Category Archives: DOING JUSTLY

Dear Mr. POTUS,

writeletter

Dear Mr. POTUS,

By declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital with the intent to move our embassy there you’ve made the world a more, rather than less, dangerous place to live. No doubt you gained the political capital that you aimed for from your white evangelical base. But not everyone who identifies as such is either part of that base or applauds your senseless move. Here is one white evangelical male who doesn’t consider your decision the least bit heroic. It was self-serving and more of your posturing to which we’re becoming habituated––as in a frog in a warming kettle.

Given what you said after Charlottesville, a champion for the Jewish people you’re not. That became clear when the protestors screamed, “Jews will not replace us!” and all you could say that day was there were “very fine people” on both sides. No, Mr. President, this was purely political fodder on the same lines as your supposed support of religious freedom and rights of the unborn.

I love the Jews and their land with all my heart. As a Christian I respect the people, their history, and their place in the grand scheme of birthing our Messiah. From my study of eschatology they may even have a place in the last days leading up to the return of Jesus, but the idea that some of my brethren hold that everything they do is righteous is inane. I do pray for the “peace of Jerusalem,” but you’ve just pushed peace further away and swelled the violent tendencies of both sides of the conflict.

I have to say that this was a reckless deal from someone who considers himself a “Deal Maker.” If you were going to make this outrageous move, at the absolute minimum you could have gotten something back from the Jewish state like getting them to stop building and maintaining settlements in the West Bank.

The Jesus you claim to know said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” Just like you’ve done with North Korea, you have managed to antagonize an already incendiary situation and stalled any chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

I’m sorry, Mr. President, I can’t join any chorus of praise to you for keeping a campaign promise, when your promise was just so much grandstanding to begin with. I don’t believe that you actually care about the Jewish people or what they call their capital. The argument that since the status quo approach hasn’t worked to bring peace, so let’s shake it up and see what happens, is not only a bad strategy, but an inhumane one. I wonder if you had loved ones living in Jerusalem, would you have gone ahead and poured gas on this tinderbox?

Your swagger, Mr. President, in such situations, at the very least makes our country look ridiculous to the rest of the world, and at worst is getting people killed.

I pray for you everyday to be a better person and a better president.

“Peace on earth and good will toward men.”

Barney Wiget

White Evangelical Patriot

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DON’T ADD TO THE UGLINESS!

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After Charlottesville’s disaster on Saturday, while waiting in my car for some friends with whom I was going into the park to try to love some people toward Jesus, I broke into tears. I just sat there and cried––overcome by the sadness of it all.

I’m appalled and grieved by the demonically inspired hate that one group of humans can have for another, by that hate turning violent and murderous, by our President’s wet noodle, obfuscating seesaw remarks about it, and by the adolescent rhetoric and sloganizing that, predictably, has followed in the media.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t about “free speech.” You can’t have “free speech” if someone brings a gun to intimidate those they despise. You can’t argue with the armed, especially if they have friends in the White House. Continue reading

James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 5:7-20

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These few highlights are from our concluding podcast message on the epistle of James. If you’ve followed these 8 or 9 teachings, you’ve already heard me say that James, the half-brother of Jesus, had a very specific theme in mind when he wrote, a class-less Christianity. In his last chapter, he pulled out all the stops and confronted those from a higher socioeconomic status who oppressed those with little to no status with impunity. Read at your own risk!


Here are a few select sound bytes of mine from the podcast

Jesus, the justice-maker is coming… The Leveler is coming and he will even things out…

The oppressor will be judged and the oppressed will be vindicated…

When the Lord returns, he’ll fix all inequities. You’ll get justice, if not now, certainly when he comes back. And he is “near.” Continue reading

James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 5:1-6

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Here we are finally in the last chapter of James making a slow descent toward the runway to land this thing. We’ll be taking just the first half of chapter 5 today and finishing up next time.

As I’ve been saying all along, James’ letter addresses and undresses classism, the idea and lifestyle that one human is better than another based on external factors, like economics and social standing. You can’t be the kind of Christian that James, to say nothing of his half-brother Jesus, approve of, and at the same time, judge the relative worth of other humans based on their socioeconomic success or race or any external factor.

As in previous posts, I’ll be whetting your appetite with some hors d’oeuvres from my podcast on these verses from James 5. Please listen to the brief-ish audio and share it with someone you love!


A final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You’ll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment.” The Message Bible

“Making a killing” to describe a good financial deal in stock market or real estate market is an interesting colloquialism, don’t you think? Who or what is being “killed” and who benefitted from the killing? Continue reading

What About The Wall?

Children play at a newly built section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall at Sunland Park, U.S. opposite the Mexican border city of Ciudad JuarezWe seem divided about The Wall that the President proposes (pun intended). I’m sure my opinion will be taken into consideration in Washington when it comes to build or not to build, as are all my opinions. It’s just a matter of time to receive my routine call from the White House.

I admit that neither construction nor political science is my forte, but what I do know something about is the Bible. And when I heard someone argue for The Wall on the basis that “they had walls in Bible times, therefore walls are good,” I couldn’t help but chime in.

“Jerusalem has a wall,” they say, “a pretty big one by ancient standards, built, no doubt, by the ancients to keep their enemies out. So what’s the problem with us having our own wall? It’s in the Bible, isn’t it? There’s even an entire Bible book (Nehemiah) devoted to rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall.” Continue reading

James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 4:1-17

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This is the 7th in a series of posts on the epistle of James. I put the highlights here in the blog and then unpack it in my podcast. I encourage you to listen to it in order to connect the dots and get the meat of the teaching.

A lot of Christians seem to be just as obsessed as any pre-christian with wealth, social status, power, and personal pleasure…

James wrote some pretty severe things. And he was writing to the Church, not to the National Association of Atheists!

The Christians he addressed were fighting for more possessions, for a better class, for a better social position, a better socioeconomic status… Continue reading

James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 2:8-26

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We’re doing a commentary through the book of James with an emphasis on justice and the kind of Christianity that treats people equally––a “Classless Christianity.” I put some of the highlights here in the blog to pique your interest enough to check out my brief audio teaching on these key verses.

Classism is when those WITH LESS are seen and treated AS LESS!

The first part of this chapter could be entitled: “Bigots Go To Church!” That is to say that a bigot is a bigot is a bigot and some of them serve as deacons, Sunday School teachers, and ushers at the door…

Jesus taught that hated Samaritans often make better neighbors than beloved Saints…

Our neighbor may well come from a different neighborhood, but they’re still neighbors and require the same respect that we give someone next door to us…

True Christianity is Classless… There’s no room in the church for law-breaking socioeconomic bigots… Continue reading