Archive for January, 2005
Posted by LT in on January 29, 2005
Nominated for best evangelical blog
My good friend Jordon decided to truly frustrate me and nominate me for “the best evangelical blog” award. The whole concept seems terribly cheesy and insular to me. I think I’m going to come out with my own awards. The best Canadian, anabaptist, charismatic, evangelical, emerging church, prairie blog. I think I’d win that one. However I had to put prairie in there because Len probably fits all those other categories.
Posted by LT in on January 28, 2005
Interview with Romeo Dallaire
Dallaire on why we don’t respond adequately to situations like Darfur and Rwanda.
Fundamentally, the gain is not there for them and the risks are too high. The gain is not there because the sense of responsibility to human beings is simply not holding water against the self-interested demands imposed by the governments and on the governments by their people and structures. So we’ve simply become more overt with the prioritization of humanity, where some count more than others. And unless there is a gain to be had, then governments will not risk their administrations on potential casualties and difficulties in these complex missions of intrastate conflict in foreign lands.
Read the whole interview here.
Posted by LT in on January 27, 2005
I’ve been deeply impacted by Dallaire’s book
Reading Dallaire’s book about the Rwandan genocide has deeply convicted me. Why do I care more about the politics of the NHL than I do about hundreds of thousands of people in Africa? Why are the headlines in my country about gay marriage and judges that say too much to the press instead of the preventable humanitarian disaster unfolding as I type?
In the past I would look at the TV and think, man this is horrible, and then go on with my life. In the back of my mind I would think that these things always happen and there is nothing we can do about them. In Rwanda there was lots that we could have done with very little military or economic risk but we didn’t because the public didn’t care. A previous post I wrote about this same issue was interpreted as a shot against the US. It wasn’t, at least no more than a shot against any other western country. The reason why our governments don’t act is that the public doesn’t know, and the public doesn’t act.
It isn’t like people haven’t tried to get through to us. Bono challenged the church to respond to AIDS in Africa. I ignored him. After reading Dallaire’s book, I think someone finally got through to me. It seems the movie Hotel Rwanda is having a similiar impact on some.
Posted by LT in on January 26, 2005
Sudan bombs civilians in Darfur
“Observers from the African Union say the Sudanese air force has bombed villagers in southern Darfur.
Aid agency workers say there are an unknown number of casualties.
The bombing is described as a major ceasefire violation. “
The rotten fruit of evangelicalism
If a good tree bears good fruit then why are evangelicals so immoral? Ronald Sider compiles a list of statistics that reveal most evangelicals are not significantly different from non-evangelicals.
- The divorce rate is higher
- Just as likely to beat their wives
- More likely to be a racist
- Almost as likely to have pre-marital sex
- Just as materialistic
Sider tries to offer some solutions but I think they fall short. I believe we need to search deeper and question our assumptions about the gospel and the church. One of our faults is that we apply the same answers to the same questions and we keep getting the same results.
Freedom tickling routine
Twenty months after Saddam Hussein’s government was toppled and its torture chambers unlocked, Iraqis are again being routinely beaten, hung by their wrists and shocked with electrical wires, according to a report by a human rights organization.
Iraqi police, jailers and intelligence agents, many of them holding the same jobs they had under Hussein, are “committing systematic torture and other abuses” of detainees, Human Rights Watch said in a report to be released Tuesday.
Read the rest at MSNBC.
Posted by LT in on January 24, 2005
“The emergency in Darfur presents the starkest challenge to the world since the Rwanda genocide in 1994. A government-backed Arab militia known as Janjaweed has been engaging in campaigns to displace and wipe out communities of African tribal farmers.
Villages have been razed, women and girls are systematically raped and branded, men and boys murdered, and food and water supplies targeted and destroyed. Government aerial bombardments support the Janjaweed by hurling explosives as well as barrels of nails, car chassis and old appliances from planes to crush people and property. Tens of thousands have died. Well over a million people have been driven from their homes and humanitarian agencies have only limited access to the affected region.”
Reading about the Rwandan genocide has convicted me deeply about easily preventable humanitian disasters. I invite you to learn all you can about the genocide in the Sudan and do what you can to raise awareness of this important issue. Jordon compiled this list of links.
Shake hands with the devil
I just finished Romeo Dallaire’s account of the Rwandan genocide. Like many others I have been deeply impacted the book. This is the only book I’ve read that put me in some form of shock as I read it. It was like I couldn’t process what I was reading and now that I am finished it is slowly sinking in. The only time I felt remotely like this is when I studied the effects of colonization in Canada. We all like to think we are the good guys. It is profoundly disturbing when you realize that your country could have done so much more but didn’t.
This book has shaken my faith in the moral integrity of the western world.
I am eagerly anticipating the movie Hotel Rwanda.
Posted by LT in on January 20, 2005
The Emerging Church should prepare for nastiness
The Emerging Church should be prepared for a lot of heat in the next couple of years. For years the EC has existed under the radar but now articles and books are being written. Some are fair and some are not. To many the EC seems like another new hip trend to further distract people from things that really matter. That certainly isn’t my experience but I can see where people get that impression. Because the EC is so diverse almost any criticism will have some truth in it.
In certain situations we need to resist the urge to respond. There are some people that aren’t worth responding to. We should ask ourselves two questions. Is the person I’m talking to being helped by the conversation? Am I being helped by the conversation? If the answer is no on both counts let it go.
If the criticism is based solely on the critics interpreation of text (websites, articles, blogs, books) and they have haven’t first asked a real person “help me understand you”, chances are they aren’t motivated to understand. They just want to be understood.
Some criticism is destructive. There is no way to avoid this. Jesus said those who follow him will be persecuted. I’m not trying to paint the EC as Jesus’ movement and the rest of the church as the Pharisees. I think all movements and denominations are a mixed bag. However as soon anyone begins to question the status quo and real fruit arises from their ministry evil reacts. There is no honor in suffering for your own idiocy, but God does honor those who suffer for righteousness sake. If we want to be leaders in God’s kingdom we have to prepared to suffer, to be misrepresented and slandered.