Monthly Archive: May 2007

CPT gets some publicity…

cptrich.jpg

Some BBCers followed around a recent CPT delegation, and posted photos with captions. Even some photos and quotes from our very own YAR member Rich. Looking good, Rich.

I’d be interested in hearing some thoughts on CPT’s work, or ways to work for peace and/or justice. Should the church be actively supporting this sort of work? I’d argue that CPT is doing great work, but recently I’ve heard some critiques accusing CPT of working for “justice” instead of “peace”. What is the role of forgiveness is situations of oppression?

Just trying to stimulate some discussion…

results from the age poll

Well, this poll has been up long enough. It is time for a change. So, I’m posting the results for posterity and I’ll put up a new one when I’m done. The poll was up for about a month and a half and received 86 responses – here they are.

YAR or OAR? How old are you? (don’t worry, all are welcome, we’re just curious).

18   3 3%
18-23  25 29%
24-29 27

31%
30-35 8 9%
36-45 12 14%
46-55 

8 9%
56-65   2 2%
> 65  1

1%

For some background on this poll and others, you might check here and here.

Supreme Court Hates Women

From the New York Times: Justices Limit Discrimination Suits Over Pay.

From 2001 to 2006, workers brought nearly 40,000 pay discrimination cases. Many such cases are likely to be barred by the court’s interpretation of the requirement in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that employees make their charge within 180 days “after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.”

In a vigorous dissenting opinion that she read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the majority opinion “overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination.” She said that given the secrecy in most workplaces about salaries, many employees would have no idea within 180 days that they had received a lower raise than others.

According to NPR, one of the cases cited as “precedence” for this ruling has been overturned by congress. If you find the details, link it up.

Sexism has never been so much fun.

Ba-ack step, tri-ple step, tri-ple step, ba-ack step, spi-in left…

I had way too much fun swing dancing this weekend. When I sat down to blog about it on my personal blog today, I started realizing just how much gender roles are infused into that seemingly-innocent passtime. I thought back to my comment in response to Tom’s giving-up-music post, how it was admirable to be willing to give up something you like because something else is more important. I realized swing dancing might be that for me. Now, I know I only just got back into it, and it’s not an ingrained part of my life (yet; it very well could be soon). When near a thrift store today, I stopped in to see if they had any heel-less shoes I’d want to wear dancing.

The difference between music/secular music and dancing is the music is a personal morality issue, which the prolific YAR posters tend not to be concerned about, while the dancing definitely could contribute to social sexist pressures and all that. (more…)

A Mennonite Theology of Culture

I just returned from a 3-week trip to Europe studying Anabaptist/Mennonite history, led by Goshen College professor John D. Roth. We started in the Alsace region of Eastern France, and traveled through Switzerland, Southern Germany, Northern Germany, Friesland in the Netherlands, and then finished in and near Amsterdam. We visited current Mennonite (or historically Mennonite) congregations as well as historic sites in Anabaptist and Mennonite history.

These are thoughts which arose during that trip, but were most recently inspired by Edward Christian’s post on Radical Anabaptism and Radical Biblical Exegesis, as well as Nate Myers’ comments on FolkNotion’s post Is it really a sin?, but I thought they deserved their own post. I’ve done my best to keep up with YAR, but I’m sure these things have been said earlier by others (and probably in better ways), so I apologize for that.

As I read the Schleitheim Confession, I realized — as many modern Mennonites have realized before me — that I didn’t (and don’t) like it. At all. This admission led to a basic question that probably arises from any study of the early Anabaptists: “What am I supposed to do with this? How should I respond to (bad) Anabaptist theology?” And as I say it, I realize that I’ve been taught to think of the latter question as a form of heresy. (more…)

BVOTD 5-28

Proverbs 30:7-9
7 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:

8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God. (more…)

Music

If you remember, in my intro post, I mentioned that I am a youth pastor. I am in my 8th month of youth pastoring now, and I would like to discuss with YAR an issue that am dealing with as a pastor: Music.

Nine months ago (before I was a YP) music was not an issue at all in my life. I listened to whatever I wanted to, and on occasion I would censor some “bad stuff” from myself. For instance, if the song blatantly objectified women (i.e. anything on MTV), promoted violence, sex, drugs etc. I would try to avoid it. That being said, my personal “censoring filter” was pretty generous. By and large, if I liked the way it sounded I listened to it. (more…)

Radical Anabaptism and Radical Biblical Exegesis

I have much appreciation for the energy, honesty, courage and openess to address anabaptism past, presence and future. A question on “radical” Anabaptism has not been raised though — or raised sufficiently enough. For this takes much courage and honest. In all actuality, it takes the greatest amount possible — because it will hurt, and for some, it will be excruciating. Because if we desire to be “radical” we must address a radical understanding of the Bible. We must get at the root (‘radix’) of what the Bible is. This is scary stuff! As Anabaptists we must be radical about the nature and character of the Bible. Every issue, every question, every statement that is being talked about here on the Radical Anabaptist blog is rooted (‘radix’) in the Bible. The scriptures are the foundation for all of this. Thus, we must get to the root (‘radix’) of the Bible itself. We cannot stay our hand, we must — for truth’s sake — (for God is spirit and truth ) take the scalpel and dig deep. (more…)

young anabaptist radicals

I teach anabaptist theology at columbia bible college in abbotsford, bc. I’m intrigued by the title of the site and find it quite appropriate in that I believe that the nature of the 16 century movement was in many ways a youth movement. Many of the early radicals were dead before they reached the age of 30! e.g Grebel and Denck to name my 2 favs. as one who seeks to inspire a new movement in the 21st century I was excited when a friend told me about this site. I look forward to reading and posting occasionally and recommending this site to students.

Bible Reflection – 5/24

Matthew 22:15-22 (NIV)

15Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

18But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

21″Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

22When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

(more…)

A Theology of Enough: Speed and the Working Week

I apologise for my long silence. I’ve recently been thinking a lot about “a theology of enough”, pace of living, and sustainability in all areas of our lives. Instead of crafting a beautiful and articulate essay, I thought I’d offer my ramblings and learn from what responses and questions, if any, fellow YAR readers have to offer to the considerations. I think considering the way we pace our lives, and in particular our working lives, is a spiritual discipline, and therefore an important idea to consider – whether for the first time or as a reminder. (more…)

YAR meetup in San Jose

Eric, Tim, and I just realized that the three of us will be at the Mennonite Church USA Churchwide Convention in San Jose in July. We also figured that a few other contributors and readers might be as well. So, we want to have a little gathering with anyone that wants to show. We are leaning towards supper on Wednesday, July 4.

If you are going to be in San Jose for the MCUSA Convention, please leave a little comment here to tell us and we can work on plans for a gathering.
Also, you might consider coming to the Bay Area a few days early (if you haven’t already gotten tickets) to attend a weekend conference in San Francisco. It is being planned by Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests’ Supportive Communities Network in conjunction with First Mennonite Church of San Francisco and MennoNeighbors (a group that could fit the nickname OAR pretty well – don’t be offended Lin if you are reading this). For more information on the conference check out the BMC website.

Lancaster Congregation to Ordain a Woman on June 24th

Taken from the online edition of The Mennonite

Lancaster Congregation to Ordain a Woman on June 24

LANCASTER, Pa.—More than 60 people from nine congregations gathered at the James Street Mennonite Church on May 16 to discuss how they might respond to a recent decision by Lancaster Mennonite Conference to not allow ordination for women (see Recommendation to Ordain Women Fails on page 19.)

“Very low on the list of options was to leave LMC,” said Linford King, overseer-bishop for the Lancaster City District, “and join another conference or start a new conference. There was a strong move to stay connected to LMC and go ahead with ordinations. The Lancaster district of LMC has formed its own ‘credentialing committee’ to interview candidates. The major impetus to move in this direction is the 1995 Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, our full participation as members with Mennonite Church USA, and the recent Executive Board Affirmation for the Gifts of Women. The group did not engage in the ‘administrative arrangement’ with another conference. There was also some talk of ‘taking a leave of absence’ from LMC and entering a ‘safe house’ free of conference policies and participation.”

James Street Mennonite church is planning for a service of ordination on June 24 for Elizabeth Nissley.—Posted at 10:30 a.m. on May 22 by Anna Groff

What can a GMB possibly have to do with rage? (written at 5 a.m.)

I woke up way too early this morning from a strange dream, as I knew I would when I went to bed at 1. Whenever I go to bed in a distressed emotional state (thankfully this doesn’t happen too often) I sleep my physical tiredness off in a couple hours and then wake up right before the light starts to come, toss and turn for a while. I decided to get up and do something useful. My original idea was of something useful was studying for this huge test I have to take in about a week… but then I thought I’d elicit some words from you all instead. Still useful, right?

The dream was pretty funny, actually. I found myself forced to sit in a kind of revival-style worship service, surrounded by male friends from my hometown, kids my own age. I realized that we were all gay (in my dream), and that this was a service to try to convert us (to holiness and heterosexuality, I guess) The service built to a kind of altar call. A line of young men (who I recognized as older boys from my hometown) were marched in to surround us “sinners” and all assumed a kneeling position of prayer – they were to serve as beacons of virility and heterosexuality and virtue while we responded to the call. Defiantly, I got up and tried to make my way to their line and assume their same posture, to show that they had no exclusive claim on prayer or virtue. One of them got angry and pointed me back to my seat. (more…)