"There is an intellectual desire, an eros of the mind. Without it there would arise no questioning, no inquiry, no wonder." Bernard Lonergan

"It seems clear that humans cannot significantly reduce or mitigate the dangers inherent in their use of life by ccumulating more information or better theories or by achieving greater predictability or more caution in their scientific and industrial work. To treat life as less than a miracle is to give up on it." Wendell Berry

"Do not be afraid, my little flock, for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32

Monday, November 6, 2017

Enough

From tomorrow's church newsletter:
As I write, headlines have broken from yet another mass shooting in Texas. This time, like Charleston, at a church. All mass shootings break my (our) heart(s). But the shooting at a church hits particularly close to home. I think I am supposed to ask us to pray. I know I am. And we must pray: now. But sometimes in the life of the church prayer alone is not enough.
What would Jesus say, what we would he have us do in the face of such violence and horror? Would Jesus remain silent as bullets rained down upon people worshipping in his name, people attending a country music concert, folks at a Bible study, police on patrol, or children at school?
I do not have warrant to speak for Jesus. But as a pastor, I do have a responsibility to speak with him. I think Jesus would say, and I would join him in saying, “enough.” Historically America’s great moral sin is the sad legacy of slavery. Our current national sin is violence. In particular, our sin is an idolatry around powerful guns. Anyone with any authority must, especially if they are a follower of Jesus, do a deep dive into personal, moral conscience and communal moral responsibility and look at mental health policy, access to guns, and our country’s immoral obsession with murder and the myth of redemptive violence. Members of the media must resolve to refuse to print/broadcast the names of these perpetrators. They need to set their cameras up farther away and stop fueling celebrity fantasies of deranged killers. People like me, with a voice of some moral and theological impact must continue to remind people that what is happening with disgusting regularity is not normal, and until it stops, the kingdom of God (which is our beginning and our end) will continue to allude us.
Such changes and conversations have proven to be among the hardest in our society. History tells us that they will never be easy. But following Jesus requires some authentic testimony and some authentic risk. Following Jesus, living like he says, has never been easy. It’s not getting any easier. But it is who we are supposed to be and it is who we must become.

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