Archives For oppressed

I live in a poor neighborhood.

A lot of people smoke marijuana in my neighborhood.  By “a lot” I mean I can smell it pretty much whenever I’m out for a walk, and I often see it being smoked openly at the park where I play basketball.  Smoked, rolled, dealt, etc.

Everyone I know who smokes marijuana is a good person.  Good, fun, nice, pleasant, normal, etc.

Another note: this blog post is not about medical marijuana.  This is a post I’m hoping some of my friends who smoke marijuana will read.  None, that I know of, are medical marijuana patients or have any serious health problems.  It’s easier to write a general blog to a generic readership population than it is to have a 1 on 1 sit down with someone about these things. Continue Reading…

Quick, what’s your take on immigration?

Well that depends if you’re a Republican or a Democrat.

What’s your take on abortion?

Again, it depends on if you sport the elephant or the donkey.

On helping the poor.

On Syrian refugees.

On systemic racism.

Even on sexuality.

Of these many hot button issues, where do you go to get your guidance?  Sure, there is the Sunday School answer of “Jesus” or “the Bible,” but it only takes a stroll down Facebook lane to see Christians are getting their answers to these moral and spiritual dilemmas from the mouth of the elephant or donkey, not from the Lamb of God. Continue Reading…

Let the Scriptures speak…

What trend do you see?

Is it the same trend or a different trend than you see in America?  In the American Church?

Matthew

6359417358769223841804779694_dream-act(Jesus, Mary and Joseph were immigrants / refugees)  Matt. 2:13-15       When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Matt. 5:3-5    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth. Continue Reading…

How to Live a Purposeful, Not-Boring Life:

  • Don’t spend all your money on yourself, your kids and your grandkids.  If you tithe / give to your church, don’t act like the rest of your 90% is meant for you to hoard.  Like it’s all yours because you earned it.  (Where did this mindset ever come from?)
  • Make sure your life is about Jesus’s Kingdom, not your kingdom.  This is a total reorientation.
  • Don’t make your lifestyle choices based on how you and your family can be safest at all time, as if our goal was to quarantine ourselves off from broken people.
  • Care about the oppressed.  Care about injustice.  Don’t ignore the Bible’s repeated commands here.  Do something about it, as much as the talents God has given you allow.
  • Don’t choose your church based on how it best serves you and your kids.  Choose a church based on how you can best serve within Jesus’s Kingdom.

You don’t have to do any of this stuff.  At the end of the day, you can build your kingdom on this earth and still go to heaven, but you will be bored stiff.  A lot of Americans are bored stiff.  Who wants that?

Most people, from kids to adults, turn to the “pleasures of this world” because they are simply bored.  Christians are taught what not to do, but not what to do.  Someone can only tolerate that for so long.  When a Christian youth is taught to “be good” and “don’t do bad stuff” and that their goal in life is to get a good job and buy a lot of toys, it’s no wonder they look to sideshows to find meaning.

Meanwhile, the unloved continue to be unloved and those with the resources sit around bored.

And Jesus wonders why we pray Matthew 6:10 but do so little about it.

God gave you a 6-cylinder engine for his Kingdom, don’t just use one or two of them.  If you do, you’ll be bored stiff.  And who wants that?

Take the plunge!  Get all 6 cylinders fired up and see what adventures God takes you on and what changed lives you get to witness!  (Yours being front and center of course!)

 

 

 

What does the Bible say about women in church leadership?  The egalitarian case.

Alright here goes, the theological issue that has single-handedly kept me awake at night more than any other: Women in church leadership (Can women be pastors, elders, etc.?).  Maybe it’s cut and dry for you; it used to be for me as well.  Maybe by the end of reading what I’m about to write, you’ll be awake at night too!  And maybe not.  Whatever the case, please read both of my articles on this topic.  I am publishing them simultaneously with the express purpose of helping one side see the merit in the other and to help address some of the many misunderstandings out there.  The two posts are:

The Accusation from Complementarians: Egalitarians are not Biblical.

The Accusation from Egalitarians: Complementarians are Sexist & Oppressors.

The reason the topic of women in ministry leadership has deprived me of so much sleep is because of my love for hermeneutics and because of my deep conviction that the Bible is God’s word.  If you throw out any of it, how can you trust any of it?  Hermeneutics refers to how we interpret the Bible, taking into account the cultural context, the author, the audience etc. and figuring out how to apply the timeless truth of a passage to today, a very different context from when it was written (i.e. Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.).  Some passages of Scripture require no hermeneutics at all.  1 Corinthians 15:3-4 and Galatians 1:6-9 are some homeruns in this category–so clean, so clear, so refreshing.  If only all texts were this way.  In all honesty, as I’ve thoroughly studied the Bible’s women in church leadership texts, I often feel exasperated that both views seem unbiblical!  And then I can’t sleep…

Some quick vocab:

Egalitarian – The belief that women and men are equal when it comes to church leadership.  That women can be senior / lead pastors or elders in the same way that men can.

Complementarian – The belief that women and men are different in function, but complement one another when it comes to church leadership.  Only men can be elders / lead pastors.

There is a relatively wide spectrum within each camp, but this gives you a basic framework so you can follow along.

While there is a related debate about men and women’s household roles, I will be focusing on church leadership roles.  Onward:

The Accusation from Complementarians: Egalitarians are not Biblical.

I will attempt to show that the egalitarian view is indeed a valid, biblical hermeneutic.

Continue Reading…