the differences of opinion, it enables me to dive into the text, to dive into my beliefs; it causes me to reevaluate my ‘position’ on a given topic and either move or affirm my understandings.

The full post says this:

Being attacked either verbally or physically is part of being a true Christian in this world. It comes with the job. If you preach sound doctrine and truth, you WILL be attacked and that is a guarantee. Don’t complain over it and don’t cry over it. When necessary/possible, counterattack and defend yourself, and no matter what give God glory and thanks because the marks of being a true Christian… the marks of belonging to God and not this world… ARE persecution in many various forms.

Several things in here got me thinking:

  • 1) How should we define “sound doctrine and truth”?
  • 2) Where is the mindset to “When possible, counterattack and defend yourself” affirmed through this sound doctrine and truth?
  • 3) “…the marks of being a true Christian…the marks of belonging to God and not this world…ARE persecution in many various forms.” Is this true, and represented in scripture?

Here’s my contribution to the debate, take them for what you will: Continue reading Persecution…comes with the job?

Dammit, This is Not how we Make America Great Again

2 stabbed to death, 1 injured on Portland train by man hurling racial slurs

Source: 2 stabbed to death, 1 injured on Portland train by man hurling r – Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Christians, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, Americans…My God people, when is this going to be enough??

I mourn for the families of those who tried to stand in the way of injustice and bigotry. I also mourn for the family of the man who stands at the heart of this tragedy, who belittled those women, who convinced himself it was okay to take the lives of those who tried to stand up against him.

Something was wrong within him, and something is wrong within all of us who allow this to continue to happen, and who remain silent in the aftermath of such horror.

35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian was booked on charges of Aggravated Murder (two counts), Attempted Murder, Intimidation in the Second Degree (two counts), and Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon.

This is the face of fear.

This is the face of cowardice.

Now, look in the mirror–those who remain silent, and those who self-righteously defend such heinous actions against “different”; whether your defense comes from the bully pulpit, or in the silent sniggers and elbow jabs between fellow “believers”–is your face any different?

Muslims are not the enemy. Headdresses and brown skin and middle-eastern accents are not the enemy.

Oh, we have an enemy. And he’s laughing in the face of our God who we’re supposedly acting on, defending, or upholding. How soon we forget that he doesn’t have the last word, he doesn’t win. And how small must our God appear who needs defending in such evil ways?

We need to do better. For our faith. For our politcs. For our country. And, for our future. America deserves better. The world demands better. And God mourns.