Sunday, November 01, 2020

This Is The Most Important Week Of Your Life-- Just Like Every Other Week Has Been And Will Continue To Be



Asterisked-- The Worst President In History by Nancy Ohanian

Satan's doorway into American Christianity has always been through the hucksters, charlatans and cranks who make up the leadership of the evangelical movement. And then came Trump... and the next step. Washington Post reporter Sarah Bailey wrote about the rise of so-called Patriot Churches last week. Today they are "praying for a Trump landslide [and that] 'communism and socialism and transgenderism and homosexuality and abortion will not have their way in this land.'... While most White conservative Christian churches might only touch on politics around election time and otherwise choose to keep the focus during worship on God, politics and religion are inseparable here. The Tennessee congregation is one of three Patriot Churches that formed in September. The other two are near Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia., and in Spokane, Washington [see Matt Shea], and [Pastor Ken] Peters says he is talking with several more pastors of existing churches who want to join them... Peters’s flock is not affiliated with a specific denomination, but it does have a distinct identity. The Patriot Churches belong to what religion experts describe as a loosely organized Christian nationalist movement that has flourished under President Trump. In just four years, he has helped reshape the landscape of American Christianity by elevating Christians once considered fringe, including Messianic Jews, preachers of the prosperity gospel and self-styled prophets. At times, this made for some strange bedfellows, but the common thread among them is a sense of being under siege and a belief that America has been and should remain a Christian nation."

They call masks "face diapers" and their perceived enemies are, government-mandated vaccines, Planned Parenthood, anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter. When one woman at a service said she wished there was some social distancing, another crackpot told her "Oh, trust the Lord with your health." People are encouraged to not wear masks. Newt Gingrich's sister, always an even crazier version of him, is a prominent member of the congregation in Tennessee. "Christians are being persecuted. That’s why we’re raising up people right now. We’ve had it with being second-class citizens," she said. "Even if Trump wins, the fight isn’t over."

Way on the other side of the Christianity spectrum are the Jesus followers, who are also very concerned with politics-- although in a very different way than Ken Peters, Susan Gingrich and Matt Shea (did you check him out?). Take John Pavlovitz, whose recent post, The Most Important Tuesday of Your Life has been on fire in woke evangelical precincts. He wrote that Americans' minds and hearts are solely fixed on Tuesday. But they shouldn't be.

"Regardless of what happens on Tuesday," he wrote, "whatever propels you into the voting booth needs to push you to your feet when the sun comes up in the morning. Because no matter the outcome and whether you feel vindicated or crestfallen-- many things will still be the same: You’ll still be surrounded by systemic ills and relational fracture and national discord. You’ll still have seen every grotesque reality that’s been uncovered over the past four years. You’ll still be walking shoulder to shoulder with weary, wounded human beings who will be looking for compassionate people to see their suffering and to move toward them. You’ll still have a specific front row seat to a place filled with terrors and traumas, and you’ll be the only one with your unprecedented ability to be what that world needs. This isn’t just about an election." 
I’d like to think that we are moved by something far greater than a date on the calendar or an election result or a candidate’s victory; that our collective elation or devastation do not reside in those things.

And ultimately, this isn’t just about the current President either.

If he were to disappear tomorrow, we would still be left with the fallout of everything he revealed: every bit of exposed ugliness, every cruel word uttered toward strangers, every disconnection we’ve endured from people we love.

We’ll still be who we are, surrounded by people being who they are, in the nation we’ve become-- and in the resulting tumult we’ll need to navigate the turbulence around us and bridge the expanses between us.

So where will hope be if it all hits the fan on that Tuesday?

It will be you, finding whatever it is that is that pulls you out of the crippling funk of grief and sadness and disbelief you’ll want to stay in-- and back into the fray of living. 
It will be found in your faith convictions and your personal burdens; in your activism and your advocacy and in the stuff you’ll still believe in.

It will be found in you deciding what matters most in this life, and whether or not it still matters enough to defend and protect it even if the threats seem greater than they are now.

Hope will be in the sunrise and how you decide to meet it.

In that way, Wednesday is actually pretty important, too.

On that day, there will still be hungry people needing to be fed, strangers seeking refuge, outsiders needing welcome, hurting people looking for the healers.

No matter what happens, win or lose-- you and I will need to place our energies and fix our gaze on the ways that we can choose gentleness and peace and generosity, far away from the ballot box.

On November 3rd, we’ll experience one of the pivotal, unprecedented moments in our lifetime. 
We’ll have a chance to allow our voices to be heard and to transform the very planet we’re standing on-- as well as the one we leave to people who will follow us.

We’ll get to leave an inheritance to those we love, and a legacy for those we’ll never know.

This particular Tuesday, we’ll get to let our lives impact the lives of countless human beings with one simple, yet profound act that we participate in. It will be our sacred opportunity to speak precisely from our deepest convictions, to let our hearts clearly resound into the world, and to know that we can be the difference in the day. In the face of a deafening fear that would gladly overwhelm us, we’ll get the chance to let love have the last, loudest word.

This is beautiful news, but the even better news is that we have that opportunity well before Tuesday and we’ll have it long after it as well.

As you read these very words, you have it.

Every single moment we’re here, you and I get to be agents of equity and justice. We don’t have to wait for an event to choose such things, and we can’t be fooled into believing they have an expiration date either.

The gravity of this moment isn’t just about changing Presidents and Senate seats and flipping districts and political victories (though it is certainly is about all those things.) Yes, legislatively there is so much hanging in the balance this particular Tuesday-- but the stakes are always similarly stratospheric, even if they are less noticeable.

The really critical act, is remembering that leveraging your life on behalf of others isn’t an event, it’s your ever-present calling. It’s about you and your daily ability to make this place more compassionate and generous and kind than when you found it. You get to be helper and healer and listener; to be an ally and an advocate and an activist.

There will be no way you can lose that.

As you move toward this Tuesday, don’t miss the countless opportunities you have, with every seemingly infinitesimal decision to elect hope, well before you ever step into a voting booth, and long after you walk out into the day.

So yes, please vote-- but regardless of the results of the election, remember that you always have that choice.

Yes, Tuesday is important.

Wednesday, too.

Today is just as critical.

This week is the most important week of your life.

It always is.
Jesus saves; Trump spreads COVID.

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At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this Howie!

It's a needed reminder that I'll be sharing.

Hope you're well and that Wednesday's sunrise, and all the rest of them, find you feeling energized, elated and hopeful.

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Troy Wallace said...

Didn't mean to make that anonymous...

At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On November 3rd, we’ll experience one of the pivotal, unprecedented moments in our lifetime.
We’ll have a chance to allow our voices to be heard and to transform the very planet we’re standing on... We’ll get to leave an inheritance to those we love, and a legacy for those we’ll never know.

... um... not really. All we're doing is trying to rid ourselves of one old white racist rapist and replacing him with another old white racist rapist. The inheritance/legacy will be a worse shithole than before no matter who fails to lose.

And the reason could not be more clear: "We’ll still be who we are, surrounded by people being who they are, in the nation we’ve become"... a sharply divided shithole with armed insane racist totalitarians on one side and dumber-than-shit pussies on the other.

and I'm supposed to be optimistic?

At 7:26 AM, Blogger sagraham said...

Howie, once again, You have so eloquently distilled it down two what’s truly important. God bless you!

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOBODY expects the American Inquisition!

Our chief weapon is lies...lies and hate...hate and lies.... Our two weapons are hate and lies...and Democratic inefficiency.... Our *three* weapons are hate, lies, and Democratic inefficiency...and a fanatical devotion to the Trump....

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the trump fanaticism is aided and abetted by the rest of us/US' devotion to democraps who are pussies loathe to do anything at all but serve the money.

the idiots think they're voting against the nazis, but really they're only aiding and abetting... in 2 years.


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