Ferguson Links

Lighter stuff for those who get emotional/agitated reading on race and violence (whichever side you are on)

How Twitter and Facebook are different for sharing/following the Ferguson situation

How younger and older blacks feel differently about Civil Rights and Civil Disobedience

Coverage of the Coverage from a faith perspective

The following articles are by Christians talking about race, poverty, violence etc. in America (proceed at your own risk, send all complaints to original authors)

Silence by white Christian America

WARNING! Black American Christians may have a different POV than you are used to. Kristena Cleveland: “The Cross and the Molotav Cocktail” (ALSO: graphic images of lynching/hanging)

Don’t Ignore It by Eugene Cho

and lastly, if you only read one argument that may make you angry, this one is calm and rational and provides good suggestions for action: “Speaking of Michael Brown

 

 

Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality (Scazzero)

Continuing the list of Emotionally Unhealthy practices among Christians…..

4. Denying the Past’s Impact on the Present

Obviously this is of great interest to me as a counseling student, but Scazzero’s personal story is practical and telling.  After 9 years of marriage, he and his wife went to counseling.  Only then did they recognize how much of their patterns in life were similar to their parents.

“We were evangelical Christians. We were committed and stable. Our priorities and life choices were very different from that of our parents. Yet, underneath the surface, our marriage bore a striking resemblance to that of our parents’. Gender roles, the handling of anger and conflict and shame, how we defined success; our view of family, children, recreation, pleasure, sexuality, grieving; and our relationships with friends had all been shaped by our families of origin and our cultures.”

There is the spiritual Truth of becoming a “new creation” in Christ. But we assume too much about that.  We often assume our past is irrelevant to our present. We talk about our life “before the Cross” and want to move forward. But how can we truly move forward and be transformed by the Spirit when the past has its tentacles deep in our hearts. And how can we change things we don’t even recognize are unhealthy.  They can be so ingrained and natural that we have justified them for decades.

Maybe you don’t need a therapist. The Holy Spirit is trying to help you realize things that need to be changed.  God is in your life to use whatever He can to teach you and change you.

But we can’t simply stick our heads in the ground and pretend everything is okay.

5. Dividing our Lives into “Sacred” and “Secular” Compartments.

This is a problem that we have all heard sermons about. We are sometimes good Christians on Sunday and then jerks at work and school.

The author shares the stats on divorce, abuse, racism and how many evangelicals live lives that are comparable to the average non-believer.

It’s easy to “do well” at church activities, even sincerely, but God wants more.  He wants every day.  He wants hearts to be changed.  He wants us to love our enemies and the like.

Being actively involved in a church is a step above being a pew sitter. But it is not the same as being a disciple of Jesus who is constantly being transformed into His Image.

Breathing Under Water, Chapter 10 , (Rohr)

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”  AA Step 10

I do believe our religious history has been too guilt-based and shame-based, and not enough of what some would call “vision logic,” which is broader, positive, and out-in-front kind of motivation. Jesus’ metaphor and draw was a positive vision he called “the Kingdom of God,” which he seemed to be constantly talking about.  For Bill W it was a “vital spiritual experience.” Neither of these were a negative threat, but a positive allure, promise, and invitation. For me, this is crucial and necessary or the spiritual journey largely becomes fear-based problem-solving.

You must step back from your compulsiveness, and your attachment to yourself, to be truly conscious.

Consciousness is aware of my feelings so it cannot be purely and simply my feelings themselves.

We do not live in a culture that much appreciates detachment or such poverty. We are consumers by training and habit, which is exactly why we have such problems with addiction to begin with!

Consciousness, our soul, the Holy Spirit, on both the individual and the shared levels, has sadly become unconscious! No wonder we call the Holy Spirit the “missing person of the Blessed Trinity.” No wonder we try to fill this radical disconnectedness by various addictions.

Religion’s main job is to reconnect us (re-ligio) to the Whole, to ourselves, and to one another–and thus heal us. We have not been doing our job very well.

Once we see our inherent dignity clearly, the game of evil and addiction begins to collapse. Evil always relies upon camouflage to have its way.

Whenever we do anything stupid, cruel, evil, or destructive to ourselves and others, we are at that moment unconscious, and unconscious of our identity. If we were fully conscious, we would never do it. Loving people are always highly conscious people. To rely on any drug or substance is to become unconscious.

Breathing Under Water, Ch. 7 (Rohr)

“Humbly asked (God) to remove our shortcomings.” Step 7 of AA

We pray to form a living relationship, not to get things done.

Prayer is a symbiotic relationship with life and wife God, a synergy which creates a result larger than the exchange itself.

God gives us power more than answers.

Jesus told us all to stay in the position of a beggar, a petitioner, a radical dependent, which is always spiritually true, if we are honest.

How you do life is your real and final truth, not what ideas you believe.

Any attempts at self-conversion would be like an active alcoholic trying to determine his own rules for sobriety. God has to radically change the central reference point of our lives.

God’s totally positive and lasting way of removing our shortcomings is to fill up the hole with something much better, more luminous, and more satisfying. Then your old shortcomings are not driven away, or pushed underground, as much as they are exposed and starved for the false program for happiness that they are.

All spiritual rewards are inherent and not rewards that are given later.