Being more in touch with Civil society really has brought about some unexpected changes in my own pilgrimage. This piece is timely for yesterday and tomorrow.
“On September 11th, 1906, Mohandas Gandhi addressed a meeting of some 3,000 people in the Empire Theatre in Johannesburg to protest against the introduction of registration and fingerprinting for all Indians in South Africa – part of the first wave in the terrible history of legal racism in South Africa which ended at last in the final decade of the last century. It was a Muslim in the audience, Haji Habib, who first proposed that the decision for non-violent resistance to the legislation should be taken ‘in the name of God’. Gandhi stressed the great solemnity of such a form of words, but the meeting rose to affirm this as their will. The satyagraha movement was born, the movement of ‘soul force’ whose central principle was that our behaviour must witness to truth whatever the cost – and that this witness to truth can never, of its very nature, involve violence or a response to oppression that simply mirrors what has been done by the oppressor. In Gandhi’s vision, Christ’s prohibition against retaliation came together with his own Hindu heritage to inspire a lifetime of absolutely consistent labour on behalf of this ‘soul power’; and on that day in Johannesburg, as at many other points in his life, Gandhi was wholeheartedly supported by his Muslim allies.”
refreshing title … and refreshing closing …
” I just was struck this week by what a gift church is. So many people have been turned off by some bad experience, or think they have to have all their beliefs straight before they can come, and so they miss out on the full-on joy what among the best things in life. I’d bet our church would be pretty empty if you asked us all to have our beliefs straight first. Most of us, I’d bet, have a healthy sense of doubt as part of our life of faith. But nonetheless, we’re willing to take the leap of faith that believing requires, and are more than willing to claim life over death and reconciliation over enmity”
“Churches with virtual pastors say troublemakers tend to quiet down or leave because they don’t have a real person to target with complaints.
“People can’t pin their problems on the pastor anymore,” says an associate pastor who handles day-to-day matters at a Virtual Pastor church in Idaho. “He’s their creation. They can only blame themselves.”