Archive for February, 2007

A Fanatic

February 18, 2007

“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”

– William Wilberforce, 1759- 1833, the British abolitionist and subject of the upcoming movie Amazing Grace

Advertisements

The Martyrdom of Maximilian

February 13, 2007

Maximilian from Numidia, a Christian, appeared before an African proconsul named Dion for induction into the army. Maximilian refused induction, however, stating simply, “I am not allowed to be a soldier, for I am a Christian.” Dion replied sharply, “Get into the service, or it will cost you your life.” Maximilian replied, “I do this age no war-service, but I do ‘war-service’ for my God.” No amount of threatening could budge him from his simple confession, “I am a Christian and I cannot do evil. . . .I shall not perish, but when I have forsaken this world, my soul shall live, with Christ my Lord. … I cannot fight, if I die; I am not a soldier of this world, but a soldier of God.”

(more…)

The Early Church on Poverty & Wealth

February 7, 2007

“Their property held them in chains . . . chains which shackled their courage and choked their faith and hampered their judgment and throttled their souls. They think of themselves as owners, whereas it is they rather who are owned: enslaved as they are to their own property, they are not the masters of their money but its slaves.” – Cyprian, 300 A.D.

“The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man; the coat hanging in your closet belongs to the man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you put into the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help but fail to help.” – Basil of Caesarea, 330-370 A.D.

“You are not making a gift of your possession to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his.” – Ambrose of Milan, 340-397 A.D.

“Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours but theirs.” – John Chrysostom, 347-407 AD

(more…)

Abolition

February 4, 2007

“I have need to be on fire. I have icebergs to melt.”

– The great abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879

Too Much & Not Enough

February 3, 2007

In the dialogue surrounding the Convergence conference, one theme that has come up is the intense pressure we women face to measure up to the ideal. Jamie shared how she doesn’t feel that she fits the stereotype of a Christian woman because she is just “too much.” This is a message we receive a lot as women – that we are too much and not enough all at the same time.

We’re too emotional, too needy, too opinionated, too demanding, we talk too much, we expect too much. And we are also not pretty enough, not thin enough, not educated enough, not accomplished enough, not rich enough, our houses aren’t clean enough, our kids aren’t perfect enough. And apparently this pressure to conform to the standard has been around for a very long time.

In Luke 10, we meet Martha, a wealthy woman who was hosting a dinner party for Jesus and his disciples. While she hurried around with the preparations, her younger sister Mary ignored the demands of entertaining and simply sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to his teaching. In 1st century Jewish culture, it was highly inappropriate for a woman to sit at the feet of a rabbi. Mary was certainly managing to be too much and not enough all at the same time! She was too bold, too forward, too audacious and she was definitely not a good hostess.

(more…)

An Extremist for Love

February 2, 2007

“But as I continued to think about the matter, I gradually gained a bit of satisfaction from being considered an extremist. Was not Jesus an extremist for love?”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963