Many elements of Lost Cause religion were rooted in distorted biblical hermeneutics, interpretative methods that gave proof texts for anti-Semitism, chattel slavery, Jim Crow separatism and white privilege.
Those who are spared must not simply rejoice in their seeming “chosenness,” but must use every resource to alleviate the suffering of others. Guilt may not be the best source of motivation, but if it spurs compassion, it is constructive.
What is appropriate in private prayer or in small-group prayer or family prayer or in devotional prayer may not be appropriate in Sunday morning corporate worship. There is a difference.
In nature, and from year to year, new seasons come and go. Sometimes we long for the season prior, but often we long most deeply for the season ahead. Church and ministry can also be that way.
Redemption, in the spiritual and political realm, is not an inevitable outcome, but a process. It is the result of an enduring and unwavering commitment to seek the truth and pursue justice.
The teachers never checked the area between the gym and the cafeteria — the perfect place for high stakes penny pitching. Fifth grade boys lined up during recess and threw pennies at a brick wall. Whoever’s penny stayed closest to…
Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, what if we focused on what we do have? Start with where you are, with what you have. What we need is often right under our noses. God is calling us to improvisation.
My challenge to all ministers reading this piece is this: Face your fears, put in the work, and teach your people how to read scripture critically. The spiritual health and transformation of the sheep in your flock depend on it.
“Doctrine” magically and mysteriously finds itself relegated to issues like the virgin birth, the atonement, and what kind of baptism ensures our salvation. All the while, topics like “sovereignty of a nation” get to stand on their own, free from the entanglements of theological exploration.
If grit is that important, why is it so elusive? Why do so many in our day lack the perseverance to tackle problems that exceed their current skill set? Is it a simple matter of impulse control? Distraction? Character flabbiness?
So you love the idea of Operation Christmas Child but you don’t want to support a ministry run by Franklin Graham because of his statements on immigration, religious liberty or America politics. What to do?
What would happen if megachurches mixed in some good news for the poor, a little “the least of these,” a little “blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God”?
Considering the power of these minutes when the Kingdom of God feels so near, how could this world be changed if we Christ followers embraced a greater percentage of what God has to offer?
Perhaps the signers are really mourning the loss of a post-Constantinian culture in a society where Protestant privilege wanes and churches must give witness to Christ’s gospel, not depending on principalities and powers to assist them.