Must Read for the “West”

Everyone should read this article…

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7 Comments»

  listendeeply wrote @

thank you for posting that link. i never really read anything from that site, but this is very good reading. namaste.

  Kelly G. wrote @

I didn’t read the article yet, but I’m reading Brothers K too! How do you like it?

  yucan wrote @

Brothers K is my first Russian novel, and I’m pretty surprised. It’s gritty, passionate, deep… I guess I didn’t know what to expect.  I’m also reading a more recent translation, and I think it helps. It’s the one by Levear and Volokhonsky.

  Floyd wrote @

Interesting. Many diverse reactions, may say more later. But challenging nonetheless.

  chiafrica wrote @

I have asked a friend, a pastor of a large church that gives half of its money to missions, to come and spend time on the fringes. But he won’t. He wants to spend his study leave in Oxford, in Australia. How can American pastors be leaders if they haven’t seen what God is doing elsewhere?

article was good.

i think, in short: talk is cheap. i liked what this man said about just coming. coming back from my trip to SL, i really feel what he has to say. i think we can talk about a lot, and some folks are willing and able to give a lot (bless their souls) but there’s something about being there too. i think that was the biggest blessing for me when i went… like, i am floored in humility by the hospitality of other people, and the lives that they offered to share with me in sierra leone. i am grateful that these people would accept me : with all of my affluent baggage… as their friend.

(i’m not expert or hero either. i feel real blessed to have had spent time in SL)

what he says about the main challenge is africa is so true. it reminds me of how people often ask me about AIDs when they aske me about my trip. to me, it’s funny because he seems to sum up my feelings on what is true there. yes, AIDS is a problem, but it’s bigger than that. Bono just gets a lot of play.

i don’t like quoting a lot , but this writer really hits it on the head. it’s hard for me to swallow it, but it’s true:

“Whether in Africa or America, the Cross is not an easy place to be—it is the symbol of our faith, but we do not love the Cross. “Come down from the Cross” is the cry not just of the Jewish leaders; it’s the cry even of us Christians. We want Christ to come down from the Cross. We don’t like the Cross.”

we don’t like it. i don’t.

  Floyd wrote @

My reaction to what was said in this article was thought provoking and similar to comments that Christian friends from Third World nations have said to me in the recent past. Americans have no business assuming a place of spiritual leadership simply because they are Americans.

That having been said, let me, in the midst of a church that is emphasizing a God who is “multicultural”, sound the voice of caution. No other nation in the world tells its citizens to act ashamed of who they are. The closest to that, I suppose, would be Germans, due to their Nazi past. We don’t even say that of Chinese or Russian Christians because of a violent communist past that causes America’s past injustices to pale into infinitesimal insignificance. Why Americans?

There is no contradiction between someone having a patriotic love for their country and healthy pride for the beneficial things contributed to the life of mankind on this planet, and a open-hearted affirmation that everyone else has equal value to them, that the positive aspects of their cultures are to be embraced and celebrated. Gail and I have done that in our relationships with internationals. All of the students we have known knew that we were passionately patriotic Americans, yet never were offended, for they knew we loved and embraced them, too, for what they were. They never saw us as “ugly Americans.”

I think that, while there is nothing wrong with American Christians employing that “can-do” attitude so unique with us to solve problems faced by our suffering brothers around the world, if led by the Holy Spirit, there is an arrogance that needs to be dealt with and correction made. We American believers should be ready to walk among our brothers with the attitude of: “Yes, I am an American. How may I serve you?” Rather than an extreme assumption of either deferential treatment or anti-American hostility, we should remember that we are “members one of another.” The servanthood of Christ, who did flaunt His God-ness, his Deity, before His disciples as He washed their feet, is the model that once again demands our obedient emulation.

There are incredibly creative possibilities that the Holy Spirit has in store for American believers, with their wealth and influence, that can transform the cultures of the planet, end hunger and disease and injustice in vast areas of the world, and pave the way for the now-highly-mature indigenous Christian leadership all over the world to reap the great end-time harvest in their respective countries. I have no hesitance in believing that America was founded as a base from which the world would be evangelized through the work of her believers. Might it be possible that it would happen by us acting, not as leaders, but as generous servants?

Ciao.

  Jim P. wrote @

What Dr. Zac writes is humble and insightful. It is arrogant to constantly go to our brothers and sisters in other countries to teach, instead of to learn. The Rwandan Anglican Church is sending missionaires to America because they see our need. We Americans are sending missionaries to France–home of the great cathedrals of Christendom–because we see their need. Irony.
Power and politics create partnerships, passions, and partylines. Jesus made it clear that one can not serve two masters. He did not say that it is unwise to attempt it, but if you are a truly dichotomous thinker, you will beat the odds and succeed. He said that it is not possible. The Holy Spirit is clear that in Christ there is no Jew, nor Gentile, no free man, no slave… that all other past relationships and definitions become irrelevent.
I see the centrist thinking that Dr. Zac describes at work in our smaller settings also. We begin to believe that the leaders of a church, those with the most inlfuence and loudest voices, guide the grow and direction of the church and Jesus’ body in it. Yet, the fringe people are talking Christ, living Christ, reading Christ’s words, taking Christ to work with them, and meeting quietly with Him in person and in prayer.


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