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#RevThread #132
Stewards of the Mystery

1/ St.Paul says that as a preacher and leader of the Jesus movement, he - and by extension preachers like me - are “Stewards of the Mysteries of God.” (1Corinthians 4:1)
2/ I like that. The idea of the steward is that the steward is never the point; what he or she is taking care of belongs to Someone Else. God and God’s “mysteries” are the point. Hmmm.
3/ The main mystery of “Mysteries” is, of course, God. If someone claims to you that he or she has God all figured out, my advice is to put your hand over your wallet and back quietly out of the room.
Read 25 tweets
#RevThread #132

1/ It’s time. The threats to our democracy are now overwhelming and occurring in plain view.
2/ I feel something of the exasperation Jesus expressed about the blindness of the religious leaders of his day: “...You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matt. 16:3)
3/ Here are some of the main threats to our democracy: A President who is immoral, stubbornly ignorant, and cheerfully criminal;
Read 20 tweets
#RevThread # 131
Mueller Report

1/ My wife and I ordered a couple of copies of the Washington Post edition of Mr. Mueller’s report. It’s 750+ pages because there’s a 50 page introduction, a separate and wonderful article about the lives of Mueller and Trump,
2/ and -- after the two volume document -- the texts of all the indictments Mueller’s team produced. Took awhile to read.
3/ Here are my two main take-aways: we have sustained a major, debilitating, successful attack by a malevolent, mafia-led state which intends to attack us again; they have empowered us to install a criminal enterprise, beholden to them, in the White House.
Read 34 tweets
#RevThread #130
“ . . . Thy Liberty in Law”

1/ The second stanza of “America the Beautiful” ends with this complex exhortation: “Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!”
2/ When the professor and poet Kathleen Bates went to Colorado Springs and climbed Pikes Peak and saw the grandeur of it all, the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” came to her. Major inspiration.
3/ Let's meditate a bit on confirming liberty in law.
Read 26 tweets
#RevThread # 129
Enough already!

1/ I haven’t posted in a while, as I struggle through the Mueller report and sit slack-jawed before the great reveal of American depravity on TV.
2/ For the last 3 years, one of the most painful features of Trumplandia, for me, has been the craven support offered the lout by prominent Evangelical pastors. I am not prominent, but I am an evangelical believer, & I am so not buying the “sent from God” theology about the Don.
3/ It’s probably good advice not to confess the sins of others, or, as our brothers and sisters in 12- step work nicely put it, “don’t take other peoples’ inventory.”
Read 31 tweets
#RevThread # 126
Big Gift

1/ In Robert Burns’ “To a Louse”, the poet is in church when a grand lady sweeps into the pew in front. She’s wearing a very fine hat with various things piled on it. ...
2/...And as he looks at the back of her head, a small critter emerges from the stuff on her hat and looks at him.

“Ha! Whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?”
3/ I can imagine the folks getting those awful church giggles, where the harder you try not to laugh the funnier it all seems. Burns then writes his immortal line:

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!”
Read 23 tweets
#RevThread #125

1/ I write after the Mueller report has been submitted and given the Barr twist, amid considerable despondency both among the patriots and within my own heart. I’ve found that periods of desolation, at least for me, are always helped by clarity.
2/ So here is what is now clear to me: it’s up to us.
3/ Trump, the Kremlin, the corrupted GOP, Fox News, and corrupted parts of the White Evangelical church comprise a demonic force that our currently structured government is incapable of withstanding.
Read 35 tweets
#RevThread # 125
Neo Nihilism

1/ Before New Zealand, I had written a thread about nihilism which began like this:
“There are lots of toxic males out there, spraying away: Trump, Gaetz, Beck, the Duck guy, Rush, Jerry Falwell, Mike Huckabee, Hannity ...
2/ “..these guys rejoice in contempt, their edge is never tender, they know what’s wrong with everyone else, and nothing, of course, is wrong with them. When Dante first saw the population of hell, he lamented: “So many! I had not known death had undone so many.”...
3/ Then the weaponized super-white boy in New Zealand struck. Let’s take another look at nihilism, and try to understand how it has surfaced in our time.
Read 28 tweets
#RevThread # 124
Angels Dancing

1/ Here comes a full-on sermon-length thread.

Leave it to a guy named Elijah to help us see angels dancing in this moment of national shame. On the one-in-a-billion chance that he ever sees this thread -- thank you so much, Sir!
2/ We’re caught up in something so new most of us can’t begin to get it -- cyber warfare waged against us by a Mafiya State. And wow are we losing! Russia has installed a useful idiot in our White House.
3/ But we’re also caught up in something that is simultaneously very ancient -- spiritual warfare. That is ultimately what Mr. Cummings was alluding to.
Read 45 tweets
#RevThread # 123
“Quiet Heros”

1/ It’s good to take a regular Sabbath from contemplating Trumpism.
2/ He only upsets us so much because he threatens something so beautiful: life as a free people. It’s time to remind ourselves of how beautiful that can be. It’s why we resist.
3/ So here comes the first of some stories about folks or things too important to surrender to the nihilism of greed. A lifetime spent in pastoral ministry has given me a chance to meet many beautiful Americans.
Read 20 tweets
#RevThread #121
Off the Sidelines

1/ Yes, it’s scary to watch. That screaming, laughing, violent, all white crowd at Trump’s racist rally in El Paso -- adoring this lying gangster; enjoying his rants about non-white terrible criminal invaders; beating up journalists;...
2/..still chanting “Lock Her Up.” Their leader is a fascist, and they are doing fascism. Because they are racist.
3/ I realize again that the only thing exceptional about these Americans is the intensity of their delusion that they are the true American patriots. They are not...
Read 26 tweets
#RevThread # 120
What the Hell?
Part 5 of 5
Reformation Time

1/ We have millions and millions of adult Trumpsters among us. Trumpism is a sort of cult in which greed is celebrated, white males are to be lifted over all others, might makes right, debt is just fine,...
2/.. climate change is nothing, and minorities need to stop whining. The White Evangelical Church ran off with the GOP, and together they spawned Trumpism. I’m not a fan.
3/ Over the previous 3 threads, I’ve explored how recent dynamics within White Evangelical Churches-the Prosperity Gospel, the crusade against abortion, & the willful denial of much basic science-prepared millions to follow the greedy, misogynist & willfully ignorant Mr. Trump.
Read 30 tweets
#RevThread # 120 c
What the Hell? Part 3 of 5
Of God and Greed

1/ “Greedy. I was always greedy, greedy, greedy. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that. But now, I’m going to be greedy for America!” Thus, approximately, spake the Don, to throngs of adoring white evangelicals.
2/ The warnings by Jesus about greed are many and severe. He creates parables about money, he teaches straight out about its dangers. Successful churches sail on by, oblivious to His urgent warnings.
3/ Jesus focussed so much on money because it is an object of our heart’s desire, and therefore it’s really dangerous. We kill for it, divorce for it, lie for it, commit treason for it. Nobody thinks they're greedy, but greed lurks just behind everyone's door.
Read 39 tweets
#RevThread #120 b
“What the Hell?” part 2 of 5

1/ How did Evangelical teachings about sex help prepare their people to support Trump as God’s anointed choice to be President? (“President Trump,” observed Jerry Falwell the other day, “has saved America.”)
2/ When I ask my fellow Evangelicals why they are such enthusiastic Republicans, especially when Scripture is so clear about compassion for the poor and the sick, they usually tell me that for them, abortion is just murder, and they trust the Republican promise to end it,...
3/ change the Supreme Court and overturn Roe v Wade. (There’s still, in the more rigid Evangelical churches, a strong and regrettable dose of homophobia, but Trump hasn’t yet tried to exploit that, so I won’t deal with it here.)
Read 39 tweets
#RevThread # 120
What the Hell?
(part 1 of 5)

1/ Here comes a 5-part series, triggered by Brian K’s great question, “What the hell has happened to Christianity?”
2/ After today’s introduction will come one on sex, one on money and one on science. Each will argue that recently screwed-up Evangelical teaching prepared church members to fall for Trump’s con. Then I’ll do a concluding piece on hope.
3/ Brian shares that he is Jewish. Yet he knows the New Testament well enough to know that Jesus would never support Trump’s lies and crimes; Jesus would be ministering to the victims of this cruel administration.
Read 17 tweets
#RevThread # 119

1/ Today’s text is a pip:
“And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf of gold and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain...
2/...“He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to a powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.” Exodus 32: 19-20
3/ Good for Moses. Sometimes politics just makes us furious. Listening to our vile President makes me want to break the law too. Watching the confrontation between Pelosi & Schumer vs Trump, I screamed as Trump touted his stupid wall.
Read 25 tweets
#RevThread # 118

1/ I’ve just re-read Robert Mueller’s 2011 address: “The Evolving Organized Crime Threat”. Google it. I write this on the weekend of GHW Bush's death. Mueller, George Herbert Walker Bush -- how our nation needs honorable Republicans!
2/ The picture dominating yesterday’s media was the joyful high-five between two murderous thugs -- the leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia -- as their “made man,” our current Republican President, sulks in the background.
3/ St. Paul warns us in Ephesians 6:12: ” For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Read 20 tweets
#RevThread #117
Minor Sources

1/ The problem isn’t that we have by far the worst person in the White House ever. Well, OK, that is pretty serious...
2/..The real bummer is this: scores of millions of citizens are giddily delighted by Trump’s racism, hypocrisy and greed, as well as his treasonous imitation of Russian autocracy.
3/ How did the entire Republican Party get this depraved this quickly? Think of the Republican Party as a once great river. It used to be filled with the clear waters of conserving constitutional order, honoring faith and family, and promoting individual freedom.
Read 32 tweets
#RevThread #116
Anxiety in Trumplandia

1/ Let’s think about a family of words that either start or contain “ang” or “ank” or “anx” depending on how the Greek gets transliterated: anxiety, anguish, anger, angst, angina, crank, cantankerous, strangle, etc.
2/ In ancient Greek, “ang” is a root word meaning “constriction.” Angina is all about constriction. I remember the night, 19 years ago, of my heart attack. Lots of constriction, causing lots of angst.
3/ So what is anxiety? There are, roughly, two kinds. The first is a birth condition involving nerves that jangle constantly and over which the person’s will has little control. Some folks in my family have this condition. That’s not what this thread is about.
Read 29 tweets
#RevThread #115
A Yes

1/ Sometimes, you have to take yes for an answer.
2/ I got used to the following rhythm: Trump does something utterly egregious; I look for scripture that will help me process whatever egregiosity has just soiled our land; my wife helps me take the shrill out of the first 2 drafts. I send. You respond. We support one another.
3/ But always doing a critique gets boring. And then . . . the Mid-term results started to become clear.
Read 12 tweets
#RevThread # 114
Late Imperial Decadence

1/ The sequence went something like this: Caligula, whose real name was Gaius--Caligula was a nickname which meant “tiny boots”, who ruled for five years...
2/ ..followed by Tiberius who ruled for several decades, followed by Nero who ruled for 14 years. Tiberius was emperor when Jesus lived.
3/ Rome ruled the world--from Britain, across Europe, into the Middle East and into North Africa. So these three guys owned much of the Western world.
Read 26 tweets
#RevThread # 113

1/ I’ve been pondering the rally in Texas. I lived there for 13 years, loved lots of people and lots of stuff about Texas. This thread isn’t about what’s wrong with Texas. Here are a few salient observations unnoticed by the Morning Joe commentators.
2/ The crowd was 22,000. 22,000? In enormous Texas. The president promised to fill the largest stadium in Texas. On Friday nights in Texas, many high school football stadiums hold close to 20,000 fans. You sure that wasn’t a rally in Rhode Island? This show has lost its mo.
3/ From the shots I saw, the crowd was all white. And, I assume, lots of them are evangelicals -- In Texas.
Read 18 tweets
#RevThread #112
Songs of Brokenness

1/ Last night we saw “A Star is Born,” a story for our times -- a movie that starts out being about diversity and opportunity and the discovery of immense talent,..
2/.. and then becomes a meditation on addiction, the fame machine, and grief. The film is filled with compassion and truth, and is pretty tough to watch. In it, Lady Gaga is just brilliant.
3/ So this morning we sat down to re-watch Stephen Colbert’s interview with Lady Gaga. She’s a striver for honesty and for depth. She was most moving, to me, when answering Colbert's gently phrased request for a reflection on Dr. Ford’s testimony about Brett Kavanaugh’s assault.
Read 22 tweets
#RevThread #111b
Our Esther

1/ In such a time as this, I want to honor Dr. Ford. What has happened to her is simply not right. She came forward to protect our country and she was trashed by Republican bullies and dropped by the media and is now just kicked aside.
2/ Dr. Christine Blasey Ford became another of the Trumpsters’ scapegoats.
3/ To me, someone who comes forward with good motive to attest carefully and truthfully about a danger to the nation is a patriot.
Read 20 tweets

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