One of the dangers of Christian theology is that our frameworks we inherit will make us see life as an academic endeavor, neighbors as enemies to be conquer, and the life of faith as a battle to be won. Sadly, our journey with Jesus will be less about love and more about fear.
Christianity’s theological history is full of communities who tried to imagine better ways of loving, being together, and being human. Yet also at work in our history are traditions of faith that made Jesus the warrior of our dreams and the community foot soldiers of control.
An ironic thing is that much of this has been centered around ideas of “purity” and nostalgia that rarely takes the world live in seriously, or history honestly, or image-bearers around us truthfully. “Purity” and “orthodoxy” were convenient ways to hide arrogance and insecurity.
So hopefully the more we learn and the more we lean into Jesus and one another, we try to imagine better for ourselves and we give up our idealism and dishonesty and embrace better ways of being Christian, human, and neighbors. Truthfully, God really wants so much better for us.

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More from @stewartdantec

15 Apr
If we don't see America as a white supremacist empire, the institutions interlocking in a logic of nationalist, racist, gendered, and puritanical violence, as well our Christian faith as giving all of it theological, political, and moral justification, none of us will be free.
To be Christian is to be committed to embodying God's good news for the creation and the creature. It is to know we too are caught up in the violence and we too must be committed to offering better ways of being human, Christians, neighbors, and citizens. Jesus means freedom.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is," Paul writes, "there is freedom." Christian faith must be honest about the reality that the world as it is, is not the world that God wants. Christina join Jesus in working for a world that is more loving and liberating—the kingdom of God.
Read 5 tweets
15 Apr
I’m reading in my devotion time this morning. “Here,” Baldwin says, “to be loved”. He doesn’t say “there”. Sometimes I wonder if people only know how to love us “there” when we’re gone but fail to love us “here” while we’re alive. We want our children here and loved and alive.
Though Baldwin gave up the pulpit, he never gave up the sermon. His voice still carried God’s word and his pen, God’s power. He says this love is to “strengthen you.” And don’t we know what it means to be weak? And to feel but don’t feel? And to cry but can’t cry?
It shouted me because Baldwin is in effect saying though our love can’t protect us, our love can strengthen us. I’m reminded of Nehemiah’s word in the Hebrew Bible. “Be strong,” he said. He, like Baldwin, understood the world often fails at love but we can succeed at strength.
Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
When we say Black Lives Matter or stop killing us, we are not simply calling out the ways the system is racist, exploitive, and violent. We are also saying that our Black lives are valuable, need to be seen, inspired, protected, loved, given what’s owed, and live in peace.
It is a call to change this white supremacist system that has an insatiable desire for our suffering. And it is a call to liberate our lives from the conditions that give justifications for our suffering. It is not simply to treat us as humans but also to embrace our humanity.
We can’t afford to have limited understandings of the interlocking and systematic ways this country has taken from us and harmed us and disregarded us. We want to stop white terror and evil. We also want to live, enjoy the best things of life, and be freed from our suffering.
Read 6 tweets
13 Apr
I am reading James Baldwin this morning. I am thinking about Daunte Wright and his family and his mother. “Here you were to be loved,” James writes. “To be loved, baby, hard at once and forever to strengthen you against the loveless world.” Sometimes our love can’t protect us.
But we must love ourselves and one another because, in this racist country, it neither knows Blackness, nor God, nor love, nor how to stop harming and killing and exploiting us and protecting whiteness. It knows not how to turn our dark days into mornings or give up its hatred.
“We have not stopped trembling yet,” he says. We have not. Why? Because another Black person is murdered, another’s name is tied to a trial, another’s suffering is on video, another and another. “I’m honestly afraid,” Lt. Nazario said. “Yeah, you should be,” the officer responds.
Read 6 tweets
9 Apr
I am thinking of all the wounded Black men. I am thinking of all the ways we've been harmed and harmed of others. I am thinking of all the ways others failed to love us and we failed at love. I want us to hold and be held. I believe with bell hooks: "wounded Black men can heal."
We have to find better ways of being human and finding joy and embracing love and fighting our way out of this deadly death-dealing system. I want us to cry. Weep, hold, heal together. I want us to find ways to love ourselves that don't depend on us hurting ourselves and others.
We are blamed and we are bruised and we are broken and we are bent and this country will continue to blame us and bruise us and break us and bend us in ways that are cruel, unyielding, and voyeuristic. Yet. We are beautiful and beauty and all things lovely, if we would see it.
Read 5 tweets
9 Apr
I am reading the Hebrew Bible this morning. I am in Ezekiel's story. "The LORD's power overcame me," he says, "he led me and set me down in the middle of a certain valley." This valley was full of bones, dry, deserted. It hit me: sometimes our way forward is through dead places.
Sometimes God does the work in us and around us by taking us, as God did earlier with the Children of Israel, around places of struggle. Sometimes God does the work in us and around us by taking us, as with Ezekiel, through the places of struggle. We just don't know.
Ezekiel is in this dead places. He didn't choose to be there. He didn't ask to be there. But God has him there. God asks, "Human one, can these bones live again?" Ezekiel responds, "LORD God, only you know." Haven't we felt like that? God asks things of us and we have no answers.
Read 9 tweets

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