Posted on: 11/20/06:
The statement, “She’s a Whore, but she’s my Mother", has historically been attributed to Cicero, Augustine and Dorothy Day. However, Augustine and Day give this statement particular religious connotation. Neuhaus writes in Freedom for Ministry, “The Bride of Christ mentioned in Revelation 21 will be something quite new to our eyes, but she will be no stranger, for we will recognize her as the whore of Christendom transformed. It is only by trusting that promise that we dare now to call the whore of Christendom the Bride of Christ.”
Foundational to such a critique are Isaiah’s words. Isaiah writes in 1:21, “How the faithful city [Jerusalem] has become a whore.” And then in verse 26, he concludes with Judah’s restoration after the spiritual transformation. “Then I will restore your judges as at the first, And your counselors as at the beginning; After that you will be called the city of righteousness, A faithful city.” Consequently, we should not be surprised to then see John detail in Revelation 21 the concluding spiritual transformation of the Church of Christ as the fulfillment of our Father’s true Israel: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband…the first things have passed away.” The Church, this one time whore, is to be presented as the perfect and holy bride of Christ. What wonderful promise and consolation we find in this consummation!
But we cannot only find rest in these texts. The texts, in there force, power and relevance, give us call and command. The texts give us a charge as much as they provide comfort. How can this transformational dynamic involving the Christian Church involve and be focused to influence Black folks? What are we able to deduce regarding the needed transformation of the Black Church and Community? The question framed in the nature of a charge and responsibility is this: Should we target and engage a struggling and misguided diverse institution such as the Black Church and Black Community by remaining amongst and ministering to it or should we abandon the Black Church and Community because she has been unfaithful to her Lord, Friend and Redeemer?
Posted on: 11/06/06:
Today after talking to a Korean pastor-friend of mine about pastoring and the pastor’s life, it comes to no surprise that we immediately began briefly discussing Ted Haggard’s recent scandal. I wasn’t going to say anything about this because there is already so much press (here and here) concerning this tragic issue, but after our mutually encouraging conversation, I needed to say something.
The Rocky Mountain News entitles one of its many articles on Haggard, “Haggard leaves posts amid gay-sex scandal.” Since we all know the regular evangelical routine with these occurrences, I am more interested in what is not being discussed in this and similar instances.