Mike’s Rumblings – 09-29-23
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. “I am the daughter of a house painter & homemaker. I believe in America; in unions, in education that doesn’t put a kid in debt forever, in clean air and water, in a free press, in the right to go to the movies or school without being murdered …” ~ Bette Midler
2. “So a Democratic Senator is indicted on serious charges, and no Democrats attacking the Justice Department, no Democrats attacking the prosecutors, no Democrats calling for an investigation of the prosecution, and no Democrats calling to defund the Justice Department,” wrote former Republican representative from Illinois and now anti-Trump activist Joe Walsh.
Refreshing, isn’t it?
3. “But what if, when we unearth the gospel in the West, we abandon the illusion that we are meant to win? What if the church in post-Christendom eschews any inclination to dominate or control the culture in which it finds itself? What if faithfulness becomes our metric rather than triumph?” ~ Michael Frost – Mission in the Shape of Water
I’d add that the church also needs to fully embrace its prophetic role which is described by noted theologian Walter Bruggemann as “ telling the truth in a society that lives in an illusion, grieving in a society that practices denial, and expressing hope in a society that lives in despair.”
4. I want to recommend an interesting and well written book by Brian McLaren entitled “Do I Stay Christian? A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed,and the Disillusioned .”
It’s a valuable resource for anyone on the deconstruction /reconstruction continuum. It’s a thoughtful analysis of what’s right about Christianity and where it falls short. It’s provocative for sure and at times painful to read. But there’s wisdom throughout. I was once again forced to look critically at the faith I long ago said yes to and to acknowledge the harm done by people and structures (even now) who forgot and keep forgetting what the message and work of Jesus is all about.
P.S. After reading it you might need to talk it through with someone, perhaps a spiritual director, who understands that ‘conversion’ is an ongoing process.
5. Having just spent time Up North and with my young grandchildren, I am doubling down on my deeply held conviction that anything that smacks of authoritarianism is not only a threat to their hopes, dreams and aspirations, but is also a threat to children everywhere.
My grandchildren are loved by their parents and are involved in all kinds of wonderful things. For that, I’m grateful. But they are growing up in a scary and confusing world where far too many adults are acting in primitive and unhealthy ways.
I want to encourage all of us to ‘up our game’ a bit, standing against the nonsense being peddled by extremist factions here, there, and everywhere. At times, it feels as if wherever I look an extremist person or group is front and center. Their speech is strident, their methods are heavy handed and punitive, their moral compass is nowhere to be found and their motivation is suspect.
Your voice and mine needs to be heard lest people start to believe there is no other option. Whether it is online or on the frontline, with some measure of resolve, we need to push back when friends, neighbors, family, co-workers and church friends start spewing untruth and hate. We don’t need to get into an argument. We don’t need to be rude. But we do need to say that ‘we see things differently.’ In fact, in many cases, that’s all we need to say.
Take it a step further by writing letters to the editor, contacting elected officials, attending school board meetings and standing up for the disenfranchised. Look the fools in the eye and say ‘not on my watch’. Use your on-line presence to repost the thoughtful comments of others.
Will you lose friends? I certainly have and grieve those losses but in the process I’ve made more friends and sleep better at night.
Authoritarianism becomes deeply rooted when good people stay quiet and refuse to rock the boat that needs to be rocked.
At the same time, it’s still incumbent upon us to continue to look for pathways of healing and reconciliation. That’s what faith-filled people do. It’s a bit of a balancing act, well worth the effort.
6. There is a night prayer attributed to the New Zealand Prayer Book that holds meaning for me. “It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done, has not been done. Let it be.”
And from the Book of Common Prayer: “This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, help me to do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.”
7. “Poverty exists not because we can’t afford to feed the poor but because we can’t satisfy the rich.”
Not sure who said this but it certainly makes sense. It’s one of the reasons I find trickle down economics so troublesome. Record profits don’t translate to reduced prices do they?
Those at the top end of the wage scale always get their bump. Blue collar workers have to dig and scratch for any increase. It’s why they decide to go on strike
8. “… St. Francis offered this instruction to the first friars: “You only know as much as you do.” His emphasis on action, practice, and lifestyle was foundational and revolutionary for its time and remains at the heart of Franciscan alternative orthodoxy… Jesus became someone to actually follow and imitate. Up to this point, most of Christian spirituality was based in desert asceticism, monastic discipline, theories of prayer, or academic theology, which itself was often based in “correct belief” or liturgical texts, but not in a kind of practical Christianity that could be lived in the streets of the world. Francis emphasized an imitation and love of the humanity of Jesus, and not just the worshiping of his divinity.” ~ Center for Action and Contemplation
9. As heard on Mike Huckabee’s show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network: “ If former president Trump loses the 2024 election because of the many indictments grand juries have handed down concerning his behavior, it is going to be the last American election that will be decided by ballots rather than guns.”
In other words if the rule of law wins, the guns will come out. Ah, Christian nationalism at its finest.
10. Republicans in Congress, especially in the House, don’t like talking to Democrats.