Mosaix Blogs Full http://feed.informer.com/digests/LIX0YUF5O5/feeder Mosaix Blogs Full Respective post owners and feed distributors Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:51:13 -0500 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ The #1 Reason You Have to Care about Mental Health https://djchuang.com/the-1-reason-you-have-to-care-about-mental-health/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:a28c0eac-0b72-f613-a18e-55c417e42625 Tue, 29 Sep 2020 12:52:57 -0500 <p>Your brain controls everything about you. Since you have a brain and a mind, you have to take care of your mental health. If I may simply what mental health is all about, it&#8217;s about managing the stresses of life. And in&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>This article <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/the-1-reason-you-have-to-care-about-mental-health/">The #1 Reason You Have to Care about Mental Health</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=eAygxMMJ25o:A2T21YsU6to:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=eAygxMMJ25o:A2T21YsU6to:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/eAygxMMJ25o" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> PTM: “After Whiteness” with Dr. Willie Jennings https://thewitnessbcc.com/ptm-after-whiteness-with-dr-willie-jennings/ The Witness urn:uuid:7c1fd44a-21d3-e7a1-b323-5b1391099f3b Tue, 29 Sep 2020 09:07:36 -0500 <p>Today’s episode is fire. Tyler Burns has the honor of interviewing powerhouse theologian and author, Dr. Willie Jennings. This episode [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/ptm-after-whiteness-with-dr-willie-jennings/">PTM: “After Whiteness” with Dr. Willie Jennings</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> The Early African Framers of the Christian Faith https://thewitnessbcc.com/the-early-african-framers-of-the-christian-faith/ The Witness urn:uuid:7d9cd7c2-1825-48f4-47f1-1fe7f796cca4 Mon, 28 Sep 2020 05:00:27 -0500 <p>Selected Important Works of Early African Christian Literature in the First 600 Years of Christianity The Christian religion was born [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/the-early-african-framers-of-the-christian-faith/">The Early African Framers of the Christian Faith</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> I Thirst: An Open Letter to Black Americans https://thewitnessbcc.com/i-thirst-an-open-letter-to-black-americans/ The Witness urn:uuid:13a1f7dc-400a-268b-3983-c97a2fcde23a Sat, 26 Sep 2020 05:00:26 -0500 <p>“I can’t breathe&#8230;I can’t breathe” Those were his last words, and the world saw them spill from his lips as [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/i-thirst-an-open-letter-to-black-americans/">I Thirst: An Open Letter to Black Americans</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Politics and the Christian Faith: Thoughts on John MacArthur’s Statement https://thefrontporch.org/2020/09/politics-and-the-christian-faith-thoughts-on-john-macarthurs-statement/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:bdb51963-51f0-3c6e-4daf-37a4f843fec9 Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:32:30 -0500 There is no such thing as a "Christian vote", only a Christian who votes. <p>A couple of weeks ago, Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church shared in an interview with the Falkirk Center at Liberty University, his conversation with President Donald Trump. In that conversation Pastor MacArthur gave reasons why a true believer could not vote Democrat, “Because there is no way that a Christian could affirm the slaughter of babies, homosexual activity, homosexual marriage or any kind of gross immorality. No way we could stand behind a candidate who is affirming transgender behavior which of course is really the reprobate mind of <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 1" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip0_8104_anchor"></a>… Any real, true believer is going to be on your side [Trump] in this election”.</p> <p>It is Pastor MacArthur’s last statement that has caused a bit of concern as we prepare for the coming election. Is the assurance of one’s salvation determined by how one votes? If you vote Democrat does this mean you are not a real true believer in Jesus Christ? If you vote for President Trump does this prove you are a true believer in Jesus Christ? How you answer these questions will not only define salvation, but if the church should be known more by its political affiliation than its gospel witness, since now the proof of Christian obedience is tied to one’s politics.</p> <p>Now, just in case you think I’m taking Pastor MacArthur’s statement to an extreme, consider a recent account of a 21 year old minister from Arlington, Texas, who was denied the renewal of his license for gospel ministry because of his public endorsement of democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden. Is church membership or church discipline also determined by whether you vote Republican or Democrat?</p> <p>If this is the way we are thinking we need to be more open and honest about it. It shouldn’t be during the election season we discover that the assurance of one’s salvation or qualification for ministry is measured by what political party you support. Let’s start inserting this into our doctrinal statements and New Members Class curriculum. And I say this perfectly understanding why Pastor MacArthur believes this is not an issue to agree to disagree upon. For in his statement he concludes that the Democratic Party affirms behaviors that reflect the reprobate mind of <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 1" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip1_5163_anchor"></a>.</p> <p>When you read <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 1:18-32" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip2_9345_anchor"></a>, it does read like a biblical analysis of the modern day sins in our country. Paul begins by stating that the wrath of God is against “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” [1:18]. From <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 1:21-23" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip3_6695_anchor"></a>, he describes the ungodliness of men as being aware of God’s existence in creation and conscience, yet refusing to give Him glory or thanks. But instead exchanges the knowledge of the Creator for the worship of the creation. And then in <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 1:24-32" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip4_6528_anchor"></a>, Paul describes how the unrighteousness of men is manifested in sexual immorality, lesbianism, homosexuality and a lack of natural affection in the family, which demonstrates that God in His wrath has given mankind over to a reprobate mind.</p> <p>If there was one political party in America that fits the description of support for these behaviors we would have to say it is the Democratic Party. But does that automatically mean that the Republican Party is the party for the Christian?</p> <p><strong>Secular Liberalism and Conservatism Are Under the Wrath of God:</strong></p> <p>Any serious student of Scripture must always take into consideration the structural outline of a book in order to discern the transitions from one subject or scene to another. In the book of Romans the section beginning with the wrath of God being upon “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” [<cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 1:18" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip5_3987_anchor"></a>], doesn’t end at <cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 1:32" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip6_3419_anchor"></a> of the same chapter, but continues through <cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 2" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip7_7246_anchor"></a>. In <cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 2" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip8_8155_anchor"></a> Paul writes, “Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things” [<cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 2:1" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip9_5994_anchor"></a>].</p> <p>Paul charges the secular conservative as being under the wrath of God for passing judgment upon the secular liberal because he practices the same sins the secular liberal promotes. When I read this I couldn’t help but to see the parallel between the secular conservative in Paul’s day and the present-day conservatives in our nation. Let me summarize some of the recent scandals of the Republican Party and you decide whether <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 2:1-3" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip10_926_anchor"></a> applies to what we are seeing today:</p> <ul> <li>Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley [Republican] adultery with former top aide. This Governor was a deacon and Sunday School teacher at a Baptist church. [2017]</li> <li>Daily Mail: Oklahoma State Senator [Republican] Ralph Shortey, engaging in child prostitution, caught with a teenage boy in a motel room…According to the Associated Press report that as a state senator, Shortey “routinely voted with his Republican colleagues on bills targeting gay and transgender people,” including a measure passed in 2017 to allow business owners to discriminate against LGBT people.]</li> <li>NBC News 10/21/2017 – Several consecutive groups knew Wes Goodman, a GOP lawmaker who supported “natural marriage, had been secretly engaging in sexual encounters with men… a self-proclaimed Christian conservative.</li> </ul> <p>One of the most egregious acts of sin in recent times has been the murder of babies. And the party that has championed the cause for the unborn has been the Republican Party. This truth has caused many Christians to promote the philosophy of the single vote in support for the life of the unborn. But does the Republican Party really stand against abortion?</p> <ul> <li>Elliot Broidy, former RNC deputy finance chairman paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate he had an affair with, after she aborted his child. [The Guardian: A Republican theme on abortions: “It’s Ok for me, evil for thee” article by Arwa Mahdawi, August 25, 2018]</li> <li>Scott DesJarlais a Republican congressman from Tennessee supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before their marriage… Even after all that information came out DesJarlais still had the gall to vote for anti-abortion bills and boast of having a “100% pro-life voting record”.</li> <li>Kentucky Senator Rand Paul accused Republicans of being fake “pro-life” supporters [Newsweek.com; 7/3/19] – Quote: “Last year, I tried to attach to a spending bill a prohibition to have any money spent by Planned Parenthood. You know what happened? [GOP leadership] sat me down and one of the senior Republican Senators said, “We cannot have the vote today.” I said, ‘Why?’ He said ‘we might win.’” Last August, Paul’s Senate office issued a statement about Republicans blocking his amendment to “Defund Planned Parenthood.”</li> <li>Chief Justice John Roberts [Republican] provided the decisive vote to preserve access to abortion in Louisiana [CNN.com 6/29/20]</li> </ul> <p>According to LifeSite Catholic 9/4/20 – Trump promises to ‘fully defund’ Planned Parenthood if he wins election. Yet from 2017-18, the Republican Party had control in the White House, Senate and House. It was Dr. Russell Moore, from the ERLC who remarked when two pro-life bills failed before the Senate in February of this year, “It ought to be a national scandal that the US Senate failed to advance either of these basic and commonsense bills that would protect human life.” You tell me, which party do you vote for when it comes to the single issue of abortion? The party that supports abortion or the party that refuses to stop abortion?</p> <p>If you support the secular conservative you need to think through Paul’s question to them, “And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? [<cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 2:3" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip11_1570_anchor"></a>] When a politician is committed to righteous policies but not righteous living, the Lord doesn’t endorse him, but condemns him. The wrath of God is against secular liberalism and secular conservatism.</p> <p>Samuel Perry, “Dear Christian, If you recognize everything about a candidate is immoral other than their stance on abortion, then perhaps their stance on abortion doesn’t actually emerge from genuine morality at all. Maybe their position emerges from their immoral desire to dupe suckers.”</p> <p><strong>The Devil Is in the Politics:</strong></p> <p>The Bible describes the devil as “the god of this age” [<cite class="bibleref" title="2 Cor. 4:4" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip12_1567_anchor"></a>], “the ruler of the world” [<cite class="bibleref" title="John 14:30" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip13_3653_anchor"></a>] and “the prince of the power of the air” [<cite class="bibleref" title="Eph. 2:2" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip14_6807_anchor"></a>]. This means that the devil has authority over sinners who occupy positions in government [<cite class="bibleref" title="Matt. 4:8-9" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip15_8574_anchor"></a>]. Yes, God created the institution of government to be a minister of good and an avenger of evil in society [<cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 13:1-4" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip16_3001_anchor"></a>]. And on many occasions it fulfills this purpose and on many other occasions it has failed to fulfill its purpose. The reason for this is the devil, not Christ is ruling over every system of government in this world. If this were not true, why would Jesus command us to pray to God, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” [<cite class="bibleref" title="Matt. 6:10" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip17_2569_anchor"></a>]</p> <p>The church’s struggle is not with politicians in Washington but with the devil himself. They are not the enemy but our mission field. Our enemy is one who hates God and those made in His image. He is not only God’s adversary but the believer’s as well [<cite class="bibleref" title="1 Pet. 5:8" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip18_138_anchor"></a>]. Jesus even referred to him as “a murderer from the beginning” [<cite class="bibleref" title="John 8:44" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip19_4497_anchor"></a>]. In other words, the devil murdered the human race when Adam fell in the Garden, “For as in Adam all die” [<cite class="bibleref" title="1 Cor. 15:22" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip20_2106_anchor"></a>].</p> <p>So we must understand that any political ideology that minimizes the importance of care for all image-bearer regardless of ethnicity, social class, age or gender is under the influence of the destroyer of man’s souls not the Savior of it. When Christians are tempted to choose between the lesser of two evils, or trifle with either/or ethics and yes/but deflections. The witness of the church suffers because its politics are being driven by situational ethics or relative views on morality, instead of a holistic view on matters of justice. In fact, the Lord often commanded Israel to care for the weak and afflicted in society because there was a tendency to overlook their needs. You never find a command to care for the rich and powerful, because it is a product of our sinfulness to always exploit weakness.</p> <p>When the Lord called on apostate Judah to amend it ways in order to remain in the land He said, “if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place.” [<cite class="bibleref" title="Jer. 7:5" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip21_2695_anchor"></a>b-7a] Justice between a man and his neighbor means to treat each neighbor right. If our theology leaves us to choose between the immigrant or the orphan, the poor or the unborn, the police officer or the unarmed African-American, we are not representing a biblical view on these issues but an irreligious one. For the book of James tells us that pure and undefiled religion entails showing compassion to the orphan and widow in their distress [1:27], abstaining from the sin of partiality [2:1-13] and demonstrating a righteous anger against injustice [5:1-6]. And he warns us that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” [Jas. 2:10]. We are guilty of all God’s commandments if we are selective in keeping only a few. We are in sin of the whole if we reduce and only keep a part.</p> <p><strong>There Is No Christian Vote Just a Christian who Votes:</strong></p> <p>My reasons for writing this article was not to provide a solution on how one should vote but to awaken us to a dilemma. When you place your vote for the support of a candidate, you may reason that you are not voting in support of the person’s behavior but his policies. But realize when you cast your vote it will only be interpreted one way, you support this candidate. Period.</p> <p>Yes, no party is perfect, but also no party is Christian. When you vote you are essentially supporting which pagan you believe will bring some good to society. So voting is a common grace not a promotion of the Christian faith. There’s a difference. Therefore there is no such thing as a Christian vote; but a Christian who votes. In other words, you vote as one who professes Christ, but your vote itself doesn’t represent the kingdom of God, it doesn’t advance the gospel of Christ, it merely affirms your earthly citizenship. You are a Christian who votes just like you are Christian who plays a sport, or a Christian who watches a movie. Your involvement in these activities are not kingdom activities but Christian liberties we enjoy in this life. The only agenda of God’s kingdom that we are commanded to advance, is the gospel!</p> <p>Therefore, if you chose not to vote, guess what, you would not be in sin and God’s kingdom will not be hindered from advancing. If you chose to vote, guess what? Your vote, regardless of who you vote for, doesn’t hinder God’s kingdom from advancing because His kingdom is not of this world [<cite class="bibleref" title="John 18:36" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip22_8835_anchor"></a>]. Jesus is not building a political party; He is building His church. Jesus is not seeking to Make America Great, but making His kingdom great. And the last time I read my Bible, it revealed that God the Father does not give the title deed to the earth, to the donkey or the elephant, but to the Lamb [<cite class="bibleref" title="Rev. 5" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip23_5545_anchor"></a>]. So let’s be honest, when you vote, you are voting for the candidate that will further your cause, not Christ’s.</p> <p>Your vote doesn’t cause God’s kingdom to come, or His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. So let’s stop trying to Christianize our vote; because our vote has nothing to do with determining our salvation. Our Christianity is based on faith alone, in Christ alone, and demonstrated by pursuing Christ-likeness. And to be Christ-like, is to promote the politics of Christ’s kingdom. For the apostle Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” [<cite class="bibleref" title="Phil. 3:20" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip24_8379_anchor"></a>]. The Greek word for “citizenship” (<em>politeuma</em>) is where we get the English word “politics,” which refers to a person’s behavior as a citizen of a nation. Our citizenship in heaven has nothing to do with what will take place in November. Our energies should be focused on promoting the interests of heaven on earth. Therefore as citizens of heaven:</p> <p>We should be praying, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” instead of reciting <cite class="bibleref" title="2 Chronicles 7:14" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip25_1358_anchor"></a>, because the land is not groaning over the sins of America but longing for the revealing of the sons of God [<cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 8:19" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip26_6228_anchor"></a>].</p> <p>We should be striving as a church of diverse opinions and ethnicities to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace [<cite class="bibleref" title="Eph. 4:3" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip27_4539_anchor"></a>]; instead of dividing over earthly political parties governed by the devil.</p> <p>We should be more concerned about maintaining our Christian witness in a crooked and perverse generation [<cite class="bibleref" title="Phil. 2:15" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip28_6248_anchor"></a>], than seeking to maintain our religious liberties.</p> <p>We should seek to separate the Christian faith from politics and American patriotism; because America is not the bride of Christ, the church is.</p> <p>We should put our hope in Christ, instead of putting our trust in politicians [<cite class="bibleref" title="Psalm 118:8-9" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip29_6493_anchor"></a>].</p> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Romans 1" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Romans%201/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Romans 1" data-anchor="#tippy_tip0_8104_anchor" ><p class="chapter-first" id="p45001001.02-1"><span class="chapter-num" id="v45001001-1">1:1&nbsp;</span>Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, <span class="verse-num" id="v45001002-1">2&nbsp;</span>which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, <span class="verse-num" id="v45001003-1">3&nbsp;</span>concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh <span class="verse-num" id="v45001004-1">4&nbsp;</span>and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, <span class="verse-num" id="v45001005-1">5&nbsp;</span>through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, <span class="verse-num" id="v45001006-1">6&nbsp;</span>including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,</p> <p id="p45001007.01-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v45001007-1">7&nbsp;</span>To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:</p><p id="p45001007.16-1">Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.</p> <p id="p45001008.06-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v45001008-1">8&nbsp;</span>First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. <span class="verse-num" id="v45001009-1">9&nbsp;</span>For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you <span class="verse-num" id="v45001010-1">10&nbsp;</span>always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God&#8217;s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. <span class="verse-num" id="v45001011-1">11&nbsp;</span>For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you&#8212; <span class="verse-num" id="v45001012-1">12&nbsp;</span>that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other&#8217;s faith, both yours and mine. <span class="verse-num" id="v45001013-1">13&nbsp;</span>I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. <span class="verse-num" id="v45001014-1">14&nbsp;</span>I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. <span class="verse-num" id="v45001015-1">15&nbsp;</span>So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.</p> <p id="p45001016.07-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v45001016-1">16&nbsp;</span>For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. <span class="verse-num" id="v45001017-1">17&nbsp;</span>For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, &#8220;The righteous shall live by faith.&#8221;</p> <p id="p45001018.05-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v45001018-1">18&nbsp;</span>For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. <span class="verse-num" id="v45001019-1">19&nbsp;</span>For what can be known about God is plain to I Used To Know Her… https://thewitnessbcc.com/i-used-to-know-her/ The Witness urn:uuid:cb4e4ba5-b844-2883-b2b1-7d0f4fca147f Thu, 24 Sep 2020 05:00:52 -0500 <p>The truth is on November 4th, we all will wake up with a different perspective of our society.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/i-used-to-know-her/">I Used To Know Her…</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Video Email Made Easier, Free and Paid Platforms https://djchuang.com/video-email-made-easier-free-and-paid-platforms/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:5da79d21-7804-9194-5fd4-bc98d5803b27 Wed, 23 Sep 2020 13:05:11 -0500 <p>Communicating more personally adds so much to building relationships and video technology makes the human connection better than ever. With as many modes and channels of communicating at our fingertips, there are many times when you can get a hold of someone&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>This article <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/video-email-made-easier-free-and-paid-platforms/">Video Email Made Easier, Free and Paid Platforms</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=nKpEVAvNHbc:zTfAwFO2jJ8:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=nKpEVAvNHbc:zTfAwFO2jJ8:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/nKpEVAvNHbc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Long Fight for Justice: A Freedom Narrative from Louisville https://thewitnessbcc.com/the-long-fight-for-justice-a-freedom-narrative-from-louisville/ The Witness urn:uuid:9e29f55c-759a-3dc5-6cf1-d46e7963dbc9 Wed, 23 Sep 2020 07:23:15 -0500 <p>How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (Psalm 13:1) [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/the-long-fight-for-justice-a-freedom-narrative-from-louisville/">The Long Fight for Justice: A Freedom Narrative from Louisville</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Are We Really Making Progress? https://thewitnessbcc.com/are-we-really-making-progress/ The Witness urn:uuid:c8ea61fe-7676-ae24-dbf0-5d0dfb6828dc Tue, 22 Sep 2020 06:37:33 -0500 <p>Recently, the Barna Research Group released a study about “How the summer of 2020 changed perceptions of racial justice-and what [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/are-we-really-making-progress/">Are We Really Making Progress?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Divorcing (White) Evangelicalism, Remarrying My Wife — Part 2 https://thewitnessbcc.com/divorcing-white-evangelicalism-remarrying-my-wife-part-2/ The Witness urn:uuid:b1c3916a-0710-2de4-8a48-b134fa47d623 Fri, 18 Sep 2020 05:00:46 -0500 <p>We lay aside and strip off every weight of sin that so easily ensnares us—even the ones that look pious and saintly.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/divorcing-white-evangelicalism-remarrying-my-wife-part-2/">Divorcing (White) Evangelicalism, Remarrying My Wife — Part 2</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Divorcing White Evangelicalism, Remarrying My Wife — Part 1 https://thewitnessbcc.com/divorcing-white-evangelicalism-remarrying-my-wife-part-1/ The Witness urn:uuid:44a90a9e-29f0-1103-5d02-c9e39b72cda3 Thu, 17 Sep 2020 05:00:33 -0500 <p>My wife and I were on the edge. The last time I wrote about our relationship for The Witness, I [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/divorcing-white-evangelicalism-remarrying-my-wife-part-1/">Divorcing White Evangelicalism, Remarrying My Wife — Part 1</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Pre-Order the Oculus Quest 2 for Prompt Home Delivery https://djchuang.com/pre-order-the-oculus-quest-2-for-prompt-home-delivery/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:181a9919-57c1-f0ed-c47f-3a32819e6759 Wed, 16 Sep 2020 20:03:04 -0500 <p>Facebook Connect made a big announcement today, bringing a more powerful and more popular Virtual Reality (VR) headset to the general public, at a price point that&#8217;s more affordable for more people at $299. You can pre-order it today, via amazon.com (64gb&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>This article <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/pre-order-the-oculus-quest-2-for-prompt-home-delivery/">Pre-Order the Oculus Quest 2 for Prompt Home Delivery</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=l1zR2ac142A:BcSA6ntEFRs:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=l1zR2ac142A:BcSA6ntEFRs:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/l1zR2ac142A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> PTSD & BLack Lives Matter (4 Years Later) https://thewitnessbcc.com/ptsd-black-lives-matter-4-years-later/ The Witness urn:uuid:e81a84a1-c8ba-ea79-40d7-67e0d004a045 Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:00:55 -0500 <p>Give thanks to God that he has put women and men in this particular place, at this particular time, to provide this particular safe haven.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/ptsd-black-lives-matter-4-years-later/">PTSD &#038; BLack Lives Matter (4 Years Later)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> A Happy Few https://bryanloritts.com/blog/a-happy-few Blog - Bryan Loritts urn:uuid:6a9a038d-c19d-604e-027d-2c04f14e3c7b Mon, 14 Sep 2020 09:11:21 -0500 <p data-rte-preserve-empty="true" class=""></p><p class="">&nbsp;“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future,” was one of the first things I told my son Myles over breakfast the other day. It’s his senior year, and with his aspirations to go to some faraway place for college, I am already feeling sad. He doesn’t quite grasp how much things are about to change, but I do, and I want to make the most of what will probably be his last season in our home. So every week I’m giving him some parting shots. It’s my attempt to reinforce lessons I’ve tried to teach him along the way.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">The most recent lesson is on friendship, and how our friends often are a good forecast for our future.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">In between bites of Myles’ usual- chocolate chip pancakes- I asked him to tell me what he knew about Samson and David? What did they have in common? Both were leaders. Both were killers. And both had a weakness for women, a weakness which lead both to failure. Yet David is able to arise from his failure with Bathsheeba, while Samson is made a spectacle by his enemies, and ultimately dies in captivity.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">“Tell me the difference, Myles? Why did one come out of it, and the other die in it?”</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">After a few moments of silence, I answered my own question with another:</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">“Tell me about David’s male friends.”</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">Myles spoke of Jonathan, and we talked about all the men David hung with in caves, war, expeditions and on the run.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">“And who were Samson’s male friends?”</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">Silence.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">I’ve seen a lot of men wreck their lives. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s scary because I am no better. I’ve seen many pastors even, allow a pattern of sin to stain a lifetime worth of work. If you were to ask me what the common denominator was to just about all of these failures, especially among leaders, I’d say without hesitation they had no friends. Oh sure, they talked about their “friends”. And I’ve been introduced as their “friend” only to think, “No we’re not. We talk maybe once a year.” Too many times I’ve found myself thinking on my way to the stage right after they’d introduced me as their friend, “If that’s friendship you’re in bad shape.”</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">In his book, <em>A Resilient Life</em>, Gordon MacDonald talks a lot about friendship, or what he calls a, “happy few”:</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">“The older we get, the more we come to understand the inestimable value of the ‘happy few,’ that inner circle of intimate friends who will always be there long after the lights of the fast and glamorous life have been extinguished. The ‘happy few’ may be the most important treasure one will ever possess this side of heaven. Resilient people know this from experience.”</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">If the bible, prayer, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were all we needed in life, then why did God look at Adam and say it’s not good for him to be alone, and then create Eve to be his companion? Why do we read in the Scriptures that to isolate ourselves is equivalent to foolishness? Tell me why are there over a hundred “one another” verses in the New Testament? And why did Jesus have his happy few of Peter, James and John?</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">Friendship is one of the deepest and most pervasive longings of our hearts. Maintaining friendships can be one of the deepest and most pervasive frustrations of our hearts.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">Over the years with my happy few I’ve found the following to be helpful in nurturing friendships:</p><p class="">1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Fish in the right pond</strong>. Most of my friendships were found in church or Christian environments. We met in places like small groups, Sunday school classes and retreats. Friendships rally around the deepest bonds, and there is no bond deeper than faith in Jesus.</p><p class="">2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Be slow to enter into friendships, and even slower to exit</strong>.</p><p class="">3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Don’t keep score, but don’t take a beating</strong>. Of course there will be many stretches in friendship where I’ve had to give more than I received, but in the overall picture, my friends have been life giving, and not life taking.</p><p class="">4.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Realize most friendships are but for a season</strong>. Your happy few are friends who transcend moves, job transitions, geography and seasons of life. They’re called a “happy few,” for a reason.</p><p class="">5.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>Make more deposits than withdrawals</strong>.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">I pray God gifts Myles (along with my other sons) great friends…life-giving friends. His future counts on it, and so does yours.</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p><p class="">&nbsp;</p> Call to Laborers for the Harvest https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/call-to-laborers-for-the-harvest/ perSpectives 12 urn:uuid:d030b171-c1a8-9b0b-7403-645f57fe9c75 Thu, 10 Sep 2020 15:49:12 -0500 Matthew 9:35-37 segues between Jesus healing and restoring the multitudes and commissioning of His 12 apostles. The author recounted the &#8230;<p><a href="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/call-to-laborers-for-the-harvest/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a></p> <p>Matthew 9:35-37 segues between Jesus healing and restoring the multitudes and commissioning of His 12 apostles. The author recounted the narrative of the harvest saying:</p> <blockquote> <p>“<i>And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people</i>.(36)<i> But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd</i>. (37) <i>Then He said to His disciples, “The </i><b><i>harvest</i></b><i> truly is plentiful, but the </i><b><i>laborers</i></b><i> are few.</i>”</p> </blockquote> <p><img data-attachment-id="4900" data-permalink="https://specs12.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/call-to-laborers-for-the-harvest/image02/" data-orig-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg" data-orig-size="940,350" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="image0(2)" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg?w=300" data-large-file="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg?w=529" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-4900" src="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg?w=529" alt="image0(2)" srcset="https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg?w=529 529w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg?w=150 150w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg?w=300 300w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg?w=768 768w, https://specs12.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/image02.jpeg 940w" sizes="(max-width: 529px) 100vw, 529px" /></p> <p>Jesus couldn’t help but view the multitudes around him through the lens of mission. He saw a <b>great</b> and <b>plentiful</b> spiritual harvest ready to reap, yet few laborers. The Lord of the Harvest,— Jesus, —God incarnated in flesh, was calling disciples to multiplication as missionary laborers in the field. That same call applies to us today. It’s a clarion call. In the Old Testament, it signaled impending danger or the arrival of a king. Leaders, the King will come again soon! The urgency of the hour requires the heralding of the trumpet message for the arrival of King Jesus for us to hear. </p> <p>Jesus already made the call to His disciples to labor in the harvest. As His very disciples we too must go work in the harvest. Let me recount three key qualities we need as laborers from the model Jesus left us: <b>zeal, compassion, and cost</b>.</p> <ol> <li><b>Zeal</b>. Jesus did not wait for the people to come to Him, He went into “all the cities and villages.” Even when not welcomed, He never overlooked even the slightest village. Everywhere He went in His earthly ministry, He taught, He preached, and He healed all kinds of sicknesses. Today is the day; we don’t know about tomorrow. In John 4:35 after Jesus ministered to the woman at the well He told His disciples, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Now is the time. We must metaphorically speak to the woman at the well and stay two days with the Samaritans who have not received the presence of the Word. <span style="color:#d91616;"><b>Do we have the same zeal for others’ salvation?</b></span></li> <li><b>Compassion</b>. Scripture says He was moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes. Their needs touched His heart. The New Testament includes five different words for compassion, but of them only one describes a divine meaning recorded of Christ toward the multitudes and individual sufferers&#8211;Compassion in Greek transilterates to <i>splagchnizomai</i>, originating from the stem word for bowels or intestines. The Hebrews regarded inner parts as the seat of the tenderer affections with deep-felt emotions. In the context of the Gospels, whenever Jesus felt compassion for someone or a mass of people, it surged from within Him to meet the needs of people and He acted upon it, He provided food, raised the dead, delivered the demon-possessed, healed the sick, and taught those like sheep without a shepherd. <span style="color:#800000;"><span style="color:#d91616;"><b>Can we labor with a surge of compassion to the multitudes?</b> </span><b><span style="color:#d91616;">The hungry, thirsty, impoverished, sick, and imprisoned.</span> </b></span></li> <li><b>Cost</b><b>. </b>Laboring in the harvest field comes with a cost. Laborers help prepare for the harvest, souls brought to repentance and faith. Harvest has two meanings. Generally, In Matt 9:35-39, it referred to Israel’s regathering  The harvest also indicates the close of ages . We live in the closing age of the Church. The sickle will be put to the harvest. The second coming of the Son of Man as the Righteous Judge will come sooner rather than later. Laboring comes with a cost. The Bible and early church records indicated the apostles, to the exclusion of Judas, died because they refused to deny their faith in Christ. The current world climate has become increasingly more hostile to Christians. We too will face it. <span style="color:#d91616;"><b>Can we stand against the cost of laboring in the field? </b> </span></li> </ol> <p>Jesus said in John 20:21 “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” He has equipped us supernaturally with all power and authority in His name. Leaders, we comprise part of the sent Church&#8211;Sent to the harvest. </p> <p>Jan Paron, PhD</p> <p>September 10, 2020</p> <p> </p> Raising Black Children in a Racist Society https://thewitnessbcc.com/raising-black-children-in-a-racist-society/ The Witness urn:uuid:cfba9f31-6bdd-a00a-b245-0a5cd6c27aae Thu, 10 Sep 2020 05:00:55 -0500 <p>Racism is a major burden that weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of many who parent Black children. Dr. [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/raising-black-children-in-a-racist-society/">Raising Black Children in a Racist Society</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Why Lecrae’s “Restoration” Should Still Be On Repeat https://thewitnessbcc.com/why-lecraes-restoration-should-still-be-on-repeat/ The Witness urn:uuid:927fefa6-9c11-3367-081f-9fdaf2a34bed Fri, 04 Sep 2020 04:00:18 -0500 <p>What a journey Lecrae has been on! Lecrae’s debut studio album &#8220;Real Talk&#8221; was released in 2004 and he has [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/why-lecraes-restoration-should-still-be-on-repeat/">Why Lecrae&#8217;s &#8220;Restoration&#8221; Should Still Be On Repeat</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Black Panther: From Suffering to Royalty https://thewitnessbcc.com/black-panther-from-suffering-to-royalty/ The Witness urn:uuid:4945b287-915f-5ec4-3028-f064c327be05 Tue, 01 Sep 2020 08:00:26 -0500 <p>We. Are. Tired. This is the cry of Black Americans in 2020. By all accounts, this year has been unfriendly [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/black-panther-from-suffering-to-royalty/">Black Panther: From Suffering to Royalty</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Some People Need to Be Canceled https://thefrontporch.org/2020/08/some-people-need-to-be-canceled/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:3cfae45d-9d71-9b31-fa53-314b5298a2dd Thu, 27 Aug 2020 05:30:29 -0500 When we obey the Bible, some people have to be cancelled. Let's just make sure it's false brethren teaching false doctrines who resist warnings. <p>A lot of people decry the prevalence of &#8220;cancel culture&#8221; in politics, social media, and higher education. They are right to decry the widespread tendency to shut down debate, limit discourse to hegemonic talking points, and the virulent forms of social ostracism, character assassination and defamation that sometimes occur. None of those things are good things and we ought roundly reject them.</p> <p>But, at the same time, some people need to be &#8220;canceled.&#8221; At least that&#8217;s what the Bible teaches. Consider these texts, for example:</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; <em>avoid them</em>. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (<cite class="bibleref" title="Rom. 16:17-18" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip0_4620_anchor"></a>)</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, <em>have nothing more to do with him</em>, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (<cite class="bibleref" title="Titus 3:10-11" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip1_5513_anchor"></a>)</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. <em>Avoid such people</em>. (<cite class="bibleref" title="2 Tim. 3:1-5" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip2_6593_anchor"></a>)</p> <p>It&#8217;s plain from these and other texts that Christians sometimes have to avoid or &#8220;have nothing to do with&#8221; certain persons. The texts I mention focus primarily on divisive persons and characteristically sinful people. Divisive persons contradict apostolic doctrine and draw Christians away from the truth and away from each other. The divisive do not serve Christ but their own twisted appetites. The sinful and immoral sometimes end up inside Christ&#8217;s church as well. They, too, live for their own pleasure rather than for God. They deny the power of a vital godliness even though externally they can look pious. It&#8217;s a show.</p> <p>In both cases, the Christian church suffers tremendous harm to its unity and its witness. Divisive persons will keep on dividing the body until they&#8217;ve scattered its limbs across a wide field. Immoral persons will continue in their immorality until, like yeast, they have spread through the entire batch of dough (<cite class="bibleref" title="1 Cor. 5:6-7" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip3_7248_anchor"></a>; <cite class="bibleref" title="Gal. 5:9" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip4_2403_anchor"></a>). There can be but one solution: avoid such people. Remove them from the fellowship of God&#8217;s people. And, indeed, warning other Christians to avoid them.</p> <p>In our day, we call this &#8220;canceling&#8221; people. Now, to be sure, there are sinful ways of canceling others. But the Church need not let sinful misuses and approaches drive us away from biblically necessary responses to the threats of outwardly religious but inwardly corrupt people. Let&#8217;s not pretend we&#8217;re okay with pretenders. Let&#8217;s do our best at honoring Jesus above all, even when it includes the unpopular or misunderstood practice of discipline, censure, and &#8220;canceling.&#8221;</p> <p>How might we do this well?</p> <p>I think the biblical texts cited above give us some helpful guidance. Here are three basic observations:</p> <p><strong>Be certain the real issue is an apostolic doctrine rather than our preferences and prejudices.</strong></p> <p>Notice in <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 16:16" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip5_8396_anchor"></a> the apostle Paul makes the main issue &#8220;caus[ing] divisions and creat[ing] obstacles <em>contrary to the doctrine you have been taught</em>.&#8221; So, the problem in the Roman church was schisms and hindrances that opposed the teaching of true doctrine. Paul concerns himself with the deposit of Christian truth&#8211;not matters of Christian liberty that inevitably lead to differences among genuine Christians. Far too often, we cancel people because we don&#8217;t like their voting decision, their social relationships, or their schooling option. We make those things tests of fellowship or proofs of &#8220;soundness&#8221; and then dismiss and even defame persons who disagree. <em>That</em> is worldly cancel culture and legalism. But that is not what the Bible instructs. Our preferences are not the measure of faithfulness or godliness&#8211;biblical and apostolic doctrine is. If we are going to cancel someone, let&#8217;s be sure it&#8217;s because they&#8217;re creating divisions and obstacles <em>contrary</em> to essential biblical teaching.</p> <p><strong>Be sure to issue warnings.</strong></p> <p>That&#8217;s what I take from <cite class="bibleref" title="Titus 3:10" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip6_8929_anchor"></a>&#8216;s instruction to &#8220;warn him once and then twice.&#8221; Perhaps the first warning didn&#8217;t hit the mark. So, in faith, hoping for God&#8217;s grace to grant repentance, we should offer a second warning. In other words, Christians should not pronounce someone &#8220;dead on arrival.&#8221;  Even person&#8217;s whose work and spirit seem to be divisive ought to be lovingly admonished by the faithful before avoiding them. We abandon biblical duty and participate in worldly &#8220;cancel culture&#8221; if we don&#8217;t have enough faith to try restoring an erring saint (<cite class="bibleref" title="Gal. 6:1-2" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip7_2880_anchor"></a>). So, before we cancel, we should warn. But if the warnings fail, then we should cancel in obedience to the Book.</p> <p><strong>Be careful to see through shows of piety to discern genuine godliness.</strong></p> <p>Notice in <cite class="bibleref" title="Romans 16:18" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip8_9113_anchor"></a> the false brethren use flattery to deceive. In <cite class="bibleref" title="2 Timothy 3" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip9_2620_anchor"></a>, they &#8220;have the appearance of godliness.&#8221; These are outwardly religious people. If we stop with superficial observance you&#8217;ll likely consider them saints. But <cite class="bibleref" title="2 Timothy 3" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip10_297_anchor"></a> goes on to say these people, in fact, <em>deny</em> the power of godliness. They refuse and resist genuine piety that leads to repentance, new affections for Christ, and progress in sanctification. This means we must be able to discern the difference between outward religiosity and inward spiritual vitality. That requires we know the lives of persons. In our internet age, worldly people are quick to &#8220;cancel&#8221; folks they&#8217;ve never met, whose lives may be genuinely praiseworthy. The opposite is true, too. Worldly people may accept people whose lives are contrary to all sound teaching simply because online they flatter by saying &#8220;all the right things.&#8221; But for the saints, character must matter more than opinion. We ought to be those who <em>accept</em> godly people who differ with us on non-essential matters and <em>reject</em> the ungodly who agree with us on non-essentials. It&#8217;s a difficult standard to meet in a tribal sound bite culture, but it&#8217;s imperative if we want to avoid worldly &#8220;cancel culture&#8221; while obeying the Bible to rightly avoid the deserving.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>So how might all of this play out?</p> <p>Very awkwardly. Very locally. And very patiently. If we find it easy to &#8220;cancel&#8221; others at the speed of a tweet without knowing them personally, then we&#8217;re probably headed toward worldly &#8220;cancel culture.&#8221; If we justify shutting down others over non-essential opinions because they disagree with us, even when we have credible reason to believe they are brothers or sisters in the Lord, then we&#8217;re probably participating in worldly &#8220;cancel culture.&#8221;</p> <p>But if we&#8217;re able to affirm credible professions of faith in Christ, if we&#8217;re able to prayerfully consider another person&#8217;s opinion, and if we&#8217;re able to distinguish cardinal Christian doctrines from temporal cultural opinions, and if we&#8217;re able to then decide who should or should not be avoided, then we&#8217;re obeying the Bible. When we obey the Bible, some people have to be cancelled. Let&#8217;s just make sure it&#8217;s false brethren teaching false doctrines who resist warnings.</p> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Rom. 16:17-18" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Rom.%2016.17-18/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Rom. 16:17-18" data-anchor="#tippy_tip0_4620_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Titus 3:10-11" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Titus%203.10-11/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Titus 3:10-11" data-anchor="#tippy_tip1_5513_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="2 Tim. 3:1-5" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/2%20Tim.%203.1-5/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="2 Tim. 3:1-5" data-anchor="#tippy_tip2_6593_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="1 Cor. 5:6-7" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/1%20Cor.%205.6-7/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="1 Cor. 5:6-7" data-anchor="#tippy_tip3_7248_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Gal. 5:9" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Gal.%205.9/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Gal. 5:9" data-anchor="#tippy_tip4_2403_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Romans 16:16" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Romans%2016.16/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Romans 16:16" data-anchor="#tippy_tip5_8396_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Titus 3:10" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Titus%203.10/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Titus 3:10" data-anchor="#tippy_tip6_8929_anchor" ><p id="p56003010.01-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v56003010-1">10&nbsp;</span>As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Gal. 6:1-2" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Gal.%206.1-2/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Gal. 6:1-2" data-anchor="#tippy_tip7_2880_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Romans 16:18" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Romans%2016.18/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Romans 16:18" data-anchor="#tippy_tip8_9113_anchor" >ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key &#8217;TEST&#8217;</div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="2 Timothy 3" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/2%20Timothy%203/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="2 Timothy 3" data-anchor="#tippy_tip9_2620_anchor" ><p id="p55003001.06-1"><span class="chapter-num" id="v55003001-1">3:1&nbsp;</span>But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003002-1">2&nbsp;</span>For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003003-1">3&nbsp;</span>heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003004-1">4&nbsp;</span>treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003005-1">5&nbsp;</span>having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003006-1">6&nbsp;</span>For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003007-1">7&nbsp;</span>always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003008-1">8&nbsp;</span>Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003009-1">9&nbsp;</span>But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.</p> <p id="p55003010.08-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v55003010-1">10&nbsp;</span>You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003011-1">11&nbsp;</span>my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra&#8212;which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003012-1">12&nbsp;</span>Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003013-1">13&nbsp;</span>while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003014-1">14&nbsp;</span>But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it <span class="verse-num" id="v55003015-1">15&nbsp;</span>and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003016-1">16&nbsp;</span>All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003017-1">17&nbsp;</span>that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="2 Timothy 3" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/2%20Timothy%203/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="2 Timothy 3" data-anchor="#tippy_tip10_297_anchor" ><p id="p55003001.06-1"><span class="chapter-num" id="v55003001-1">3:1&nbsp;</span>But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003002-1">2&nbsp;</span>For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003003-1">3&nbsp;</span>heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003004-1">4&nbsp;</span>treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003005-1">5&nbsp;</span>having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003006-1">6&nbsp;</span>For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003007-1">7&nbsp;</span>always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003008-1">8&nbsp;</span>Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003009-1">9&nbsp;</span>But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.</p> <p id="p55003010.08-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v55003010-1">10&nbsp;</span>You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003011-1">11&nbsp;</span>my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra&#8212;which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003012-1">12&nbsp;</span>Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003013-1">13&nbsp;</span>while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003014-1">14&nbsp;</span>But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it <span class="verse-num" id="v55003015-1">15&nbsp;</span>and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. <span class="verse-num" id="v55003016-1">16&nbsp;</span>All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, <span class="verse-num" id="v55003017-1">17&nbsp;</span>that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (<a href="http://www.esv.org" class="copyright">ESV</a>)</p></div> Talking about Racial Justice with Others https://thefrontporch.org/interview/talking-about-racial-justice-with-others/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:e0df87df-1620-8055-f441-078a1a42e3ee Tue, 25 Aug 2020 08:04:11 -0500 Recently, I had the privilege of talking with a group of Christians who work at Spotify. They&#8217;ve formed a group, Christians@, who support and encourage one another in Jesus as &#8230; <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/interview/talking-about-racial-justice-with-others/" class="more">Continue reading</a> <p>Recently, I had the privilege of talking with a group of Christians who work at Spotify. They&#8217;ve formed a group, Christians@, who support and encourage one another in Jesus as they work as unto the Lord at their company. They wanted to talk about the current events and protests surrounding racial (in)justice and how to practically broker conversations on the topic.</p> <p>Many thanks to Gabe and the entire Spotify crew of brothers and sisters who had me on. I hope this conversation benefits others and bears fruit at Spotify.</p> <p><iframe title="Racial Reconciliation &amp; Faith: A Discussion w Thabiti Anyabwile (2020-08-06)" width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zXNh6I-JH6k?wmode=transparent&amp;rel=0&amp;feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Pastors on Policing https://thefrontporch.org/interview/pastors-on-policing/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:27dc78f0-cd59-b1cf-e156-f8769321e703 Mon, 24 Aug 2020 15:48:15 -0500 Policing has been a subject of discussion in our country for a long time. The recent murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others by the police, puts it back on the front page. Now, it's on The Front Porch. In this episode, Thabiti and Louis discuss policing from their unique perspectives as pastors. C'mon up and join the conversation. <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/881271619&#038;color=%23ff5500&#038;auto_play=false&#038;hide_related=false&#038;show_comments=true&#038;show_user=true&#038;show_reposts=false&#038;show_teaser=true"></iframe></p> <div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;"><a href="https://soundcloud.com/pastor-people" title="Pastor &amp; People" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener noreferrer">Pastor &amp; People</a> · <a href="https://soundcloud.com/pastor-people/pastors-on-policing" title="Pastors on Policing" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener noreferrer">Pastors on Policing</a></div> Is the Fight for Justice Throwing Away Its Shot? https://thefrontporch.org/2020/08/is-the-fight-for-justice-throwing-away-its-shot/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:be6fc5b3-b9e5-68f3-16d0-d2a23ac11923 Mon, 24 Aug 2020 11:32:45 -0500 Four things we need to think about now that everyone has been in the streets protesting. <p>I&#8217;m a Hamilton nut! The Broadway musical is on constant rotation in the Anyabwile home. More than that, I feel a great inspiration from it&#8211;from beginning to end. Perhaps the third track, &#8220;My Shot,&#8221; captures the spirit of the entire production and why I enjoy it so much. In this song, Lin-Manuel Miranda introduces us to the newly immigrated, young and ambitious Hamilton, who resolves:</p> <p>I am not throwin&#8217; away my shot<br /> I am not throwin&#8217; away my shot<br /> Hey yo, I&#8217;m just like my country<br /> I&#8217;m young, scrappy and hungry<br /> And I&#8217;m not throwin&#8217; away my shot</p> <p>In many ways, the remainder of the musical unfolds this ambition to not waste an opportunity to at once make something of himself and to contribute to the founding of a new nation.</p> <p>Following the shooting deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arberry, people around the world (literally) took to the streets to declare &#8220;Black lives matter&#8221; and to call for change. Universities renamed buildings. Corporations issued statements. Municipalities removed confederate monuments. Congress authored bills. The surging protests were unique in the history of the world. I can&#8217;t think of a single time in world or U.S. history when so many people from so vast a range of backgrounds rallied under a single banner on behalf of Black people. The protests even cracked the studied hardness of a Ta-Nehisi Coates, who expressed for the first time the semblance of hope that this moment might be different.</p> <p>But we&#8217;re a couple months beyond the cresting wave of protests. People are slowly making their way back to work and routines. Diversions, like NBA playoff basketball, are recapturing the attention of many who once used pandemic-created boredom to take interest in justice. Counter-protesting voices have gathered steam. And, we&#8217;re two months away from the next U.S. presidential election. All of which prompts the question: Is the fight for justice about to throw away its shot?</p> <p>Lin-Manuel&#8217;s Alexander Hamilton asserts, &#8220;this is not a moment, it&#8217;s the movement.&#8221; For that to be true, some things will really need to develop that at this point seem lacking.</p> <p><strong>First, there will need to be some spearheading figures and organizations that continue to galvanize and direct efforts</strong>. If this is a movement, then it&#8217;s certainly not the same kind of movement as the classic Civil Rights Movement, with its seminal leaders like Dr. King and leading organizations like the NAACP, SNCC, and SCLC. Today&#8217;s efforts are far more diffuse, organic, digital and democratic. That provides energy and speed, but loose democratic energy doesn&#8217;t do as effective a job at providing continuity, perseverance and progress between incidents or protests as organizing, organizations and leadership. We will throw away our shot if we cannot find a way to create some level of shared centralized leadership.</p> <p><strong>Second, there will need to be agreement on what &#8220;winning&#8221; entails</strong>. Thus far, the movement is a disparate collection of ideas, policy proposals, organizations and hashtags. On the one hand, that very diversity is a reflection of the energy and creativity at work. That&#8217;s a good thing. On the other hand, any movement that lasts and succeeds must be able to state its goal in a short and compelling way. There are various actions that could be taken, but which one captures the moral and civic imagination and moves the feet of continued protest? If we agree that Black lives matter, how do we show it in the most substantive way? Certainly success is not merely the renaming of university buildings and the removal of statues. We need to define the &#8220;win&#8221; such that when it happens everyone knows it happened and we have opportunity to measure its effect. We need to define the &#8220;win&#8221; so that we tighten messaging and provide a simple dashboard indicator for pressing the gas or brake, turning left or right. Again, leadership is vital for this kind focus.</p> <p><strong>Third, there will need to be some way of continuing and mounting pressure for change</strong>. Right now, the movement tends to gain its strength from recurring incidents of police misconduct. As I write this, news is breaking about the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenoshawa, Wisconsin police. A fresh round of outrage may stimulate more protests and awareness. But we need a way of keeping the pressure on besides new stories of tragedy and injustice. We need a way of celebrating victories. Nothing keeps a player in the game like winning. And we need ways of holding political actors accountability. It&#8217;s an egregious injustice that House Democrats have stalled debate on policing reform measures when a significant amount of their bill overlaps with the Senate version. We cannot allow political performance (the mere drafting of bills) to short circuit actual policymaking and debate. But without leaders and organizations clear about the win, most of the millions of people taking to the street do not know how to apply pressure.</p> <p><strong>Finally, there will need to be a lot of thought given to what the aftermath of winning will entail</strong>. We cannot allow ourselves or others to slip into thinking the movement is about what we&#8217;re against rather than what we are for. No lasting movement can be built on visions of a negative future. We need eloquent and moving descriptions of the life we&#8217;re hoping to create. A life where a child born in Flint has clean drinking water, attends quality public schools, graduates without pregnancy or abortion, completes college or a trade or joins the military, along the forms a family through marriage and childbearing, and repeats it all with their children&#8211;all while being and feeling free, being and feeling served by their government and police forces, being and feeling fairly treated by the justice system, being and feeling included as full citizens and members of society.</p> <p>It&#8217;s not unlike the kinds of questions faced by the founding fathers of the nation. Those questions are captured in rhythm and rhyme by Lin-Manuel&#8217;s young Alexander Hamilton when he spits:</p> <p>And? If we win our independence?<br /> Is that a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?<br /> Or will the blood we shed begin an endless cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?<br /> I know the action in the street is excitin&#8217;<br /> But Jesus, between all the bleedin&#8217; &#8216;n&#8217; fightin&#8217;<br /> I&#8217;ve been readin&#8217; &#8216;n&#8217; writin&#8217;<br /> We need to handle our financial situation<br /> Are we a nation of states what&#8217;s the state of our nation?<br /> I&#8217;m past patiently waitin&#8217; I&#8217;m passionately mashin&#8217; every expectation<br /> Every action&#8217;s an act of creation<br /> I&#8217;m laughin&#8217; in the face of casualties and sorrow<br /> <em>For the first time, I&#8217;m thinkin&#8217; past tomorrow</em></p> <p>We need this movement to think about the state of our nation and perhaps for the first time think past tomorrow. If we don&#8217;t, we will throw away our shot. I trust you understand that if we throw away our shot, that means we&#8217;re throwing away some of our sons and daughters to be shot. It&#8217;s time to rise up.</p> PTM: Leaving the SBC with Pastor John Onwuchekwa https://thewitnessbcc.com/ptm-leaving-the-sbc-with-pastor-john-onwuchekwa/ The Witness urn:uuid:eca50543-7b79-b9ff-ba5b-5ce235cc8fd3 Mon, 24 Aug 2020 06:00:02 -0500 <p>On July 3, 2020, Pastor John Onwuchekwa surprised many by telling his followers that his church, Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/ptm-leaving-the-sbc-with-pastor-john-onwuchekwa/">PTM: Leaving the SBC with Pastor John Onwuchekwa</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> How to Stop Feeling Guilty All the Time https://djchuang.com/how-to-stop-feeling-guilty-all-the-time/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:3612ea61-3fa2-d6fb-fbbc-5918dcc3aa89 Sun, 23 Aug 2020 20:28:51 -0500 <p>Can I make a confession? I&#8217;ve felt guilty very often for much of my life. It&#8217;s a terrible burden to carry around. Some of it comes from my personality, maybe because I have a sensitive, or over-sensitive, conscience. There&#8217;s guilt from both&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>This article <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/how-to-stop-feeling-guilty-all-the-time/">How to Stop Feeling Guilty All the Time</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com">@djchuang</a>.</p><div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=rgqokNseZ4I:Ai4Llo5VGMg:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=rgqokNseZ4I:Ai4Llo5VGMg:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></img></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/djchuang/~4/rgqokNseZ4I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Christian and Critical Race Theory, Part 4: Alan Freeman and the Contribution of CLS https://thefrontporch.org/2020/08/the-christian-and-critical-race-theory-part-4-alan-freeman-and-the-contribution-of-cls/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:5f92191a-3e1a-4814-0e1b-302834a6df1e Tue, 18 Aug 2020 05:41:59 -0500 Laws reflect dominant social morality and power distribution. That's why our laws are more likely to legitimize racism and racist systems than remedy them. <p><em>Taking Stock: I’d noted at the outset that my goal here was not to present CRT as an abstraction, the musings of some wingnut ideologues, but rather to “tell the story” of CRT. The way I learn and the way I prefer to present is through following the progression of intellectual history. I generally (I wish I could say always) try to confront a new ideology in a manner that will not leave me thinking, “Where in the heck did that come from?!” Accordingly, in this series my goal is to come to the supposed “tenets” of CRT without experiencing shock, or the feeling that these ideas are coming out of left field. My hope is that, in the end, we can assess them in their historical context and at least be able to say, “I disagree, but I certainly see where they were coming from.”</em></p> <p><em>So, where are we in this process? In the <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2020/06/the-christian-and-critical-race-theory-part-1-a-survey-of-the-traditional-civil-rights-discourse/">first post</a> I attempted to overcome some common misrepresentations of the traditional civil rights discourse. We can’t get anywhere if we don’t know the historical ideology—the actual historical ideology—that CRT both continues and contrasts in important ways. I hoped also that we might be able to recognize that some of the ideas we thought were CRT are really hundreds of years old and not uncommon. In the <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2020/07/the-christian-and-critical-race-theory-2-the-segregationist-discourse-and-civil-rights-retrenchment/">second post</a>, I hoped to tell the history of how the successes of the Civil Rights Movement were ultimately stymied and, in many cases, reversed, while nevertheless appearing to have won out. This is, in fact, the dilemma that directly led to the formal creation of CRT in the late 80’s.</em></p> <p><em>Next, according to Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, “[c]ritical race theory sprang up in the mid-1970s with the early work of Derrick Bell (an African American) and Alan Freeman (a white American)” (</em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Critical-Race-Theory-Cutting-Edge/dp/1439910618/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3DTM26BHD7K4L&amp;dchild=1&amp;keywords=critical+race+theory+cutting+edge&amp;qid=1597254558&amp;s=books&amp;sprefix=critical+race+theory+cutting+e%2Cstripbooks%2C221&amp;sr=1-1">Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge</a><em>, p. 2). Accordingly, we discussed the work and ideas of Dr. Derrick Bell in our <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2020/07/the-christian-and-critical-race-theory-part-3-a-bridge-dr-derrick-bell/">last post</a> and will cover the work of Dr. Alan Freeman in this post. Understanding the work of these two figures, along with what has gone before and one forthcoming post focusing on Kimberlé Crenshaw, I believe we will have laid a sturdy foundation for understanding CRT as a discipline.</em></p> <p><em>Quickly, then, what we can expect moving forward: We will here discuss Alan Freeman. The next post will situate CRT in contrast to both the Left and the Right via Kimberlé Crenshaw. We will then recount the immediate historical events that led to the first CRT conference. Next, we will situate CRT with respect to Postmoderninsm (so important), and then, finally, we will begin a discussion of the specific “tenets” of CRT as presented by its founders and modern scholars, subjecting them to Biblical analysis.</em></p> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>In the next article under consideration, “<a href="http://www.dariaroithmayr.com/pdfs/assignments/Freeman, Legitimizing Racial Discrimination.pdf">Legitimizing Racial Discrimination Through Antidiscrimination Law</a>,” <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_legal_studies">Critical Legal Studies</a> (CLS) scholar Dr. Alan David Freeman tackles the problem of civil rights retrenchment through a broader critique of the nature and function of the law itself. According to Critics such as Freeman, the law—including the legal code, court holdings, and ongoing discourse—is not best understood as a stable and transcendent arbiter of Justice which only needs to be technically and accurately applied. It is, rather (1) “an evolving statement of acceptable public morality” that, (2) “serves largely to legitimize the existing social structure and, especially, class relationships within that structure,” and, therefore, (3) it’s “ultimate constraints are outside the legal system” (p. 1051).</p> <p>In other words, the law generally reflects the changing moral commitments of a society; it does not prescribe them. It functions in society to preserve the reigning moral code, the current power structure, and the status quo by making such systems appear necessary, obvious, and ultimately just. The implication we are left with is clear: that which leads a court to decide one way or the other in a specific case is not a reflection of an internal legal necessity, but rather is constrained by the most powerful interest serving the above.</p> <p>If this CLS critique, derived in large part from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_realism#:~:text=Legal%20realism%20is%20a%20naturalistic,against%20observations%20of%20the%20world.">Legal Realism</a>, is at all accurate, skepticism about the lasting value of the antidiscrimination law born of the civil rights era is obviously warranted. Only inasmuch as it reflected a society-wide commitment to subordinate the powerful White interests, which had governed race relations since the colonial era, could it prove to serve the long-term substantive interests of African Americans. And as discussed in our last two posts, this apparent commitment waned quickly. Freeman observed in 1978,</p> <blockquote><p>[A]s the law has outlawed racial discrimination, it has affirmed that Black Americans can be without jobs, have their children in all black, poorly funded schools, have no opportunities for decent housing, and have very little political power, without any violation of antidiscrimination law. (p. 1049).</p></blockquote> <p>The stated purpose of Freeman’s article is to discuss a host of Supreme Court antidiscrimination opinions, together serving as “a testament to the manipulability of legal doctrine,” emphasizing “how the process of legitimation works through that manipulation of doctrine” (p. 1052). Freeman argues that, by and large, the antidiscrimination law born of the civil rights movement only served to legitimize the subordination of African American circumstances by granting the appearance of legal progress. In order for the courts to accomplish this, Freeman argues, they needed to remain both committed to what he terms the “perpetrator perspective” of antidiscrimination law, while occasionally giving a nod to the “victim perspective.” It is the tension between these two ways of understanding antidiscrimination law which characterize the long-term legitimization function of the civil rights legal order.</p> <p>For our purposes, understanding this approach to law—antidiscrimination law in particular—is fundamental to understanding the development of Critical Race Theory. In fact, the phrase “Critical Race Theory” itself was an intentional spin on “Critical Legal Studies.” CRT, in many important ways, marshalled the critical techniques of CLS, putting them in service of a race-conscious critique of racial power. (We will, Lord willing, spell this out in a later post.)</p> <p><strong>The Perpetrator and Victim Perspectives</strong></p> <p>First, according to Dr. Freeman, the “victim perspective” (or “circumstance” perspective) of discrimination,</p> <blockquote><p>… describes those conditions of actual social existence as a member of a perpetual underclass. This perspective includes both the objective conditions of life—lack of jobs, lack of money, lack of housing—and the consciousness associated with those objective conditions—lack of choice and lack of human individuality in being forever perceived as a member of a group rather than as an individual. … The victim, or &#8220;condition,&#8221; conception of racial discrimination suggests that the problem will not be solved until the conditions associated with it have been eliminated. To remedy the condition of racial discrimination would demand affirmative efforts to change the condition. (pp. 1052-1053)</p></blockquote> <p>In short, the victim perspective views racial discrimination from the perspective of those who have, as a group, suffered under the subordinated conditions of historic and modern racism. In this perspective, to suffer discrimination is to suffer under objectively discriminatory conditions. And, therefore, to address discrimination requires changing the real-life circumstances of African Americans.</p> <p>The perpetrator perspective, on the other hand,</p> <blockquote><p>… sees racial discrimination not as conditions, but as actions, or series of actions, inflicted on the victim by the perpetrator. The focus is more on what particular perpetrators have done or are doing to some victims than it is on the overall life situation of the victim class. … The remedial dimension of the perpetrator perspective, however, is negative. The task is merely to neutralize the inappropriate conduct of the perpetrator. (p. 1053)</p></blockquote> <p>And, of course, antidiscrimination law as we know it is “hopelessly embedded in the perpetrator perspective.” Central to American law is the concept of “violation.” This concept, translated into the arena of antidiscrimination law, gives rise to what legal scholars call the “antidiscrimination principle,” viz.,</p> <blockquote><p>… the prohibition of race-dependent decisions that disadvantage members of minority groups, and its principal task has been to select from the maze of human behaviors those particular practices that violate the principle, outlaw the identified practices, and neutralize their specific effects.</p></blockquote> <p>Further,</p> <blockquote><p>Antidiscrimination law has thus been ultimately indifferent to the condition of the victim; its demands are satisfied if it can be said that the &#8220;violation&#8221; has been remedied.</p> <p>The perpetrator perspective presupposes a world composed of atomistic individuals whose actions are outside of and apart from the social fabric and without historical continuity. From this perspective, the law views racial discrimination not as a social phenomenon, but merely as the misguided conduct of particular actors. It is a world where, but for the conduct of these misguided ones, the system of equality of opportunity would work to provide a distribution of the good things in life without racial disparities and where deprivations that did correlate with race would be &#8220;deserved&#8221; by those deprived on grounds of insufficient &#8220;merit.&#8221; It is a world where such things as &#8220;vested rights,&#8221; &#8220;objective selection systems,&#8221; and &#8220;adventitious decisions&#8221; (all of which serve to prevent victims from experiencing any change in conditions) are matters of fate, having nothing to do with the problem of racial discrimination. (p. 1054)</p></blockquote> <p>(It&#8217;s worth reading that paragraph again.) The perpetrator perspective assumes a world where everything is working pretty much as it should, where merit rules and jobs, goods, services, etc. are distributed naturally, generally fairly, and in accordance with ability and desire, and “discrimination,” when it occurs, is an individual aberration from the norm.</p> <p>Further, in order to prove that such discrimination has occurred under the perpetrator perspective, one must show that someone is properly at “fault.” This requires an investigation into the presumed perpetrator’s intent. There is, according to the perpetrator perspective, no “violation” of the “antidiscrimination principle” unless one can prove that the action of the supposed perpetrator was intended to disadvantage according to race. So long as it cannot be proven that the action wasn’t done for a different reason, or no reason at all, the differential racial effect of the action cannot constitute discrimination under this perspective. And not only must one prove fault, one must also demonstrate an identifiable causal chain, which “serves to distinguish from the totality of conditions that a victim perceives to be associated with discrimination those that the law will address.”</p> <blockquote><p>These dual requirements place on the victim the nearly impossible burden of isolating the particular conditions of discrimination produced by and mechanically linked to the behavior of an identified blameworthy perpetrator, regardless of whether other conditions of discrimination, caused by other perpetrators, would have to be remedied for the outcome of the case to make any difference at all. The causation principle makes it clear that some objective instances of discrimination are to be regarded as mere accidents, or &#8220;caused,&#8221; if at all, by the behavior of ancestral demons whose responsibility cannot follow their successors in interest over time. (p. 1056)</p></blockquote> <p>Thus, given the nature of the American legal conception of “violation,” the perpetrator perspective ensures from the start the ineffectiveness of antidiscrimination law to change the discriminatory social conditions suffered by African Americans. At the same time, the application of these laws serves to preserve the predominating systems, structures, and institutions of racism, while nonetheless purporting to have outlawed racial discrimination by providing a mechanism to “punish” individuals meeting the requirements of “fault” and “cause.” Outside of such identifiable perpetrators, society at large is deemed “innocent,” bearing no responsibility for African Americans’ continued subordinated circumstances, and thus ought not be called upon to bear any redistributive burdens.</p> <p><strong>Three Eras of Antidiscrimination Law</strong></p> <p>The bulk of the article is spent surveying a host of Supreme Court decisions in order to demonstrate Freeman’s claims above. In so doing, he distinguishes three eras of Supreme Court antidiscrimination jurisprudence: (1) The Era of Uncertainty, (2) The Era of Contradiction, and (3) The Era of Rationalization.</p> <p>Given the limitations of the perpetrator perspective, “even illusory progress in the quest for racial justice” was impossible.</p> <blockquote><p>The challenge for the law, therefore, was to develop, through the usual legal techniques of verbal manipulation, ways of breaking out of the formal constraints of the perpetrator perspective while maintaining ostensible adherence to the form itself. (pp. 1056-1057)</p></blockquote> <p>This would be done, argues Freeman, by separating “violation” from “remedy,” allowing the perpetrator perspective to govern violation and the victim perspective to determine remediation. The trick for the Court, however, was to determine how to accomplish this while likewise maintaining that violation and remedy be coextensive, as demanded by the perpetrator perspective.</p> <blockquote><p>[I]t was necessary to state that tenet and violate it at the same time, no mean task even for masters of verbal gamesmanship. For a while, the remedial doctrines seemingly undermined the hegemony of the perpetrator form, threatening to replace it with a victim perspective. In the end, however, form triumphed, and the perpetrator perspective, always dominant in identifying violations, was firmly reasserted in the context of remedies as well. (p. 1057)</p></blockquote> <p>The three eras to be discussed represent the expansion and then contraction of this approach, moving from what appeared to be a shift toward the victim perspective, only to settle back into the perpetrator perspective, perfectly consistent with what was discussed in <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2020/07/the-christian-and-critical-race-theory-2-the-segregationist-discourse-and-civil-rights-retrenchment/">Part 2</a> of this series.</p> <p><strong>1954-1965: THE ERA OF UNCERTAINTY, OR THE JURISPRUDENCE OF VIOLATIONS</strong></p> <p>The first era Freeman considers, beginning with <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education"><em>Brown v. Board of Education</em></a>, was characterized by the Court’s identification of violation, with little attention to remedy, and general uncertainty as to the overriding legal principle governing <em>Brown</em>, including uncertainty as to how it ought to be applied by lower courts.</p> <p><em><strong>A. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment</strong></em></p> <p>Freeman notes three possible meanings of the Equal Protection Clause of the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution">14th Amendment</a>, the ostensible basis of the Court’s holding in <em>Brown</em>; viz.,</p> <blockquote><p>No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; <em>nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws</em>. (Emphasis mine)</p></blockquote> <p>The three possible meanings include, (1) the “means-oriented” interpretation, an entirely valueless, technical, and procedural understanding of the clause, meant only to check legislators from making irrational allocations, e.g., according to race, (2) the “fundamental right” approach, wherein the court finds within the application of the Amendment a guarantee to every individual of some constitutionally implied right, and (3) what Freeman calls “substantive equal protection,” arguably the original intent of the clause.</p> <blockquote><p>This meaning may be found in the tradition that regards the overwhelming goal of the Civil War amendments to be &#8220;the freedom of the slave race, the security and firm establishment of that freedom, and the protection of the newly-made freeman and citizen from the oppressions of those who had formerly exercised unlimited dominion over him.&#8221; (p. 1061, quoting “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaughter-House_Cases">Slaughterhouse Cases</a>, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 71 (1873)”).</p></blockquote> <p>According to the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauder_v._West_Virginia"><em>Stauder v. West Virgi</em>nia</a> decision, 1880,</p> <blockquote><p>The words of the amendment … contain a necessary implication of a positive immunity, or right, most valuable to the colored race,—the right to exemption from unfriendly legislation against them distinctively as colored,—exemption from legal discriminations, implying inferiority in civil society, lessening the security of their enjoyment of the rights which others enjoy, and discriminations which are steps towards reducing them to the condition of a subject race. (100 U.S. 303, 307-08)</p></blockquote> <p>This understanding is historically grounded and acknowledges the original purpose, to address the substantive circumstances of the then newly freed slaves. It was explicitly intended to protect African Americans from subordination under White Supremacy and, therefore, its application must, on substantive equal protection grounds, take into account the history of the Black/White color-line in America rather than an idealized set of technique oriented neutral legal principles.</p> <p><em><strong>B. </strong></em><strong>Brown v. Board of Education</strong><em><strong> in the Era of Uncertainty</strong></em></p> <p>Dr. Freeman then moves on to <em>Brown v. Board of Education</em>, the decision that launched the era of antidiscrimination law, to see how these various meanings of Equal Protection “may be linked to the development of antidiscrimination doctrine.” Freeman argues that there are at least five ways of looking at the decision—a decision universally considered unclear—“all of which permeate the subsequent evolution of antidiscrimination law.” They are, “the color-blind constitution theory; the equality of educational opportunity theory; the white oppression of blacks theory; the freedom of association theory; and the integrated society theory” (pp. 1064-1065). And though this section is long, I think it lays a sturdy foundation for both understanding the actual historical nature of antidiscrimination law and also seeing in practice the manipulability of the legal code to achieve the ends of powerful interests, thus subverting the progress of the Civil Rights Movement.</p> <p><em>1. “Color-Blind Constitution”</em></p> <p>In <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2020/07/the-christian-and-critical-race-theory-2-the-segregationist-discourse-and-civil-rights-retrenchment/">Part 2</a> of this series, we quoted Justice Harlan’s dissent to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plessy_v._Ferguson"><em>Plessy v. Ferguson</em></a>, including, “[o]ur Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” Over 150 years later, this concept would become an important means of combatting formal segregation, and one might conclude, accordingly, that <em>Brown</em> was simply Harlan’s vision coming to fruition. But as with the equal protection clause, it too can be taken in a few different ways. Usually the color-blind law theory is presented as a purely formal, neutral, means oriented test, living comfortably within the perpetrator perspective with no need of substantive interpretation. In this case, <em>Brown</em> was simply acknowledging that race was an “irrational classification” for dividing schools. While this sounds reasonable, and has the benefit of neutral appearance, Freeman notes that it collapses the moment one considers that segregating