Sweet 16 Day 2

The Writers

1 – Rachel Held Evans – Searching for Sunday
“I told them we’re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what we’re for, I said, not just what we’re against. We don’t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuff—biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justice—but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.”


5 – John Wesley
“One great reason why the rich in general have so little sympathy for the poor is because they so seldom visit them. Hence it is that one part of the world does not know what the other suffers. Many of them do not know, because they do not care to know: they keep out of the way of knowing it – and then plead their voluntary ignorance as an excuse for their hardness of heart.” 


Church Voices

8 – Jonathan Aigner – Ponder Anew blog
Because, friends, true worship doesn’t meet our felt needs, it awakens us to the needs of the community around us. It is so disruptive that we cannot continue with our lives as planned. Something in us must change, so that we can be the change we want to see. We need to say, “Enough!” How much longer can we sit around and watch the jesusy show? How much longer can we arrogantly stand around and croon “My chains are gone!” while fellow image-bearers are being tackled, bound, and shot dead right in our backyards?  Can we really continue to inebriate ourselves on the wine of consumeristic Christianity, and ignore the silent tears of our neighbors? When will we realize that only through rich, gospel-centered corporate prayer, can we become God’s prayer for an ugly world? It is to our own sin and shame that we continue worship like there’s no one around but me and Jesus. There’s a big, ugly world out there. Now let’s worship like it.”


4 – Nadia Bolz Weber – Accidental Saints
“There are many reasons to steer clear of  Christianity. No question. I fully understand why people make that choice. Christianity has survived some unspeakable abominations: the Crusades, clergy sex-scandals, papal corruption, televangelist scams, and clown ministry. But it will survive us, too. It will survive our mistakes and pride and exclusion of others. I believe that the power of  Christianity — the thing that made the very first disciples drop their nets and walk away from everything they knew, the thing that caused Mary Magdalene to return to the tomb and then announce the resurrection of Christ, the thing that the early Christians martyred themselves for, and the thing that keeps me in the Jesus business (or, what my Episcopal priest friend Paul calls “working for the company”) — is something that cannot be killed. The power of unbounded mercy, of what we call The Gospel, cannot be destroyed by corruption and toothy TV preachers. Because in the end, there is still Jesus.” 

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