Beware the Amish pirates

Kairos and Lent in the “Holy Land”

March 8th, 2010 by TimS

Crossposted from Ekklesia, UK by ST with permission of Tim Siedel

Experiencing the Lenten season in Palestine is unique. It carries with it incredible feelings of closeness and concreteness as one visits sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem — the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected. Yet, those feelings of closeness are easily swallowed up by a sense of separation and forsakenness as one considers the current situation.

In the recently released Kairos Palestine Document, Palestinian Christians take this situation as their starting point in challenging theological interpretations of those “who use the Bible to threaten our existence as Christian and Muslim Palestinians,” trying to “attach a biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rights.”

Though Easter and its celebration of resurrection and new life defines Christianity, in a place like Palestine the season of Lent always seems more appropriate. read more »

Global Anabaptism – present reality, realistic goal or hopeful optimism?

May 21st, 2007 by TimS

I haven’t written into this space for some time now. I apologize for the ways in which that is obvious in what I write below and for the ways it may cheapen my requests from you all. Almost embarrassingly, I’ve been forced to skim over your most recent YAR conversations so that my input doesn’t completely fail to hit some thread of relevancy and interest. Disclaimers…disclaimers… here’s the word I’d like to share:

This is, firstly, a ‘howdy’ from Southeast Asia – northern Laos (Vientiane), at the moment. Secondly, it is a more direct plug for BikeMovement Asia, recently alluded to indirectly on this site by Hinke, Jason and possibly others. Thirdly, it is a suggestion that BikeMovement – in its attempt to draw out individual and collective stories – is one way to approach the theological/social ‘doing’ that is being reckoned with in conversations here. BikeMovement Asia does a lot of talking too. The same sort of talking/analyzing that happens on this sort of site. But we live the stories as well. read more »

The ‘Reign of God’ is among you…

October 11th, 2006 by TimS

The Associated Press reported, on October 8, that 75 people attended the funeral of Charles C. Roberts. About half of the “mourners” were Amish.

In a world run by retaliatory violence, a community near Lancaster PA took a chance on the Reign of God.

That’s history. It’s irrefutable. It’s staggeringly convicting. It’s Anabaptism – lived.

selective systems of service and poverty

September 23rd, 2006 by TimS

This afternoon I was taking a test for a course called Jesus and the Gospels. I was laboring over questions and getting irritated with myself for not studying more. But there was a time issue – not only a commitment issue. I like Jesus – and the Christian Scriptures that recall the good news that surrounds his stories. I like trying to remember which Gospel is the longest, the shortest, the oldest, the most Jewish. I like trying to recall which Gospel contains what parable and that John’s gospel is the only one in which the hackneyed “for God so loved the world…” passage appears. Some of it is rote memorization for memorization’s sake, but I do like knowing, at least, that Jesus does say “I am the way,” but that he only says it in one of the four Gospels. Only one of the writers chose to put that phrase on the lips of Jesus. I think that is interesting. But this isn’t the point. read more »

A White Supremacist Theology of Liberation

September 16th, 2006 by TimS

A friend recently told me that I should start saying things, whether I have them right or not – that the saying, the conversation is what matters. So, in that spirit, here’s a glimpse into what I consider, along with Robin Hawley Gorsline, to be contemporary white-supremacy. And why we can’t just say white supremacy exists out there, but that all white people, including you and I, are white-supremacists.

I am attempting to discuss a way of living and being – a particular ethic. My deepest hope is that it corresponds as closely as possible with the way of being and living that Jesus asks of us. I’m using theology as a medium to talk about the broader issue of white supremacy that white people continue to enforce (whether consciously or not) in the US (and world) today. So this essay is a theological one in the same way that an essay from George Bush on “a Jesus Ethic” might be a presidential one. Bush could offer an anti-white-supremacist presidential perspective to help us think about our own stories of white-supremacy – presidential, theological, economic, pedagogical, etc.

About the title (and an intro into my thoughts): White supremacy makes me think of the KKK and I really don’t like that organization. Theology makes me think of Karl Barth and Paul Tillich and, on occasion, James Cone (all theologians – two are white and better known). Liberation makes me think of oppressed groups of people empowering themselves toward freedoms. I put them together because they don’t really fit and because, in actuality, this particular combination is exactly what we need to learn to fit together. read more »

Things Biographical

September 9th, 2006 by TimS

Ohh…internet blog sites. I’ve never tried one…this is my blog cradle. I will be nurtured here – or shaken out of my comfort to my metaphorical baptism by carpet-burn. And I choose to sign my name to YAR, because I think it’s got potential. The potential to hurt and heal - to annoy us in our comfort, challenge us in our disregard and sooth us in our ailing. It could just be annoying, though. I’ve thought about that. And I’m mostly fine with that too. Especially because recently a friend challenged me to start saying stuff – even if I don’t think I have it right – because, we’re doing this as a community right (like those Anabaptists we keep clinging to), and if I get something wrong, eric or Lora or Michael J will call me on it – and then we’ll have a conversation and someone will learn something.

So, that’s why I’m a young Anabaptist radical – cheap right. Later we might define all those terms. For now: engage as you feel drawn or estranged by any part of that title. I’m still trying to figure out if I like young people or Anabaptists or radicals and when I think of them all together, I get real worked-up. But I’m young and occasionally radical and I try to be Anabaptist – so me blogging here sort of makes sense. I come, at least, from an historically Anabaptist church in Harrisonburg, VA. And they used to be radical, Anabaptists, I mean – but probably my church too.
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