John David Kudrick

putting words to work for you

Author: John David Kudrick (page 2 of 12)

“Who Stole My Church?”

Historically, if there has been little serious conflict in the United States between Christian devotion and American allegiance it is not due to the Christian nature of America that some people think exists. Instead this is an indication of the extent that the church has been conformed to American ideals, interest, and identity. No clear distinction between being American and being Christian is even a possibility because the two have become one in the hearts of many. The God they worship is the American God and the nation they love is in some fashion God’s nation. …

By prominently displaying the American flag in church, by singing the National Anthem or other songs that glorify America and foster pride in the nation, by offering special honor to the US military, and perhaps even pledging allegiance to the flag, the nation is invited to take a seat on the throne of God in such tight proximity to the Lord that distinguishing the two becomes virtually impossible. …

Not long ago a friend went to a Sunday morning worship service that had been well advertised in the newspaper. It was billed as a “patriotic celebration.” Indeed, it was one. Not only were “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “The Star Spangled Banner” sung, but as representatives of various branches of the armed forces were presented, the theme song for each branch was played and an announcer offered a few words of praise for the service done by that particular branch. At the conclusion of this ceremony several soldiers impressively rappelled from the ceiling of this very large church building. At a climactic point in the service an enormous American flag … was raised. There were even fireworks. Yes, Scripture was referenced, prayers were offered, and a sermon was delivered. The title of the sermon was, “Who Stole Our Nation?” As my friend told me about the service I could not help but to imagine that Jesus was left asking: “Who stole my church?”

from bowing toward babylon by craig m. watts

My kingdom is not of this world.

Jesus: from the book of John, chapter 18, verse 36

Can We See Our World through Different Lenses?

5 Questions to Consider

1. How will you join God’s peace at work in your community?

2. Are there people or organizations in your communities who demonstrate what peace looks like?

3. Where have you found God’s peace in the work that you’re doing?

4. Where have you struggled to find God’s peace?

5. What are some things you can do to actively be a conduit for transformative peacemaking?

from “We need to engage in more costly peacemaking” by Glen Guyton

Matter or Anti-Matter?

Flash Fiction for Thought

“I just don’t get these BLACK LIVES MATTER signs and shirts. I mean, don’t all lives matter?”

“Apparently not.”

Double-Barreled Bible?

Speaking at a predominantly white seminary located in a neighborhood populated mainly by southern Asians (not long after 9/11/2001):

I said, “There are verses in the Bible that can be used to justify genocide. Not only can they be potentially used to justify genocide, they have been used to do so on many occasions. … Should I be worried if I’m a Muslim or Hindu person living outside your walls?” And there was this moment of silence, and then this student stood up … and he held up his Bible and he said, “If the word of God says to commit genocide, it’s a holy genocide and I will defend it with my life.”

brian mclaren, from “the bible as a weapon on The bible for normal people

That’ll Quote: Parenting Pointers

The next time you tune in to the daily COVID-19 briefing, study Dr. Fauci’s presence. He is calm, intelligent, well-informed, well-spoken, and free from emotional outbursts. In short, he’s gained Gen Z’s trust not just for where he’s speaking, but how he’s speaking. As you disciple your children on everything from politics to sexuality, remember this: You don’t need to be the loudest or coolest voice in the room. What you need and what they desire is wisdom. A captivating voice bathed in openness, humility, and honesty. A voice centered in prudence, free from binary thinking, defensive postures, and quick judgments. You’ll know you are on the path to finding that voice when you cease the need to be right about everything while losing the desire to control every outcome. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. And in the end, you just might find you’ve earned the right to be heard.

from “the culture translator,” vol. 6, issue 17, april 24, 2020

“So What Will We Do About That?”

What have we really learned from all this? How have we grown and how have we transformed? How have we then accepted the opportunity God has put before us to live into a deeper expression of Her Kingdom?

I say ‘opportunity’ here knowing full well that really engaging the challenge and potential of this time is not a given, and, if history and observation of the present are any indication, many, many people will not seize hold of this opportunity; instead, they’ll find new ways to distract themselves until they can get back to ‘normalcy’. The problem is that the normalcy we’ve had in this culture is by no reasonable standards healthy, just, or aligned in harmony with God’s Creation.

So what will we do about that? What will we who claim to be religious, who claim to follow Christ—who, by the way, has always borne witness against most of what we assume as normal and right, whether we want to acknowledge that fact or not—what will we do about this whole scenario? Will we fall back into old habits, old assumptions and old patterns of corrosive behavior, or will we finally do something fundamentally different to reshape our world for the betterment of all?

from “a homily for holy thursday” by brendan ellis williams

“Forgiveness Is Good” Friday

As he slowly bled to death, it seemed like the whole world had gathered to ridicule Jesus. As he hung there dying, they beat and mocked Jesus for being so naive as to waste his time on pathetic and misguided ideas like forgiveness. For which he forgave them.

From “The Gospel of Luke” in the book God Is Disappointed in You, by Mark Russell (writer) and Shannon Wheeler (cartoonist)

This Just in …

“About 200 attend Hempfield’s Word of Life Church amid coronavirus shutdown”

A Timely Word for the World

“Love Alone Overcomes Fear”

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