Mike Murphy’s Friday Rumblings – 07-22-22
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 audience. 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. “Christian nationalism is a religion that believes it needs a political party, president, supreme court and nation to ensure its own survival.
Christianity is a religion that believes it needs radical love for God and neighbor to ensure the survival of the most vulnerable among us. ~ Rev. Ben Cremer
Christian nationalism is fear based. Let’s take care of ‘them’ before ‘they’ come after ‘us’ is one of the battle cries.
Plain old Christianity is love based. Just as God has cared for us, so too, we will care for others.
Richard Rohr nails it. “People who know God well—mystics, hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator. God is never found as an abusive father or a tyrannical mother; God is always a lover greater than we dared hope for. How different from the “account manager” most people seem to worship. God is the lover who receives and forgives everything.”
2. “So what can help us cure our exhaustion? Where can we find the energy to stay engaged in our political system, despite its brokenness?
Personally, I turn to Paul’s pastoral letters to the church at Corinth, a community that was also grappling with bitter divisions. In his letters, Paul offers a pathway out of despair: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us,” he writes. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” Paul reminds the Corinthians that their struggles and divisions never have the last word; even in their exhausted state, they are never forsaken.
Bible scholar Wil Gafney writes that this is one of many passages in the Bible reminding us of God’s abiding presence, even when we’re feeling pressed and perplexed. Despite these things, “God chooses to dwell among the people, accompanying them through the perils of a very broken world. We are every bit as broken and God is every bit as present.” ~ Adam Russell Taylor, Sojourners
3. “You can get all A’s and still flunk life.” Walker Percy.
Oh yah. I have known people like that. I saw one in the mirror one day. That was a wake-up call.
4. A man came to me. He was quite bright,
very inquisitive and
He asked the question – “How then shall I live?”
I said, “Let me begin by showing you how not to live.”
And so I did that.
I showed him those in our midst
who were quite obviously stuck on themselves,
and yet managed to be hugely influential.
And after watching them for awhile
he started to weep.
As did I.
There were so many of them.
And they weren’t even pretending to be good.
5. Fr. Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries says that “If you’re a stranger to your own wound, then you’re going to be tempted to despise the wounded.”
That’s it. That’s the essence of so much that plagues us. Too many of us are strangers to our own wounding. As a result the wounded and vulnerable are at risk in our presence.
6. The writer Flannery O’Connor once said “I am not afraid that the book will be controversial, I’m afraid it will not be controversial.”
When you live life fully and with a deep sense of mission you will walk into and be the cause of things that are controversial. Controversy for controversy’s sake is quite often a hurtful game. Controversy for the sake of righteousness and justice is a mark of discipleship. And how we conduct ourselves in the midst of controversy is a delicate dance of discernment that is best guided by prayer.
7. Inspired by Robert Mulholland’s terrific book “Invitation to the Journey” I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a fundamental decision I need to make upon waking each day. Will I submit today to the process of “being conformed to the image of Christ” or will I allow myself to be seduced by an “increasingly dehumanized and destructive mode of being?”
It’s at the moment of choice where life gets interesting doesn’t it?
8. As I see it, the reasons for the dearth of intelligent, grounded, hopeful Christianity in America rests at least as much on the shoulders of fundamentalist distortions as any other factor. ~ Pete Enns
It’s not just evangelical fundamentalism and its distortions.
Progressive Christianity also has its own distortion issues and fundamentalistic bent. It’s identified,in part, by more than a smidgen of judgment, shrouded in smugness.
9. “Now more than ever, there’s room for leaders.” Seth Godin
I think he’s talking to us, don’t you?
10. Lots of clowns running for office these days. I am just appalled listening to and reading the nonsense politicians are spouting. Climate change? No clue. Educational equity? Nothing to offer. Inner city issues? Not even on their radar. Middle East issues? No understanding. Anti-abortion fallout? Doesn’t matter. Assault rifles? They’re all in.
According to a Turkish proverb, ‘‘When a clown moves into a palace it does not make him a king, it just makes the palace a circus.”
Vote wisely. We’ve already seen what a palace full of clowns can do. Never again.