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patrick jane

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Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« on: August 01, 2020, 05:52:40 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/july/promise-keepers-virtual-event-global-tony-evans-michael-w-s.html








Promise Keepers’ Comeback Event Goes Virtual


















Tony Evans and Michael W. Smith on the lineup for the first major program of the men’s movement in nearly a decade.


Thirty years ago, a Christian men’s movement began as a meeting of dozens of men with a prominent former football coach. Its biggest moment was a gathering of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall in 1997.

Now, Promise Keepers is attempting to make a comeback, but not in the way it had planned.

Starting Friday, the organization will hold a free two-day virtual event, bringing together men from more than 65 countries to hear from former sports figures, Christian musicians, and famous pastors and authors. Organizers originally hoped to draw 80,000 men to a stadium outside Dallas for their first major arena-based event in close to a decade.

“We’re showing this to a huge conglomeration of churches in India—it’s going to be translated into Hindi—and all over South America, translated into Spanish, and it’s also being translated into Polish,” said Ken Harrison, the organization’s unpaid CEO for the last two and a half years. “What seemed like a huge disappointment ended up being a huge blessing.”

He said about 500 churches in the US are planning to host public simulcasts of the virtual event, with others choosing to keep their plans private in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual event—prerecorded mostly in Nashville, Tennessee—will feature messages from Dallas megachurch pastor Tony Evans and Indiana-based Christian counselor Steve Arterburn and the music of contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith and American Idol finalist Danny Gokey.

Harrison said he expects some women who are “curious” will watch and be able to see for themselves what Promise Keepers is about. But the official response to registrants—estimated at more than 1 million—discourages men from initially watching with the women in their lives.

“We encourage men to participate in the event in a mens-only setting initially,” it said, citing the merits of women-centered events. “There is a different dynamic when men hear these messages together versus in a setting with women/wives/daughters/friends. We encourage men to invite their wives and other ladies to watch in a second session after the men have been able to watch together.”

Asked if the Promise Keepers’ longtime emphasis on men’s leadership might be seen by some as a threat to women’s rights, Harrison said his organization is telling men, not women, how to behave.

“We’re really calling men to be humble, proactive leaders in their homes,” he said. “I don’t feel like it’s my role to tell women how they should be. That is for their pastor and other people.”

Harrison said Promise Keepers continues to focus on reconciliation across races and denominations as one of its “seven promises,” though he said he prefers to use the term “racial unity.”

Brenda Salter McNeil, associate professor of reconciliation studies at Seattle Pacific University, said the focus on racial diversity could have harmed the men’s organization in the past because some were not attracted to that cause.

“In the evangelical world there seems to be a big dichotomy between what people think is spiritual and what people perceive as being social or political and when people cross that line,” she said. “Eventually I thought Promise Keepers died because they tried to push that issue.”

The organization, founded by former University of Colorado coach Bill McCartney—now diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and unable to participate in the virtual event—once had a national staff of 345 and now has 28. Its budget, not including events, is $2 million, compared to about $30 million 20 years ago. Its postponed in-person ticketed event in Texas, now planned for next year, will cost $6 million, but Harrison said they still need to raise $500,000 to pay for it.

Harrison said there are many reasons for his organization’s disappearance from the public eye.

“I’ve gotten some complaints from some people that they felt like we got too distracted,” he said, “down too many roads, and one of those roads was that we were too much about racial reconciliation. I don’t agree with that.”

The schedule for the event includes a moment from My Faith Votes, a group whose honorary co-chairmen include US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and former Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Asked if Promise Keepers’ leaders will be encouraging supporters to vote Republican at the virtual event or beyond it, Harrison said they will not.

“We are not going to take on politics in any way, shape or form,” he insisted. “But some of the things we do, talking about justice, standing up for justice, people will come to their own political conclusion."

Harrison cited abortion as an example, saying his organization will encourage a man who “sins” by fathering a child while having sex outside of a heterosexual marriage to support the mother and not abandon their child.

Promise Keepers also plans to turn its attention to global issues of poverty and sex trafficking by featuring speakers from World Vision and International Justice Mission.

“You cannot be a man of God and not stand up for justice—they just go together—and so we really want to call men out to be active, standing up for what’s right,” he said. “I don’t think most men, American evangelical men, have any idea of the wickedness going on across the world in sex trafficking, the absolute horrors that are going on to women and children across the globe.”
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 09:51:00 am »


https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/july/obeying-god-rather-than-men.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+christianitytoday%2Fctmag+%28CT+Magazine%29







Obeying God Rather than Men? What’s Really a Religious Liberty Issue?








John Inazu on religious liberty and loving one other during the pandemic.


Ed: How should we be thinking about restrictions on worship during the pandemic?

John: The details of restrictions will vary by locality and by our understanding of the virus and how it spreads. But as Christians, we should frame our assessments of restrictions within a broader ethic of love of God and love of neighbor.

To be sure, gathering for worship is a core Christian practice: the early church was known as the ecclesia (assembly), many Christian practices depend upon community, and the writer of Hebrews admonishes us not to give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). Limits on religious worship are serious matters for Christians.

At the same time, Christians through the ages have adjusted corporate gatherings in challenging circumstances. For centuries, missionaries, soldiers, and relief workers have improvised worship practices and forgone physical gatherings in extraordinary times. Today, churches in China and Iran do not often gather openly, but they are no less faithful to the Gospel because of their inability to do so.

Christians are also called to love our neighbors and care for the most vulnerable among us. We can live out these commitments even in uncertain times and even with imperfect knowledge. The nature of this virus means that health experts and government officials are constantly making judgments based on limited data, and necessarily speaking about risks rather than certainties. So we won’t always know with complete confidence what the right decision should be. But if there is a reasonable risk that in-person gatherings or other activities will harm our neighbors, then that risk should weigh heavily in the decisions we make.

Ed: How do I know if a risk is reasonable?

John: For starters, if you have limited your news sources to a particular partisan variety—if you are either a “Fox person” or an “MSNBC person”—then my hunch is you won’t know what is reasonable in this public health crisis. Your first step is to break out of your news bubble and realize that what is reasonable may not be what your favorite television or social media personality happens to be championing.

Step two is to pay attention to experts. We are in a cultural moment when experts and the institutions that credential them are viewed skeptically. Some of this is deserved. For example, I felt a bit of whiplash when some public health experts who had vehemently opposed protests by conservatives skeptical of shutdown orders quickly endorsed protests for racial justice. The virus doesn’t make political distinctions. Participating in a socially distanced protest is either safe or it’s not, and experts who changed their public health guidance based on the politics of the protest at issue deeply undermined their credibility. But we can’t afford to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Push back on inconsistencies, keep experts in their lanes, and recognize what Jennifer Frey has called “the limits of expertise.” But don’t give up on expertise altogether.

Ed: What about the inalienable right to religious liberty?

John: Regardless of one’s views about the nature of rights (or what we might call their ontological status), it is a fact of the world that no right is absolute. There is no absolute right to free speech: if you shout fire in a crowded theatre (assuming the theatre is not on fire), or say words that perjure yourself in court, or form a criminal conspiracy, you go to jail. There is no absolute right to the free exercise of religion: if you engage in human sacrifice in the name of religion, you go to jail.

Ed: If no right is absolute, then how do we protect religious freedom during the pandemic?

John: Like many people, I believe in the importance of religious freedom as a fundamental right recognized under the First Amendment. I also think the Supreme Court greatly damaged that right in its 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith. That decision held that “neutral” and “generally applicable” governmental restrictions against religious activity did not trigger heightened constitutional protection. Because most restrictions against religious activity are neutral and generally applicable, free exercise claims after Smith receives almost no special constitutional protection. There are various state and federal statutory protections, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), but RFRA does not apply to state or local laws and regulations. And absent federally mandated COVID orders, most restrictions are occurring at the state and local level.

In light of the constitutional frame imposed by Smith, the key to protecting religious freedom during the pandemic is to ensure that religion is not treated less favorably than comparable non-religious activities. But the word “comparable” is extremely important. By now, we have a good sense from health experts that this virus spreads dangerously in high-density indoor spaces when people are exhaling with some intensity. That’s very bad news for most indoor church services: they are close to the perfect storm. Pastors and ministry leaders should recognize that traditional religious services are high-risk activities, and they should expect to be treated similarly to other high-risk activities involving groups of people meeting indoors.

That doesn’t mean that all group activities are high risk. An outdoor gathering with everyone wearing masks and spacing themselves six feet apart is lower risk than a church of 25 people meeting indoors and singing together without masks. So it’s not accurate to conclude that if some similarly sized activities are permitted, indoor worship services must also be permitted. The key legal, policy, and epidemiological question is whether the activities pose similar risks to indoor corporate worship.

This is what makes the Supreme Court’s recent refusal to address Nevada’s restrictions so egregious. Restricting religious worship to fewer than 50 people, while allowing casinos and other businesses to operate at 50% capacity regardless of size seems plainly unconstitutional. I am astounded that five justices of the Supreme Court thought otherwise. That doesn’t mean that churches in Nevada should open their doors like casinos. But it matters that we get the law right.

We might also helpfully contrast the Nevada case to an earlier one from California, which the Court also refused to review. The California restrictions, unlike those in Nevada, plausibly treated religious worship comparably to similar non-religious activities. Chief Justice Roberts’ brief concurrence in the denial of injunctive relief suggests the kinds of reasonable distinctions that policymakers and judges need to make in these cases.

Ed: Should churches and religious organizations be treated more favorably than similarly situated non-religious activities?

John: No. As I mentioned above, I think the Supreme Court was wrong to lower the protections for the free exercise of religion in its 1990 Smith decision. And it was wrong last week to deny review of the Nevada regulations. But even under a more robust understanding of the free exercise of religion—one in which a free exercise claim would trigger what courts refer to as “strict scrutiny” and would require the government to have a “compelling interest”—the government would very likely meet its burden if it treated religious activities like similarly situated non-religious activities. For example, if a city or county determines that opening secondary schools for in-person instruction is simply too great of a public health risk, then there is no plausible reason to exempt only religious schools based on the free exercise of religion. If anything, as I argued in a March 2020 essay in The Atlantic, the government’s interest in shutting down schools, including religious schools, only increases because it exempts a limited number of non-religious activities like hospitals and grocery stores. The more that religious gatherings compromise the ability for hospitals to remain open, the greater the state’s interest in restricting those gatherings.

I don’t say this lightly. My wife and I have three young kids, and two of them attend a Christian school. We are finding it incredibly difficult to assess the tradeoffs between the mental health and well-being of our kids who would greatly benefit from in-person learning (to say nothing of the benefits to us of getting them out of the house once in a while) against the risks of exposing them or others to the virus. But there is no plausible argument for exempting only religious schools if the government shuts down other schools. And if a local government allows in-person school, then Christians and Christian schools should do everything they can to mitigate the risks of spreading the virus in those circumstances.

Ed: What about Home Depot?

John: I’ve heard the Home Depot comparison come up quite a bit: if a city or county allows Home Depot to open, then how could it possibly keep churches closed? Generally speaking, the claim that Home Depot in any way resembles corporate worship strikes me as highly implausible. I was in Home Depot (with a mask and lots of hand sanitizer) just last week. The store (and others like it) has wide aisles, relatively few people, and nobody singing or hugging. There may well be churches that are small enough or empty enough to approximate the conditions in Home Depot. But my church—and I suspect many of your churches—doesn’t come close.

Ed: Do states and localities that allow Home Depot to open have any increased obligation to facilitate religious worship?

Maybe. If your church has 75 people and you meet in a 50,000 square-foot building and your state allows 75 people to shop in Home Depot with masks but doesn’t allow you to meet in your enormous building with masks, then you may well have a plausible constitutional free exercise claim. On the other hand, it would be perfectly reasonable for your state to allow Home Depot to remain open and still prevent your 5,000-person megachurch from meeting for in-person worship.

Ed: How do you balance what the law requires with the discretion exercised by policymakers?

John: State and local governments are scrambling to keep up with the best possible public-health guidance, and this inevitably leads to confusing and sometimes contradictory regulations.

Many of the public-health regulations reflect discretionary policy judgments by elected officials (or their appointees), and those judgments don’t violate constitutional rights even if we don’t like them. Some of the regulations have overreached, and they are properly being challenged in court. As I mentioned above, the Supreme Court’s failure to invalidate Nevada’s decision is hard to understand.

At the same time, many discretionary judgments that limit religious worship or religious education during the pandemic are perfectly constitutional. Some grandstanding lawyers and public officials are making matters worse by sacrificing nuance about these issues for the sake of political expediency. Nothing about this is easy or generalizable.

Ed: What advice would you offer Christians as they seek to understand the issues underlying the virus and religious freedom?

John: Be people of hope who are known for putting the interests of others above your own. Lament the costs of this virus to human life, mental health, and material well-being. Lament our inability to gather for worship. Pray for the end of this virus. But in the meantime, love your neighbors and seek the peace of the city, even if it feels costly.









Ed Stetzer is executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, serves as a dean at Wheaton College, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group. The Exchange Team contributed to this article.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Chaplain Mark Schmidt

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 10:47:11 am »
Excellent article/interview.  The one statement that hit me that maybe we all should take to heart in some fashion as Christians is:    if you have limited your news sources to a particular partisan variety—if you are either a “Fox person” or an “MSNBC person”—then my hunch is you won’t know what is reasonable in this public health crisis. Your first step is to break out of your news bubble and realize that what is reasonable may not be what your favorite television or social media personality happens to be championing.

It strikes me that this is excellent advice during this very divisive time in our history.  Just a humble thought on my part.
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

George Orwell
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patrick jane

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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2020, 08:11:27 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/july/white-fragility-conversation-on-race-and-racism.html








White Fragility: A Conversation on Race and Racism










Introducing a new series discussing ‘White Fragility’ with perspectives from various Christian leaders.



What comes to mind when you hear the term "White Fragility?"

The term is striking, unnerving to some degree. Maybe intimidating. What response does such a term stir? Anger, defensiveness, denial?

This is what inspired Robin DiAngelo, who wrote the book White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. She is a scholar who has studied diversity and racism for many years, but has more recently become influential in evangelical circles and that is part of why we are hosting this conversation.

White Fragility has to do with how quickly white people respond with anger and defensiveness in conversations about race. DiAngelo has found in years of diversity training and research that white people respond to these discussions with strikingly similar responses, like the white man who pounded his fist at one seminar, exclaiming out loud, "A white person can't get a job anymore!" (p. 1). Yet, he is completely oblivious to the fact that 38 of the 40 employees gathered were white. “Why,” DiAngelo asks, “is he being so careless about the impact of his anger? Why doesn’t he notice the effect this outburst is having on the people of color in the room?” (p. 1)

From the author's introduction--a perspective on history:

"The United States was founded on the principle that all people are created equal. Yet the nation began with the attempted genocide of Indigenous people and the theft of their land. American wealth was built on the labor of kidnapped and enslaved Africans and their descendants. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920, and black women were denied access to that right until 1965." (p. xiii)

Chapter 1: The Challenges of Talking to White People About Racism

DiAngelo argues two big ideologies help foster racism:

Individualism: "Individualism is a story line that creates, communicates, reproduces, and reinforces the concept that each of us is a unique individual and that our group memberships, such as race, class, or gender, are irrelevant to our opportunities." (p. 10)

"We are taught to think about racism only as discrete acts committed by individual people, rather than as a complex, interconnected system." (p. 3)

“For many white people, the mere title of this book will cause resistance because I am breaking a cardinal rule of individualism—I am generalizing.” (p. 11)

Objectivity: "Objectivity tells us that it is possible to be free of all bias. These ideologies make it very difficult for white people to explore the collective aspects of the white experience." (p. 9)

Chapter 2: Racism and White Supremacy

DiAngelo notes that people who are white tend to have little "racial stamina" for these discussions. Central to this and the concomitant "fragility" she describes comes from how we define racism.

If, as she argues most whites do, we define racism as "intentional acts of racial discrimination committed by immoral individuals," (p. 8) it's easy to see why we would defend ourselves at the notion we might be racist.

Definitions (pulled from throughout the book):

1. White Fragility: "We consider a challenge to our racial worldviews as a challenge to our very identities as good, moral people. Thus, we perceive any attempt to connect us to the system of racism as an unsettling and unfair moral offense. The smallest amount of racial stress is intolerable—the mere suggestion that being white has meaning often triggers a range of defensive responses. These include emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and withdrawal from the stress-inducing situation. . . " (p. 2)

2. "Prejudice is pre-judgment about another person based on the social groups to which that person belongs. Prejudice consists of thoughts and feelings, including stereotypes, attitudes, and generalizations that are based on little or no experience and then are projected onto everyone from that group." (p. 19)

"Prejudice is foundational to understanding white fragility because suggesting that white people have racial prejudice is perceived as saying that we are bad and should be ashamed. We then feel the need to defend our character rather than explore the inevitable racial prejudices we have absorbed so that we might change them. In this way, our misunderstanding about what prejudice is protects it." (p. 20)

3. Discrimination is moving from attitude to action: "Discrimination is action based on prejudice. These actions include ignoring, exclusion, threats, ridicule, slander, and violence. For example, if hatred is the emotion we feel because of our prejudice, extreme acts of discrimination, such as violence, may follow." (p. 20)

4. Racism: "When a racial group’s collective prejudice is backed by the power of legal authority and institutional control, it is transformed into racism, a far-reaching system that functions independently from the intentions or self-images of individual actors." (p. 20)

5. White privilege: "People of color are confined and shaped by forces and barriers that are not accidental, occasional, or avoidable. These forces are systematically related to each other in ways that restrict their movement. Individual whites may be 'against' racism, but they still benefit from a system that privileges whites as a group. David Wellman succinctly summarizes racism as 'a system of advantage based on race.' These advantages are referred to as white privilege, a sociological concept referring to advantages that are taken for granted by whites and that cannot be similarly enjoyed by people of color in the same context (government, community, workplace, schools, etc.)." (pp. 23-24)

6. White supremacy: DiAngelo seeks to redefine the term white supremacy to show it refers not only to radicalized right wingers but to "the all-encompassing centrality and assumed superiority of people defined and perceived as white and the practices based on this assumption. White supremacy in this context does not refer to individual white people and their individual intentions or actions but to an overarching political, economic, and social system of domination." (p. 28)

7. “Aversive racism is a manifestation of racism that well-intentioned people who see themselves as educated and progressive are more likely to exhibit. It exists under the surface of consciousness because it conflicts with consciously held beliefs of racial equality and justice. Aversive racism is a subtle but insidious form, as aversive racists enact racism in ways that allow them to maintain a positive self-image (e.g., ‘I have lots of friends of color’; ‘I judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin’).” (p. 43)

8. “White solidarity is the unspoken agreement among whites to protect white advantage and not cause another white person to feel racial discomfort by confronting them when they say or do something racially problematic.” (p. 57)

9. White Innocence: “Because we are not raised to see ourselves in racial terms or to see white space as racialized space, we position ourselves as innocent of race. . . . This idea––that racism is not a white problem–– enables us to sit back and let people of color take very real risks of invalidation and retaliation as they share their experiences." (pp. 61, 62)

What about "reverse racism? "People of color may also hold prejudices and discriminate against white people, but they lack the social and institutional power that transforms their prejudice and discrimination into racism; the impact of their prejudice on whites is temporary and contextual." (p. 22)

DiAngelo offers the Marilyn Frye illustration of a bird cage: if you get close to the cage you see not the wires but the bird, seemingly free. But if you back up, you see not one wire, but a system of wires has imprisoned the bird (p. 23).

"Whiteness rests upon a foundational premise: the definition of whites as the norm or standard for human, and people of color as a deviation from that norm." (p.25)

Statistics she provides (p 31):

2016-17 percentage who are white:

Ten richest Americans: 100%
US Congress: 90%
US Governors: 96%
Top military advisors: 100%
POTUS and VP: 100%
US House Freedom Caucus: 99%
Current US Presidential Cabinet: 91%
People who decide the TV shows we watch: 93%
People who decide which books we read: 90%
People who decide which news is covered: 85%
People who decide which music is produced: 95%
People who directed the one hundred top grossing films of all-time, worldwide: 95%
Teachers: 82%
Full-time college professors: 84%
Owner of NFL franchises: 97%
Geography: "In the US, race is encoded in geography. I can name every neighborhood in my city and its racial makeup. I can also tell you if a neighborhood is coming up or down in terms of home equity, and this will be based primarily on how its racial demographics are changing. Going up? It will be getting whiter. Going down? It will be getting less white.” (p. 36)

"Consider how we talk about white neighborhoods: good, safe, sheltered, clean, desirable. By definition, other spaces (not white) are bad, dangerous, crime-ridden and to be avoided; these neighborhoods are not positioned as sheltered and innocent. In these ways, the white racial frame is under construction." (p. 37)

Chapter 3: Racism After the Civil Rights Movement

“Clearly, the civil rights movement didn’t end racism; nor have claims of color blindness. . . . For example, a common response in the name of color blindness is to declare that an individual who says that race matters is the one who is racist. In other words, it is racist to acknowledge race” (p. 41).

Chapter 4: How Race Shapes White People

DiAngelo avers that as a white person, "In virtually every situation or context deemed normal, neutral or prestigious in society, I belong racially." (p. 52)

She also talks about how in conversation we never say "the white guy," but we do say, "the Asian man," or "she was black."

“We see white solidarity at the dinner table, at parties, and in work settings. Many of us can relate to the big family dinner at which Uncle Bob says something racially offensive. Everyone cringes but no one challenges him because nobody wants to ruin the dinner. Or the party where someone tells a racist joke but we keep silent because we don’t want to be accused of being too politically correct and be told to lighten up. In the workplace, we avoid naming racism for the same reasons, in addition to wanting to be seen as a team player and to avoid anything that may jeopardize our career advancement. All these familiar scenarios are examples of white solidarity (Why speaking up about racism would ruin the ambiance or threaten our career advancement is something we might want to talk about.)” (p. 58)

"For example, the criminal behavior of white juveniles is often seen as caused by external factors––the youth comes from a single-parent home, is having a hard time right now, . . . But black and Latinx youth are not afforded the same compassion." (p. 63)

“For those of us who work to raise the racial consciousness of whites, simply getting whites to acknowledge that our race gives us advantages is a major effort. The defensiveness, denial, and resistance are deep. But acknowledging advantage is only a first step, . . .” (p. 63)

“The most profound message of racial segregation may be that the absence of people of color from our lives is no real loss.” (p. 67)

Chapter 5: The Good/Bad Binary

“He’s not a racist. He’s a really nice guy.” (p. 71)

“Racist = Bad”

“Not racist = good”

She speaks of the danger of binary views:

Ignorant Progressive
Bigoted Educated
Prejudiced Open-minded
Mean-spirited Well-intentioned
Old Young
Southern Northern” (p. 72)
DiAngelo argues simplifying the discussion to such a binary “makes it nearly impossible to talk to white people about racism, what it is, how it shapes all of us, and the inevitable ways that we are conditioned to participate in it.” (p. 72)

"The simplistic idea that racism is limited to individual intentional acts committed by unkind people is at the root of virtually all white defensiveness on this topic." (p. 73)

Chapter 6: Anti-Blackness

“Carol Anderson, in her book White Rage, argues that ‘the trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement.’" (p. 95)

DiAngelo believes that The Blind Side movie is shown as an example of doing exactly the opposite of what it intended. Instead of a rags-to-riches story of an inner-city black youth, it affirms stereotypes.

Chapter 7: Racial Triggers for White People

"Most white people have limited information about what racism is and how it works." (p. 100)

Here are some of the triggers DiAngelo lists:

Racist = bad person/Non-racist = good person
False binary
Fear and resentment toward people of color
Delusion that we are objective and innocent (p. 100).
DiAngelo notes that we use terms like "inner city," "urban," "disadvantaged" for neighborhoods of mainly people of color, but we don’t use terms like "overly advantaged" or "privileged” for white neighborhoods (p.100).

Chapter 8: The Result--White Fragility

She observes in her work in diversity training: "I am consistently warned that past efforts to address the lack of diversity have resulted in trauma for white employees. This is literally the term used to describe the impact of a brief and isolated workshop: trauma" (p. 110).

Bullying: The effects of white fragility are not fragile: “White fragility functions as a form of bullying; I am going to make it so miserable for you to confront me—no matter how diplomatically you try to do so—that you will simply back off, give up, and never raise the issue again. White fragility keeps people of color in line and ‘in their place.’ In this way, it is a powerful form of white racial control” (p. 112).

DiAngelo gives a powerful example for leaders: “In my workshops, I often ask people of color, ‘How often have you given white people feedback on our unaware yet inevitable racism?” They reply with eyerolls and even laughter: “Rarely, if ever. I then ask, ‘What would it be like if you could simply give us feedback, have us graciously receive it, reflect, and work to change the behavior?’ Recently a man of color sighed and said, ‘It would be revolutionary.’ I ask my fellow whites to consider the profundity of that response. It would be revolutionary if we could receive, reflect, and work to change the behavior. On the one hand, the man’s response points to how difficult and fragile we are. But on the other hand, it indicates how simple it can be to take responsibility for our racism.” (p. 113)

Chapters 9-10: White Fragility in Action, White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement

These chapters give more examples of white fragility and responses when confronted.

"I repeat: stopping our racist patterns must be more important than working to convince others that we don’t have them. We do have them, and people of color already know we have them; our efforts to prove otherwise are not convincing. An honest accounting of these patterns is no small task given the power of white fragility and white solidarity, but it is necessary." (pp. 129-130)

Chapter 11: White Women's Tears

“. . . an oft-repeated warning from my African American colleagues: ‘When a white woman cries, a black man gets hurt.’" (p. 132)

She gives some examples, including:

Arrogant and disingenuous invalidation of racial inequality via “just playing the devil’s advocate”
Simplistic and presumptuous proclamations of “the answer” to racism (“People just need to . . .”)
Playing the outraged victim of “reverse racism”
Accusations that the legendary “race card” is being played etc. (pp. 134-135)
Chapter 12: Where do we go from here?

“When white people ask me what to do about racism and white fragility, the first thing I ask is, ‘What has enabled you to be a full, educated professional adult and not know what to do about racism?’ It is a sincere question. . . . If we take that question and map out all the ways we have come to not know what to do, we will have our guide before us. For example, if my answer is that I was not educated about racism, I know that I will have to get educated. If my answer is that I don’t know people of color, I will need to build relationships. If it is because there are no people of color in my environment, I will need to get out of my comfort zone and change my environment; addressing racism is not without effort.” (pp.143-144)

Let me encourage you to get the book, read it, and then we will think it through together in this series.

Now that we are all familiar with the basic premises of DiAngelo’s argument, I am pleased to introduce the other authors who will join us in discussing White Fragility over the next several weeks. As previously mentioned, the second round of authors will be responding to the book and the initial five articles. I am pleased that George Yancey, a contributor for part one, will be contributing to the second round of articles as well.

Part One

Allison Ash is an experienced higher education administrator and is currently senior affiliate consultant at Credo-Higher Education Consulting. She received her PhD from Azusa Pacific University and M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary.
George Yancey is an author and professor at Baylor University in sociology and the Institute of Religious Studies. He holds a PhD from University of Texas Austin.
Danny Slavich is a church planting pastor, adjunct professor, and writer who recently received his PhD in Theology with a dissertation entitled: “That the World May Know: A Trinitarian Multiethnic Ecclesiology.”
Neil Shenvi is currently the principal at the South Durham Academy for Math and Science. He received his PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and spent several years conducting research at Duke University.
William Murrell is a professor of church history and the academic dean of Every Nation Seminary. He has degrees in history from Oxford (MSt) and Vanderbilt (PhD) and specializes in the history of Christian mission and the history of Islam.
Part Two

Sheila Caldwell is the Chief Intercultural Engagement Office at Wheaton College, IL. She received a M.A. from Argosy University and a PhD in education from the University of Georgia.
Daniel Yang is the Director of the Send Institute, an institute of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He was trained as a church planter and holds and M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is working on a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
John Richards Jr. is the pastor of assimilation at Saint Mark Baptist Church. He is a graduate of the Howard University School of Law and Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his PhD.
George Yancey will write a new article in part two.
Trillia Newbell is an author and speaker as well as an acquisitions editor at Moody Publishers.
I look forward to all of our contributors’ perspectives on White Fragility and welcome the discourse between our authors. I have not seen what they are writing, but we’ve tried to bring some diverse views to enhance the conversation. I will offer my further commentary after our series is complete.









Ed Stetzer is executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, serves as a dean at Wheaton College, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group. The Exchange Team contributed to this article.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: Christianity Today Magazine - August 2020
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2020, 05:49:35 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/july/have-your-political-views-become-idol.html








Have Your Political Views Become An Idol?












As followers of Christ who are engaging in this process, are we starting to cross a line that shouldn’t be crossed?


Are your political views and convictions growing in intensity? Are you finding yourself feeling angrier than you used to be about a variety of political issues? Are people in your extended family, community, or church becoming angrier?

In addition to being in the midst of a global pandemic, widespread demonstrations about racial injustices, and an election year, we live in a media saturated environment where hate and division trigger wider viewership, larger ratings, and significantly higher advertising revenue.

In such an environment, how can we as individual Christians, or as pastors or ministry leaders tasked with leading others, know when we are getting sidetracked, especially when “believing you’re right and that others are wrong” triggers intense and addictive feelings?

Media outlets on both the left and right are using language and tactics to inflame anger, alienate, and disparage whomever ‘the other’ might be and, as a result, there are growing levels of disrespect and hatred towards people who hold different political views.

As followers of Christ who are engaging in this process, are we starting to cross a line that shouldn’t be crossed? And, if we are, how can we know when this is happening, and what are the costs?

Signs of political idolatry

Idolatry comes in all shapes and sizes. It is not limited to people who put a metal or wooden statue on an altar and light incense to it. Although this happens in many parts of the world, idolatry is a deeper issue. Here are a few questions to discern if it is at work in our hearts.

Who or what am I trusting to provide for my future?

People enter into idolatry because they feel the need for safety and security. Life can be hard and even if we are experiencing good times, there is a sense that we do not want them to end.

It doesn’t take much to realize how truly fragile, vulnerable, and powerless we are in this world. The pandemic alone, with all its recent economic ripple effects, has made this painfully clear even for many who thought they could control their destinies.

Political idolatry happens when we begin fixating on what a human leader or political party can do for us more than we focus our eyes on our Heavenly Father, our true provider who calls us to trust him and not worry (Matt. 6:25-34).

How am I treating people who disagree with me?

We can also tell if we have moved into political idolatry by how we treat people with different opinions, be they on the left or right of the political spectrum. All human beings, despite their political views or political affiliations, are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-28).

As such, humans are held to a very high standard regarding how we treat people. Jesus said in Matthew 25:31-46 that whatsoever we do to “the least of these” we have done to him. In the current political environment “the least of these” are often whoever is on the other end of the political spectrum.

When we interact with “those people” who see political and social issues so differently, do we treat them with dignity and honor the way we would treat Jesus? Are we treating them with kindness so we bear the image of our Heavenly Father (Matt. 5:43-48)?

Where is my loyalty being placed?

The next logical step in discerning if we are letting our political views become idols is by looking at the loyalty and allegiance question. When faced with a choice between what political pundits and political leaders are asking us to do, and what Scripture asks of us as followers of Christ, which actions do we take?

For example, God is going to judge us for how we speak about people, and for the names we call them (Matt. 5:21-24). Do we take our cues from political leaders and fear them, or do we fear God, the one who deserves our ultimate allegiance (Luke 12:2-5)?

Costs of political idolatry

Sometimes, we might make light of these things and rationalize why it is OK to choose political rhetoric and divisive behavior over behaviors and attitudes God calls us to in Scripture. Perhaps it is spiritual warfare that is causing us to not step back and assess the broader impact of political idolatry, for it comes at a great cost (1 John 2:1-11).

Distorted discipleship

Essential in the discipleship process is the formation of a new core identity. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become children of God (Rom. 8:14-17), and the chief aim of our life is to grow in Christ-likeness (2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:14-21).

Political idolatry forms in us a different core identity, and from that a very different ‘likeness’ emerges. Discipleship becomes distorted as we say that we are Christians but attitudes, words and behaviors begin resembling the messaging of politicians and pundits on the right or the left more than our risen Lord.

Marred witness

The distorted discipleship then leads to a marred witness. Rather than seeing Christians who have hope in a God with ultimate power and authority, who is ushering in an eternal kingdom, they see people rallying around political figures and behaving in ways that seem at times to be wholly contradictory to how their Bible, that they say informs and guides their lives, is telling them to live and treat people in the world.

Jesus taught his followers that people would know we are Christians by our love (John 13:34-35), but political idolatry frequently holds opposing values. People begin thinking it is fine to hate, malign, publicly embarrass, ridicule and even bully those with different political views.

So, at a time when a broken world needs the witness of Christ more than ever, political idolatry clouds and disfigures this witness, and the end result is far fewer people believe that the gospel is true or good news at all.

Broken societies

And out of distorted discipleship and marred witness, horrific things can happen in society. Walk the path of Auschwitz and you will never be the same, wondering how the place that was the hub of Western theology in its day could spawn such unfathomable horror.

How in the world could Christians commit intense violence against innocent people, merely because they were different? It happens when people substitute teachings of Jesus for political ideologies.

Some might say that is just an extreme case. Yet we saw it in Rwanda as well, and at that time their nation was dubbed the “most Christian” of all countries. It happened in Sarajevo and refugees said, “We never thought it could happen here. We were so educated.”

However, extreme violence did happen, because professing Christians chose political idolatry over loyalty to the teachings of Christ. And brokenness in our own society continues as the remnants of slavery and segregation, political positions once vehemently supported by many Christians, result in people of color still regularly having to navigate discrimination in a variety of forms.

God deserves better from us

In the midst of a global pandemic, protests, and economic turmoil, Christianity proclaims that it has “good news” to share with the world. The Lamb of God, through his sacrificial work on the cross, took away divisions among people where hatred and prejudice had separated them for generations.

Through his blood, he reconciled Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-22), he destroyed economic and racial barriers (1 Cor. 12:13), gender barriers (Gal. 3:28), and other seemingly irreconcilable cultural differences (Col. 3:10-12). The first chapter of Colossians proclaims that Jesus reconciled to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

It is because of all that God has done for us through the blood of Christ that he deserves to have no other idols before him. These are not harmless political games that are being played. This is deadly serious.

The world needs the church, and every person within it, to set aside political idolatry so people can see our Risen Lord. It doesn’t mean that we don’t engage in political processes and seek to influence our societies. It does mean we keep Christ and his teachings first and foremost as we do this.









Mary Lederleitner is author of the book Women in God’s Mission and Managing Director of the Church Evangelism Institute at the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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