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/ A Burden Removed: A Biblical Path for Removing the Racism of Our Forefathers https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/burden-removed-biblical-path-removing-racism-forefathers/ Thabiti Anyabwile Posts – The Gospel Coalition urn:uuid:b5924fec-ce7c-3358-511c-b9dd8d43f206 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 05:47:18 -0600 <div><img width="300" height="225" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-536x402.jpg 536w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8.jpg 540w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div>Editor&#8217;s note: The following article is authored by Dr. Reed DePace, senior minister of The Church at Chantilly, Historic First Presbyterian of Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. DePace has served The Church at Chantilly since 2008. He holds degrees a MAR from Westminster Theology Seminary in Philadelphia and a DMin from Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies. He&#8217;s a self-described &#8220;Philly boy&#8221; now serving in the South. &#8220;But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them... <div><img width="300" height="225" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-300x225.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8-536x402.jpg 536w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/15200603/636277901060126805-FirstPres8.jpg 540w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div><p><em><strong>Editor&#8217;s note:</strong> The following article is authored by Dr. Reed DePace, senior minister of The Church at Chantilly, Historic First Presbyterian of Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. DePace has served The Church at Chantilly since 2008. He holds degrees a MAR from Westminster Theology Seminary in Philadelphia and a DMin from Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies. He&#8217;s a self-described &#8220;Philly boy&#8221; now serving in the South.</em></p> <hr /> <p>&#8220;But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them … then I will remember my covenant.” (Lv 26:40-42, ESV, and all subsequent Scripture references)</p> <p>Is this something a congregation should consider? Should a congregation repent of the sins of their forefathers?</p> <p><strong>A Church in Decline</strong></p> <p>This was a particularly relevant question for us. First Presbyterian Church (PCA) of Montgomery, Alabama was the first church <em>formally</em> established in Montgomery. (1824, we beat our Baptist brothers and sisters by 6 months; whew!) We’ve seen lots of blessings from God over our history. One of our early pastors was the great-uncle of Winston Churchill. In the late 1800’s we were key supporters of the Presbyterian missionaries God worked through to bring about the 1907 Pyongyang Revival and the Christianization of Korea. In the 1920’s we were a “mega-church” before there were such, with a membership over 2,000. Even in 1961, our membership was still at a respectable 1,100.</p> <p>When I was called to be the pastor of Historic First Church (our nick name) in 2008, the church had moved from its downtown location to a suburban one, where it was thought that folks more like the existing congregation would join. Yet that hadn’t really happened. While official membership was around 100, the reality was that we had about 50 active members—many of whom were from the Silent Generation, well into their 70’s and 80’s. The common renewal plan of many a downtown church (move to the suburbs) wasn’t working for us.</p> <p>Yet, as often happens with a new pastor, we saw an increase in our ministry over the next few years. By 2011 membership rose to just over 100. It looked like there was a re-birth of new life, that God was going to bless us with more years of ministry. Yet over the next few years, the historic slide toward dissolution continued. By 2015 membership was down to the 70’s, with active membership back at the 50’s.</p> <p>The elders at the time agreed that we needed to spend some time investigating why God seemed to be “walking contrary” to us (Lev 26:41), why he seemed to be cursing rather than blessing our ministry efforts.</p> <p><strong>The Past Is Never Dead</strong></p> <p>I conducted a thorough search of our church records (something southern Presbyterians are very good at keeping) back to the very founding of our church (1821). Regarding our current circumstances, the records from the Civil Rights era forward seemed most relevant. Starting in the 1950’s our church, both the congregation and leadership, engaged in actions and decisions that are most simply described as racist, a refusal to love our black neighbors as ourselves.</p> <p>Oh, historic First Church wasn’t all racist all the time. Some members sought to obey Christ and love our fellow black Montgomerians. For example, Rosa Parks’ white attorney was a deacon in our church, and his wife was one of Mrs. Parks best friends. In the 1960’s, even though he suffered for it, one of our ministers accepted the call to be the pastor of a small struggling black congregation (planted out of our church in the 1880’s). Other notable examples were seen throughout 1950’s and 60’s.</p> <p>Yet far more often in this era, our church chose to partake of racial sins. In 1956, about a decade before most other white churches in Montgomery took this action, our leadership chose to formally block blacks from membership and attending services at our church. In 1961 our church was located a half block away from the Greyhound Bus station where the Freedom Riders were attacked. Rather than offering sanctuary, we ignored what was happening. As late as 1974 our elders and deacons were still affirming their intention to not allow backs to join or attend any services at our church. Numerous other racist attitudes and decisions littered Historic First Church through the Civil Rights era. In fact, these attitudes and actions only began to disappear from our records in the late 1970’s.</p> <p>Yet these sins were still present and would occasionally make themselves known. An outreach decision to open up a daycare was actively hindered for the whole of the 1980’s, in part, because it would require letting black children participate in the day care. The dominant debate among the elders in the 1980’s and 90’s was whether or not to reach the surrounding community with the gospel, a community that was no longer white. While not overt in every discussion, the underlying opposition to including blacks in outreach meant that virtually no witnessing ministries took place. Then in 1999 the decision was made to move to a suburban community where the demographics of the surrounding community matched that of the congregation.</p> <p>Back to 2015. Despite a number of attempts, witnessing efforts at Historic First Church met with very little response from the congregation. Comparing this to the research gleaned from our history showed a startling similarity. In the Civil Rights era Historic First Church refused to reach out to a people unlike them: blacks. By 2015, with most members never being a part of the downtown church, we had become a congregation that was all but unwilling to reach out to anyone. All might be “welcome,” but we weren’t putting any effort into taking the gospel to them, white, black, or the proverbial purple with pink polka dots.</p> <p>This was the context for our consideration to the debatable practice of repenting of the sins of our forefathers. It sure looked like we were experiencing the fruits of past sins, even though we were no longer racist. It certainly looked like God was “walking contrary” to us. Was repenting for past sins, sins that no one in the existing congregation participated in, God’s path to restoring the ministry of the gospel among us?</p> <p><strong>Visits from God</strong></p> <p>The answer to this question is not immediately obvious in the Scriptures. There seems to be a contradiction at play in this question. As many others have noted in recent years, the Bible is expressly clear that God does not impute the culpability of forefathers’ sin on their descendants.</p> <blockquote><p>The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. (Ezk. 18:20)</p></blockquote> <p>On the other hand, there are numerous warnings that God “visits the iniquities” of forefathers on their descendants (Ex 20:5; 24:7; Nm 14:18; Dt 5:9; Lv 26:39-41; Isa 14:21; Isa 65:6-7; Jer 14:20; 32:8, etc.). The notable examples of Daniel (Dan 9:8, ff.), Ezra (Ezr 9:6-7, ff.), and Nehemiah (Neh 9:16, ff.), each confessing their forefathers’ iniquities, gives strong evidence that God both fulfills the warnings and the promises attached to “visiting the iniquities.”</p> <p>The way out of the apparent contradiction here is found in the details associated with the words <em>visit</em> and <em>iniquity</em>. Rather than overwhelm you with the breadth and depth of these details, let me summarize them. One of three words used for sin in the OT, the Hebrew word translated <em>iniquity</em>, is used to express sin <em>with its results</em>. We are most familiar with the result of culpability. Sin makes us culpable before God, accountable to him for our rebellion against his law.</p> <p>Yet there is another result of sin, one that is as common as culpability, but not often focused on. In addition to culpability, sin also results in <em>corruption. </em>This is the spiritual pollution, the contamination factor attached to sin. It spiritually infects others. A significant part of the Mosaic ceremonial law dealt with picturing the corruption result of sin:</p> <blockquote><p>And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness. (Lev 16:21-22)</p></blockquote> <p>One of the reasons for church discipline is to protect the other members of a congregation from the corruption of the offending member’s sin:</p> <blockquote><p>Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1Co 5:6-7)</p></blockquote> <p>The corruption result of sin is so pervasive that there is nothing we can do to avoid it:</p> <blockquote><p>We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isa 64:6)</p></blockquote> <p>The Hebrew word <em>visiting</em> explains how the sins of forefathers corrupt their descendants. The visiting in view is not some sort of social call, as if God were promising to drop in for milk and brownies. Instead, the word refers to a <em>covenantal visiting</em>: God visits on people, he gives them the experience of, the blessings or curses of his covenants to those in covenant with him, and their descendants. The Fourth Commandment (Ex 20:5-6) illustrates the pattern of covenantal visiting succinctly:</p> <blockquote><p>“You shall not bow down to them or serve [other gods], for I the LORD your God am a jealous God<em>:</em><br /> [covenant curse] <em>visiting the iniquity </em>of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,<br /> [covenant blessing] but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”</p></blockquote> <p>It is quite simple: God gives to the descendants of those in covenant with him the corruption results of their forefathers’ sins. If the culpability result of sin is personal (it only attaches to the sinning individual), then the corruption result of sin is <em>corporate</em> (it also attaches to those in covenant relationship with the sinning individual).</p> <p>Admittedly there are many more details that show this corruption result is basic to the nature of sin. But this is nothing more than the historic understanding of the church: God curses the descendants to follow in the sinful footsteps of their forefathers, sinning in related ways.</p> <p>This explains why Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah were resolute in confessing their forefathers’ sins. They knew that God had promised to forgive those sins, not their culpability, but their corruption. So, they confessed and led their congregations to confess with them. Likewise, in the letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation, Jesus advises certain congregations to repent of sins committed only by some of their members (e.g., Pergamum, Rv 2:13-17; Thyatira, Rv 2:18-29; Sardis, Rv 3:1-6). While not personally culpable for the sins of the few, all the members of these congregations were corrupted by these sins. Corporate repentance, confessing the sins of others to whom they were covenantally related, was Jesus’s gospel-rooted solution.</p> <p><strong>Time to Repent?</strong></p> <p>In 2016 as we explored these things, our leaders were aware of some of the controversy around repenting for sins of the forefathers. But as they played no part in our considerations, we did not give much attention to various social motivations and concerns. It was quite straight forward for us. We understood we could not repent <em>for </em>sins we did not commit. But could we repent <em>of </em>sins, sins committed by those covenantally related to us?</p> <p>We were shepherding a congregation that seemed to be experiencing problems related to sins of forefathers. For us then, it was purely a matter of gospel-practice. Did our forefathers commit atrocious racial sins? Yes. Was God visiting the corruption of these sins on subsequent generations, including the congregation under our care? Yes. Was repenting of these:</p> <ul> <li>Acknowledging the wickedness of those sins,</li> <li>Acknowledging God’s righteousness in visiting the corruption of those sins on us,</li> <li>Trusting that in Jesus there is cleansing from the corruption of these, and</li> <li>So confessing the sins of our forefathers,</li> </ul> <p>The gospel-rooted resolution before us?</p> <p>We understand that this <em>corporate</em> usage of repentance is outside the common personal usage. We respect that others may come to different conclusions. That’s ok. We didn’t apply this principle to make a statement, to persuade others to do likewise. Our sole purpose was to seek God to remove the burden of our forefathers’ sins, and thereby bring glory to his holy name.</p> <p><strong>Forgiveness Brings Freedom&#8211;and Fruit</strong></p> <p>In the summer of 2016, following the tradition of our Presbyterian forefathers, the elders and I signed a solemn declaration of all these things, particularly identifying our forefathers’ sins, and our repentance for them. At the beginning of 2017 we entered into a formal period of renewal. We added to our historic name a second name that identified us with our community: located on the grounds of a historic slave plantation, the name “The Church at Chantilly” (the location marker) declares that this church has been freed from the curse of sin, including all forms of racism. The members of the congregation at that time asked to follow their elders’ lead, and signed their names to the declaration of repentance. That document now hangs in the entry hallway of our church, right next to a picture of our downtown buildings, for all visitors to see.</p> <p>In God’s providence and through no intention of ours, the story of our repentance was publicized both locally and nationally. This many years after the Civil Rights era, and after many other churches took a similar action decades ago, we were not concerned with publicizing our actions. Yet, God honored our efforts in restorative ways. Over the last few years we have been contacted by numerous former members of our church, and even some of the descendants of former members, who had all taken a stand against Historic First Church’s racism and had been driven out of the congregation for doing so. The experience of asking them to forgive the sins of our forefathers brought healing and, in some cases, a believable gospel witness from a church with a previous reputation of hypocrisy.</p> <p>While our current congregation is small, for the first time in over half a century (possibly longer) we are seeing new conversion growth. In the last year and a half we have seen a good half dozen millennials make a profession of faith and actively participate in the ministries of the church. Sustained weekly witnessing activities have been going on for over a year now. Two thirds of the congregation has participated in evangelism training, now offered twice a year.</p> <p>In 2016 we were blessed to partner with Korean brothers and sisters in Orlando, Florida to plant Montgomery Open Kingdom (Korean, PCA) church. In the fall of 2018, we were blessed to host a Spanish speaking (Baptist) congregation, Light to the Nations, reaching Spanish speakers in Montgomery hailing from numerous Central and South American countries. Today all three congregations share Historic First Church’s facilities, with multiple worship services, joint children’s Sunday School, and numerous joint activities throughout the year.</p> <p>You might notice that I didn’t mention anything about outreach into the black community in Montgomery. While we maintain strong relationships with sister black congregations in our area, this is a blessing God has not yet seen fit to grace us with. We prayerfully continue to reach into the black community around us, praying for God to raise up a family or two from which he would grace us with further elders and deacons.</p> <p>Truth be told, we’re small enough now (about 40 active, 50 + including shut-ins), that statistically speaking, there is every possibility that Historic First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery might close before she reaches her 200<sup>th</sup> anniversary. We’re ok with that. Repenting of the sins of our forefathers was not some pragmatic church renewal step. It was simply the right thing to do. The corruption of sin is real. In a community filled with so many churches, and the next generation all but abandoning them, turning to God and pleading for his forgiveness from all sins (including those of the past) is nothing more than what gospel-believing people ought to do. Because in God’s providence, some who had lost hope, who had been helped by our forefathers’ sins to disbelieve in Jesus Christ, have found a new hope in him through our repentance.</p> <p><strong>Repentance Comes Home</strong></p> <p>Let me end with one of the most interesting and unexpected examples of this. Vivian is an older Baby Boomer raised in Montgomery. With some background in the hippie movement, she was won to Christ and then spent some time as one of the early English language teacher missionaries in China. In 2016, sensing she only had a few more years in Montgomery before she would need to move to be near family members as health needs increased, she wanted to join our church because she wanted to focus on reaching Millennials.</p> <p>Like many members raised in Montgomery, Vivian was a tad suspicious when her pastor and elders first began discussing repenting of the sins of our forefathers. “Social justice” concerns, etc., filled her with questions about the what and why. Yet as the biblical basis for the action was explained, Vivian began to see that repenting of the forefathers’ sins was a godly thing completely consistent with living by faith taught through the gospel’s ministry. She willingly joined her fellow members in signing her name to the declaration of repentance.</p> <p>At the beginning of the following year, 2017, Vivian got an odd query from her brother (living in a western state). He asked if she knew about any first cousins still living in Montgomery? The answer was no; Vivian was the only one left from her family in this area, all others having moved away years ago. When she asked why, her brother told her that a DNA test he had completed sent back results telling him that he had a first cousin, one he didn’t know anything about, living in Montgomery. He gave her the contact information and left it up to Vivian to do the sleuthing.</p> <p>Vivian contacted the first cousin, Mattie, and arranged to meet her. I was blessed to briefly meet Vivian’s new-found family at one of those first meetings. Gathering at a hospital for a doctor’s appointment, Vivian, white, sat with her new-found cousin Mattie, black.</p> <p>The story that unfolded was in some sense rather common here in the deep south. Yet because it was personal for Vivian and Mattie, their meeting was momentous for both of them. Mattie was the daughter of Lily (half-black/white). Lily’s father was Ray, Vivian’s (white) grandfather (poppee). An archetype story, Lily’s mother, Mattie the first, had been the maid in Ray’s household. In case you haven’t put things together yet, let’s put it in biblically blunt terms: Vivian’s white grandfather had raped her cousin’s black grandmother.</p> <p>As a little girl Vivian remembered her poppee taking long walks on Sunday afternoons, ostensibly to smoke down at the park, and not coming home till well after dark. Vivian now heard the real story. Her grandfather would walk two blocks down from his house, get picked up by his daughter of rape, Lily, and spend the afternoon with his black family. They all resented him, yet consistent with the times, he was their patriarch and they had to show him some respect.</p> <p>You can just imagine Vivian’s shock as she learned all this family history she had never heard before. She knew that her poppee, like many southern white men from the first half of the twentieth century, showed common racist behaviors (e.g., Jim Crow cultural attitudes and acts). But that he had raped a black woman, and had a whole other, black, family?!</p> <p>I was fascinated by the new family history Vivian had to share. But then she revealed a fact that caused me to join her in being shocked to my core. While her poppee was Talking about Depression, Anxiety, and Faith next Fri 11/22 https://djchuang.com/2019/talking-about-depression-anxiety-and-faith-next-fri-11-22/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:214f6c41-a6f0-d1a1-4c9f-f29b50616cb4 Fri, 15 Nov 2019 11:32:58 -0600 <p>Come next Friday 11/22 to Torrance, California, where I am speaking about mental health. The event starts at 7:30pm and the location is the Bread of Life Church (2780 Lomita Blvd. Torrance, CA 90505). I&#8217;m very grateful for this invitation to openly&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/talking-about-depression-anxiety-and-faith-next-fri-11-22/">Talking about Depression, Anxiety, and Faith next Fri 11/22</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=dyNpH-JvfKo:m7tpbjRRSKM:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=dyNpH-JvfKo:m7tpbjRRSKM: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/dyNpH-JvfKo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Missions and Justice https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/missions-and-justice/ Thabiti Anyabwile Posts – The Gospel Coalition urn:uuid:ca1b3b10-f994-6b3f-7eab-b6f0bb4bf89d Thu, 14 Nov 2019 11:47:12 -0600 <div><img width="300" height="138" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey.jpg 545w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div>I commonly hear Christians and non-Christians object to missions on the grounds that missionaries have sometimes been the tip of the spear for oppression and cultural subjugation. People cite the way Christian missions rode the wave of colonial domination in Africa and India, for example. The remedy, according to some, is that Christian missions be halted altogether or at least seriously re-examined. To be sure, there&#8217;s a place for re-examining mission practice. We need to learn from the history of cross-cultural gospel ministry, especially those painful and shameful aspects we do not wish to repeat. But it&#8217;s also important to... <div><img width="300" height="138" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey-300x138.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/14124603/William_Carey.jpg 545w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div><p>I commonly hear Christians and non-Christians object to missions on the grounds that missionaries have sometimes been the tip of the spear for oppression and cultural subjugation. People cite the way Christian missions rode the wave of colonial domination in Africa and India, for example. The remedy, according to some, is that Christian missions be halted altogether or at least seriously re-examined.</p> <p>To be sure, there&#8217;s a place for re-examining mission practice. We need to learn from the history of cross-cultural gospel ministry, especially those painful and shameful aspects we do not wish to repeat.</p> <p>But it&#8217;s also important to note that some missionaries were valiant in the cause of justice. Where the gospel and the church have spread so too has liberation and justice. Yesterday my missions pastor shared a tidbit from the life of William Carey that I did not know. It&#8217;s an excerpt from Ruth and Vishal Mangalwadi&#8217;s &#8220;Who (Really) Was William Carey?&#8221; in Ralph Winter and Stephen Hawthorne&#8217;s <em>Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, 3rd edition</em>. The Mangalwadis write:</p> <blockquote><p>Carey was the first man to stand against both the ruthless murders and the widespread oppression of women, virtually synonymous with Hinduism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The male in India was crushing the female through polygamy, female infanticide, child marriage, widow-burning, euthanasia and forced female illiteracy, all sanctioned by religion. The British Government timidly accepted these evils as being an irreversible and intrinsic part of India&#8217;s religious mores. Carey began to conduct systematic sociological and scriptural research. He published his reports in order to raise public opinion and protest&#8230;. It was Carey&#8217;s persistent battle against sati for twenty-five years which finally led to Lord Bantinck&#8217;s famous Edict in 1829, banning one of the most abominable of all religious practices in the world: widow-burning.</p></blockquote> <p>Carey&#8217;s pioneering work is known by nearly all Christians with a rudimentary knowledge of Christian missions history. Yet I wonder how many know of this aspect of Carey&#8217;s work&#8211;engaging the religious cultural practices and advocating for justice using the tools of both social science and the Bible? Carey wasn&#8217;t perfect&#8211;no Christian is. But we need more &#8220;Careys&#8221; not fewer. Perhaps then Christian missions will be associated with positive good rather than injustice, with not only freedom from sin but also freedom from oppression. May it be so. May the Lord be pleased to make it happen in our lifetimes!</p> There was a blog for Asian American Christian voices https://djchuang.com/2019/there-was-a-blog-for-asian-american-christian-voices/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:8723fc89-a6a0-7e90-1c40-5e6f6b6e8a27 Wed, 06 Nov 2019 09:00:07 -0600 <p>NextGenerAsianChurch team blog had quite a run, almost a decade, as a collective that was open to talk about the collision of faith and Asian American cultures. The blog went dark about a year ago, for some unknown reason. I was digging&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/there-was-a-blog-for-asian-american-christian-voices/">There was a blog for Asian American Christian voices</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=kwOJ9jc24r4:MfvGErZrPSU:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=kwOJ9jc24r4:MfvGErZrPSU: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/kwOJ9jc24r4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Oldest Asian American Churches in USA https://djchuang.com/2019/oldest-asian-american-churches-in-usa/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:7fbab8b0-50fb-0ce5-72bb-f47ad3d6af42 Sun, 03 Nov 2019 23:25:44 -0600 <p>Some people love to remember the history and honor the traditions of the past generations. One of the lasting legacies of faith that is passed on from one generation to the next is a church community. While the typical church has a&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/oldest-asian-american-churches-in-usa/">Oldest Asian American Churches in USA</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=Zd4kNAgw1K8:B8a4o4oFq5k:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=Zd4kNAgw1K8:B8a4o4oFq5k: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/Zd4kNAgw1K8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Calling to Dignity https://thefrontporch.org/2019/10/the-calling-to-dignity/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:e97fdda0-a048-4973-ab68-1241870a92d3 Wed, 30 Oct 2019 11:20:36 -0500 It&#8217;s been my custom to read good Christian books to the members of our church as they trickle in for our mid-week Bible study. For about 5-10 minutes I read &#8230; <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2019/10/the-calling-to-dignity/" class="more">Continue reading</a> <p>It&#8217;s been my custom to read good Christian books to the members of our church as they trickle in for our mid-week Bible study. For about 5-10 minutes I read aloud as a way to focus us and another small way to introduce the church to good thinkers and writers whose works edify the Church. Currently, we&#8217;re reading Andy Crouch&#8217;s excellent book, <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Strong-Weak-Embracing-Life-Flourishing/dp/0830844430">Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing</a></em>. I highly commend the book and this <a href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/pass-mic-andy-crouch/">Pass the Mic interview with Crouch</a>.</p> <p>Recently we read a subsection of Strong and Weak chapter 6 entitled &#8220;The Calling to Dignity.&#8221; The subsection really struck the group in a positive and unique way. It prompted us to see and appreciate some things about traditional Black Church pastors we perhaps had not seen before or appreciated in quite the way Crouch put it. The chapter meditates on the ways leaders must bear hidden vulnerabilities&#8211;weaknesses and threats that they cannot share with those they lead without harming them. The bearing of that hidden vulnerability has an unusual relationship to dignity for marginalized communities according to Crouch.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s Crouch&#8217;s comment:</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">[There is] a paradox that is often hard for privileged people to understand. The more a community experiences shared vulnerability without authority&#8211;the more that poverty and oppression have shaped a community&#8217;s experience&#8211;the more likely that transformative leadership from within that community needs to bear hidden vulnerability.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">I have had the great gift, at several seasons of my life, of worshipping and working in African American churches. It took me many years, as a young white man, to understand why leaders in the black church so often carry themselves with what initially seemed to me like excessive amounts of visible authority. A pastor wearing an expensive suit, driving a late-model car, and protected by layers of administrative staff and formality, presents very little apparent vulnerability to the world. Such leaders appear, especially to outsiders, as residents of something perilously close to the Exploiting quadrant. In middle-class and professional-class white churches, we expect more casual attire and emotionally transparent demeanor from our leaders.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">But I gradually came to understand that black church leaders in fact bear a tremendous amount of vulnerability, even if it is not readily apparent. Their vulnerability can be personal: vanishingly few white Americans who drive late-model, high-end cars have ever been stopped by police simply on suspicion that the vehicle is not theirs&#8211;whereas many, many black pastors have experienced this insult to their dignity and accomplishments. But more importantly, as representatives of a historically subjugated community, black pastors live every day bearing the nearly unbearable burdens of a <em>community</em> that has been shaped by oppression and violence, prejudice and ignorance.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">And the appropriate response to this hidden vulnerability is in fact public dignity&#8211;representing the community not just in its vulnerability but in its God-given, image-bearing authority. It may be appropriate for a pastor in a privileged and powerful community to emphasize his vulnerability by saying, &#8220;Just call me Dan.&#8221; But it is entirely appropriate for a pastor in a community of vulnerability to model authority and expect to be addressed, especially in public, with his full title and family name.</p> <p style="padding-left: 40px;">To be sure, there can be exploitative leaders in the black church just as there are in every social system&#8211;very much including the white church, where leaders can use transparency and modesty as a cloak for manipulation. But healthy leadership in a context of oppression often requires levels of visible authority that might seem unhealthy elsewhere. What brings transforming hope in that context of suffering is the presence of leaders who balance the <em>community&#8217;s</em> vulnerability with their own <em>representative</em> authority. And when you truly get to know the most faithful and courageous leaders in the black church or any minority community, you come to understand that in contexts of oppression, authority is itself a great risk and a most vulnerable calling. (pp. 125-127)</p> <p>Have you ever thought about how pastors carry the vulnerability of the <em>community</em> and meet that vulnerability with <em>representative</em> displays of authority? As Crouch acknowledges, this can (and has been) exploited by the unfaithful and wolf-like. But it&#8217;s also important to understand how pastors should use their authority and displays of it to represent those they serve and lead in marginalized community. At the least, it ought to prompt us to take a closer look before we judge the church and its leaders purely on external shows of authority, strength and even affluence.</p> Where to get the cheapest .bible domain names https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-get-the-cheapest-bible-domain-names/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:1fc65ba6-8c99-7ae0-a17f-2f4ec1393e9f Tue, 29 Oct 2019 17:04:01 -0500 <p>Want to pay less for registering .BIBLE domain names? Whether you like saving money just because you can or you want to be a good steward with finances, finding the lowest prices is one factor in selecting a registrar for your domain&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-get-the-cheapest-bible-domain-names/">Where to get the cheapest .bible domain names</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=djD-44qqbtY:uDk5TojNjyE:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=djD-44qqbtY:uDk5TojNjyE: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/djD-44qqbtY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Sold for a Bag of Flour https://thefrontporch.org/2019/10/sold-for-a-bag-of-flour/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:b143bfa8-038b-88be-933e-d42735b5bf79 Mon, 28 Oct 2019 11:51:37 -0500 A desperate transaction led to a transformational relationship <p>In July 1991, an elderly white couple drove their pickup truck into my grandparent’s driveway. The old woman sat in the driver’s seat, trying to console her distraught husband. As my grandmother pushed her walker toward the vehicle, the old man, through uncontrollable tears, cried, “My brother’s dead! My brother’s dead.” Grandma, in need of comfort herself, rubbed Mr. Younce on the hand, consoling him in his grief.</p> <p>My grandmother’s name was Inez. The man who was dead was her husband, Charles “Bryant” Woodley. Mr. Younce had just heard that my grandpa was dead. When Mr. Younce said “brother,” it wasn’t church lingo or street talk. He really meant brother, someone who had grown up with him in his family.</p> <p>Their story began in 1916, when my great-grandfather, Job, made a decision for his family that would change my grandfather’s life forever. My grandfather, Charlie Bryant, was the middle child in a family of 8, and times were hard. Real hard. Job could no longer provide for his household. He knew of the Younce family who owned a sawmill in their area of Macon, GA. Job went there with two of his younger sons and offered to give the boys over to the Younces as workers in exchange for food. Mr. Younce agreed to take eight-year-old Charlie and gave Job a bag of flour to seal the exchange.</p> <p>Charlie was raised with the Younce children, but never had any formal education. He spent his life doing household chores and working in the Younce family lumber yard. The Younces traveled over a period of years from Georgia, to Florida, to Virginia, young Charlie in tow. Upon leaving Virginia, they decided to move to North Carolina, this time bringing with them a truckload of 12 African American men. These men worked for the Younce family for many years in the lumber yards of eastern North Carolina, many of them becoming lifelong friends. Charlie worked with the family for over 73 years.</p> <p>As a young child, I never knew the Younces very well. But I do remember visiting Granddaddy Charlie at the lumber yard on many occasions, stacking wood to earn money for candy and ice cream. Two of the Younce sons, James and Earl (and his wife Daisy), were like brothers to my grandfather. Earl was a mechanic who fixed Granddaddy’s cars. Granddaddy, a carpenter, returned the favor by building picnic tables and furniture for Earl.</p> <p>Over the years, as I’ve tried to process the relationship my grandfather had with the Younces, many conflicting thoughts and emotions came to mind. How difficult must it have been for Great-grandpa Job to let go of his young son? Was this some sort of post-reconstruction slave trade, Granddaddy being sold for a bag of flour? How many of the other children were “sold off” for a bag of flour or a side of beef or less? As his life unfolded in the midst of the Jim Crow South, how were the Younces publicly portraying their relationship to Granddaddy—as guardians or employers or property owners? I don’t have any of the answers. As I research and remember, I can’t seem to help or hold on very long to my conflicting feelings of confusion, gratitude, indifference, anger, intrigue. One moment, I’m vexed my grandfather worked for them so long with little connection to his biological family. The next moment, I’m grateful for the relationship between Granddaddy, Earl and Daisy. </p> <p>The tears that Earl Younce cried when Granddaddy died, the ways in which they cared for my grandmother afterwards, all attest to a love that can’t be fully explained or understood with mere family history. That bag of flour led to a bond truly built on blood, sweat and tears, and to a love that crossed boundaries despite the circumstances that led them to each other.</p> <p>The histories of black and white families, their distance and mingling, their love and hurts, isn’t always neat. Life is messy, but also surprising and awkward and beautiful. Like my grandfather’s relationship with the Younce family. Resistance and solidarity aren’t always outward acts of opposition and protest, tacit agreement and unanimity. Accommodation isn’t always cowardice or compliance. They can and should coexist where there is true neighbor love and empathy. The deepest solidarity often exists where there is an acknowledgement of injustice and a resolve to not give in to it, while also making room for one another in our hearts and lives. Perhaps, like Earl and Granddaddy, we too can find a way to be brothers and sisters. Perhaps what starts as transactional relationships borne of dire necessity can become transformational relationships borne of life lived together, wherever it takes us. Perhaps.</p> Where to go off-roading in Orange County? https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-go-off-roading-in-orange-county/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:84d7e86d-7a6c-6ac1-9f86-21004d756b17 Sat, 26 Oct 2019 17:07:55 -0500 <p>Let&#8217;s say you&#8217;ve got a 4-wheel drive vehicle and you&#8217;d like to go four-wheeling onto a dirt road or trail in Orange County, California. For example, a Jeep Wrangler. (Granted, there are other kinds of off-roading too, like ATV-ing and dirt-biking.) It&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/where-to-go-off-roading-in-orange-county/">Where to go off-roading in Orange County?</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=C7oFh848zcg:I9ZJKv6Nbwk:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=C7oFh848zcg:I9ZJKv6Nbwk: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/C7oFh848zcg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> A few quick thoughts on success https://danhyun.com/2019/10/14/a-few-quick-thoughts-on-success/ My Thoughts – Dan Hyun urn:uuid:e3245371-e424-e54e-7312-17d4c06a2374 Mon, 14 Oct 2019 17:55:53 -0500 Christians often think of “secular” in terms of art &#38; culture but one of the ways we are most secular is in our understanding of success. A&#8230; <span class="read-more"><a class="more-link" href="https://danhyun.com/2019/10/14/a-few-quick-thoughts-on-success/" rel="bookmark">Read more <span class="screen-reader-text">"A few quick thoughts on&#160;success"</span></a></span> <ul> <li>Christians often think of “secular” in terms of art &amp; culture but one of the ways we are most secular is in our understanding of success.</li> <li>A Kingdom-oriented life means that success can be measured by what and who comes behind us. Success is laying the foundation for those coming behind us to do even greater things that us.</li> <li>Success can be faithfully &amp; anonymously toiling for the harvest, even if you are not the one who ultimately gets the credit for bringing it in.</li> <li>Cultural factors have to be taken into consideration when gauging success. What may be overlooked or dismissed in some contexts should be rightly celebrated in others as highly successful.</li> <li>In a narcissistic society, sacrifice for the benefit of those coming behind you is a means of God’s sanctification. It’s a merciful reminder that it’s not all about us. The fruit of those coming behind us will require a sacrificial death to ourselves and point us to our Savior.</li> </ul> On Being a Late Bloomer https://danhyun.com/2019/10/10/on-being-a-late-bloomer/ My Thoughts – Dan Hyun urn:uuid:79864f4e-fd17-50c4-3007-82da21f06cbb Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:52:08 -0500 A few years back I was honored with an alumni pastor award from my seminary. I recall feeling really humbled. When you witness moments like that in&#8230; <span class="read-more"><a class="more-link" href="https://danhyun.com/2019/10/10/on-being-a-late-bloomer/" rel="bookmark">Read more <span class="screen-reader-text">"On Being a Late&#160;Bloomer"</span></a></span> <p><img data-attachment-id="621" data-permalink="https://danhyun.com/2019/10/10/on-being-a-late-bloomer/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o/" data-orig-file="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg" data-orig-size="1080,1080" 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="69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=775" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-621" src="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=775" alt="69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o" srcset="https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=775 775w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=150 150w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=300 300w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=768 768w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg?w=1024 1024w, https://danhyunblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/69519717_10157601635893829_1565824232921759744_o.jpg 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 775px) 100vw, 775px" /></p> <p>A few years back I was honored with an alumni pastor award from my seminary.</p> <p>I recall feeling really humbled. When you witness moments like that in someone else’s journey, you tend to see the “completed” picture in front of you. And for some who were in the audience that day, perhaps they saw someone who had accomplished something.<span class="text_exposed_show"></p> <p>Yet as the one experiencing it, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the twists and turns of the road that got me there.</span><span id="more-619"></span></p> <p><span class="text_exposed_show">I thought of the brokenness that marked so much of my journey. Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, I recognize a person lacking self-awareness. Dysfunction in my relational and family dynamics resulted. Ministry relationships driven by my insecurity were a thorny fruit to eat.</p> <p>Failure wasn’t just what I deserved but it became who I was. Some of my dysfunction manifested outwardly but much of it was internalized in entangled depression, self-loathing, &amp; lack of self-control.</p> <p>What I’m saying is that no one would have pointed at me in those years &amp; declared, “Yup, there’s a leader who’s going to make something of himself.”</p> <p>Yet, here I stand.</p> <p>With God’s grace &amp; mercy, I have taken steps in unearthing much of what sourced my wounds.</p> <p>I’ve also grown more accepting of the good parts of me. Part of that is embracing that I am a late bloomer.</p> <p>What used to be an unrelenting sense of regret at the years I’d wasted is now a growing acknowledgement of God’s sense of timing in letting things develop the way they have.</p> <p>I can be notorious in my high expectations for others but in the temptation of those ungracious moments, God reminds me to be patient as He has been for me throughout my winding path.</p> <p>When I want to write people off, God reminds me that I should have been written off countless times in the past. Yet what He and others have continually and kindly afforded me is the time to grow into me.</p> <p>Knowing myself with greater self-clarity, if things would have come easier to me than they have, I don’t believe I’d be the leader I am today.</p> <p>I am a late bloomer who believes the best is yet to come.</span></p> Get Internet Service for a New Home Address https://djchuang.com/2019/get-internet-service-for-a-new-home-address/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:72e87854-51ae-70fb-9c09-60a248c63e4b Thu, 10 Oct 2019 17:40:01 -0500 <p>Several websites work like a search engine for broadband internet service providers at your home address. One shouldn&#8217;t have to go to every single website provider to check for availability. Here are some free services that make it a little easier; if&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/get-internet-service-for-a-new-home-address/">Get Internet Service for a New Home Address</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=cFGyA79WAzk:hRs1LftFraI:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=cFGyA79WAzk:hRs1LftFraI: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/cFGyA79WAzk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Joy and Justice Recap: A Celebration of the Black Church and Black Christianity https://thewitnessbcc.com/joy-and-justice-recap-a-celebration-of-the-black-church-and-black-christianity/ The Witness urn:uuid:09e4cbff-8071-7c78-7bbb-7023a8e70b4e Thu, 10 Oct 2019 12:10:26 -0500 <p>Black Christians don’t have to leave part of ourselves at the door in an attempt to placate the least culturally-aware white person around us.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/joy-and-justice-recap-a-celebration-of-the-black-church-and-black-christianity/">Joy and Justice Recap: A Celebration of the Black Church and Black Christianity</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Reparations Are Biblical https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/reparations-are-biblical/ Thabiti Anyabwile Posts – The Gospel Coalition urn:uuid:f36422b3-a642-b1ca-688b-81299f7ae857 Thu, 10 Oct 2019 05:33:38 -0500 <div><img width="300" height="240" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_-300x240.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_-300x240.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_-768x615.jpg 768w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_.jpg 851w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div>A Brief Biblical Case for Reparations from the Book of Ezra <div><img width="300" height="240" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_-300x240.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_-300x240.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_-768x615.jpg 768w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/09185153/gordon_scourged_back_.jpg 851w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div><p><strong>INTRODUCTION</strong></p> <p>I first heard the word reparations in the late 1980s. Calling for reparations was the typical stock and trade of Afrocentric speakers visiting college campuses in those days. In the 1980s, no one actually thought reparations would ever be taken seriously. The word was hardly ever used beyond those heady revisionist and romantic lectures.</p> <p>Fast forward 30 years and things have changed dramatically. Democratic presidential hopefuls now speak largely as reparations is an obvious policy response to the country’s “original sin” of slavery and exploitation of African Americans. The subject has suddenly reached rushed into primetime national discourse from the “deep six” of unpopular House bills.</p> <p>Over the past couple of years, some Christian writers and speakers have cited reparations as one of the tell-tale signs of “cultural Marxism” and other “godless ideologies” wreaking havoc on the society and entering the church. These opponents declare in sweeping terms that reparations itself is an “injustice” and “unbliblical.”</p> <p>Today I want to continue my series on justice with a defense of reparations.</p> <p><strong>For Clarity’s Sake</strong></p> <p>Before laying out a case for reparations, let me try to state what I mean and what I do not mean.</p> <p>In this post, when I refer to “reparations” I am arguing for a principle rather than a specific policy or program. There are many ways reparations might be enacted, from baby bonds to cash transfers. I am not here addressing those policies or programs. Debating the pros and cons of any proposal is certainly necessary and I assume any policy or program will have both positives and negatives, some of which we would only discover later as the policy is implemented. Weighing all those issues is beyond my knowledge and ability. So I am limiting my concern to the principle.</p> <p>How might we define “reparations” in principle? I would define reparations as “material and social repayment made as acknowledgement and restitution by an offending party to an aggrieved party for wrong(s) done in order to repair the injuries, losses and/or disadvantages caused by the wrong.” Though these are my own words, I have in mind the work of Dr. William “Sandy” Darity at Duke University who argues that reparations should have three aims: (a) acknowledgement of the wrongs done, (b) payment for the wrongs done, and (c) closure for both parties.</p> <p>In any discussion of reparations, it’s necessary to identify the wrongs being addressed. In other words, one has to answer the question, “Reparations for what?” Usually people think immediately of slavery, but as Ta-Nehisi Coates has shown, we could update the case to focus on 20th century housing discrimination and predatory practices. Merely for the purpose of illustration, I will limit my concern here to slavery as practiced from 1619 to 1865. Were this an actual proposal for a program of reparations, I would add much more to the record and request. But my aim is simply to defend the principle and so a commonly accepted period should suffice.</p> <p>One last comment for clarity’s sake. In this post, I’m focusing on the <em>state</em> as the actor owing reparations to African Americans as a class of injured persons. I do that because the state enacted, expanded, and protected laws that empowered citizens to exploit African Americans. The state derived inestimable benefit from those laws both economically and socially.</p> <p><strong>Shared Agreements</strong></p> <p>It’s also important to state some basic areas of agreement among people on all sides of the issue. In general most people agree that:</p> <ol> <li><em><strong>Restitution is biblical</strong></em>. There’s disagreement about whether to emphasize the individual or groups, and whether repayment for the estimated cost in today’s dollars is feasible, but no one I know rejects restitution in principle (Exod. 21-22; Lev. 5; Luke 19:1-10.</li> <li><em><strong>A grievous wrong was done in the American practice of slavery</strong></em>. There are some fringe perspectives that deny slavery was “all that bad” or attempt to argue slavery was “for the African’s good.” But in general, most people think slavery was wrong and a grievous wrong.</li> <li><em><strong>Reparations was owed </strong></em><strong>at some point</strong>. Even many of the opponents of reparations in today’s context will allow that reparations should have been paid to that generation of freed persons following the Civil War. Some would even cite Special Field Order 15 and argue that had it been followed then we would not be in the predicament we are in today. Agreement that reparations was owed breaks down after that generation of African Americans freedmen.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Some Objections</strong></p> <p>As I’ve listened to the discussions and debates, it seems to me that a couple of objections recur. Opponents of reparations argue it is an injustice to:</p> <ol> <li>Make one person/group who committed no crime pay for the crimes of others. Let’s call this the “innocence objection.”</li> <li>Pay to one person/group who were not directly injured by the crime restitution owed to those who “actually suffered.” Let’s cause this the “unharmed objection.”</li> <li>Tax today’s citizens in order to pay for atrocities committed by earlier generations. Let’s call this the “generational tax objection.”</li> </ol> <p>So, as best I understand the objections raised by some Christians, a “biblical case” for reparations would not only have to make claim to restitution (an agreed upon principle) <em>but also demonstrate the fairness or justness of having later generations transfer payment from a group of people who did not commit the injustice to another group of people who did not suffer the injustice at the coercion of the state.</em></p> <p><strong>My Brief Case Drawn from an Historical Incident</strong></p> <p>I might put my brief case in one sentence: <em>If the Lord God himself caused a state head through taxation to require later generations of people who committed no crime to pay monies to their contemporaries who did not suffer the original crime then it cannot be unjust (quite the opposite!) for state actors to do the same today</em>.</p> <p>Where do we see the Lord do this in the scripture?</p> <p>Consider the book of Ezra. The action begins “in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia” (Ezra 1:1). That places us at 539BC when Cyrus the Great came to power. It is 70 years after Babylon captured Israel and took them into captivity. So, already we’re talking about two generations. Please note that everything that happens is so “that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled” (Ezra 1:1). What had God spoken through Jeremiah? Essentially that after 70 years the Lord would return Israel from captivity back to the land (Jer. 29:10-14). One hundred years prior, Isaiah also prophesied that the return would happen at the hand of a pagan ruler named Cyrus (Isa. 45:1). Ezra really records the fulfilling of God’s promise.</p> <p>So two generations after (70 years) the Babylonian defeat by Nebuchadnezzar, an entirely new empire has emerged and a pagan king uninvolved in the sacking of Israel initiates the repatriation and the reparation of Israel. That reparation began with returning the items taken from the house of the Lord when Nebuchadnezzar defeated them (Ezra 1:7-11). This was all by God’s hand.</p> <p>But the story does not end there, of course.</p> <p>Fast forward to Ezra 6. Another 20 years or so have passed since the opening of Ezra 1. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah speak God’s word to Israel. Some Israelites have returned to the land but other waves are yet to arrive. Now King Darius rules the empire. In one historical recounting, the temple is rebuilt in 515BC (an alternative dating would put it much later during the reign of Darius II between 423-404BC). So we’re now about 100 years after the first exiles went into Babylon, about three generations later.</p> <p>What do we see relevant to our discussion of reparations? We see exactly what we&#8217;re told would be injustices in any program of reparations. In Ezra 6:6-12, King Darius—a king who <em>wasn’t even born when Israel was conquered</em> ruling over an empire that <em>wasn’t even in existence when the exile began</em>—passed <em>a law decreeing that taxes be paid by people who did not conquer or abuse Israel to Israelites who themselves were not alive during the Babylonian conquest of Israel</em>.</p> <p>To the three objections cited earlier, God’s word has Darius decree that “The cost [of rebuilding the house of God] is to be paid to these men in full and without delay <em>from the royal revenue, the tribute</em> of the province from Beyond the River” (Ezra 6:8). In other words, Darius, as head of state, compels his citizens through taxes to pay a reparation to Israel even though those citizens did not commit the offense and those Israelites did not directly suffer the offense. What was stolen was returned and then some as the province was commanded to give “whatever is needed” to restore temple worship and offerings “day by day without fail” (v. 9).</p> <p>So it seems to me that the &#8220;innocence,&#8221; &#8220;unharmed&#8221; and &#8220;generational tax&#8221; objections all fail in this historical example. If God, who is just and only does justice, has acted in this way then it cannot be unjust for nation-states to <em>voluntarily</em> repay <em>its own citizens</em> for crimes suffered at its hands&#8211;no matter when the crimes occurred.</p> <p><strong>A Caveat</strong></p> <p>Now, I do not think this historical example requires reparations. I am not here drawing a dark line between the Book of Ezra and current US debates about reparations. I am simply contending for the principle of reparations as just.</p> <p>I simply think the historical case of Israel during the days of Ezra proves that reparations in the case of African American descendants of slaves in the United States is no injustice at all and therefore is quite biblical. If reparations of this sort is an injustice based on the objections above, then those who hold those objections have the unenviable responsibility of showing that God himself is unjust since all that happens in Ezra happens according to God’s premeditated plan.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>If you allow that reparations or restitution is biblical in principle, and if these objections are overcome in Ezra 1-6, then there should be no principled objection to reparations in current discussions. Certainly no principled biblical objections. Reparations is simply the biblical principle of restitution taught throughout scripture applied to the specific history of slavery and the descendants of slaves in America. The principle is solid. The programs and policies require debate.</p> Just Gospel 2020: Pilgrim Politics https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/just-gospel-2020-pilgrim-politics/ Thabiti Anyabwile Posts – The Gospel Coalition urn:uuid:b36f95e6-c8b3-305a-ea06-8fa401867740 Fri, 04 Oct 2019 08:32:28 -0500 <div><img width="300" height="150" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/04093054/PilgrimPolitics_eventbrite-banner-300x150.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/04093054/PilgrimPolitics_eventbrite-banner-300x150.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/04093054/PilgrimPolitics_eventbrite-banner-768x384.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div>We normally host the Just Gospel conference every two years, on the odd year. The Just Gospel conference feels like a family reunion where the family is healthy enough to talk joyfully and seriously about anything. You can find video from previous conferences at our website (2017 and 2019). It usually takes us two years to recover from the fellowship, teaching and work! But given the country is headed into another national election in 2020 and given the surprising extent of misunderstanding and division in the Church in 2016, it seems good and necessary to host a special 2020 conference... <div><img width="300" height="150" src="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/04093054/PilgrimPolitics_eventbrite-banner-300x150.jpg" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 15px;" srcset="https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/04093054/PilgrimPolitics_eventbrite-banner-300x150.jpg 300w, https://media.thegospelcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/04093054/PilgrimPolitics_eventbrite-banner-768x384.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></div><p>We normally host the Just Gospel conference every two years, on the odd year. The Just Gospel conference feels like a family reunion where the family is healthy enough to talk joyfully and seriously about anything. You can find video from previous conferences at our website (<a href="https://thefrontporch.org/just-gospel-2017/">2017</a> and <a href="https://thefrontporch.org/2019/07/videos-from-just-gospel-19-are-here/">2019</a>). </p> <p>It usually takes us two years to recover from the fellowship, teaching and work!</p> <p>But given the country is headed into another national election in 2020 and given the surprising extent of misunderstanding and division in the Church in 2016, it seems good and necessary to host <em>a special 2020 conference</em> whose theme is &#8220;<a href="http://justgospelconference.org/">Pilgrim Politics: Healing Conversations about Christians and Politics.</a>&#8221;</p> <p>Here&#8217;s the heart behind the conference:</p> <p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Dz279X7Jjw?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>A description from the <a href="http://justgospelconference.org/">conference website</a>):</p> <blockquote><p>No one saw the 2016 presidential election coming. No one envisioned the effect the election would have on the country—and the Church. To some extent, our tribalism has been exposed and perhaps deepened. Unity has become more fragile.</p> <p>In all likelihood, the Church will face the same stark choices and the same potential for misunderstanding, disunity and tribal politics. This time, however, we have an opportunity to approach politics and the election differently. Like Christians. Like the pilgrims and aliens we are in the world.</p> <p>The goal of Just Gospel 2020 is NOT to engage in partisan rancor or endorse any party’s platform. Or to bind the consciences of attendees to a particular policy prescription. Or to recommend or even comment on any candidate.</p> <p>The Just Gospel 2020 conference goal is to help Christians think biblically and deeply <em>about being Christians</em> and taking our Christian identity and perspective into our political lives. We hope to aid each other in our discipleship. We hope to model how Christians who differ in secondary or prudential points can nevertheless do so charitably and in a way that preserves both unity and freedom of conscience. We hope to make a difference.</p> <p>We need and want <em>healing</em> conversations that serve the Church in advance of the upcoming political season. Join us!</p></blockquote> <p>We invite you to join us as we prepare for the season that lies ahead by thinking together about what it means to be Christians whose hope lies in a world to come and how to reflect that hope in our political engagement.</p> <p>We&#8217;re excited about the assembly of speakers and thinkers who will help us grow in Christ and sharpen our witness, including: David Platt, Russell Moore, Jon Ward, Nicola Menzie, Jenny Yang, Garrett Kell, Darryl Williamson, Justin Giboney, Andy Naselli, Esau McCaulley, Gracy Olmstead, Mark Vroegop, Vincent Bacote, Kelly Kapic, and Roland Warren!</p> <p>Here&#8217;s a taste of what we hope to hear and think about together:</p> <p><iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cxViqc0wkLY?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Join us for Just Gospel 2020: Pilgrim Politics: <em>Healing</em> Conversations about Christians and Politics on March 5-7, 2020 in Alexandria, VA. We would love to grow in Christ with you and be sharpened together! <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/just-gospel-2020-pilgrim-politics-registration-68386581105">Register now</a> at the extra early rate of $119 until October 31st, when it increases to $159. Save $40!</p> <p>Join us for the conference, then spend the weekend touring and enjoying the sites and amenities of the nation’s Capitol! Worship with local churches and make a weekend of it! </p> How Saddleback Church is Becoming an All Nations Congregation https://djchuang.com/2019/how-saddleback-church-is-becoming-an-all-nations-congregation/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:abb884eb-0877-b666-becf-5fc330d3cb68 Tue, 01 Oct 2019 19:28:06 -0500 <p>Orange County, California, has over 3 million people and about a third of that population is foreign-born. The largest church in Orange County at this moment in history is Saddleback Church, originally based in Lake Forest. Now the church meets in 18&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/how-saddleback-church-is-becoming-an-all-nations-congregation/">How Saddleback Church is Becoming an All Nations Congregation</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=qkGAti_eCW8:BrMhNK5u3fo:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=qkGAti_eCW8:BrMhNK5u3fo: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/qkGAti_eCW8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> The Elaine Massacre Memorial https://jemartisby.com/2019/09/30/the-elaine-massacre-memorial/ Jemar Tisby urn:uuid:96619763-6a64-9e9e-ffba-4862ed620df1 Mon, 30 Sep 2019 07:28:44 -0500 A century ago this year, a wave of anti-black racial violence washed over the entire United States. The blood shed that summer earned it the moniker of &#8220;Red Summer.&#8221; One of the deadliest race riots that year, and in the nation&#8217;s history, happened near the small town of Elaine, Arkansas. On September 30, 1919, a &#8230; <a href="https://jemartisby.com/2019/09/30/the-elaine-massacre-memorial/" class="more-link">Continue reading <span class="screen-reader-text">The Elaine Massacre&#160;Memorial</span></a> “His Testimonies, My Heritage” with Kristie Anyabwile https://thefrontporch.org/interview/his-testimonies-my-heritage-with-kristie-anyabwile/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:323f110d-8484-d95a-62cd-72f51c99fde4 Mon, 30 Sep 2019 06:08:15 -0500 Thabiti talks with Kristie Anyabwile about her new book. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jqt_BqPJ07o" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Come up on the porch as Thabiti interviews Kristie Anyabwile on her new edited expositional devotion on <cite class="bibleref" title="Psalm 119" style="display: none;"></cite><a id="tippy_tip0_3928_anchor"></a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/His-Testimonies-My-Heritage-Women/dp/1784983756"><em>His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God</em></a>. It is perhaps the first work of its kind, pulling together 25 women from various ethnic backgrounds to expound the word of God and apply it to their varied experience.</p> <p>For more information on the book, also see the Good Book Company&#8217;s <a href="https://www.thegoodbook.com/his-testimonies-my-heritage">book page</a>.</p> <div class="tippy" data-showheader="1" data-title="Psalm 119" data-href="http://www.esvbible.org/search/Psalm%20119/" data-class="esv" data-headertitle="Psalm 119" data-anchor="#tippy_tip0_3928_anchor" ><div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119001.10-1"><span class="chapter-num" id="v19119001-1">119:1&nbsp;</span> Blessed are those whose way is blameless,<br /><span class="indent"></span>who walk in the law of the <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119002-1">2&nbsp;</span>Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,<br /><span class="indent"></span>who seek him with their whole heart,<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119003-1">3&nbsp;</span>who also do no wrong,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but walk in his ways!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119004-1">4&nbsp;</span>You have commanded your precepts<br /><span class="indent"></span>to be kept diligently.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119005-1">5&nbsp;</span>Oh that my ways may be steadfast<br /><span class="indent"></span>in keeping your statutes!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119006-1">6&nbsp;</span>Then I shall not be put to shame,<br /><span class="indent"></span>having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119007-1">7&nbsp;</span>I will praise you with an upright heart,<br /><span class="indent"></span>when I learn your righteous rules.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119008-1">8&nbsp;</span>I will keep your statutes;<br /><span class="indent"></span>do not utterly forsake me!</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119009.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119009-1">9&nbsp;</span>How can a young man keep his way pure?<br /><span class="indent"></span>By guarding it according to your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119010-1">10&nbsp;</span>With my whole heart I seek you;<br /><span class="indent"></span>let me not wander from your commandments!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119011-1">11&nbsp;</span>I have stored up your word in my heart,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that I might not sin against you.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119012-1">12&nbsp;</span>Blessed are you, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>;<br /><span class="indent"></span>teach me your statutes!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119013-1">13&nbsp;</span>With my lips I declare<br /><span class="indent"></span>all the rules of your mouth.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119014-1">14&nbsp;</span>In the way of your testimonies I delight<br /><span class="indent"></span>as much as in all riches.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119015-1">15&nbsp;</span>I will meditate on your precepts<br /><span class="indent"></span>and fix my eyes on your ways.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119016-1">16&nbsp;</span>I will delight in your statutes;<br /><span class="indent"></span>I will not forget your word.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119017.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119017-1">17&nbsp;</span>Deal bountifully with your servant,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that I may live and keep your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119018-1">18&nbsp;</span>Open my eyes, that I may behold<br /><span class="indent"></span>wondrous things out of your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119019-1">19&nbsp;</span>I am a sojourner on the earth;<br /><span class="indent"></span>hide not your commandments from me!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119020-1">20&nbsp;</span>My soul is consumed with longing<br /><span class="indent"></span>for your rules at all times.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119021-1">21&nbsp;</span>You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,<br /><span class="indent"></span>who wander from your commandments.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119022-1">22&nbsp;</span>Take away from me scorn and contempt,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for I have kept your testimonies.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119023-1">23&nbsp;</span>Even though princes sit plotting against me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>your servant will meditate on your statutes.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119024-1">24&nbsp;</span>Your testimonies are my delight;<br /><span class="indent"></span>they are my counselors.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119025.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119025-1">25&nbsp;</span>My soul clings to the dust;<br /><span class="indent"></span>give me life according to your word!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119026-1">26&nbsp;</span>When I told of my ways, you answered me;<br /><span class="indent"></span>teach me your statutes!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119027-1">27&nbsp;</span>Make me understand the way of your precepts,<br /><span class="indent"></span>and I will meditate on your wondrous works.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119028-1">28&nbsp;</span>My soul melts away for sorrow;<br /><span class="indent"></span>strengthen me according to your word!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119029-1">29&nbsp;</span>Put false ways far from me<br /><span class="indent"></span>and graciously teach me your law!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119030-1">30&nbsp;</span>I have chosen the way of faithfulness;<br /><span class="indent"></span>I set your rules before me.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119031-1">31&nbsp;</span>I cling to your testimonies, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>;<br /><span class="indent"></span>let me not be put to shame!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119032-1">32&nbsp;</span>I will run in the way of your commandments<br /><span class="indent"></span>when you enlarge my heart!</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119033.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119033-1">33&nbsp;</span>Teach me, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>, the way of your statutes;<br /><span class="indent"></span>and I will keep it to the end.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119034-1">34&nbsp;</span>Give me understanding, that I may keep your law<br /><span class="indent"></span>and observe it with my whole heart.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119035-1">35&nbsp;</span>Lead me in the path of your commandments,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for I delight in it.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119036-1">36&nbsp;</span>Incline my heart to your testimonies,<br /><span class="indent"></span>and not to selfish gain!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119037-1">37&nbsp;</span>Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;<br /><span class="indent"></span>and give me life in your ways.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119038-1">38&nbsp;</span>Confirm to your servant your promise,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that you may be feared.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119039-1">39&nbsp;</span>Turn away the reproach that I dread,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for your rules are good.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119040-1">40&nbsp;</span>Behold, I long for your precepts;<br /><span class="indent"></span>in your righteousness give me life!</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119041.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119041-1">41&nbsp;</span>Let your steadfast love come to me, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>,<br /><span class="indent"></span>your salvation according to your promise;<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119042-1">42&nbsp;</span>then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for I trust in your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119043-1">43&nbsp;</span>And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for my hope is in your rules.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119044-1">44&nbsp;</span>I will keep your law continually,<br /><span class="indent"></span>forever and ever,<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119045-1">45&nbsp;</span>and I shall walk in a wide place,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for I have sought your precepts.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119046-1">46&nbsp;</span>I will also speak of your testimonies before kings<br /><span class="indent"></span>and shall not be put to shame,<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119047-1">47&nbsp;</span>for I find my delight in your commandments,<br /><span class="indent"></span>which I love.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119048-1">48&nbsp;</span>I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,<br /><span class="indent"></span>and I will meditate on your statutes.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119049.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119049-1">49&nbsp;</span>Remember your word to your servant,<br /><span class="indent"></span>in which you have made me hope.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119050-1">50&nbsp;</span>This is my comfort in my affliction,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that your promise gives me life.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119051-1">51&nbsp;</span>The insolent utterly deride me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but I do not turn away from your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119052-1">52&nbsp;</span>When I think of your rules from of old,<br /><span class="indent"></span>I take comfort, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119053-1">53&nbsp;</span>Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,<br /><span class="indent"></span>who forsake your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119054-1">54&nbsp;</span>Your statutes have been my songs<br /><span class="indent"></span>in the house of my sojourning.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119055-1">55&nbsp;</span>I remember your name in the night, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>,<br /><span class="indent"></span>and keep your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119056-1">56&nbsp;</span>This blessing has fallen to me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that I have kept your precepts.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119057.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119057-1">57&nbsp;</span>The <span class="small-caps">Lord</span> is my portion;<br /><span class="indent"></span>I promise to keep your words.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119058-1">58&nbsp;</span>I entreat your favor with all my heart;<br /><span class="indent"></span>be gracious to me according to your promise.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119059-1">59&nbsp;</span>When I think on my ways,<br /><span class="indent"></span>I turn my feet to your testimonies;<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119060-1">60&nbsp;</span>I hasten and do not delay<br /><span class="indent"></span>to keep your commandments.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119061-1">61&nbsp;</span>Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>I do not forget your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119062-1">62&nbsp;</span>At midnight I rise to praise you,<br /><span class="indent"></span>because of your righteous rules.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119063-1">63&nbsp;</span>I am a companion of all who fear you,<br /><span class="indent"></span>of those who keep your precepts.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119064-1">64&nbsp;</span>The earth, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>, is full of your steadfast love;<br /><span class="indent"></span>teach me your statutes!</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119065.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119065-1">65&nbsp;</span>You have dealt well with your servant,<br /><span class="indent"></span>O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>, according to your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119066-1">66&nbsp;</span>Teach me good judgment and knowledge,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for I believe in your commandments.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119067-1">67&nbsp;</span>Before I was afflicted I went astray,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but now I keep your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119068-1">68&nbsp;</span>You are good and do good;<br /><span class="indent"></span>teach me your statutes.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119069-1">69&nbsp;</span>The insolent smear me with lies,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119070-1">70&nbsp;</span>their heart is unfeeling like fat,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but I delight in your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119071-1">71&nbsp;</span>It is good for me that I was afflicted,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that I might learn your statutes.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119072-1">72&nbsp;</span>The law of your mouth is better to me<br /><span class="indent"></span>than thousands of gold and silver pieces.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119073.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119073-1">73&nbsp;</span>Your hands have made and fashioned me;<br /><span class="indent"></span>give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119074-1">74&nbsp;</span>Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,<br /><span class="indent"></span>because I have hoped in your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119075-1">75&nbsp;</span>I know, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>, that your rules are righteous,<br /><span class="indent"></span>and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119076-1">76&nbsp;</span>Let your steadfast love comfort me<br /><span class="indent"></span>according to your promise to your servant.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119077-1">77&nbsp;</span>Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;<br /><span class="indent"></span>for your law is my delight.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119078-1">78&nbsp;</span>Let the insolent be put to shame,<br /><span class="indent"></span>because they have wronged me with falsehood;<br /><span class="indent"></span>as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119079-1">79&nbsp;</span>Let those who fear you turn to me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that they may know your testimonies.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119080-1">80&nbsp;</span>May my heart be blameless in your statutes,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that I may not be put to shame!</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119081.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119081-1">81&nbsp;</span>My soul longs for your salvation;<br /><span class="indent"></span>I hope in your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119082-1">82&nbsp;</span>My eyes long for your promise;<br /><span class="indent"></span>I ask, &#8220;When will you comfort me?&#8221;<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119083-1">83&nbsp;</span>For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,<br /><span class="indent"></span>yet I have not forgotten your statutes.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119084-1">84&nbsp;</span>How long must your servant endure?<br /><span class="indent"></span>When will you judge those who persecute me?<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119085-1">85&nbsp;</span>The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;<br /><span class="indent"></span>they do not live according to your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119086-1">86&nbsp;</span>All your commandments are sure;<br /><span class="indent"></span>they persecute me with falsehood; help me!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119087-1">87&nbsp;</span>They have almost made an end of me on earth,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but I have not forsaken your precepts.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119088-1">88&nbsp;</span>In your steadfast love give me life,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119089.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119089-1">89&nbsp;</span>Forever, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>, your word<br /><span class="indent"></span>is firmly fixed in the heavens.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119090-1">90&nbsp;</span>Your faithfulness endures to all generations;<br /><span class="indent"></span>you have established the earth, and it stands fast.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119091-1">91&nbsp;</span>By your appointment they stand this day,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for all things are your servants.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119092-1">92&nbsp;</span>If your law had not been my delight,<br /><span class="indent"></span>I would have perished in my affliction.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119093-1">93&nbsp;</span>I will never forget your precepts,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for by them you have given me life.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119094-1">94&nbsp;</span>I am yours; save me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for I have sought your precepts.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119095-1">95&nbsp;</span>The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but I consider your testimonies.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119096-1">96&nbsp;</span>I have seen a limit to all perfection,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but your commandment is exceedingly broad.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119097.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119097-1">97&nbsp;</span>Oh how I love your law!<br /><span class="indent"></span>It is my meditation all the day.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119098-1">98&nbsp;</span>Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for it is ever with me.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119099-1">99&nbsp;</span>I have more understanding than all my teachers,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for your testimonies are my meditation.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119100-1">100&nbsp;</span>I understand more than the aged,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for I keep your precepts.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119101-1">101&nbsp;</span>I hold back my feet from every evil way,<br /><span class="indent"></span>in order to keep your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119102-1">102&nbsp;</span>I do not turn aside from your rules,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for you have taught me.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119103-1">103&nbsp;</span>How sweet are your words to my taste,<br /><span class="indent"></span>sweeter than honey to my mouth!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119104-1">104&nbsp;</span>Through your precepts I get understanding;<br /><span class="indent"></span>therefore I hate every false way.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119105.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119105-1">105&nbsp;</span>Your word is a lamp to my feet<br /><span class="indent"></span>and a light to my path.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119106-1">106&nbsp;</span>I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,<br /><span class="indent"></span>to keep your righteous rules.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119107-1">107&nbsp;</span>I am severely afflicted;<br /><span class="indent"></span>give me life, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>, according to your word!<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119108-1">108&nbsp;</span>Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O <span class="small-caps">Lord</span>,<br /><span class="indent"></span>and teach me your rules.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119109-1">109&nbsp;</span>I hold my life in my hand continually,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but I do not forget your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119110-1">110&nbsp;</span>The wicked have laid a snare for me,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but I do not stray from your precepts.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119111-1">111&nbsp;</span>Your testimonies are my heritage forever,<br /><span class="indent"></span>for they are the joy of my heart.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119112-1">112&nbsp;</span>I incline my heart to perform your statutes<br /><span class="indent"></span>forever, to the end.</p></div> <div class="block-indent"><p class="line-group" id="p19119113.02-1"><span class="verse-num" id="v19119113-1">113&nbsp;</span>I hate the double-minded,<br /><span class="indent"></span>but I love your law.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119114-1">114&nbsp;</span>You are my hiding place and my shield;<br /><span class="indent"></span>I hope in your word.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119115-1">115&nbsp;</span>Depart from me, you evildoers,<br /><span class="indent"></span>that I may keep the commandments of my God.<br /> <span class="verse-num" id="v19119116-1">116&nbsp;</span>Uphold me according to your p Harriet: A Story of Freedom https://thewitnessbcc.com/harriet-a-story-of-freedom/ The Witness urn:uuid:0b18f94a-1c8a-733c-e5ab-a03f63eb3aea Fri, 27 Sep 2019 08:00:14 -0500 <p>On November 1, 2019, &#8220;Harriet,&#8221; the biopic about Harriet Tubman, will be released in theaters. Tubman is one of the [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/harriet-a-story-of-freedom/">Harriet: A Story of Freedom</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> Statistics on Asian Americans in Multiethnic or Monoethnic churches? https://djchuang.com/2019/statistics-on-asian-americans-in-multiethnic-or-monoethnic-churches/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:32be3826-2fe8-2bd3-7cf3-3b8081279a89 Thu, 26 Sep 2019 19:19:50 -0500 <p>Research on Asian American Christianity can be hard to find in the pubic, though I&#8217;ve heard that there&#8217;s a significant number of academic studies, as in dissertations and thesis, that have been done. But, those are not readily available for public usage.&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/statistics-on-asian-americans-in-multiethnic-or-monoethnic-churches/">Statistics on Asian Americans in Multiethnic or Monoethnic churches?</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=ED99vVDQqh8:cCvEbhnIBkQ:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=ED99vVDQqh8:cCvEbhnIBkQ: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/ED99vVDQqh8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Profiles of African-American Missionaries: Kayon Watson https://thefrontporch.org/interview/profiles-of-african-american-missionaries-kayon-watson/ The Front Porch urn:uuid:d691f488-64da-e985-f62c-9d096ab1fca7 Wed, 25 Sep 2019 14:25:25 -0500 We interview missionary, Kayon Watson, about the spread of the gospel in international missions. <p>We love missions. And we have a special heart for the encouragement, support and success of African American missionaries since there are so few who make it onto the mission field. That&#8217;s why we want to profile today&#8217;s African-American missionaries spreading the gospel around the world. </p> <p>Today, we want to introduce you to Kayon Watson. Hear her story and perspective and please pray for her labors!</p> <p><iframe title="Kayon Watson: Profiles of African Americans in Modern Missions" width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X_oER4dEyAM?wmode=transparent&amp;rel=0&amp;feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Raise Awareness for Mental Illness this Saturday https://djchuang.com/2019/raise-awareness-for-mental-illness-this-saturday/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:6b3d602c-c244-fb86-93f5-db9e7585f337 Tue, 24 Sep 2019 10:17:51 -0500 <p>Erasing Shame is raising funds for NAMIWalk OC on September 28, 2019 and livestreaming at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. Watch on our Facebook Page and donate to support. Come by and say hello or even join the walk! Parking is free!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/raise-awareness-for-mental-illness-this-saturday/">Raise Awareness for Mental Illness this Saturday</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=phOfKpJRTwk:8WPd8lrOy2w:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=phOfKpJRTwk:8WPd8lrOy2w: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/phOfKpJRTwk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Asian American Christians don’t talk about money? https://djchuang.com/2019/asian-american-christians-dont-talk-about-money/ djchuang.com urn:uuid:472a491e-e498-0136-2619-645fe734c649 Sat, 21 Sep 2019 16:31:50 -0500 <p>Money gets talked about a lot in mainstream American culture because pretty much everyone needs to earn money for a living. Some are able to accumulate wealth and doing that money making money thing. Then all this gets reinforced thru financial news&#46;&#46;&#46;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://djchuang.com/2019/asian-american-christians-dont-talk-about-money/">Asian American Christians don&#8217;t talk about money?</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=LSSZuoc0ybc:S0pIy-hn98Q:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0"></img></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/djchuang?a=LSSZuoc0ybc:S0pIy-hn98Q: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/LSSZuoc0ybc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/> Don’t like Crowds? Three Reasons You Should Still Go to the Poets in Autumn Tour https://thewitnessbcc.com/dont-like-crowds-three-reasons-you-should-still-go-to-the-poets-in-autumn-tour/ The Witness urn:uuid:744c1d2d-2c11-8dfb-b4b0-00942b610de8 Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:00:05 -0500 <p>We learn to think differently &#038; holistically about God and the world when we consider the experiences and opinions of others.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com/dont-like-crowds-three-reasons-you-should-still-go-to-the-poets-in-autumn-tour/">Don’t like Crowds? Three Reasons You Should Still Go to the Poets in Autumn Tour</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://thewitnessbcc.com">The Witness</a>.</p> In Memoriam… https://jemartisby.com/2019/09/15/in-memoriam/ Jemar Tisby urn:uuid:778904dc-ecb7-04e4-7d51-9cc9322822f0 Sun, 15 Sep 2019 12:35:42 -0500 In memory of the four young girls killed in a racist terrorist attack at the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL on September 15, 1963