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The Absence of Conflict is not Unity

Conflict is one of those things that can be both good and bad.  It can be productive or destructive.  However if there is one thing I know, it's that Unity is NOT possible without conflict.  
Christians & Conflict Now nobody likes conflict, and most of us will do most anything to avoid it. However I have realized over the years that people who *strongly identify as Christian tend to avoid conflict to the detriment of unity.  We will stuff our feelings and will not say things that probably should be said, often becoming passive-aggressive with people. We often don't ask clarifying questions when someone says something we don't agree with or understand, and form negative assumptions about the person.  We will avoid controversial topics or hard conversations about differences because we do not want to get into an argument and cause conflict. 
(*Note: These behaviors are not unique to Christians, but my experience has been that folks who do not identify strongly as Christia…

A lesson in Privilege on Old McDonald's Farm

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(Image by VectorStock)

Every year on Old McDonald's Farm the Cow goes to the Pigs and the Chickens with an idea to do something special for Old Farmer McDonald's Birthday.  And every year she comes to them with the same idea... "Let's make Farmer McDonald Breakfast for his Birthday!"

Every year the Pigs and Chickens reluctantly asked "what do you have in mind this year?"And every year the Cow says "Bacon & Eggs of course! It's his favorite meal!"

Well this year... the Pigs and Chickens say to the Cow"Let's do Dinner for him this year" Excitedly the Cow says Ok...what do you have in mind?

"A Steak Dinner!"says one of the Pigs.  "He can have a Rib Eye, Porter House, Filet Mignon or even Prime Rib!"  One of the Chickens says  "He likes Milkshakes too, so we can make him a chocolate Milkshake for dessert!" 

Hearing this the Cow's countenance changed. She lowered her head and slowly walked away…

Moving Beyond Racial Reconciliation...

In Matthew 25:31-46  Jesus unpacks a scene where folks are being divided into to (2) Groups...the Sheep and the Goats. The Sheep are the folks who took care of the thirsty, hungry, sick and imprisoned.  The Goats are the folks who did not.

A dear friend of mine asked me how to connect this passage of scripture to our current discussions around Racial Reconciliation in the church...  Below are my thoughts.
First, there is Homogeneity.  Homogeneity simply means we all prefer to be around people who are like us.  So we tend to make choices/decisions to assure that we are around people like us.  This is not bad in and of itself, but it has the unintended consequence of making it more difficult for us to develop real relationships with people who are not like us because we do not spend any meaningful time with people who are not like us...
Second, there is Rugged Individualism which is one of the core ideas that helped shape America. Rugged Individualism is the idea that everyone has the op…

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

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(Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com)  
After Tony (not his real name) was born, his mom left him at the hospital.  She was a crack addict and was obviously not in any condition to be a parent.  When the hospital discovered she had left, they called his maternal grandmother, who was listed as an emergency contact on the admissions form, and told her that she needed to come and pick up her daughter's child.  She did and for the next 10 years she did her best to raise him.  By the time he was nine years old he was too much for her to handle. He started running away and staying out in the streets all night.  Soon he began living in the streets, dealing drugs and sleeping wherever he could hustle a couch.  When I met Tony, he was 17 years old and his, life by all accounts, had been Hell.  He was well-built and handsome and used his charm to get women for sex, but he told me he did it mainly to make sure that he had a bed to sleep in most nights.  I don’t know if he had any children, but it …

The Christanity of this land and the Christanity of Christ

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The Christanity of this land and the Christanity of Christ To be a friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other.  I love the pure, preacable, and Impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave holding, woman-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.
Fredrick Douglass

Why you don't need to believe what I believe...

A Millennial Epistemology
At this point in my life my goal is never to convince others to believe what I believe about the variety of ideas and issues we all face in this life, particularly when/if they stand firmly against what I believe.  In fact, I welcome the opportunity to interact with the beliefs of others, particularly those that stand firmly against what I believe...Why? First, because I realize that a large part of what/why we believe is because of our respective worldviews, which are made up of biases & assumptions about life that are rooted in, and shaped bywhen, where and to whom we were born...(how could they not be?).I believe that God works with and through our respective worldviews to reveal himself to us and to show uswho, why and what we are to be in the world.    Our worldview functions like a filter through which we see and interpret our life experiences.  And not unlike the way various filters work on Hubble Telescope, each allowing us to see things in space oth…

Origins

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Prompted by challenging conversation with a dear friend, I launched this blog as a way to get stuff out of my head and into the zeitgeist... I hope it becomes a  forum for thought-FULL discussion and a repository for life enriching ideas.

My profile picture is an ART 4 GOD Print of the Good Samaritan painted by Stephen Sawye, born in Paris, Kentucky.  It is believed that he painted this to challenge the sensibilities of the Ruling Class in Apartheid South Africa...a harbinger of things to come? I sure hope so...