Should allies “stay angry”? Putting @RachelHeldEvans in conversation with the Blerd Theologian @rtrdh

Should Christians “stay angry” at the injustice in our world? That’s a question raised in two different blog posts this week. Rachel Held Evans says she “can’t stay angry” even while she stays committed to her prophetic witness while my friend Rod the blerd (black nerd) theologian explains why he does “stay angry,” particularly at patronizing white moderates who presume to tell black people when to “just let it go.” I don’t see these two pieces as point and counter-point, nor do I interpret Rod’s piece as a dig on Rachel since she wasn’t telling black people what to do. Reading the way that Rachel and Rod accent and nuance the issue differently has forced me to really wrestle with what it means to be a genuine ally to people of color and others who have been marginalized in our battles against injustice.

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Liberated from hate: my brother Ryan’s testimony

I pray a lot for the college kids from our church. In addition to the concern that they will fall away from the faith, I worry about whether they will fall in with the wrong crowd of Christians. Every year, aggressively friendly campus fellowship groups storm the dorms to meet the kids who signed their clipboards at the activity fair. And many times, the result is four years of beautiful friendship and spiritual growth. But it can go very wrong as my brother Ryan Kuramitsu shares in his testimony about a Christian group whose zeal for God’s hate is a textbook case of what I’m calling the theology of the total depravity of everyone else.I asked permission to share the following excerpt, but please visit his site to read the original post and offer encouragement. (Note: I am aware there’s more than one side to every story, the same Christian organization is not the same on different campuses, etc.) Continue reading

Integrity, zeal, and patience (Psalm 25:21)

Sometimes God impregnates a single verse with rich and explosive meaning that is completely applicable to my life circumstances at that point. On Monday, I read through all the weekly lectionary passages and then the Daily Office without finding a word from the Lord until I hit Psalm 25:2. Those five Hebrew words have been blowing my mind as I’ve been turning them around in my head ever since then. They describe for me the tense relationship between integrity, zeal, and patience: “May integrity and uprightness guard me as I wait for you.”
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My zeal wears me out: Monster-psalm Meditation #18

My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words. Psalm 119:139

I resonate with this verse way too much. Isn’t this verse the battle-cry of all the angry, sanctimonious Christian bloggers whether we’re raging against those liberals or those fundamentalists or those mainliners or those evangelicals? Since my enemies ignore “your” words, God, I will SCREAM LOUDER. Continue reading