Christianity, according to Rhee, is poised to play a pivotal role in the work of reconciliation in the Korean peninsula. It is difficult to know how this will actually play out, but we can be hopeful that the witness of the church can provide a framework for the difficult work of reconciliation.Continue Reading...
Archives For Justice
In the Presbyterian Church (USA), we share a common theological language. That language, however, is filled with varying and often competing interpretations. We all say “chips,” but some of us are thinking french fries and others Baked Lays. Same words. Different meanings.Continue Reading...
My Facebook feed has recently started to light up with editorial responses to the young man in South Carolina who, as valedictorian of his graduating class, set his prepared remarks aside and elected to recite the Lord’s Prayer in violation of the school district’s prohibition of religious observance.
Here’s the video.
Your response to this act of defiance will likely differ based on your religious convictions, your political persuasion, and where you live in the country. Clearly those in the audience at the commencement exercise appreciated the gesture. From the video, it’s hard to tell what the faculty are thinking. Plausibly, “oh crap” is one possibility.
The decision to do this raises many questions…
- About the student: is he brave or stupid? Heroic or reckless?
- About the audience: how would they have responded to a muslim student doing something similar? Is applause a sign of belligerence rather than the appropriate reaction to the worship of God?
- About us: how is our response conditioned by our prejudice? Against Southerners? Against Christians? Against fundamentalists?
- About the act itself: is it really an exercise more of devotion to our Constitution and our conception of freedom in a liberal democracy than it is one of devotion to God? How does this relate to the biblical admonition to honor the civil magistrate?
This young man, I’m sure, intended that his act be one of positive witness to our Lord. I hope that in the lives of many it will be received as just that and that perhaps some will incline themselves to God in a new way. However, many will see this as something akin to an act of defiance by a dwindling majority.
It may be both.
What do you think?
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is reporting that the mother of the child was the woman who alerted authorities to the situation. She was present during the entire period of the rescue, but did not admit to being the mother until police confronted her, threatening her with a medical examination.Continue Reading...
A remarkable story from China is making its way around the internet. A newborn baby boy was rescued from a sewer pipe after his parents flushed him down the toilet in an act of apparent infanticide. You can read the whole story here.
In an instant the brokenness of the world came into focus in a new way. It brought to mind, for a brief moment, the sentiment a pre-conversion C. S. Lewis captures in a line of his poem “In Prison” published as part of Spirits in Bondage (1915).
He wrote, ”I cried out for the pain of man, / I cried out for bitter wrath / Against the hopeless life that ran / Forever in a circling path / From death to death since all began;…”
Lord, have mercy.