State Theology

While finishing up my second book for my History of Southern Africa class, Jesus has been mentioned quite a bit.  Since the beginning of the class, there has been the all-too-familiar notions of those in power using their concepts of God to justify not only their superior social status, exploitation of others, but their ideology of “this is the way it is”.  Notably the Afrikaners using a military victory over the Zulu in the Battle of Blood River (the Ncome River) on Dec 16, 1838 as proof that God prefers the European newcomers over the African inhabitants.

It took some theological unraveling for people to get the idea out of their heads that the State (no matter which one) was ordained by God-to be obeyed and if you rebel against them you are rebelling against God.

A Christian Dirce by Henryk Siemiradzki

I have had hundreds of conversation in my day about how to work with this excerpt from Romans 13 (when Nero was likely emperor) and how to make sense of it-mostly in the modern USA context. Responding to the same rhetoric that we hear in the States about how we are to go along with the governments and how military victories perpetuate our freedom, The Kairos Document was drafted in 1985 by over 150 clergy of all races and denominations.  They helpfully outlined how crazy such arguments to justify the oppressor are.

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just when I thought my life was rough…

My mind is not used to having exams.  Two in one day about tuckered me out, not to mention my right arm is about to fall off.  I feel tired, in a good way now that they are over.  I paid attention and participated in class, read the material, reviewed material, did at least okay (I think) on the exams.

When I’m tired like this I want attention.  I want sympathy.  I start to feel a little bad about my situation when the cosmic alarm clock rings while walking to my office this afternoon.

One of my neighbors wanted to talk.  Two days ago, his 5mo old son died-apparantly of some sort of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (although he is suspicious of some sort of neglect) and last night his nephew got shot in the face and stomach by Kensington High School.  He had his spleen removed and for the foreseeable future will pee and poop into a bag that he will wear by his hip.

My friend and I got to pray.  He is having his daughter 302 him tonight so he can get the help he needs.

In a moment that I feel such a need for sympathy, there is an opportunity to give some.  God works in these moments.  Sometimes I just walk by this neighbor, sometimes we talk.  Today I was going to walk by but at the last second turned around to shoot the breeze about the Phils.  Thanks, God, for a wake up call.

not the underdog?

Sorry to you sports haters, this begins with my love for the Phils and the Bills.

Phila won the division and goes into the post-season with the 2nd best record in the NL.  They are really good this year.  The Bills are 4-0 for the first time in 16yrs, and are might actually be the best team in the NFL (outside my head!).

(this is machine gun kelly and the late “Pit Bull” Mitch Frerotte in 1991)

I am having a minor crisis.  My teams always suck.  I stay with them for different reasons and always say that they are the best, etc, but when it comes down to it they are never actually the best-i just love them. Now that they are both doing really well, I feel strange about caring so much (geez, how post-modern am I?).

It makes me glad that God’s love for me doesn’t waver-even when I’m doing well!  It’s easy to need God when I’m down in the dumps, yet strangely more difficult when things seem like they are going along swimmingly.

I’m grateful for a life that never really gets easy, but is full of love.