This Church Is All, Like, WTF

Twenty Years Ago: In LA for the Riots

I remember April 29, 1992 very vividly. I was a second-year student at Fuller Theological Seminary. During a break in a two-hour course, I descended from the third floor of Peyton Hall to check my student mailbox on the ground floor. There, the mail guy was listening to the radio. He told me that the cops who beat Rodney King had been acquitted, and he told me to go somewhere safe. It was about 3:30pm.

I took his advice and left campus for the Bresee House, a residence that I shared with four other Fuller students in north Pasadena. There we watch, in horror, as the riots began just a few miles from us. The entire riot was broadcast live from news helicopters. I will never forget watching live as Reginald Denny was dragged from his truck and beaten with a brick.

We watched live footage of this for hours and hours. At one point, some friends called. They were eating at a restaurant in the Old Town section of Pasadena when a car drove down Colorado Avenue shooting out the window. They’d been moved by the restaurant staff to a back room, and they asked us to come and get them. We declined and told them what we were seeing on TV. Eventually, they left the restaurant and ran back to campus.

We did not leave our house the entire next day. We didn’t even step outside. We simply watched TV in silence, all five of us.

On Friday, May 1, we decided it was at least safe enough to play basketball on our driveway, behind the house. While we were out there, I noticed something falling from the sky — it was ash. So many things were on fire in LA, including a strip mall about half-a-mile from our house, that big flakes of black ash fell on and around us.

To be a 24-year-old in LA during the riots was both surreal and horrifying, both real and hyperreal. It is an experience that marked me.

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HT: Doug Pagitt

Misogynists Urged to Up Their Game

"Let me tell you the ten things that I'd like women to cook for me."

According to misogynistic pastors like Russell Moore and John Piper, “complementarians” just aren’t pushing women down enough.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) – A movement in evangelical Christianity that promotes male headship and wifely submission in marriage faces competition today not from radical feminists but rather believers who are “complementarian” in name only, according to a panel at a recent pastor’s conference.

“What I fear is that we have many people in evangelicalism who can check off ‘complementarian’ on a box but who really aren’t living out complementarian lives,” Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said during the April 10-12 Together for the Gospel Conference in Louisville, Ky.

Rest easy, those of you who think that women are equal, John Piper doesn’t think you’re going to Hell. Probably.

“I don’t think you have to be a complementarian to be saved,” said John Piper, pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul. “So it’s not essential at that level, but as soon as you move beneath that level and ask what are the implications of not following through with what Ephesians 5 seems to say or First Timothy 2 seems to say — those would be the classic marriage church texts — the implications hermeneutically for the gospel are significant.”

Piper said “the kind of gymnastics” required to escape such texts chart a direction of biblical interpretation so that “sooner or later you are going to get the gospel wrong.”

Piper said egalitarianism — the view that roles described for men and women in the Bible are not God’s design but reflect the culture of that era — makes senseless Paul’s use of the marriage relationship as a witness to that of Christ and the church. He also said that churches not led by “strong male proclaimers and leaders” sooner or later will “malfunction along the way.”

Here’s hoping the John and Russell and other of their tribe will show up to hear from the variety of WOMEN church planters that we’ve got speaking at next week’s conference.