Archives For reconciliation

watching.

mjkimpan  —  September 17, 2016 — Leave a comment

watching

are you constantly watching and reading the news? i can’t stop.

i must admit i’ve always been a bit of a news junkie… just one of many vices i’ve learned to live with over the years.

i keep most of them in check, most of the time. really. you’d be surprised.

yet despite my most valiant efforts, i’ve not been able to ignore the recent saturation of political coverage following the GOP and DNC conventions, nor the steady decline in the emotional and intellectual integrity of much of our political discourse this election cycle.

what we’re witnessing has never before been seen in the history of american presidential politics.

this to be seems true not just on mainstream media, but in our online conversations as well. a markedly divided america is gearing up for the november election, and the contrast between the two candidates of the country’s major political parties and their vastly different visions for the future have created an environment of unprecedented agitation and aggression amongst their supporters.

there is an unusual frenzy around the upcoming presidential debates  – it’s expected they’ll bring the largest international television viewing audience in history.

i know i’ll be watching.

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under the radar.

mjkimpan  —  April 29, 2016 — Leave a comment

radar

for the past twelve months, i’ve purposefully flown ‘under the radar’ on social media and here on my personal blog (many of you have taken notice that the traditionally prolific nature of my public writing, speaking and tweeting has decreased over the past year – which has led a number of folks to wonder if i’m actually being productive anymore).

some folks have literally messaged me asking if i’m still alright, or if i’m working – and what in the world i’m working on.

and of course i am – i’ve just been flying under the radar.

but as i said to my friend only yesterday – just because you’re flying under the radar doesn’t mean that you’re not still moving.

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hijab

 

today, my friend david gushee wrote an interesting and insightful article on the drama happening at Wheaton College – the esteemed evangelical academic institution which is making headlines as they continue the process of firing their first-ever tenured black female professor.

the reason?

first, dr. larycia hawkins wore a hijab – the traditional head covering worn by many muslim women. then, she was accused of violating its doctrinal statement because she wrote a Facebook post quoting pope francis which said that christians and muslims ‘worship the same God.’ hawkins told CNN the school offered her a ‘best case scenario’ to return to the college which ‘included two years of multi-layered, ongoing conversation about the theological implications of [her] Facebook post and [her] actions in wearing the hijab. For those two years, tenure would be revoked and restoration of tenure an open question at the conclusion of that period.’

in my opinion, standing in solidarity with muslims by saying they worship the same God as christians do is more of a historical than a theological statement – and it’s factual. YHVH God is, historically, the God of abraham. different interpretations (or, one could more accurately state evolutions of understanding) of that God are expressed through each of the abrahamic faiths – judaism, christianity… and islam.

for an evangelical academic institution to deny this is to show themselves either intellectually dishonest or intentionally ignorant of the history of our faith.

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nationalinsecurity

if you follow my facebook feed, you’ll know that leading up to this holiday season i spent some time defending my counter-cultural suggestion that since the jesus of the gospel narratives is quite clearly against killing people, folks who claim to follow him ought to be as well.

some folks disagreed.

though it’s not the first time an impassioned disagreement has taken place in my world, i was surprised that the most vitriolic – sometimes even violent – responses came not due to my previous suggestions that the gospel is far better news than what we learned in church; or that the family of God expands beyond the walls of religion; or even that accepting syrian refugees and muslim immigrants is a christ-followers’ ethical and moral responsibility; but the assertion that christians shouldn’t kill people.

ever.

i don’t say so lightly. such an assertion flies in the face of the faith and family in which i  was raised – and not just because we used to sing, ‘onward christian soldier, marching off to war…’ during children’s church.

for me, it started on the day i was born.

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bastardizing jesus.

mjkimpan  —  December 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

jesuskiller recently, the president of the largest evangelical christian university in the nation called on his students to carry concealed weapons on campus – presumably, to protect themselves from a terrorist attack. like his late father before him, jerry falwell, jr. made national headlines by making comments in the name of christ that are absurd as they are contrary to the teachings of the very jesus he claims to represent.

in the midst of those headlines, a number of my friends and co-conspirators for goodness in our world added their own thoughts to the fray. brian mclaren penned an open letter to jerry falwell, jr., students and faculty of liberty university on huffington post, rightly declaring,

Your message faithfully represents a longstanding (and ugly) stream of American culture and politics. This tradition goes back to those who argued against the equal human rights and dignity of the Native Peoples and African-American slaves, often abusing the Bible to justify white supremacy under its various guises.

shane claiborne spoke up saying,

It’s hard to imagine Jesus enrolling for the concealed weapons class at Liberty University. And it is even harder imagining Jesus approving of the words of Mr. Falwell as he openly threatens Muslims.

but not all my friends agree with one another.

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toilettrump

i admittedly read articles and blogs shared by those that espouse a much more conservative viewpoint than my own. often times it’s due to my desire to understand those with different perspectives. other times, it’s admittedly closer to ‘enemy surveillance’.

this past week was a bit of a both/and.

i read an article shared by a staunchly conservative, republican-supporting friend of mine in which the author claimed the GOP race has come down to the ‘final four’ – but in its march toward madness it ignores the candidate whom has been the front runner in every republican poll thus far – donald trump – but not for the reasons you might think.

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yes, i’m an evangelical.

mjkimpan  —  November 9, 2015 — 3 Comments

 

evangelicalmeter

some who know me well may consider that claim inconceivable.

though i’ve previously outlined my rather vanilla set of ‘orthodox’ beliefs, the way i talk when i talk about God and the bible and jesus and the cosmos and just about everything else leads most folks to assume i’m not really an Evangelical Christian at all.
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confederateflag

i’ve recently received a number of emails and other correspondence requesting i comment on the ongoing debate concerning the placement of the rebel battle flag at the south carolina state capitol.

as i pen this post, CNN reports that 57% of americans believe the flag serves as a symbol of southern pride and not racism.

my first thought :: somehow, this is still a discussion? there’s an actual debate to be had?

here’s my two cents, as clearly as i can state it ::

the confederate flag is not a proud symbol of tradition or heritage; it’s a symbol of intimidation and oppression against the black community. and it always has been.

that’s not just my opinion – it’s a matter of objective historical fact.

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life after SCOTUS.

mjkimpan  —  June 28, 2015 — 6 Comments

#lovewins

leading up to – and in the immediate wake of – the SCOTUS decision in support of marriage equality in all 50 states, a number of religious and faith community leaders contacted me asking, ‘how should we respond?’ the majority of these requests came from pastors and churches who are currently unable to support same sex relationships, based on their conservative biblical interpretation and theological perspective – yet almost all recognize that their religious communities have historically not been very welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

they also realize, along with many others, that the journey of faith is a matter of being willing and open to having a relationship with God – and that each and every person is welcome under the banner of the unconditional love and radical hospitality of jesus christ.

this tension in which many religious folks live is a real one – and  has been heightened by the culture war rhetoric reaching an almost fever pitch in the anticipation and aftermath of this weekend’s ruling.
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do not miss this.

mjkimpan  —  June 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

if you didn’t catch this brilliant, unscripted social commentary from ‘comedian’ (read: cultural critic) jon stewart, here’s your chance. take 5 minutes.

 

what do you think?