Sunday Superlatives 11/2/14


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Around the Blogosphere...

Wisest:
Efrem Smith with “The Privileged and The Poor” 

“To dismantle poverty in this way, we not only need multi-ethnic congregations, we need multi-class congregations. Poor people ought to have a voice in the Church. They ought to have the opportunity to serve as elders, deacons, preachers, and board members alongside the Privileged. Putting all Privileged People in power and places of influence may be the American way, but it’s not the Kingdom of God way.”

Bravest: 
Micha Boyett with “Deacons and Elders and Me” 

“This is not a story of rebellion. This is not the story of a girl who moved two thousand miles away and learned to take scripture less seriously. This is the story of how my love for scripture deepened and grew more technicolored, beautiful. This is the story of finding myself in a church where I was invited to use my gifts in order to love God faithfully. I will kneel before my church on Sunday in holy trembling, because of the men who led me as a child, because of the women who led me without titles. I will commit my weak-willed soul to the leadership of my church because of the deacons and their wives who gave me courage to travel all the way to these vows. On Sunday I will be ordained.”

Boldest:
Austin Channing Brown with “Bring Yourself” 

“I believe in the legacy of black women who refused to be satisfied with lies. I believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe that I am created in the image of the Divine. I believe that I am at my best when I bring my wholeness to the table. I believe that the weight of racism and patriarchy can’t drown me. I believe that I am made for resistance, for freedom, for community.”

Truest: 
Jason Micheli at Jesus Creed with “If you can’t say it about Jesus, don’t say it about God” 

"We can’t say or think or act like God hates ‘sinners’ because we know Jesus didn’t. We can’t say or think or act like God doesn’t care about the poor because we know Jesus did. We can’t say or think or act as if God is against our enemies because we know Jesus loved them. We can’t scratch our heads and wonder if we need to forgive that person in our lives because know what Jesus said about it."

Coolest: 
Guerilla Mosaic Artist Now Filling Chicago Potholes with Flowers

Most Eye-Opening:
We’ve taken to listening to NPR’s “On the Media” on the 45-minute drive to church on Sundays, and this week’s episode—particularly the reports on money in politics and  “The Unseen World of Content Moderation”—certainly reinforced my conviction that sin is real (just in time for confession). Though some parts were kind of a downer, this episode is worth a listen. 

Most Challenging: 
Tanya Marlow with “What’s Her Name?”

“I understand that there are difficulties with accommodating the various needs of disabled people in churches and conferences. I know this is about pragmatism and budget. But that moment was a humiliating one. I fought back tears, and as people looked on, I smiled my biggest smile to show how fine I was with it. But as I was pushed into the sparsely populated, dimly-lit seating at the front, I wondered if we would tolerate any other minority group in church being segregated in such a blatant form.”

Best Insight: 
Larry Largent with “When We Doubt: The Wilderness Between Our Mountaintop Experiences”

“Our churches would do well to consider Elijah as they interact with those who are brave enough to give voice to their own dark nights of the soul. Not the Elijah on Carmel or Sinai, but the Elijah that was once alone in the Negev wilderness.”

Best Reflection(s)
Everything Richard Beck says about Halloween, Death, and All Saints 

Best Point: 
Caryn Rivadeneira with “School Prayer Doesn’t Need a Comeback” 

“I object to any mission to bring prayer “back” to school because I can’t support the faulty theology—downright heresy—of implying God is only around to hear our prayers when the building sanctions his presence. Prayer never left schools. And God never did either. To suggest otherwise should make us shudder. And yet, that’s what campaigns full of good God-fearing folks seem to be saying.”

[Reminds me of one of my first posts to ever go ‘viral’—“God Can’t Be Kept Out.”

On Facebook…

We have a really great conversation happening on Facebook this week regarding the reality of sin and the use of the word ‘broken.’ I have a feeling this will generate several posts. Feel free to weigh in. 

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So, what caught your eye online this week? What's happening on your blog?

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