Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic — Summer 2016
“Remember,” Jewish Memorial, Flossenbürg Concentration Camp — Exodus 20:16
But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice, for about the space of two hours cried out, ‘Great is Diana of the Ephesians’.
Hey! You talking about my people.
“Both [still] read the same Bible, and [still] pray to the same God…”
Give the Unheard a hearing
Drawing near to one another helps us better hear those whom we have been too busy listening to to bear the weaknesses of those without strength as anything other than a bother too costly to afford, leaving us suitably absorbed or bored enough to please ourselves listening to “ours” for our own selves. Gethering – gathering – without to-gathering is called taking or hording. Only together, gathering together twofold, that is, coming together and sharing together, are we blessed together in the way the Lord provides. The undertaking is neither an exercise in replacing dominance or overpowering dominance, rather, it ritualizes the end, the ending of dominance (Matthew 6:12; Exodus 34:6-8). As the Lord Jesus He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Read me the Living Letter to the Saints who are in the Dead City Ephesus
Sing me a choral arrangement a capella
(James 3:13-18/4:11-12, 16-17)
“Loving you is complicated.”
When all things are subjected to Him, then
The Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who
Put all things in subjection under Him, that
God may be all in all
Endgame stays the same. During Ornette Coleman’s giving eulogy at Finnegan’s Wake somebody’s telling me the meaning of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. What do I need that for listening to Lamar again? Harmolodic hermeneutics. It hurts to kick against the goads (Ecclesiastes 12:11; Acts 26:14). It’s hard work doing maintenance on a god we made with our own two hands. And if by the light I find shining in me I see fit to fault you for your tribal idols but cannot find where I hid my own what good is there being left loving those who love me? (Matthew 5:46; 6:23; 7:4-5; Genesis 31:30-35).
Liberty Tree bears strange fruit.
Rain can’t wash clean Red Wing bloodstained boots.
Latte leisure black valet takes the keys.
Strange fruit still hanging still sight unseen.
Light arises in the darkness for those held upright. Illuminate me Lord. Fumigate me that I might live defunerlized, disease-free.
I’m dying of the disease me.
Never been seen.
Never been believed.
My country ’tis of thee.
Everything is pretend.
I’m dying of the disease me.
Let me join with those who resonate with the rhythm of history while listening to your LP. Produce us, arrange our performance for exhibition and dissemination. Make us your series of rhapsodies. Take the salt from the wound. Turn bitter water sweet. From our many cycles of minstrel travesty and our mensual recitals devoid of tragedy compose a poem of provenance. Sing your song of providence. Let us be the fruit of your lips (1 John 4:15-21). Give a white guy a break. Lost in a post-whites only country on the verge of learning the geography of yearning somewhere between El Dorado and Terra Incognita (Eric Overmyer), “for what are whites to hope” [Vincent Lloyd, (2016) Political Theology, vol. 17: n. 2, pp. 168-181]? Fan mail from some flounder? A post card from Warner Sallman, “Wishing you were here”?
Head of Christ, 1941, http://www.warnerpress.org.
The primal divider is the progenitor of perpetual division, the inciter of every incision. Get me away from the listeners not listening to one another, who hear different sets of temptation, each carried away and enticed by one’s own damned self (Mark 8:31-34).
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
No matter the trial in Thy word we trust.
All we have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto us!
Evils don’t line up, a house divided, etc., etc. “Fondly”? “Fervently”? Or just busy running the business instead of the race set before us, making friends instead of amends, hiding disgust behind a mask of self-indulging benevolence, milking victimization bragging about victimless crime? When was the last time we listened together to our last call (Revelation 13:9-10), performed as a solo by a grieving voice of greatness?
“If God wills that [the dyed-white lie] continue until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years
[+ one hundred fifty-one more and counting years
“tired of playing victim N-E-G-U-S”]
of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword
— I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel;
‘As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall
Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on’ –]
then, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said
[M-U-S-T: Acts 3:21; 4:12; 14:22],
‘The judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous all together’.”
Seven beads of sweat and we ain’t there yet.
Seven beads mark America’s journey,
Our stumbling pilgrimage from Independence Day to the
How close our lives live to the dead.
We hold their names in our
Handful of history like good luck charms
That guarantee we keep good company.
How pressed down and shaken together are our
Crops and cemeteries by which the dead are fed
And their secrets are buried.
How near are our neighbors and parishioners,
Our ancestors and friends,
Our enemies and strangers and children of
Masters and children of slaves and children
Of those who fled from being either master or slave.
All of our children and our children’s children
Have been godly taught that forgiveness
Given should gladly greet forgiveness sought.
But when did we meet?
When was it written,
This joint communicant standing we’re seeking?
When was the longing, the mourning, the zeal and the sorrow?
When was the weeping?
During our separate but unequal segregated days?
During our civil rights ordered “equality” before the law days?
During our racialized ellipses and awkward silences
Over the sentences given and the prisoners taken and
Nobody’s listening days?
In this land of opportunity well-oiled in crime
The American soul is running out of time.
Who will climb the sycamore?
Who will hurry down to confound the fraud to
Restore beyond the law by a formula of four?
Who will be honored?
Who will be remembered?
Who will replace those it is now time to let go so they
May be gathered to their people and be forgotten?
In the land of the light and the glory who decides
What part of the greatest story gets told over and over?
Who decides what is succored and nursed?
Who decides what is censured and cursed?
Who decides who matters?
Who decides what does it matter?
Who decides how long until the sons and the daughters of
The robbed and the robbers agree together it does matter?
Who among the living and the dead will tell us how it is stopped?
Who strips the demon of its whip with handle trimmed, plait undone
And belly cropped?
Who will tell the children unless they hear us we speak to those
We cannot see it does not?
Asymmetrical judgments hold sway over then and now whether wrong or right. Come on, could The Hamptons, could Compton, been that bad? – same statement two judgments. Fantasies, competing conspiracies. Nevertheless He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13). But there’s no quit in us. Quis? Quid? Joyful mediocrity, “merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a scheme,” the banality of evil. Kierkegaard’s authority — totalitarian — arranged by guitar genius Frank Zappa through…wait, what? Frank who? As Frank as digesting sunset history impresses rejection of any serious consideration of this moral equivalent of war. No picnic, no holiday, no party. Edom doing Eden to a film noir soundtrack. Been there. Stays there. Divided shares, graceless care. Loose square cold stares peeking through boarded up windows everywhere. No credit cards. No backyards. a little somethin’ for somethin’. What goes around comes around. When the chickens come home to roost (Psalm 109:16-17; Proverbs 26:2; Matthew 7:2-3). We’ve only two things to worry about: America’s quiddity and, quid nunc? same ole, same ole. As Said as, well, you decide. do you like the status quo ante and its living heir the status quo or does this living, breathing heritage make you sick? Despair is the sickness and the cure is simply to die, to ‘die from’ despair — acting on the courage to fear the still more dreadful than the spiritual sickness unto death (Hebrews 10:19-25; James 4:11-12; 5:9; 2:8-13; Hebrews 10:31; 12:29; 1 Corinthians 3:15; Matthew 3:11-12; Ephesians 5:21). Remember, He who said we must all pass through fire, the Lord Jesus; He Himself also said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.
Who believes in the Word of God?
“By the time you hear the next pop the folk shall be within you.”
Das Volk —
Sons of Oden
Blut und Boden
Fury and Führer
The barbarians at the gate
Gaming the game named holding a grudge as judge
Nobody got time for the expiration date
Who cares about the nobody cares about kind of hate?
Hendrix, rigger without a parachute, patagium edged out golden psychedelic Star-Spangled classic Woodstock rock star, tried. Died beside Morrison. Prince and the King, spoon facing spoon making one empty room like a bullet exit wound, prescribed and petitioned; they overcame the condition but could not bring an end to the bleeding, breeding thing. no boat, no shore. no message, no more. Does it matter for the citizen or alien resident if by crack pipe or car accident? When the dead stop dying there’ll be time enough for surviving. Don’t want no son of Amittai role, crying out against the heartless soul of the great city administrating the wickedness that has come up before the Lord. Don’t flee. The Spirit of Jesus don’t permit it, “Come over to the great city and help us.” Just a dream whose dream? Don’t pay that fare. Don’t fall asleep. Everybody knows what time it is. The hour has come for us to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. Fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land. What is this that you have done? Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, as we raise our voices in a solemn prayer (Genesis 4:9-11; Isaiah 26:19), a land of mendacity without martyrs marketed by true believers sleepwalking like Zombies, who without knowing it, are treading water in the sea of the unwashed masses, the wretched of the earth, where “even no child believes, in the dream of safety.”
Pay that debt in full — or won’t while still got pull on a mission making them white decisions? Cooking the books (Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:13-16; Proverbs 11:1; 20:10, 23; Micah 6:9-16), and for good measure giving account for the two effects of debit and credit in life’s double entry ledger using one bad eye (Matthew 5:23; Luke 6:36-38)? Sixteen tons and what did we get? Nothing but sweat and more debt (Matthew 20:10-16: Job 35:7-8). Do not boast about fleeing the presence of the LORD. For Thou, O LORD, hast done as Thou hast pleased. Three days and three nights. No other sign shall be given. Give the gift of repentance. Be the sign given to an evil and adulterous generation. Those descended to the roots of the mountains He has brought up for life from the pit of corruption. Without care for reputation or seeking advantage tell the truth to those who have regard for vain idols, having forsaken their faithfulness (Acts 8:20-23, 1 John 5:20-21).
The ideological is idol-logical
[Oswald Bayer riff, living by faith, pp. 22-23]
“Justifying thinking seeks to mediate and reconcile all things. Its driving compulsion is to prove that everything individual and particular has the general as its basis. This is how it links up with justifying action. In so doing, it becomes ideological, blind to reality. It ‘calls evil good and good evil’. It misunderstands and perverts the truth of things and relations.
“The ideological thinking of justifying metaphysics, allied as it is to morality as justifying action, [if not] put to death in the passive righteousness of faith” reveals itself to be a tyrannical, unjust and unforgiving idol, the work of “a fabricating heart [that] constantly produces and projects in its justifying thinking images of meaning: idols to which the heart attaches itself, stars, models, the goals of good fortune and success.
“Christian theology does not begin in the [idol-logical heights]; it begins in the depths, in the [Jewish] womb of Mary and the [Gentile’s nail driven] death of Jesus on the cross” — played out between the overshadowing power of the Most High and a tomb, hewn out in rock covered by stone.
Down here everybody arrives alone.
Tell them down here in the velvet underground darker than five hundred shades of gray, knowledge makes arrogant – deadifies – but without favoritism by the law of freedom love edifies. Tell them down here death is a guest to mercy in its own house, entertained, holding no acres or aces or keys to the grave or its long-feared ball and chain. Tell them down here everybody knows everybody by the same first name. Tell them, down here everything exposed – reproved – by the light is light. Tell them down here everybody knows what time it is, and it’s never too late. Tell them down here we’re gathered at the bend where the train goes slow. Or send them back up there where only they matter, where aunt jemima whipping up that pancake batter is still wearing that field-hand bandanna. And everybody knows.
“When a social world succeeds in being taken for granted — as white Protestant Christianity was at the height of its powers — cultural meanings merge with ‘what are considered to be the fundamental meanings inherent in the universe’
cleaver cut and exposed
the uncut curse burst beneath
his cold-stored blow, once
a soul fast-freezed kept on ice
now on wings of grace he flies
above the eagle’s sky watching
the tasteless, colorless
power go out across America and cries,
“some February in your living room or
coming soon to a theater near you
the prefix finally dies”:
- The strength and permanence of ‘white backlash’ in America is just…an illusion. However much this rear-guard action might seem to grow in strength, the initiative, and the future, rest with those whites and blacks who have liberated themselves from the master/slave syndrome.
- What has suddenly happened is that the white race has lost its heroes. Worse, its heroes have been revealed as villains and its greatest heroes as the arch-villains. The new generations of whites appalled by the sanguine and despicable record carved over the face of the globe by their race in the last five hundred years, are rejecting the panoply of white heroes, whose heroism consisted in erecting the inglorious edifice of colonialism and imperialism; heroes whose careers rested on a system of foreign and domestic exploitation, rooted in the myth of white supremacy and the manifest destiny of the white race.
- The rebellion of the oppressed peoples of the world, along with the Negro revolution in America, have opened the way to a new evaluation of history, a re-examination of the role played by the white race since the beginning of European expansion.
- The foundations of authority have been blasted to bits in America because the whole society has been indicted, tried, and convicted of injustice.
- From the beginning, America has been a schizophrenic nation. Its two conflicting images of itself were never reconciled, because never before has the survival of its most cherished myths made a reconciliation mandatory.
- Separate-but-equal /still running without sequel\ marked the last stage of the white man’s flight into cultural neurosis, and the beginning of the black man’s frantic striving to assert his humanity and equalize his position with the white.
- This produced a pathological motivation in the blacks to equal or surpass the whites, and a pathological motivation in the whites to maintain a distance from the blacks. This is the rack on which black and white Americans receive their delicious torture.
- At first there was the color bar, flatly denying the blacks entrance to certain spheres of activity. When this no longer worked, and blacks invaded sector after sector of American life and economy, the whites evolved other methods of keeping their distance. The illusion of the Negro’s inferior nature had to be maintained.
- One device evolved by the whites was to tab whatever the blacks did with the prefix ‘Negro’. We had Negro literature, Negro athletes, Negro music, Negro doctors, Negro politicians, Negro workers. The malignant ingeniousness of this device is that although it accurately describes an objective biological fact – or, at least, a sociological fact in America – it concealed the paramount psychological fact: that to the white mind, prefixing anything with ‘Negro’ automatically consigned it to an inferior category.
White people cannot, in the generality, be taken as models of how to live. Rather, the white man is himself in sore need of new standards, which will release him from his confusion and place him once again in fruitful communion with the depths of his own being. James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
It was on fire and his glasses were the same
This thing knows if it was tinted
But to me it isn’t
To me it is meaningless
White noise for sleeping
Like listening to the Beatles
Revolution Number 9
1963, ’68, pp. 69, 70, 73, -74, 77, 81; ‘68/2-12]
Until its powers failed, White Christian America served as a kind of ontological cartographer for both mainline and evangelical Protestants, and to some extent for the country as a whole.” Tell them down here now is another now, an acceptable time when God listens to us yes; however, this now is the day of salvation when “White Christian America’s faded cultural map is increasingly inaccurate” leaving those who follow it with “a haunting sense of dislocation (Robert P. Jones, The End of White Christian America).”
Tell them down here it is better to be swallowed whole by a great fish than to die the death of a beached whale (Ecclesiastes 9:3-6). Tell them down here captain Ahab sees he’s been chasing his own tail. Tell them down here Melville recants of having said, “We Americans are the Israel of our time…. Long enough have we been skeptics with regard to ourselves, and doubted whether, indeed, the political Messiah had come [as if] he has come in us, if we would but give utterance to his promptings, [trusting] national selfishness is unbounded philanthropy; for we can not do a good to America but we give alms to the world [White Jacket, 1850].” Tell them down here America’s white idol of old no longer fits the mold. Tell them down here with eyes to see we see we have fornicated with what we fabricated and taught our children to worship the idols we fabricated so they would fornicate accordingly. Tell them, God is not mocked and without doubt is not deceived. Tell them like John Jasper, when God wants it to, “De sun do move!” Tell them, “Salvation is from the Lord.” Tell them He know the Bible too. Tell them down here there ain’t no one put to shame. Tell them down here we have been found by the One we were not looking for. Tell them, down here we remember His words night after night with the end of night in sight, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the nations, down here we remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Lynchpin a locking pin, inserted crosswise. Thou shalt not make unto thee any likeness of anything (Proverbs 30:20; 5:6). In plain sight for all to see, a white market of licit trade in goods and commodities, services and identities in full compliance with official regulations. Do not speak out so they speak out, let the words flow. Let the gift go. Do not His words do good to the one walking uprightly? Listen to those you cannot see, great city sitting in the grave of grace, is it not for you too to know justice? You who hate good and love evil, who tear off their skin from them and their flesh from their bones, and who eat the flesh of the people you keep in darkness, strip off their skin from them, break their bones, and chop them up as for the pot and as meat in a kettle. Therefore it will be night for you – without vision, and darkness for you – without divination, because there is no answer from God. But you, whom He wraps in the mantle of Amittai, are filled with the power – with the Spirit of the LORD – go to the great city, an exceedingly great city until they call on God earnestly that each turns from their wicked ways and from violence. Because He hath shown strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent – empty – away. Who knows? Then might they wonder, “God may turn and relent, and withdraw His burning anger so that we shall not perish.” Remember, if it wasn’t to bring the word of God to free the blind child living in the great city why did He put you in the stomach of the fish? Has He a right to relent concerning the calamity He declared He would bring upon them? Help us remember together the words of the Lord Jesus, that we might receive the gift you offer. He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
If riding the snake swallowing its own tail where do we sit? In the shifting shadow, the shadow of turning, always learning never making out the truth. Lord, to whom shall we go? Who will help us? This is a world filled with mirrors (1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelations 22:4) reflecting the two faces of resentment, the one of debt from immoral gain, the other the burden of moral outrage. Since Babel confused speech, natural wisdom — inescapably earthy, Adamic, demonic — and Divine Law bear witness together. Not one of us admits the pleasure we enjoy inflicting pain on our neighbor (Hebrews 1:9); nor does any one of us rejoice over the pain we suffer as fulfilling God’s desire (Hebrews 12:2). O Lord, lou reed me, let me be your mirror reflecting who You are. so sick of seeing only myself, knowing the answer never hearing the question asked, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” By draft or graft, sons and daughters of the American Revolution, shallow waders, careless haters, brokers of guaranteed certainty; Lord, teach us the perseverance borne in futility. Trophy winners, advertisers, boastful branders of the Jews first and then the nations; we do not know the difference between our right hand and left hand. We were not cast into the deep, into the heart of seas. Roaming about on the earth and walking around on it (and the moon), we convinced ourselves we were not like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind (Matthew 14:28-31; 1 John 5:19), that we were immune to those twice dead. Never pushed to the point of breathless, irredeemable silence. His current did not ever surround or engulf us, nor did water encompass us to the point of death with the evil Luci all around us (Job 1:8; Luke 22:32). The Exodus 14 forced conversion coming — no diversions, no exceptions — crashes in from within (Mark 7:14-23; Revelation 14:6-12). Whoever mutters, “Diaspora America,” utters blasphemy. Apotheosis of Democracy? Here is the mystery of lawlessness, spurious reasoning American made, the chora of America, the point of origin from which the Genius of America keeps inventing the Progress of Civilization. Apotheosis of Washington? The “Tissue-Culture King,” America’s tin foil hat, the sign that makes white come to mind behind the things we’re told to teach if we want to sell ourselves as those well taught.
Who believes in the Word of God?
Virgin’s hymen without breach
Gave us God with us whom we beseech
This we believe —
This we teach.
But a foreign power
Quick to the plunder,
Swift to the spoil —
Making us their slaves
Swearing ourselves to them be loyal?
This though the Lord command us
That for which we condemn the Jews,
This we will not do:
Be obedient to Him so by another to be ruled.
(1 John 5:2-9; Isaiah 7:10-14; 32)
Complexion don’t mean a thing for those who, without seeing, commit it without knowing it, producing excuses stretching from lashes to nooses, from acquiescence to neglect, busy counting the same counted-on things, things tied down tight, verified, proven right. The salt of the earth claiming to be the crown of the highway busy bowing down to the henotheistic goddess historia — seeing the temporal scene through a cerebral screen machined to mean the normative without alternative, the unilateral supreme unnamed, unexposed, in explicit (fully unfolded) darkness, when if seen in the light that gives light is called, “Whiteness.” The double foundational truth of America stands above ground in marble and bronze as whiteness begets blackness and endures below ground in the streets and communities as blackness annuls whiteness.
“And the fact that we are still here — even in suffering, darkness, danger, endlessly defined by those who do not dare define, or even confront themselves — is the key to the crisis in white leadership…[for] it is the Black condition, and only that, which informs us concerning white people. It is a terrible paradox, but those who believed that they could control and define Black people divested themselves of the power to control and define themselves (James Baldwin, On White People & Other Lies).”
Who has heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand.” Will we define and address our “foundational past (Alon Confino, Foundational Pasts, The Holocaust as Historical Understanding, Cambridge University Press, 2012)” that has framed us, represented us and given us standing as a people? The foundational past we seed and tap into, that fuels our fantasies and feeds our homes, our marriages and our children? The foundational past arranges appointments, allots resources, launches careers and serves as the glue for folding together our culture of consensus. For over four hundred years the heart of our foundational past has been the moral-historical contrivance — the idol — of whiteness. This idol of whiteness has functioned as our normative sense of what it means to be an American; it makes sense for our sense of self-awareness; it calibrates our eye, focusing it to its field of vision so we see one another through its idolized line of sight, thus guiding our historical understanding of ourselves and directing our future under its watchful command. In the words of a blind man whom the Lord Jesus healed, “Well, here is an amazing thing.” We don’t see this idol because the producers of professional knowledge filling the established halls of academia have studied it only since the 1980s (see Peter Kolchin, “Whiteness Studies: The New History of Race in America, in the American Historical Association’s, The Journal of American History, Vol. 89, Issue 1, 2002, read at http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/jah/89.1/kolchin.html).
We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly. If we listen perhaps we can repent of our wickedness. Might we pray to the Lord that if possible the intention of our heart may be forgiven. Will we read the Bible together without politely leaving unasked the questions we require one another to answer about how we are to take up and take into ourselves who we are suppose to be together? Will the church give the American people the example they need? Like the Lord multiplied the fish and loaves to feed the masses, so too we must trust Him to multiply Lincoln’s “both” in our minds and hearts that we might hunger for His variegated wisdom ours to enjoy in receiving it as we offer it to one another to His glory. The things not seen are eternal except for the blind who say, “We see.” The only faith to be taken seriously is to take the Word of God seriously, confident the Lord remembers His word.
The melody of Providence brings to pass the one song sung before the world was (John 17:5)
from before the foundation of the world (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20)
through one woman’s Jewish womb (Luke 1:26-35; Matthew 1:22-23)
unto the Messiah’s living room (Genesis 12:7, 12, 14-17; 13:15, 17; 15:7-21; 17:8; 22:17; 26:3; 28:13; 35:11-2; Leviticus 25:23; Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Psalm 10:16; 78:54; Isaiah 11:12; 43:5-8; Ezekiel 258; 34:13; 36:20-24; 37:21; 38:12; Amos 9:14; Zechariah 9:16; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 21:24; Revelation 20:1-10)
and into New Jerusalem, “the central source of glory radiating out through the entire new creation and the focal point of universal worship, containing as it does the throne of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ” (Romans 8:18-23; Revelation 21-22).
Together, today, now, we,
who for His glory, to the praise of His glory,
He made His Body (Ephesians 1:3-12);
We are His beautiful Body of many colors,
the richly ornamented display of His wisdom
before the principalities and powers in heavenly places (Genesis 37:3; Ephesians 3:10-11; James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6; 4:10)–
that He may receive glory
in the Church and in Christ Jesus
through all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Together, we sing in the power of the Holy Spirit with the Son this one song of praise to the Father as brothers and sisters in Christ, both the natural branches and those grafted into the rich root of the olive tree of life. We sing together in the one voice illuminated by the imagination the Spirit has set free in all matters of delusion, disillusion and disgust (without apology to William Ian Miller, Revelation 22:17). It is for freedom He has set us free from the vain work at trying to legitimate our existence our own selves, as all outsiders still must, who in ignorance and hardness of heart and in the futility of their mind wander as downcast and distressed and deaf without God or hope in this world, who must “demonstrate each moment that [they] deserve to exist, to be noted, addressed, welcomed, and honored, even if it is by contradiction (Oswald Bayer, Living by Faith).” In this regard the political is a living, suffering parable of the personal that teaches us what we want we can receive only as a gift (Ephesians 2:8-21). What we hear together is the Spirit singing in us the song of mercy triumphing over judgment. But we must learn to sing this song in a different key, one that resonates with the moment in which He has placed us, a moment witnessing the growing ineffectiveness of whiteness as the symbolic core of America’s foundational past. Christians can better compose and perform this different arrangement if we remember together how we became who we are —
“Sola fide is history’s unexpected ground of political unity. It robs political actors of the incentives to warfare and domination by giving them that which all people, nations and armies primally seek — justification, standing, the recognition of existence… Ever since God was dismissed as our source of standing, we have had to find it in ourselves, which leads to one-upmanship, boasting, war. But the person justified by faith
[to avoid sin and not to prevent a violation of logic]
no longer prove or justify himself or herself by any earthy measurement: race (I’m Aryan), ethnicity (I’m Serbian), gender (I’m male), class (I’m aristocracy), nationality (I’m Prussian), wisdom (I’m Progressive) and all those things that lead to war and political oppression (see Jas 4:1-2).” Jonathan Leeman, Political Church (IVP Academic, 2016), pp. 325-326.
Otherwise, we will not be able to absorb and overcome the aftershock of the further weakening of whiteness that is coming. Yet, who can do this without practicing a kind of “kitsch morality (David Rieff, In Praise of Forgetting, Yale University Press, 2016)” for conjuring up of a cheap collective memory that either promotes or punishes prejudice (James 1:5-8; 3:13-18)? Like all nations, America too bears its cross of reality, its “institutional structures [that] carry out the task of teaching the young to be morally earnest about the tragedies and heroes of times past.” The crux of collective identity “ultimately rests on such acts of transmission, allowing groups of people to have shared touchstones of collective meaning.” We receive “who we are and who we are not, and we learn what and whom to admire, who to hate or fear, and we develop some sense of piety [or distain] toward ancestors (Ted McAllister, ‘Remembering and Forgetting’, libertylawsite.org/book-review/remembering-and-forgetting/8/1/2016).” By exercising humility and courage in its example of lament over the hiddenness of God while openly admitting its moral failures, the church, the entire church and only the church, is best equipped to encourage the American people to be good stewards of the past in the cultivating of healthy patriotic loyalty without harboring odious nostalgia or inciting vengeful violence. By preaching the gospel as a political message of freedom and judgment the church should serve as an example in how to offer our Lord’s invitation and instructions without succumbing to a rhetoric of destructive iconoclasm or to acts of proselytism by way of spewing poisonous propaganda. The church will not provide this political service without suffering persecution. What will happen? The Lord knows, and the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous all together.
End song one song. All good things come to those who stay true. Face the Offence of Slavery. Doesn’t matter what percentage of what part of us owned slaves. We are together the generations (Nahum 3:2), “We the People,” from mother to child, America’s burning wheel. Together we must confess its tainting effects. Ain’t gonna be no playing, it’s gonna happen. Nothing’s finished ’til it’s done. We the People of the United States, one people separate and equal of station among nations entitled by the laws of Nature and Nature’s God, in Order to form and preserve a more perfect Union, establish Justice, and insure domestic Tranquility do still hold to be true that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness then, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. May each murderer hear the prophet (2 Samuel 12:7). So, if we condemn anyone, we have no excuse. What we condemn in anyone else we condemn in ourselves, since, we who judge, are doing the same things. Who is jealous without sin? Who saves and destroys (Exodus 20:5; James 4:5)? Do you suppose, O man — you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself — that you will escape the judgment of God? Let us rush together with confidence to the throne of grace to speak what is right of the Lord that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help us in this our hour of need. Together, let us confess to the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, the only Lord God our Lord Jesus Christ, that this is not a Christian but a sinful nation, that we are a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers that are corrupters. Those who know His voice (John 10:3, 4, 5, 16, 27) are His, and we, together, must learn how to behave around one another, together, in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. For in everything we have been shown that together by working hard WE must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.
Read me the living Letter to the Saints who are in the Dead City Ephesus
Sing me a choral arrangement a capella
(James 3:13-18/4:11-12, 16-17)
“Loving you is complicated.”
When all things are subjected to Him, then
The Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who
Put all things in subjection under Him, that
God may be all in all.
Romans 1:16-17; Timothy 6:11-16; 2 Timothy 2:8; 4:1-2
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The holistic consummation of history is God’s “worldwide multinational kingdom order of redeemed peoples on a renewed earth. The nations constituting this mulinational order are Israel and various Gentile nations. Israel is a key irreducible and indissolvable feature of this kingdom order whose national and territorial identity is guaranteed by divine promise. Gentile nations are also explicit elements of this prophesied pattern. This multinational structure of the kingdom consummation is a consistent expectation of biblical eschatology from Genesis to Revelation… The capital of Christ’s worldwide kingdom rule w1ll be a restored, enlarged, and glorified Jerusalem in accordance with prophetic prediction (Isaiah 60-65). To it the nations have access and from it will come the guiding rule of the Lord Christ that unifies the world order in peace and righteousness. Nations will turn their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; they will learn war no more (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-4). Craig A. Blaising, “God’s Plan for History: The Consummation” in Dispensationalism and the History of Redemption (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2015), pp. 210, 213.
Without grief or anger we must realize together the white Protestant church on both sides of the yet upending, unending civil war in America meant evil against black children of God, yet God meant it for good in order to bring about this day to preserve many people alive. Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
“Therefore, as a twenty-first-century discourse, Christian theology must take its bearings from the Christian theological languages and practices that arise from the lived Christian worlds of dark peoples in modernity and how such peoples reclaimed (and in their own ways salvaged) the language of Christianity, and thus Christian theology, from being a discourse of death — their death. This is the language and practices by which dark people, insofar as many of them comported themselves as Christian subjects in the world, have imagined and performed a way of being in the world beyond the pseudotheological containment of whiteness. To the extent that they have done this, they mark out a different trajectory for theology as a discourse. The language and practices therefore, of dark people who have lived into a Christian imagination can no longer be deemed theologically irrelevant nor made invisible, which is what white intellectuals in the theological academy have tended to do.” J. Kameron Carter, Race, A Theological Account (Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 378.”
Your right: You are right. Being loved is complicated. This explicit representation ain’t right in so many ways. Lord, give us an eye of repentance, provide us a godly perspective on changing the total direction of our lives, give us the faith to carry out the good decision of turning away from our old ways and to commit ourselves to your way. O God, hear me, search and try me, see if there be any hurtful way in me, see if any part of me still cherishes a way of pain that another must travel. Lead me Lord in the everlasting way, and deliver me from evil.
Help us Lord turn from the hate we trade in using the loves that please which we ply, practice and perform: that we fold together — complicare — take them Lord and make them your love, your desire (Matthew 10:37; Luke 14:26; John 12:23-26; 17:24). What we fold together the Lord Jesus, He Himself, holds together. He guards, protects and looks after us together. He gives us His grace to graze upon together. He takes delight in us gazing upon Him together — seeing Him in one another until He appears, knowing when He does we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. Together we will serve Him; and we shall see His face, and His name shall be on our foreheads…because the Lord God shall illumine us; and we shall reign forever and ever. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints [together]. Amen.
Canal & Madison, Chicago Ghost Jesus Gone Leftovers Loved