Malaysia Flight 17: The Wreckage of Broken Promises

While the world mourns the devastating loss of nearly 300 lives and the shock of a commercial airline downed by military weapons over Ukraine, we cannot help by ask, “Why?” Not only why would Russian-backed forces in Ukraine shoot down a civilian plane, but why is Russia grasping for control of Ukraine in the first [Read More...]

Go to Hell! God’s Gracious Word to American Christians

For every season, there is a message. “Do not be afraid.” “Let my people go.” “Take up your cross.” “I have a dream.” In America today, I’ve come to believe, God’s Word for us is, “Go to hell.” Unbeknownst to most Americans, our justice system changed radically in the late 20th century. Like most countries [Read More...]

The Kumbaya Moment of Costly Faith: Remembering Freedom Summer

On June 2, 1964, while hundreds of Freedom Summer volunteers were still finishing their training in Oxford, Ohio, three civil rights workers went missing in Neshoba County, Miss. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee field secretary Bob Moses was charged with leading the project that would organize poor, black Mississippians to challenge the power structure of the [Read More...]

Note to the Church: All People Care About the “Weightier Matters of the Law”

Dear faithful, biblical sisters and brothers who are trying to follow Jesus in this time called America, I write to you during a summer of Supreme Court decisions and annual church meetings when religious news has, once again, become focused on sexuality and contraception (and whether your state legislature or employer should have a say [Read More...]

A New Birth of Freedom? Four Ways to Celebrate the 4th

When he was four score and seven years removed from the independence that America celebrates today, President Abraham Lincoln surveyed the landscape of both a battlefield and a nation at war and declared in words that we’ve not been able to forget that it was time for a “new birth of freedom.” 150 years later, [Read More...]

Dreaming Bigger Dreams

Fifty years ago this summer, as the Civil Rights Bill was signed by President Johnson and hundreds of students worked to organize voters through Freedom Summer in Mississippi, Bob Zellner worked as a field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Criss-crossing the South, going to jail, surviving beatings, and standing down George Wallace, Bob [Read More...]

10 Questions for the US Supreme Court

1) If corporations get a religious accommodation to deny contraception to their employees, can employees get a religious exception from the taxes withheld to finance unjust wars? 2) Given that a corporation’s by-laws do not outline its religious commitment, how is a court to know when a request for accommodation is based on true conviction? [Read More...]

Struggle for Racial Justice is Local

Since Michelle Alexander published The New Jim Crow in 2010, communities of color across America have been talking about the need to dismantle America’s system of mass incarceration. As with the old Jim Crow, the problem is institutionalized racism (not just “a few bad apples,” but a system that corrupts the best of people). The [Read More...]

After Ten Years: A School for the World To Come

Ten years ago this month, Rutba House hosted a gathering of intentional Christian communities, scholars, and church leaders to talk about what we saw happening in the world around us and how we sensed the Spirit calling us to respond. In truth, we were a young, upstart community trying to find our way in a [Read More...]

Pentecost Power: The Spirit Moving Through Moral Mondays

Christian’s around the world are celebrating Pentecost today, the birthday of the Church when the Spirit fell like fire on Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem, helping them to both speak and understand new things. Daily, Acts tells us, new people were being added to their number. When the leaders of that early Christian movement were locked [Read More...]