Category Archives: Devotion

Jesus Freaks & Donald Trump | Commonweal Magazine

This is an interesting article from Julia Marley, one that made me go, “Hmmm…”  Definitely fodder for some interesting conversation. I’d love thoughts from some of my readers.

“I first started thinking about this martyr complex in 2013, when I read a story on a then-college student at the University of Arizona who called himself Brother Dean. His “ministry” consisted of standing on the sidewalks of campus and preaching about the evils of extramarital sex, feminism, and homosexuality—all in a highly inflammatory way. He once followed around a Take Back the Night demonstration carrying a sign that said, “You deserve rape.” Reflecting on his approach in an interview, he seemed aware of the social cost of his shocking language, but he managed to justify it by appealing to the Bible. “When I decided to start preaching, I decided that I was willing to give up everything,” Brother Dean said. “The preaching puts someone into a wilderness, a wilderness of aloneness. If you decide to do what the Bible says, you will be alone most of the time.” In using this language, he was invoking Christ’s martyred forerunner, John the Baptist—and in a way that doesn’t sound all that different from DC Talk. Brother Dean’s rationale demonstrates how Christians can interpret John 15:18–19 to justify offensiveness for its own sake. Jesus’ words made people so angry that he got himself killed. If Christians inspire a similar level of rage, they must be imitating Christ. I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you.”  ~ Click on the link to read the entire article:

Source: Jesus Freaks & Donald Trump | Commonweal Magazine

My Last Post as Spiritual Drift

This will be my last post as Spiritual Drift.

I can no longer find the words.

Since my last post, and given the current climate of our nation, both politically and spiritually, I simply can’t think of anything I can say that would make one tinker’s damn bit of difference. To anyone. To anywhere.

We’ve grown too busy shouting, too comfortably entrenched in our own dystopian universes to worry about the lost art of communication. We run around shouting that the sky is falling, never seeing that it isn’t our God who created that sky, it was us. We are being crushed by gods of our own making. We’ve grown fearful of every shadow because the light of the world has grown too dim if it hasn’t been totally extinguished, never recalling that we were supposed to be that light.

I weep for my country.

I weep that a statue stands at our shore and says, “”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I weep that our founding document includes the words, “all men are created equal”.

And I weep that no one cares.

I weep for my religion.

I weep that my scripture says, “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the stranger by giving him food and clothing. Therefore, show your love for the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
And says, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
And says, “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

And I weep that no one cares.

I weep for the “less than”, for the oppressed, the alone, the wounded and weak, the disabled. I weep for people of color, and people of poverty.

I weep for the poor in spirit, and for those who mourn. I weep for the meek, and those who are hungry and thirst for righteousness. I weep for the merciful, the pure in heart, and for the peacemakers.

And I weep that no one cares.

No, I take that back.

A lot of people care. We just care more about being heard than about hearing. We seem to be caring more for our rights, for our liberties, for our needs, and for our selves.

We care more about the external than the eternal.

We care more for those things that moth and rust destroy, that thieves can break in and steal.

We equate acceptance with approval.

We equate immigrant with enemy.

We equate poverty with work ethic.

We equate disability with worthlessness.

We equate need with weakness.

We equate conservativism with oppression, and liberalism with anarchy.

We have lost the fine art of nuance, and we’ve forgotten that we live in a world of gray and not one of black and white.

And mostly I weep that there is no one to talk to. No one who will withhold judgment. No one who will simply listen. No one who will do the hard work of caring, and who will face the hard truth that we, yes WE dear Americans and dear Christians, are as much to blame for the state of our world as are our supposed enemies, and probably more.

I have no words.

I am at a loss.

And thus, this will be my last post as Spiritual Drift.

God help us all.

The War on Christmas? We’ve Already Lost

starbucksCan I just say that I’m more than a little disheartened that the first volley in this year’s “War on Christmas” seems to be over a red coffee cup.

I hate to be the one to say it, but for me, this so-called “War on Christmas” was lost long ago; a beaten and bloodied casualty at the hands of a free market society and retail commercialism as we see more and more displays of Santa, reindeer, green and red baubles, and candy—always the candy—showing up on store shelves and display windows even before the ghouls and goblins of Halloween have been tucked away. Look no further than the ever-increasing creep of “Black Friday” sales now encroaching on Thanksgiving dinner…even into that particular Thursday’s breakfast and pre-dawn hours.

Further, I don’t see the War on Christmas as so much an “us vs. them” conflict as I do an internal civil war. A war created by a master deceiver, drawing our attention away from what should be truly important to us and instead toward such superfluous bickering like what is or is not on a secular corporation’s coffee cup.

Wasn’t it Christ who said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls”? (Luke 11:17)

Didn’t the Apostle Paul also write, “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law (or coffee cups, cashier greetings, window displays, et.al), for they are unprofitable and worthless. (Titus 3:9-10, with a bit of editing)

Paul continues: “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11, and I’m looking at you Josh Feuerstein)

And didn’t Jude, the brother of James, write, “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage…It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear…” (Jude 1:16, 19-23, emphasis mine)

None of these were written against the world, but against those within the church itself; as Jude puts it, those “certain people (who) have crept in (among the faithful)”

With rare exception, retail stores like Starbucks, Target, and any other who chooses to put up neutral displays, or says it’s employees are to greet customers with a hearty “Happy Holidays”, are not Christian companies. That’s not a slam, that’s a simple fact. Why in the world are we getting offended when they fail to uphold our misguided expectation of adherence to Christian beliefs, or to express Christian language? They’re secular organizations trying to appeal to the widest swath of customers possible in pursuit of market share and profit. You know, the ‘Murican way!

If anything, they are a prime example of who we should be “the light of the world” for.

Light doesn’t produce offense. Light illuminates. Light guides. Light holds back the darkness and, as such, should be a relief and comfort to those caught up and blinded by the darkness.

Yes, Jesus is the “reason for the season”. But that sentiment needs to be spoken in gladness with family around the dinner table, talked of in grace with friends over a cup of coffee or pint of beer, preached as “good news” from the pulpit in the weeks leading up to the day. NOT ranted into an I-phone with venom and arrogance and posted on social media.

Josh Feuerstein, and other ‘certain people’ who think that saying your name is “Merry Christmas” so the Starbucks barista has to shout it out when your order’s ready? You’re not helping.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another (Starbucks) and, if one has a complaint against another (Starbucks), forgiving each other (Starbucks, and, by all means, buy a cup of coffee for the stranger behind you in line and wish them a “Merry Christmas”)
As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15)

Aaaaahhhhh!!!

roller coasterFaith in a Savior can be hard, unpredictable and scary. It’s often out of our control—and meant to be that way. But you know what else is? A roller coaster! And don’t most people get off a roller coaster feeling more jazzed, adrenalized, and energized than when they first got on?

And, isn’t that the point?

Our faith isn’t meant to be safe! We were never meant to be in control! Jesus was, and is, anything but safe and predictable, especially for those who feel comfortable and in control of their religion.