Matthew Clanahan; ISFJ; 25-year-old graduate student; Learning Support Specialist and adjunct instructor at Three Rivers College; Bachelor's of Science in Mass Media/Radio with a minor in math from Southeast Missouri State University; Apple enthusiast; total geek; coffee connoisseur; flannel lover, multiple-instrument musician; drummer for Berlin Airlift; caffeine addict; LGBT ally; Christ follower; ordinary radical

Interests: peace, love, equality, people, social justice, human rights, feminism, music, vinyl records, lyrics, quotes, art, poetry, films, books, technology, coffee, tea, demilitarization, sustainability, community, community development, community gardening, historic preservation, Jesus, theology, orthodoxy, heterodoxy

Read the Printed Word!

I listen to a lot of music.

I spend a bit too much time swooning over pictures on Tumblr of people I find attractive.

I appreciate meaningful/artistic/literary/lyric tattoos.



 

Nationalism does nothing but teach you to hate people you never met, and to take pride in accomplishments you had no part in.

Doug Stanhope (via anarchei)

(Source: nojusticenopizza)

Since violent coercion is at the heart of every human government in a fallen world, a church that refuses to participate in violence will never be able to identify completely with any government, and conversely no government will ever be able to identify completely with such a church. Such a church could never be a department of the state, and it could never be a state church. A church that refuses to participate in killing people will never be viewed as being patriotic enough to be endorsed by the state without qualification. Such a church will always have a somewhat alien character as far as the state is concerned, it will always place a question mark beside the actions of the state.

Craig A. Carter, Rethinking Christ and Culture: A Post-Christendom Perspective, 120. (via blakebaggott)

(Source: scottxstephens)

Therefore, Revelation’s call to worship would be misconstrued if it were merely understood in a spiritualistic, liturgical, or pietistic sense. If the author would write today, he might say: “Don’t salute the flag, salute God”; or “Don’t pledge allegiance to the state, pledge it to God.”

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Revelation: Vision of a Just World, p. 103. (via scottxstephens)

RK: Christians: Stop Using Tragedies as an Appeal to Days That Never Were

gospelofthekingdom:

imageA friend of mine showed me a Facebook group titled “Jesus, Please Save America” which is where I found this photo.  After my initial shock, I then moved to a state of sorrow about how wide spread this belief is.  I first want to address the caption and then the comments.

“What has our country become?”

Let’s first tear back the presupposition of where this country began. If we are to ‘take America back for God’, it must have once belonged to God to begin with.  There is a perverse belief in the heart of the evangelical church in America, that America was founded as a Christian nation but has simply went off course.  The line of thinking is that:

  • If we can just get the power of Caesar again, we can take it back. 
  • If we can get prayer (Christian prayer, of course) back into schools
  • along with the Ten Commandments and creationist teaching, we’ll be restoring our country’s Christian heritage. 
  • If we can protect the sanctity of marriage, make it difficult, if not impossible, to live a gay lifestyle,
  • and overturn Roe vs. Wade, we’ll be getting closer.
  • And if we can keep ‘one nation under God’ in our Pledge of Allegiance we have won this nation back for Jesus Christ. 

I repeat, If we are to ‘take America back for God’, it must have once belonged to God to begin with. 

In Greg Boyd’s brilliant book, “The Myth of a Christian Nation” he asks when this golden Christian age was:

“Were these God-glorifying years before, during, or after Europeans ‘discovered’ America and carried out the doctrine of ‘manifest destiny’ — the belief that God (or, for some, nature) had destined white Christians to conquer the native inhabitants and steal their land? Were the God-glorifying years the ones in which whites massacred these natives by the millions, broke just about every covenant they every made with them, and then forced survivors onto isolated reservations?  Was the golden age before, during, or after white Christians loaded five to six million Africans on cargo ships to bring them to their newfound country, enslaving the three million or so who actually survived the brutal trip?  Was it during the two centuries when Americans acquired remarkable wealth by the sweat and blood of their slaves?  Was the time when we were truly ‘one nation under God,’ the blessed time that so many evangelicals seem to want to take our nation back to?

If we look at historical reality rather than pious verbiage, it’s obvious that America never really “belonged to God.”

He writes earlier in the book,

“This myth harms the church’s primary mission. For many in America and around the world, the American flag has smothered the glory of the cross, and the ugliness of our American version of Caesar has squelched the radiant love of Christ. Because the myth that America is a Christian nation has led many to associate America with Christ, many now hear the good news of Jesus only as American news, capitalistic news, imperialistic news, exploitive news, antigay news, or Republican news. And whether justified or not, many people want nothing to do with any of it.”

Now that that is out of the way, I want to address the comments:

“We need to let God back in our country and stop trying to keep Him out of our country.”

and

“We need to bring GOD back….”

If I had a dollar every time I had encountered this line of thinking; that we can ‘keep God out of our country’ (from this post alone, I’d have $832).  In the words of Rachel Held Evans in her brilliant post God Can’t Be Kept Out:

Brothers and sisters, let’s call this one for what it is: bullshit. 
God can be wherever God wants to be. God needs no formal invitation. We couldn’t “systematically remove” God if we tried.

God did not ordain this tragedy to pour out wrath.  Neither did this tragedy happen because we have “kicked God out”.  God cannot be kept out.  Stop using this tragedy as an appeal to days that never were.

A step in the right direction isn’t towards days that never were, but for the Christians in America to separate the Christian “we” and the American “we.”  Where we regain our prophetic voice in order to speak truth to power.  To “come out from Babylon,” to divorce ourselves from the empire once again.  And to drop the American narrative that is full of oppression, consumerism, violence, and individualism (the sword) and pick up the Christ narrative of liberation, solidarity, nonviolence, and community (the cross).

We need not go back to days that never were but to begin living as an alternative and prophetic community where we learn to cultivate the characteristics of a Christ narrative.  To create a counter liturgical society from the shell of the American narrative we are so steeped in.

"Deliverance" by Showbread

Jesus, deliver us from our selfishness
Its roots are twisting up into our hearts
Worst of all, there seems to be no cure for this
I feel, my God, that I may come apart
The Jesus that we’re shouting in our neighbors’ face
Looks nothing like the Jesus that you are

Heavy is the soul that I’ve been carrying
So I’m forever giving up my sword
Take from me this weight that I could never bear
And I will follow you forevermore

Jesus, deliver us from our flags and oaths
The things that we believe will set us free
The fabric, country, system, or a man and his land
I’m afraid these things get no respect from me

Heavy is the soul that I’ve been carrying
So I’m forever giving up my sword
Take from me this weight that I could never bear
And I will follow you forevermore

Heavy is the soul that I’ve been carrying
So I’m forever giving up my sword
Take from me this weight that I could never bear
And I will follow you forevermore

Jesus, deliver us from our raging pride
The things that we say we do in your name
With all our vengeance, votes, and picket signs, and guns
We put the love you came to bring to shame

The holiness of the kingdom of God must be preserved. If Jesus refused to acknowledge and fight for Israel as God’s favored nation- even though it was the one nation in history that actually held this status at one time- how much more must his followers refuse to acknowledge and fight for America as God’s favored nation? To say it another way, if Jesus was committed solely to establishing a kingdom that had no intrinsic nationalistic or ethnic allegiances- not even with Israel- how much more should his followers be committed to expanding this unique, non-nationalistic kingdom?

Greg Boyd; The Myth of a Christian Nation (via danareane)

brandtrusso:

I must admit, I find it suspect when fellow Christians fight harder to preserve the rights provided by the Constitution of the Unites States of American than they do to live the teachings of the sermon on the mount. May we never forget that God’s Kingdom, of which we are a part of, is NOT of this world, and our battle is NEVER against flesh and blood. Our law is self-sacrificial love, and our Commander and Chief is one who died willingly for and at the hands of His enemies. Long live the slaughtered lamb.

brandtrusso:

I must admit, I find it suspect when fellow Christians fight harder to preserve the rights provided by the Constitution of the Unites States of American than they do to live the teachings of the sermon on the mount. May we never forget that God’s Kingdom, of which we are a part of, is NOT of this world, and our battle is NEVER against flesh and blood. Our law is self-sacrificial love, and our Commander and Chief is one who died willingly for and at the hands of His enemies. Long live the slaughtered lamb.

Born on the wrong side

armchairrevolutionary:

If violence in the name of your nation’s freedom is what you call heroism, but violence in the name of the enemy nation’s freedom is what you call terrorism – then the only thing you stand for in this world is the side you happen to have been born on.