Eric and Andy wrestle with the pervasive nature of racism - how we participate in it knowingly and unknowingly and what the gospel has to say about speaking truth to power.
Eric and Andy wrestle with the pervasive nature of racism - how we participate in it knowingly and unknowingly and what the gospel has to say about speaking truth to power.
faith over breakfast. This is Annie Littleton for Mission Church in Tucson, Arizona, And I'm sitting with
Eric Seeping from the village and his breeder's cup. So, coward, I'm doing okay. I got to the church and happy that there were no leaks. Yes, it's a rainy day and two sons always buy. It's my house leaking. Is the church leaking? These are my two way. We're not We're not leaking. We're okay. Yeah. The life is good. Yeah. Um
well, we're Ah, this is the day after Martin Luther King Jr Day. And so we have a few Ah, a few things we unpacked, including a ah, podcast that Erik shared with me from the litter just with Andre Henry in it about being anti racist. Reflections on the day yesterday are, um, how we responded and then Ah, we especially I think that the end of the podcast is the best. Do not that any of it isn't any good, but ah, hang in there because that's we think we really got onto something that will probably follow upon in the next life sometime. Yeah, in the near future. So
I think you often say that the beginning is like hanging on there because it gets good. And I'm like, Yeah, whatever. I would say that this time you actually agree? Least, really, there are moments where you might be thinking, Where's Andy in there? Come with all this. They don't seem sure about themselves. Follow us. And we're not along the journey because I think we end up in a really good place that will make you think that at least kind of give you a place to start. You got it. Shoot the basketball skills. Yeah, well, it's been a while. Apparently. Thursday Thursday. Play some basketball Players day. That's good. High end.
Well, um, here we are settling in. You're trying to figure out your church giving situation. Ah, thanks for making me some coffee. You're welcome. Yeah. And you sent me a couple of a couple of weeks ago, I guess in preparation for this week, I was thinking a little gist podcast. So we've We haven't mentioned the letter.
Just have here and deliver what we
have. It's been a while. Um, and so the ah, anyway, that that's Ah, I think we both said that people in our church this is a podcast that probably gets picked up and listen to you in our in our world, in our community. Um, and yeah. Recently, they had ah, had a guy on their used to work for relevant magazine, among other things, under Henry, who it was specifically talking about being anti racist specifically. And then, um, in our world, not we'll see when this actually releases. But this is the day after Martin Luther King Jr Day, uh, here in a rainy to Sunday and Ah, you know, I don't know about you, but I was paying a lot of attention to this Richmond rally throughout the day. Just hoping nothing. What bad? Really, really bad. So a man, that's what's on my mind.
Yeah, it's on your backwards. I gave the Richmond rally little or no. Fought
little to no thought.
Yeah, Okay. I mean, I I knew about it. Yeah. I didn't think it was gonna be that violent. You were violent at all. And just
glad you felt that way. I wasn't so sure. Yeah. I didn't necessarily think it would get violent, but I saw potential for it to go bad. I was hoping it, but yeah, and I think I was just It made me think throughout the day. Just Yeah, man. What a Why? Why was this on Martin Luther King Jr Day?
That was a little annoying. Just a little. Yeah. Yeah. It seemed to be the wrong focus.
Well, it seemed to be for a reason. Like like they're supposed to it. I don't know, Like you're gonna say, Oh, this is just about guns. But I do it. Why do it on that day if you don't have some kind of
mo? Maybe. I mean, if we were to just I think about it from a logistics perspective, it could have been It was the closest day off the hat. No, these people are gonna way more thought into Come on, get to gather. Hey, we got this that Monday off. So let's let's do a rally, then. I
mean, this is the day we're peaceful. Protest is
Yeah, There seems to be an inappropriate methods there. I don't know.
You know, I didn't I didn't tune in enough. I All I tuned into was to see if anything had gone wrong. I just had a had a news article that had a refresh button that I just hit. Refresh. And I would see peace for peaceful. And I went Okay, I'm glad for that. Well, but But I It's something very much. It came off racist because
I would agree.
Yeah, of that choice, it felt deliberate. And without pulling anybody talking anybody, just my gut sense, which, you know, if we take what under Henry is saying, um, seriously, you know, then it it wasn't just racist. A lot of a lot more is racist, and that was just that was maybe a very stark manifestation of it, actually. But, um, you didn't sit well with me. I'll tell you, I I thought if I were in the African American community, I'd read that aloud and clear. I'm reading it as a white guy. Fire in that community. I'd read that loud and clear is not only a statement about guns, but a statement about me and my people. My holiday, Um, a day that not not that I'm just celebrating like a fun great, but but a major loss. Yeah, in our community. And, ah, why you gonna bring out your big military assault rifles on that day? It's up with that? Yeah. Seems directly agitating. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now. And I'm sure if you talk to somebody on the other side, they'd point all sorts of agitating stuff on, you know that. But But I'm saying it. Yeah, it wasn't. It was insensitive at the least. And very inwardly violent at the most.
Yeah, it was. It was definitely not a good good thing. I wondered, though, when you think about MLK day, I mean, honest confession, I was wiped out. Yeah, a long weekend. And it was just another day off. Yeah, Um, same way I reflect on the president's days or Memorial day, Right? Um,
yeah. You know,
I'm not good at these holidays, and I'm not saying I that I shouldn't like Then that's okay. I just don't know what that looks like. Um,
I had some of that to it. I had a couple of thoughts of, like, you know, there's the march into sign that. Sure. I thought actually, more. It was in retrospect, Should I have gone to that? Like, should I? I should have been at that, you know, But I I also was kind of just just thankful to have a day off, but that it didn't feel It's like, What does this have to do with the intent of this day? Nothing.
Yeah, Be interesting. I mean, I think I like this never happened. But I wonder if MLK Day should be for at least the people in power white people, you and me should be a day of mourning. Like For what? What?
What would that look? But we
have. Yeah, well, we have participated in, but also just historically what our country has has done to the African American community. I'm just I don't know what that means. I don't know. It would because, you know, you think about Hebrews. They know what a national day of mourning looks like. It's It's usually over your sin. And there's this this ah, sitting in ash cloth. And, you know, whatever cash put
it together is ash.
I did ash cloth. That's my new theological term. Cash. We need to have an Ashcroft day. Thank you for a correction of the putting those two words back in the appropriate places, cloth catches them. So
we we've talked about this before. Um, but did you do I I think I know the answer. Did you address MLK day at church, or did you post anything about
No, I did not.
Yeah, united way. And I think I did. I
was beating myself. Yeah, and that's hard for me.
Do you struggle? I struggled with it. I thought about it Sunday. I thought about it yesterday. And what's hard is it feels like in a way, it's like, What business do I have making all of a sudden one day making this my little thing like it feels like it's way too big and way too serious. I just kind of get paralyzed. But then I feel like I'm neglecting it by doing not doing anything. And then it's It's like, What is that? Is that white fragility? Is that what would you know? Oh, poor me. I don't know what to do with him. Okay. Are you? But like what? You know
that Martin Luther King was upset with the moderate white person? Sure. And prefers border over? Yes, you know.
Yeah. Yeah, and so does that mean I should have posted a quote? You know, why don't So why did Why didn't you?
Um yeah, earthly Because it's not part of the community. I mean, and this is actually I would be more inclined to post things that have to do with Hispanic Liberation would have to do with, you know, that part of the community and its plight. Then I would be to do with African American community because I'm just less connected to that community. Um, that I mean, it's right. I'm just saying that's the reality of things. That's interesting. I mean, it does come home to us. I wrote a check, Um, to a couple in our church was going to cook on. They needed more often. You know, you don't have 100 some odd dollars laying around to cook, so we write it beforehand, and they went to cash it. Now that African American, everything was okay on the check. They've cashed village checks at this Wal Mart all the time. But when I had toward the check out, I was in a hurry and so ripped a little bit of the top, didn't take any information off. It just ripped it well, but they refused to cash it, and it was very obvious to the people who were going to get a cash that it had a lot to do with the way they look. It just you have the rip check. Give two African American people that their kids in the middle of the day trying to cash a check from this church. This doesn't seem right.
So why didn't you post about it?
Yeah, it's a good question. Well, because I don't think they would want me to
write. But that's not a critical ask.
I'm I didn't know about this for myself. Well, and I don't because I think partly I'm I'm on a journey and, um has to understand what it means to be an advocate. And what might places in all of this in my position, Um, and I feel like there are so many touch points as a white male and, you know, is like their touch points for women. When I'm in a room, do like how dowe I interact, Do I give them? Oh, I dominate the room Or do I allow them to have a voice like then it's, you know, people of certain people of different races, different color rates of Hispanic and African American. They experience the room differently in the world differently. How Doe? I advocate for them like I have. I'm like, Oh, boy, Like I have all this responsibility, it feels like, and I don't necessarily know what to do with it. Um, and I don't want to be like the guy who knows everything and how to do it. So I've been trying Maur toe listen and hear what other people want me to do and what I'm learning is, but people come at these things very differently and experience them very differently. Um,
So where did that story end up? Like, How
did they eventually found a place to cash the check? But it was hard for them and they got frustrated. And I got a little mad at me for 10. Check with just fine, because they should have. It was Ah, and I was kind of frustrated with it to like, really, I was very busy, but I think if I hadn't been busy like meetings that I couldn't just say, Hey, I can't go to this meeting. I may have gone down to the Wal Mart or whatever and been like What the heck? You know. Why would you do this? This is not right. But they found the Wal Mart where they people knew them and they cashed. Check it. It was like, Okay. Ah, so is this frustrating? Those things are, I don't know. I think what I have found is even in in, you know, the community. It's different, you know, minority communities. As you talk to individuals, they have, they aren't even in touch with everything. But you have to You have to ask some questions and get them to think about it, cause a lot of times people in just survival mode, Sure. Then you live with the environment that you have, and we live in such a fast world. Um, that I mean, protests can happen like that, and protest can stop like that. And we have all of this like in Martin Luther King's Day. That took a lot of organizing. This is not me. Not the other events don't now, but really, you can use Twitter and you can use Facebook. And you can use all these different modes to get people the places very quickly. Um, or two to have a dialogue very could have a dialogue like Andre good or bad.
Under Henry in that podcast was talking about some of the things he shared on Twitter and the feedback he got. Um, and yeah, she's just lightning fast, right? You put your opinion out. Somebody shares, there's it's a different ball game. Um, then putting in months of organization to make a very public statement. Any king did interviews, you know, But it just wasn't It wasn't his fastball.
You had to use TV
and used me. Yeah,
I'm and radio. Those were your two moves. And those are all based on times like this. Thing goes, it's not on. Then somebody could have. Somebody couldn't
immediately get their response to you,
right? Delivered in five seconds or less. So So let me ask like a more important question. I think the all of this MLK day the wall you know what we do with citizenship in our country and immigration? Um, how we enter, How how the economics of our country work. These are things that the gospel has things to say, too. Sure, you and I are in unique places because we're white men. So we do have some privilege that other people don't have, um to talk about. It We're also pastors That puts us in front of people. And people want to listen to us to say stuff. So how do you What? What is What do you think? The gospel says? And I know you, but I don't have this all, like, worked out. But I'd love to hear you work it out. Work it out with you is like, How do we approach these things? How do we talk about them in such a complex world, where well, unity of the faith is something we're called to nurture as leaders,
Right? One of the one of the interesting things I think that came through. I didn't I listen to a bulk of that podcast with under Henry. I did not listen to you, all of it. I I was listening during some stuff yesterday. My daughter came home and I didn't finish. But, um, one of the one of the interesting things that he stated from his experience was that he he was, ah, a seminary trained. Um, we have a lot of conversations with people in leadership and whatnot, and one of the he would always hear that the race issue wasn't a top priority. that it was somehow, ah, you know, down down several notches from the gospel,
right? It wasn't something Jesus was really focused on
or that we should be focused on Leave people. Yeah, so he would hear that a lot. And then he also just noted that, um if he wanted to read, say, an African American like a James Coan, you re alot gin. That that was contextual theology, as opposed to just theology. And the one difference between you know, himself or sorry between Cone and the other theologians was Kun is black. And so all of a sudden, his is contextual, and he was just begging the question like, Why is that like, Why is when a black man reads and writes theology? It's contextual when a white man, um, reads and writes theology, it's just theology,
right? Well, um, well, with positive for a second, because I was singing. He he does reference, I think Jon Jonathan Edwards, who had slaves in that podcast thing. So, um, but that is an interesting thing. If you are an African American person sitting in theology, class, listening, having to stay Jonathan Edwards, who justified his his possession of slaves that and we don't as the community and power think about how that might be infecting you. It's just the class were offering. And that's what you know,
right? Because he was a great thinker, right? Um, which, And he was a great thinker. You are. And so I don't wantto
think grave on
he, but that doesn't mean he was. Yeah, he was correct and made all the right conclusions. Um, or a made some severely wrong conclusions. Um, and so I think that I think that part of you know what I walked away from the podcast gathering and yeah, is very true. Is that 44 Christianity to grow and flourish? We must be listening to two people in these other contexts and see how it reads and how they interpret it. And and that's not to say that there you were talking about people who are just struggling to survive, like, let's let's be honest, that's not everybody in the racial minorities in this dudes way more educated.
Yeah. Yeah. Taken far beyond
myself. And so he's not coming at it from a lesson foreign point of view, he's
a more informed.
It's an extremely Maur informed point of view. And so But we do need, um you know it. We're reading it through our lens. We need to be hearing it read through other lenses. Um, sir. And so I think that's that's a key elements in all of this, Um, that that I walked away hearing that and going, Yeah, that's just should be so obvious. And then But then that doesn't always lead to the exact conclusions. You think because I mean, for example, in the like, we were saying, we're going to talk about the Methodist sexuality decision. Oh, yeah. You know, all of a sudden in the United Methodist Church, it's the The African Church is conservative, right? And ah, and all of a sudden, you know, people here who would champion. You know, MLK Day and a whole lot of other things are like, Oh, this is this isn't right. This is bigoted. Like, why can't you listen to the Africans if they tell you you're not following the word right? Like on sexuality or on. You know how you treat people of another race or on what it meant when Jesus said X, y or Z Um, it's It's very complicated. I think that I think it's hard to do right. I mean, I'm not saying it shouldn't be done. I'm just I'm saying it should be done. I was convicted hearing this. I'm stumbling all over my words, trying to, like, figure out how to say it. But it for it's it's gonna take some work and it needs to happen. And I'm I am probably guilty of laziness in this department of not putting in as much work as I should.
Yeah, you know, I agree. And I think it's interesting. The hard part about a lot of this is, you know, from like, ah, Hispanic for interview in our country they never were slaves. Now we took land that was theirs. There's a lot of issues going on right, But with African American community, what's unique to that and why a lot of tents? The conversation revolves around white and black and not and excludes other racial people from the conversation, Um, is because of the slavery in particular and and the when you begin. When you went in your country, you purchased people, justified it through Scripture and used them for your own economic game, then you freed them. That's just gonna That's gonna have, like, generations and generations of bad impact.
Oh, yeah? And you freed them? Sort of.
Sort of. Yeah, I don't mean freed. I just don't buy and sell them in a action. In a practical sense, you probably are still doing that. So that has to be it. I don't think our country's ever truly mourned that. In a way, we've tried it some little to celebrate the victories of liberation, but not the just desolation of slavery and what it's done. How
much damage did Yeah, and his continuing today.
Well, I think it's interesting. In the capitalist society, we start talking about reparations, right? Like, Well, how do we pay back all these people on how we do that? Um, and that's interesting to me. I'm like, Wow, that would be pretty cool, but I don't know what that looks like, but we don't. We We moved to that really quickly, and instead of Mike Wallace, is this really crappy? And I'm really sad this happened. And I hope that my Children will never participate in that and be part of something bigger and better. And I don't know how that looks, but I know it's an interesting conversation, I think, Yeah, I think sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by and tired. That's an individual. I was thinking about that on the way this podcast was like, Well, like, what would get me Thio be out there on the streets? What would get me to be doing something beyond what I'm doing? And I'm like, Well, I'm doing as much as I possibly can
And and I could imagine at an African American family who deals with not having their checks cashed and being pulled over more than they should and have dealt with this their whole life could hear you and go. Gosh, Eric, I'm sorry. You're tired or they could hear you and go. Excuse me?
Yeah. Oh, no. I think they could say so. Yeah. I'm not saying my hired. This is just an indication. I'm just saying, Wow, that's where my immediate reaction to this and I think some of it is because I am bombarded. And all of us are by all the things that I'm supposed to do. Yeah, I'm supposed to take care of the earth and there are all these things that consumerism does to destroy the Earth, and I need to figure out how to undo those. Okay, that takes a certain amount of mind energy. Then there's just the plight of inequalities of all these different groups that I somehow I participate in in either promoting or helping undo. That takes a lot of energy, Right then there's the entire mental health of our world that I participate in trying to help be part of undoing.
And there's the opioid epidemic.
There's opiate accident. There's the fact there's the want like that. Capitalism, in its extreme, doesn't line up with the Gospel. Um, now I'm I need to deal with that. You know, if there's a lot and I and it's bombarded me and it's telling me that these are the things I'm supposed to do and I'm like, Okay, that's a lot, you know? And so how do I start? You gotta pick 11 of them has to be important to you, and then you just have to say, I don't know. You work on that one and you try to honor and support the people who were working on the others. That's kind of where I I am in all of this and lend my voice where I can, um, which
one are you closest to choosing?
Well, I think the one I'm closest that choosing kind of puts me in all of them at times is a mental health of people where they are. And I think my care for people spiritually makes me have to stand in all of these circles and have something to say about. Sure, right, Which means that then my behavior is looked at, you know,
I don't I
don't know. It's Ah, guys, I I did appreciate you didn't listen the whole podcast, but at the end, he did say something fascinating said just because somebody is his time about talking to people and trying to hear their experience. But he said, just because somebody has a lot of melatonin and their skin doesn't mean that you should do what they say right, which I thought was really interesting thing to say. But he's saying is just because somebody is, you know, black or Hispanic or you they're not the end all on the experience and how you, as a white person to approach anti racism, you actually have to choose the voices that you're going to listen
to you because you're going to find your like, I mean, voted Bottoms hanging out with John MacArthur's saying what he says, right? So there's so that's gonna be very different than what Andre Henry's saying, which is going to be very different from you know what? Yeah, it's And I think I think that that's a hard thing as we wantto we want to, like, find the voice of the other right that says what? We're hoping they'll say yes, right? Which says you're doing fine, actually, yeah. Um and so we find that we go, Oh, look, you know, see? And ah, and ah, that's that's really easy to dio this, like, you know, really, really easy to do.
My wife said something interesting. We're chatting about life had nothing to do with these things, but I think it applies. She was talking about how one of the things that my mom had taught her when she was younger. Um, well, it's how to sit in uncomfortable ity like that. That was a high value to other people's uncomfortable ity and your own toe. Like not rush out of it, and I think that that's part of the thing that I have to offer to. The whole thing is put myself in his many places or I'm gonna be uncomfortable and listen, you know, set with the person who is adamant gun. You know, control person doesn't want anyone Afghans and sit there and be uncomfortable with them because I know that some other friends and other people in my community are just like Super pro Gun and have a very strong political view of that and not try to force a certain idea to come forward but to listen and to help them think about it and try to help them think about what it would look like to sit with somebody who completely disagrees with them and love them and find some value in what each has to offer. It's a big deal, like being uncomfortable is a huge part of this process. I
think it seems like what were particularly bad at as a culture. I mean, we can find the people saying what we want to say or what we're hoping they'll say about us. We can find them and we can be with them and dialogue with them. Especially when there's distance. We can dialogue with the people that we disagree with wholeheartedly weaken, tweet back. Or we can protest in yell. There's still there's distance. You're not uncomfortable together. You've usually got your group or your sign or something here behind. But it feels like we are very bad at being with and choosing, um, to be yeah, made uncomfortable or, you know, experience or discomfort or whatever it is, um, in a way that could hurt, right? Um, yeah, that seems like I mean, it sounds horrible. Yeah, and I want, you know, I don't know. I don't wanna There was a guy that came through and I wonder if we talked about on here, but unfortunately forgot his name. But he came through and spoke here at the U of a Ah, African American guy talking about the race issues and he ended up kind of landing on. Um, we really need to become active. Listeners toe one another. Yes. There was a group of ah, of African American students who I was a part of an interaction with who were very upset. Um, is that that was the solution because it was like, Why should I listen? They were kind of saying, Why should I listen to more white people like that's, you know,
I have actually agree. Well, the White City.
Yeah. I mean, I don't know. Why should you like this? This guy was saying you should, I mean, and Ah, and he was suggesting that both sides needed to really like sitting here. It'll which is sort of what? Yes. You're saying I thought,
Yeah, I am saying that. I think maybe I'm because I walk in the world of white people, right? I think when it comes the racial thing I have, I think more my calls to say, Look, we all have to be uncomfortable. It's not their job to be uncomfortable anymore. Yeah, it's our job. I agree, though in just I was saying that in most issues, I think the call and I think God is also inviting, you know, the African American, Hispanic, the agent communities to also sit and listen. Even though they have suffered, it's just not my role to tell them that that has to happen within their community. Yeah, I'm okay with another African American person. sitting in that community thing. Hey, we gotta listen. It's not right for me to go and say, Hey, you guys need to listen
great. That's that's what becomes really hard to hear. I I agree with you in that in that regard. And I mean, unless you happen to have that the relation a ll
unless they're willing to sit and listen to you say that if you're the
one that they want their asking are you know, um but, yeah, there there does seem to be a kind of what, And what Andre Henry was saying was just it's always the the answer. And the fix is always coming from the from the white community. That's that is racism. Yes. Um, it's still one group is dominant, telling me how I should respond how I should feel and ah, and in that I definitely that made sense. Not that I need to give my check of approval. I know that. I'm just saying I heard that, and ah, and thought, that's a good point down. I think what makes me sad? Is it about that? As it feels like, it feels like the deepest relationships really are a two way street, and it makes me feel sad to think that just, you know, it feels when I hear that stuff like we just can't have those relationships.
Yeah, I think the thing is that you and I can have relationship like I can have a relationship of, ah, you know, an Asian woman or I can have a relationship with an African American man on a 1 to 1 level and he could sit, Listen to me and I could listen to him. I think a lot of those issues are more societal. As a group, it might be more difficult for us as Anglo Americans to sit with African Americans in the same way as maybe we might sit individually with, Um yeah, because I think there is a lot of listening and engagement on one on one level. But there is so much systemic cultural things built in, like we were just started the podcast with Why well, it struck me as I did watch some pictures of the of the assassin of the video from the protest. There was the only people who were African American. There were the reporters. There was an African American reporter.
There was a big deal in one of the news stories about like one African American couple that was there for gun rights,
but it was like the one right, But it's not so it's it's so when you do that, you're making a cultural statement, even, let's just say let's pretend, but just probably completely untrue that it wasn't motivated like, Oh, let's, let's it's still systemic Within the culture you're making a statement that's inappropriate. Like you are asserting your power on the one day that the African American community has an opportunity to thank God for their freedom. And for a man who actually helped like this,
that's what that's what bothered me the most was I mean it. I think a gun rally is worrisome to me. Just because I'm uncomfortable with guns. Yes, like I don't I don't love the idea. Like if I saw somebody with an assault rifle walking down the street, especially a white guy, I'm like, duck and cover, right? Like, yeah, I'm not into it. So,
in our cultural or present day Yeah, but that means
Yeah. All right. Yeah. I mean, I have witnessed, you know, my grandfather take shots at people in his yard. Um, so bad. When I was a child, I also felt uncomfortable. It's not just now, Um, but, um but yeah, it's heightened, right? Um, yeah, but it was the It was the day.
Yeah, and that's a massive thing. That's frustrating to me. Is there is. I do believe that more than ever, racial reconciliation, which, you know, he was He was a little bit against you, not against reconciliation, per se, but just what it like
the idea of, like, let's just get along on white People's Turns.
Ya on my people's terms. Yeah, um but I mean, I think that lots of interactions that are good or happening between you know, the different races in the United States on an individual level, But culturally, we have refused to collectively, I think, even as a church address, some of the systemic things that we should be standing together in, even if it's just in Yes, I agree with that and think that this is the direction we need to move or yes, this is something that's wrong. And we need to figure out how to address it. Um, instead of you know, trying to come up with random statistics to say, Oh, this is just how it all is. Probably no justifying all the systemic things that are just wrong, right? But I don't think people understand all of the power that we have. It's white people. They just don't get it. It doesn't make any sense to them.
I personally I'm sure people have a different opinion this But I was encouraged last year by the gospel coalitions putting on a conference, you know, on over the in the AM Okay, weekend and, um, primarily believe was African American speakers. And, um, I thought that was Ah. I thought that was a really good move for a broader body of the church to just educate and teach and, um, especially utilizing African American leaders to do so. Ah, personally, I was encouraged by that.
Let me move. Ask you this because you don't look so sure. No, no, it was great. I think it was good. Um, I'm just interested. It just made me think about the interview. And he when he was that relevant, he was in charge of the under. The guy who was on the podcast is in charge of all their content. Uh, and so he was explaining the different kinds of content that come with the different months and kind of in a movement. Yeah, And then he gets to February and there Do he wants to do things that are more geared toward African Americans? Yeah, because that's what February is in our culture, at least in his mind and back. Just gets totally pooh poohed and really starts his the movement that he's now part of innocence. And because he writes this this piece, that kind of goes viral. Um, but what I thought about that when I was listening, as I thought, this has to do with money. I mean, obviously, that's to do a little bit with race, but I think this has a lot to do with money. He's like the owner of the magazine of the CEO. This is not going to sell magazines door. Right? So we're not gonna We're not gonna take a hit t make a message toe, actually say something like, money comes over what is right. That's what I was thinking. Is that so often white people who you would You Well, I'm not racist. I'm not this Well, yeah, but you're willing to You're not willing to risk your money. You're not really going to risk comfortable ity. Right? And that's the thing that I think so often is. The is the thing that kicks me is that Am I even willing to risk my own uncomfortable it e t make Say something?
Yeah. If your magazine wouldn't seller. Yeah. Do you do it?
That's my thought that it hit me. I know it's true. It just was like, this seems to be a lot. I'm sure there's
I'm sure it's multifaceted, but I think, like I think we do lose money for things we really believe in. Yeah. Why do you go on vacation? You're losing a lot of money. You believe in it. You like it. It is valuable to you
started the wrong person. I have to be forced to spend the night in a case. I'm just saying, but I agree with us. Look at this
audio studio. Eric justified the expense of all this money, didn't you? Because you love it. It's like technology and audio and you buy gadgets all the time. So like we just the thing like losing money when it's for something we believe in. We're in. Yes. And so I think I would say that the money thing is not the lower layer of it. Um right. Yeah,
Math is interesting. So I still didn't You didn't quite answer my question. And you actually said on the podcast last week when I kind of I think I brought this up about just how What does cultural engagement looked like? Because we, as followers of Jesus particularly in 21st century, find herself in a unique setting in America. When we say, looking at Paul and Jesus and their political action as they were being dominated by Rome and and in Jesus, even amore in particular, being dominated by the religious sect that was controlling things under room. How so? Their political actions look a little different than our political actions because theoretically, we've been given some form of power because we have a vote. Oh, right, right. And so and so that vote doesn't like even we're talking about, you know, marching being politically active. How having giving voice to different people groups. These are all things that maybe we don't necessarily see in Paul in particular or Jesus. They're always talking about the context of the church. And it's, you know, and Paul, even in Thessalonians and his famous versus a live a quiet life, he's asking you not to call attention to this new kind of community that's burning because I think Paul really wants it to be established of it. Adds, um, some momentum behind it before it kind of gets torn apart by the Roman Empire. I don't know what you think about that. Like, how do we look to Jesus? Because liberation theology looks to Jesus looks to Paul to tell them how to act. And they read it very differently than we do. And it's always I've struggled toe like bring forward the way Jesus and Paul involved themselves. So the way God and writes us to act with power. What do you what do you think about them?
Well and so and this comes from my engagement in a very specific way of thinking about this year's back, Um, it seems like the resistance model of, Let's Say, of Jesus in when he when he says, you know, if somebody you know strikes you thank Steve Yeah, on the right. Turn to them left, um, or did I reverse that? Um, but, um And then, you know, somebody asked you to walk one mile, go to if they ask for your tune and give them your cloak. If
Caesar, what is Caesar's cards with God's?
Except that's Yeah, that's that There's that. But in those three situations that the way that and I have dug into this and I actually do you think this has a lot of validity and could give us a bit of a model? So to be to be ah, yeah, to be struck on the left cheek, um, would be to be struck as an equal to be struck on the right cheek would be to be backhanded, yes, to to be treated like a slave. And so, if somebody treats you like a slave, forced them to treat you as an equal. Um, if somebody the second mile, um, we have a church here in town called second Mile, it kind of the idea behind their name is, like go the distance. Help people more than
bombs from Roman idea.
But the second mile was that the Roman officer was required. Thio, you're could require you to serve him by walking one mile right with his with his stuff. Yeah, the second mile would have been you refusing to give him back his stuff and making him violate Rome's law. He would have begged you to stop because this is now like he could. He could get in trouble for this. It's It's an exposure. It's making him, um, it's because he's just doing a lawful thing by making you walk the one mile. If you walk the second, you're causing him to toe look bad, right? Um, the cloaking, the tunic, Uh, you know, the ah, it's the outer garment in the inter garment. It's the It's the underwear. It's the it's it's imagine. You know, somebody with a big overcoat and then a pair of long johns and nothing else on. So they demand of you. Um, your cloak. Give him your tunic. It's take off all your clothes. Now, in that culture, in our culture, that would be weird. If somebody like ifs, um you know, punk came up to you on the street and said, Hey, give me that jacket and you took off all your clothes.
You know about the strike?
It would be strange. But in that culture, it went beyond strange, too. It was, like new. Familiar. You've humiliated them. You've put them to shame. Um, like I said, I really do think there's I don't think that in doing that, because that is what Jesus did on the cross. He shamed the powers. He hung naked, you know, before they had to behold him and what they had done. Um, he didn't just go. Oh, well, just kill me. If that's what it takes. Like in his death on the cross, he did put to shame those who crucified the righteous one for, um And so I do think that there is a Christ like, way to take action that it should make people feel uncomfortable and see their shame. Um, but it would always costs the one who does the action greatly. It's It's a great risk. Um, and I can't I'm not saying this because I have done this so well, but I do think that's a model that could actually be followed.
Yeah, that's a beautiful model. Um, I'd have toe
a lot of questions about that. Does that look like?
Yeah, that's information. Even dig into that historically to see if I would agree with you.
You should I? I've spent some time on
that. And I trust you, huh?
I mean, it's Ah, there. There are theologians who teach it. Um and ah, I think it's I think there are others who would but are afraid of what that would mean politically. Sure. Um, but yeah. Get digging. All of you, go look it up. Really Dig into the into the meaning of that and see if if that's got some validity. It it seems the hand with which you struck people is your right hand in that culture. And Soto? What kind of backhands? Somebody hit him on the right cheek. If you hit him on the left, you had He had to give him a solid like the strike of oven actual contender. And the second mile was was not something that you wanted. Anybody wanted youto walk with them. It was it was making somebody now violate their law. And, ah, the cloak and the tunic ones taken you down here,
right? And that's Ah, nothing. That's a hard one to get around. Yeah, I mean, that one in particular. Um, you know, I would tend to probably agree with you that those were probably two things I haven't studied enough. The one thing that's interesting, I was often left. Side is I find it weird. I mean, I grew up in the church, and I and people spent a lot of time telling me about what the historical things are. But the more I researched have done research and read historians. The reality is, I really don't want to swear on the podcast, so I can't I can't because I have to click a button. Oh, it saying that there's profanity But it's a crap filled world where you're trying to survive. And sometimes we make all these cultural structures about how it looked in the first century when Jesus was toting around. A lot of that wasn't going on because sure,
like flash forward 2000 years from now and tell us about how people did things today.
Yes. Like which person? Yeah, Which person? Yeah, So I understand. Like Jesus is laying out of teaching, and he's talking to people who do have the time to process these things, right? All right stocking till religious rulers. He's not actually talk to the poor fishermen who's just He's not even thinking about his right on the left cheek. Other than you know, it itches, right? You know, it doesn't. It doesn't. Yeah, yeah, right, right. I think sometimes I totally agree with the I just think sometimes people think, Oh, this No, this this is a particular this his dialogue to power. My keys it is. And and that is the interesting concept there is. He's talking to people who are in power and making them uncomfortable to think about these things.
And the theologian Walter Wink is one
I love I love.
So he really unpacks this in Jesus Third Way. And so it's he's getting at the idea that it's ah, I mean, you can violently resist or you can passively you know, sir, just peacefully. But this is somewhere in between. It's it's not violence, but it isn't passing
right. It's interesting. It's interesting to me that you read wink. I wouldn't have put him in there. I I like his book on powers. I mean, that's where I get a lot of my theology of power from Walter wink, but I haven't actually read the third way.
That man, um, I read a book. Him Around
you go. I'm pretty sure you've read a lot of books. I haven't, but I just haven't. I have only read one of his books, but
yeah, I think that's actually a great place to end. And really, I think people, I guess that's something we should all think about. And actually, I would love to do another podcast on that with you and share the process. Maybe a little bit more weeks, theology of that and how it might look practically for you and I to participate in to be part of it.
Yeah. And I'm I mean, I'm I'm interested in wink, but I'm more like, if he's like, not many winks. Yeah, but more like if if he's right on that on that issue, which I make you, I've I've milled that over many times since having read that, and I keep coming and I've built it over. I've researched it and I keep going. I think you might think he was right, and ah, and I don't feel the need to be like any more than I feel the need to be called a Calvinist or a anything else. I don't know your wink. It's a winky in or whatever. Ah, Winker. But But I think, yeah, we should We should ah, really take that reading. Seriously looking into it. And if it's if it's true, it could really give us. Ah, a model for engagement. Not an easy one. Wow, that an easy one.
But I'm really happy with the way this ended. I think that was really good. All right. Thanks for thinking of me. Oh!