Episcopal Church of the Saviour will be celebrating a Juneteenth liturgy this Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 9:30am! If you’re in area come out and celebrate Freedom Day!
“May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this work, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.”Franciscan Four-Fold Blessing, The Very Rev. Kim L. Coleman.
And now, may God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, exploitation of people, so that we may continue to work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. Amen.
May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this work, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.
And the Blessings of God Almighty, the One who creates, Redeems and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love, this day, and forever more. Amen.The Four-Fold Franciscan Blessing, The Very Rev. Kim L. Coleman.
The Adventure Church/Tower District battle in Fresno, California has been, and continues to be, a glaring example of evangelical Christianity’s relationship with white supremacy, colonialism, and American nationalism. There were a number of red flags in this situation from a moral, ethical, and theological perspective.
One problematic example which stands out is that particular cult’s relationship with the white supremacist group ‘Proud Boys.’ When the modern KKK comes to defend your cause, it would do well to review and analyze your cause. One might ask, “why is a hate group so interested in supporting me?” Or perhaps it would be worth the time to consider what a designated terrorist group finds so attractive about the church in question.
Secondly, Adventure Church’s hostility, belligerence, and cruelty demonstrated a behavior which might arguably be called ‘the spirit of the antichrist.’ At the very least, it appears to indicate an absence of Christ among both the congregation and its pastor.
For example, the excessively loud and obnoxious ‘Christian music’ blasted through oversized speakers to harass the homeless seems to be far from any sort of Christ-likeness. The unwillingness to love the community and the intentional injury caused to the Tower District’s community echo more the behaviors attributed to the Sadducees and Pharisees in the Gospel of Matthew than of Christ.
Honestly, I suspect the whole stunt was an attempt to follow through with a decades long wet dream of area wide evangelical (nationalist) churches to slip into the Tower District and clean it up “for GEEZUS.”
I don’t understand how the irony of Christian nationalists continues to baffle me, but it does. How in Christ’s name do they claim to be disciples of Jesus while actively doing ALL OF THE THINGS he condemned of the religious elite in the Gospels?
In short, the whole burning dumpster fire serves as another example of the generally Christless Christianity practiced by specific segments of American culture.
What hurts personally is that I think about how similar Adventure Church is to the cult in which I was brought up—Calvary Chapel. The same symptoms were, and frankly, are, present in that place. Elitism. Us vs. Them perspectives. Isolationism. Ends-Justify-the-Means public motivation. Dangerous indoctrination by uneducated, ill trained, and ill equipped individuals. Fascist and authoritarian sentiment and philosophy. Toxic masculinity. Fragile masculinity. Sexism. Mysogyny. The list of abhorrent similarities goes on.
The worst of it, for both Adventure Church and the cult I escaped, is all the suffering was caused “for geezus.” As if nailing Christ to a tree wasn’t enough.
Reading Assignment: “Adventure Church Issues Response after City’s Recent Agreement to Purchase Tower Theater.”