Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings – 06-17-2022
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider hearing. You may agree or disagree with what he says but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below
1. Rich Villodas of New Life Church in Queens, NY always reminds me of the basics of life and faith.
“The theologian, Kosuke Koyama imagined Jesus saying this to those who see him upon death:
“You’ve had a difficult journey. You must be tired, and dirty. Let me wash your feet. The banquet is ready.”
2. While reading Matthew 5 this week in the Message, two words “Grow Up” leapt off the page. Matthew 5 is a difficult passage. In it, Jesus asks us to love those we don’t consider to be very lovable. He asserts that “loving enemies” is the mark of a mature faith. It is both an invitation and a command. It’s not as much backing off as it is leaning in. It’s a willingness to see even the most despicable as having worth. After all, they too are made in the image and likeness of a good God. Grrrr. 😀
To love, while at the same time opposing someone’s tactics and message, is one of those “both/and” postures requiring us to indeed grow up. It requires deep faith and major resolve doesn’t it? It might even mean getting kicked out of your current tribe.
3. “President Trump,” Liz Cheney declared, “summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”
This is at the heart of the issue the January 6 House Committee is bringing to us. I thought the hearings this week were quite gripping and revealed much about the moral rot that defined Trump’s presidency. Will it change minds? Who knows. But there is something satisfying about having it as part of the public record.
Dana Milbank, writing in WAPO said: “President Donald Trump, his former aides testified, faced a fateful choice on election night 2020: Heed the best advice of his top political and legal advisers? Or go with the erratic drunk guy?
Trump chose Option No. 2.”
That says it all.
It should be noted that even though many in Trump’s inner circle turned on him, they waited until they faced legal jeopardy. Now they’re trying to ‘save their butts’. Their testimony rings more than a bit hollow, however. Once it became clear that Option No. 2 was the choice, they rallied behind Trump. They reinforced The Big Lie. They provided cover. With malice and forethought they damaged our nation, weakening our democratic foundations. ‘In the moment’ integrity might have saved us from a good portion of the stink we’re experiencing now. But they didn’t have that kind of integrity. That’s why they were hired in the first place. They are not heroes.
I’m wondering if FOX and other right wing media groups will cut their losses and distance itself from the stench they helped create and if they do that will their audience pivot with them?
I’m not holding my breath.
4. “We can recognize people who have had a second baptism in the Holy Spirit. They tend to be loving. They tend to be exciting. They want to serve others, and not just be served themselves. They forgive life itself for not being everything they once hoped for. They forgive their neighbors. They forgive themselves for not being as perfect as they would like to be.” ~ Richard Rohr
5. My elected representatives in Florida are fond of using ‘fire up the base’ words to describe people like me who have a fundamental moral argument with their political platforms. They can barely open their mouths without alluding to “the woke mob” who are, in their eyes, anti-patriots. They say that with generous amounts of disdain, venom, and scorn implying that because I am not like them, I am worthless in their eyes. To them, I am not a constituent but only a threat to their tomfoolery. I consider all this to be a badge of honor actually, and I gladly wear their disdain, venom and scorn. It reminds me that I haven’t sold my soul to the highest bidder.
6. “When I was a boy at my father’s knee, the pride and joy of my mother, He would sit me down and drill me: “Take this to heart. Do what I tell you – live! Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding! Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch! Never walk away from Wisdom – she guards your life; love her – she keeps her eye on you. Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her – believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go – she’ll make your life glorious. She’ll garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty.” ~ Proverbs 4: 1-9, MSG
7. There is an old Mt. Everest saying: “Reach the summit and you’ve only climbed half the mountain. Oftentimes, getting back down safely is the real hurdle.”
In the ongoing battle for our democracy, it’s wise to remember that this freedom journey we’re on requires a long climb up a winding, arduous, and dangerous road. Anyone looking for a lesser journey, on a lesser road will be sorely disappointed. They won’t get to where they need to go.
8. Someone once asked me if my God was too small. I think at the time that was true, my god was too small. My god was just like me, created in my image and likeness. I was worshipping myself.
It’s still a good question. How big is your God these days?
9. “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, humans will have discovered fire.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
10. In the ongoing battle within the Southern Baptist Convention, this voice pretty much states the ultra conservative tone and position. This quote is from an address at The Conservative Baptist Network, an upstart wing of the SBC.
“You don’t advance the kingdom of God by lining up with the kingdom of Satan,” John MacArthur, a dean of conservative evangelical preaching, told the audience, referring to issues including the role of women and addressing racism. “You will never advance the kingdom of God by being popular with the world. If you think you will, you’re doing the Devil’s work. How can you negotiate with people who hate Christ, hate God, hate the Bible and hate the Gospel? …“Pretty soon it will be women preachers, social justice, then racism, then [critical race theory], then victimization because the world is a ball and chain, and when you’re hooked, it will take you to the bottom.”~ Michelle Boorstein, WAPO
I once heard him speak publicly. I shook hands with him afterwards and kindly suggested that he had made the primary scripture he was using say what it wasn’t meant to say. The ‘how dare you look on his face’ pretty much said it all.