Mike’s Rumblings – 05-12-23
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. The biblical prophet, according to Richard Rohr, is always “on the edge of the inside.” That’s a great descriptor.
Look for the prophets. You know who they are. They’re the ones who tick you off but deep down you know that they’re speaking truth.
2. Ray Romano, of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame was last week’s guest on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” He shared a piece of advice he received from a therapist. “Ray, if you want your life to be better you need to start pretending you’re not a narcissist.”
3. “It is not “they” who are poor, sinful, and lost. It is ourselves. Unless we acknowledge that we are the sinners, the sick ones, and the lost sheep for whom Jesus came, we do not belong to the “blessed” who know that they are poor and inherit the Kingdom. Enough of our pseudo-messianic posturing! Let us be done with our futile attempts to appear righteous before God! …” ~ Brennan Manning
It’s about coming to grips with who we really are, not who we pretend to be. It’s tearing the mask off our lives.
We all suffer with some form of self deceit don’t we? And if you think you don’t, then you are truly deceiving yourself. You’re certainly not deceiving any of us. 😀Know yourself. Ask God for a healthy self-awareness that leads to transformation.
4. Last week, news broke of the firing of Professor Julie Moore of Taylor University (an evangelical college in Upland, Indiana). Her offense was teaching a course that included writing about themes of racial justice. A couple of months ago a teacher at Palm Beach Atlantic (another evangelical school) was fired for basically the same reason. There have been similar dust ups at other schools and seminaries that we’ve heard about.
In the Taylor University firing a quote by Jemar Tisby was a bridge too far for administrators. It reads:
“The refusal to act in the midst of injustice is itself an act of injustice. Indifference to oppression perpetuates oppression. History and Scripture teach us that there can be no reconciliation without repentance. There can be no repentance without confession. And there can be no confession without truth.”
Hmmm. Not so frightful is it?
Tisby, by the way, is a committed follower of Jesus, has earned an MDiv, and is a PhD historian. I’ve met and interacted with him. Anita has interviewed him two or three times. We’ve read and highly recommend his book “The Color of Compromise.” Our church, where he has spoken, has adopted many of his principles and ideas in our anti-Racism work. He’s the real deal.
It’s hard to imagine firing someone because he/she asks students to read and interact with material authored by such an accomplished man. Could it be that a Black man with an informed opinion that asks questions of the status quo is just ‘too much’? The short answer is ‘Yes.’
But who’s fanning that flame? My educated guess is that it’s being fanned by the MAGA/Christian Nationalism movement which just loves flexing its muscles and creating a crisis where there is none. That’s their tried and true game plan. That movement influences wide swaths of evangelicalism already so it comes as no surprise that evangelical colleges would be on their hit list. And it certainly doesn’t surprise me that issues of ‘race’ would be used as leverage.
5. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” ~ James Baldwin
Obviously, he’s not talking about “The Art of the Deal.” He’s talking about real books that somehow manage to get to the primary issues of life. It’s about reading books that challenge our thinking, stir our hearts, and gnaw at our soul. Baldwin’s books do just that. He’s always worth reading.
It shouldn’t shock any of us to learn that his work has been targeted by the ‘ban books’ movement. That should be incentive enough to read every word he wrote.
6. E.J. Carroll is a brave woman. It takes guts to look a powerful and vindictive man in the eyes and say “enough is enough.”
Heather Cox Richardson noted that “…at the end of the trial, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan advised the jurors not to identify themselves—“not now and not for a long time”—out of concerns for their safety…Legal analyst Joyce White Vance added, “It’s a remarkable thing when jurors have to be cautioned that revealing their identities could put them at risk…when the defendant was the former president of the United States.”
7. A few years ago, James Martin SJ was writing about this interchange in which Moses asks the Lord:
“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God replies, “I AM WHO I AM.”
Martin was wondering whether or not God was saying that “he was the source and ground of all things or was God making some sort of philosophical statement?”
He needed help sorting it out so he sought out a fellow Jesuit, Richard Clifford, who was a renowned OT scholar teaching at Boston College.
Fr. Clifford’s pithy response. “Maybe God is telling Moses that it’s none of your business.”
8. “I am beginning to see that much of praying is grieving. This grief is so deep not just because the human sin is so great, but also – and more so – because the divine love is so boundless. To become like the Father whose only authority is compassion, I have to shed countless tears and so prepare my heart to receive anyone, whatever their journey has been, and forgive them from that heart.” ~ Henri Nouwen
9. Learning to be appropriately cautious, without becoming paranoid, is a much needed life skill these days as we are forced into playing the game I call ‘Safe or Unsafe.”
We’ll continue to play this game until we come back to our senses and quit believing that gun rights are more important than people and then take action to make that a legislative reality. Until that happens, we will all feel unsafe.
In the meantime, the gun lobby and their minions want you to know that if you or a loved one wander into unsafe territory and are shot – well, they’ve got your back (or what’s left of it). And they will lavish you with thoughts and prayers, some of which are from politicians who actually know they could help stop the carnage but remain unwilling to do so.
My hunch is that Jesus is saying to the gun lobby and the lawmakers they’ve bought – “Enough with the thoughts and prayers. Do something.”
10. Last weekend, I watched not even one moment of Charles’s coronation and I completely ignored the eight hours of coverage of the two minute horse race in Kentucky.
Maybe I am getting healthier.