According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Christian Apocalypse and End-Time Judgment of Care and Love For One's Fellow Human




Lately the Christian message of xenophobia, Islamaphobia, and "marching to war" has dominated the headlines and is the answer to all things different from and unlike the "westernized American version" of church civilization. This dire message is in the news media, preached on the political dias, and can be found throughout social media networks.

As a bystander observing the crazies of my Christian faith and the rashness of America's governmental leaders I might suggest that the Jesus of the Bible is one of "victim, and sufferer, and minister" to all the wrongs of society. And because of Jesus' apocalyptic vision of love and peace He was unjustly scapegoated and horribly crucified for his religious views and acts of ministry (sic, Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory of Scapegoating and Victimization).

Might I also suggest that this same Jesus is the one whose beloved disciple John looks forward to in the book of Revelation as the world is shown blowing itself up in the rage and turmoils of its economic, ecologic, and societal wars. That John envisions this "helpless God" once crucified as the "Lamb of God" to return as the "Lion of Judah" to end sin's judgment of evil behavior and acts of injustice. That in His coming Jesus will resurrect what He had begun before dying at the hands of His "religious" countrymen and secular governments.

And lastly, might I also suggest that rather than purposely hastening the "Coming of the Day of the Lord" through prayerful glee and unholy vindictiveness we might step back and consider the spiritual importance of the church's role as God's peacemaker, mediator, and arbitrator of sanity, to an insane world locked in its many apocalyptic versions of end-time religious battles, economic/ecologic woe, and civilization's collapse?

That perhaps the biblical future we tell ourselves, or imagine, is not the one we think we read  and rant about. That those popular imaginings might be an incorrect view playing out our own hatred, fears, and racisms. That the conquering "Jesus of War" we envision striding through the bloody fields of our slain enemies might actually be a Jesus marching through the aftermath of what we have done to ourselves. A Jesus terribly angry, whose wroth would smite any refusing to relent of their hatred and anger to one another.

Now that would be a Jesus I think many of us may not wish to welcome. A Jesus who comes to judge all mankind and not just the ones we think He should judge. And isn't it written that Jesus will judge both the sheep and the goats? That He will open up "the books of deeds and of life" to find all those who acted - or didn't act - according to His Holy Will? And if so, then this is a truer picture of an end-time apocalypse than the one I hear so popularly preached defending our actions of economic usary, enslavement, greed, inhospitality, and callousness to the suffering and oppression of other society members, cultures, genders, and races. This is the kind of stuff we find in the books of James and 2 Peter judging our words and behavior with eternal consequences.

So then, my plea is that the church learns to hate war; seeks to make stronger efforts at waging peace with her enemies; and immediately forsake all sinful idols of self-righteousness and unholy anger. That we be in our own selves God's worthy lambs and emissaries speaking His words and acts of peace, love, mercy, and forgiveness. For without these holy jewels we are all the more impoverished and destined to self-destruction, perhaps eternally. And if this happens, then yes, all has been lost... even the eternal life which "the Prince of Life" had promised.

Peace,

R.E. Slater
November 18, 2015


Tony Campolo - Religious Alternatives: Choosing Love Over Power




Tony Campolo - "Red Lettered Christians"









Syrian Refugees In Crisis - Why, How to Give, What to Do


The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained





* * * * * * * *






Syrian Refugee Project - Do More - https://www.frontiersusa.org/churchproject


* * * * * * * *


Refugees in Crisis

The Scary Thing About Immigrants
http://alwaysloved.net/2015/09/11/the-scary-thing-about-immigrants/

by Andre Rabe
September 11, 2015

Why are we secretly afraid of people who are different – whether it’s their culture, race or language? Yes, differences might make us uncomfortable, unsure how to speak or act in their company … but I think what scares us most is not their difference, but the possibility that they might be more like us than what we are willing to admit.

When we are insecure in ourselves, the differences between us and others becomes essential in giving us a sense of identity. It is the differences that makes us unique. And so while we openly draw attention to the differences and consequently the superiority of our own culture and way of life, while we attempt to stir fear by emphasizing the unknown … what we actually fear more is that others might be too much like us. For if my identity is based on my superior difference, then the discovery of likeness will make me, well, … ordinary, even unnecessary.

Only when we find a way out of our own insecurities, our sense of lack and deficiency, will we no longer perceive likeness as rivalry. When we find peace within ourselves, the likeness of others becomes an opportunity for friendship, and their differences an intriguing opportunity to discover even more about ourselves. We find our most authentic selves not in desperately protecting the boundaries of our self-made identities … but in giving ourselves for the benefit of others. Mother Teresa once diagnosed the world’s ills in this way: we’ve just “forgotten that we belong to each other.”

For me this was one of the reasons why the image of the drowned little migrant boy was so powerfully disturbing. The innocence of this child reminded us that we are not just dealing with scary ’different’ people … but with people who might be very much like us. What beautiful courage has been shown by Germany and a few others, to rise above their own fears and insecurities and welcome others as their own.






Comments

Lee Schwartzrock on September 13th, 2015 - 9:19pm

I find it sad to see how immigrants are denied friendship, and fellowship in the first world countries today. We see them as a source of our economic troubles. We fail to see the real causes of our poverty. We forget that we, or our recent forefathers, were similar immigrants.

The cause of economic weakness, is due to the failure to give a fair wage to anyone, for a fair day’s work. If you have ample room to house more citizens, welcome immigrants, and pay them well. They will strengthen your economy. Seeing them as a source of inexpensive labor, and paying them less than what we would be willing to do the same work for, is asking for economic weakness. People with income, spend that income, and empower the demand for goods and services. The newcomer isn’t the culprit; he is the victim along with all the existing citizens who are displaced when employers seek to gain at the expense of the newcomer.

Anyone who gives less in a transaction, than he is receiving, is cutting his own throat. True, he won’t feel the effects for some time, but they will eventually catch up with him. Capitalism can work, but only when the players learn this important rule: If anyone is cheated, all will eventually suffer.

The current trend of seeking the cheapest labor market, in which to manufacture goods, is foolish beyond words. We seek low prices, but look for a high price for our goods. Low priced goods are the surest way to import our own poverty. The high market is sought as the place to sell the underpriced goods, but this soon destroys the high wage jobs in that marketplace, which created the high market in the first place. You cannot steal from your brother without impoverishing yourself.

The first-world’s lust for cheap products, and our use of China to get them, lead to a one-way flow of money out of the first-world nations, which could only be supported by borrowing. As the manufacturing jobs were outsourced, they were replaced by construction jobs, as lenders sought to cash in on the ballooning prices in real estate. When you loan money to individuals who do not have good jobs, chances are you are not going to be repaid. It wasn’t long before the housing bubble burst, and the huge debt hanging on the deflating real estate market began to show itself for what it was, a source of wealth that never existed.

The reality that wealth is simply the production of raw materials times price, is something that few understand. Today we believe a myth that wealth is created by central banks. Well, the central banks have worked their magic, creating wealth out of thin air, and have bought up most of the bad debt. So now we find ourselves atop an unsustainable house of cards that must constantly be propped up every time a new crack shows. When will we learn that you cannot funnel most of the world’s wealth into the coffers of the few, and expect things to motor along smoothly?

Yes things are going to go south, and it’s all to be blamed on the immigrants. Nope, I place the blame squarely on laissez faire economics. Greed does motivate, but it cannot stop until everything built is also torn down.


Andre Rabe - Questions About the Bible In A Postmodern Era, Parts 1-12


Swallowed Whole, No Questions Asked?Part 12 In The Scriptures Series. (by Dave Griffiths)

In the 1999 film ‘Fight Club’, Edward Norton’s character has an epiphany. Sobbing into Meat Loaf’s weirdly ample bosom, he confesses ‘I let go… I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom’. Watch the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtIEquOkDpo I have had a similar experience dawn on me. I didn’t mean to find it. I was pretty… Swallowed Whole, No Questions Asked?Part 12 In The Scriptures Series. (by Dave Griffiths)“>read more »

Church: An Anthropological RevolutionPart 10 of The Sriptures Series (by Anthony Bartlett)

We should really forget the popular distinction of spirituality and religion, it is anthropology which is making the difference. What does that mean? It means that the basic way humans relate to their world shapes their core understanding of God. But the God of the Hebrew and Christian bible is remaking the human way of… Church: An Anthropological RevolutionPart 10 of The Sriptures Series (by Anthony Bartlett)“>read more »

Under Reconstruction: Crazy Characters, Unreliable Narrators and the Divine ArchitectPart 8 in The Scriptures Series by Brad Jersak

After Deconstruction The last years have seen a grand deconstruction of Scripture reading and interpretation—some would say of Scripture itself. Of course, this has been an ongoing centuries-long project, but two unique elements dominate the past decade: first, the ‘New Atheists’ are actually reading the Bible—carefully and, unlike liberal scholars, they have read it literally… Under Reconstruction: Crazy Characters, Unreliable Narrators and the Divine ArchitectPart 8 in The Scriptures Series by Brad Jersak“>read more »

What Would Jesus Deconstruct?Part 7 in The Scripture Series

WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) – became a popular christian slogan. I enjoyed the similarly titled book, namely, What Would Jesus Deconstruct. It is so much safer to leave these saying as popular slogans and not give them any serious thought … for one of the things Jesus would surely do today, is deconstruct our… What Would Jesus Deconstruct?Part 7 in The Scripture Series“>read more »

Caleb’s Journey With The TextPart 6 in The Scriptures Series by Caleb Miler

My father was a man who continually studied the Bible. He’s currently a 35-year veteran of pastoring local churches. During that time, I’ve watched him pour over the scriptures, all in an effort to “get to know” this God. Much of what I believe today was fundamentally influenced by his wrestling with the scriptures and… Caleb’s Journey With The TextPart 6 in The Scriptures Series by Caleb Miler“>read more »

Andre Rabe - Select Videos


Icons of Beauty
by Andre Rabe


Beauty is not something we simply behold … its something we enter into.
It disrupts our indifference and draws us to what is worth pursuing.



Does God Have A Clue ...?!
by Andre Rabe




Does God Have a Clue What It's Like to Be You?
by Andre Rabe