The R3 Top Ten for 2015

The R3 Top Ten for 2015 December 20, 2015

Top-10-Gold-LogoThese are the top ten most viewed posts of 2015. We thank all of our contributors, guest contributors and readers for making us one of the fastest growing blogs. Please continue to read and share.

1. Dear White People Who Proclaim “#AllLivesMatter” or “#PoliceLivesMatter”, by Dr. Peter Gathje 

All that being said, “Black Lives Matter” is a particular statement born in a particular time in which Black lives have NOT been mattering (in part shown in the way Black people have been shot down by the police in numbers far beyond that of white people, and in part through additional systemic racism in our political, economic, and cultural lives). In this particular time and place all lives, therefore, are not mattering…..You can look at the universal/particular binary this way.  Moses went to Pharaoh and said, “Slave lives matter. God says, ‘Let my people go!’” Pharaoh said, “All lives matter. Get back to work.” The prophets went to the rulers of Israel and said, “Poor lives, widowed lives, orphan lives matter.” The rulers of Israel said, “All lives matter. Shut up.” Jesus walked about the Roman occupied territory of Palestine and said, “Lepers’ lives matter. Blind peoples’ lives matter. The lives of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned matter.” The Roman occupiers and their collaborators said, “All lives matter. Enjoy your crucifixion.”

2. Does God Hate Our Worship? by Fredrick Robinson

That’s why real worship is always a radical act. In its reach for the divine, worship connects us with the taxonomy of God’s heart—WHO God is and WHAT God desires. Since injustice offends God, the subject of our worship, injustice and anything that looks like it must be rejected. We cannot genuinely connect with Christ and continue to overlook our heart’s complicity with suffering and oppression. The effect of God’s presence is always to transform our thinking, attitudes and behavior.

3. Dear Black People: “Our Respectability Will Not Save Us!” When Police and Respectability Collide, by Andre E. Johnson

However, some black folks will read this and yes express grief and shock, but also many will become discouraged. For many of us, this is discouraging because it is what I have called before a frustrated agency—that no matter who you are, no matter what you drive, no matter where you live, no matter how much you support police; no matter your profession, no matter who you know and who know you, no matter what resources you have, no matter how you act, our respectability will not save us! I know it is a hard thing to accept; it is hard to process at times. Matter of fact, it makes you wanna holla. And while it does not stop us from achieving and being the best that we can become, it is a sobering reminder that if we put trust in our degrees, accomplishments, statuses, relationships our location and position in life, one day it could all come crumbling down with one traffic stop.

4. Women Preaching: Is This Still a Thing?, by Kimberly Peeler-Ringer

I do understand that many men and women have been taught in church that the Scriptures say that women should be silent in the church. But if you take that versethat literally, then men should be running every single area of the church. Women should immediately step down from cooking the meals, cleaning, running the nursery, teaching Sunday School, ushering, welcoming visitors, singing, passing the peace, praying, answering the phone…because all of these activities require making noise. 
What if the Bible is intentionally ambiguous in certain areas to ensure that we continue to talk about its meaning? After all, there is no faith without unanswered questions. Isn’t that why we have Bible study that consists of more than memorizing Bible verses as though they were the multiplication table? Women in ministry aren’t going anywhere. Maybe it is time to just make our peace with that.

5. Why I Am Boycotting Christmas, Andre E. Johnson

Therefore, instead of saying that boycotts do not work, let us just say this— boycotts do not work when we do not care. Boycotts do not work, when only a few people participate. Boycotts do not work, when we figure we have too much to lose. Boycotts do not work, when we can only see what we may lose instead of what we may gain. Boycotts do not work, when we are only thinking about ourselves and not the collective, and yes, boycotts do not work, when we are not ready to share in the pain that the boycott will bring. So yes, I guess in those cases, boycotts do not work. However, when we stand collectively, when we are prepared to make a statement, when we stand in our convictions, when we replace fear with faith, boycotts; a nonviolent way to resist evil, tend to work.

6. God is Not Going to Stop Mass Shootings, by Fredrick D. Robinson

Accepting the fact that God is not going to fix the gun problem or the many of the other ills that plaque our society is not a rejection of God or a lack of trust in God’s providential care. Rather, it is a rejection of the ideology of empire. Indeed, empire wants us to wait on God because it leaves the powerful in control of the world as is……It’s time we realized that if God is going to fix anything on the earth—it will ONLY be through us. After praying, I suggest you roll up your sleeves.

7. The Argument *Against* the Multicultural Church by Katelin Hansen 

If churches do enter into a journey of multicultural worship, it is essential that safe refuge be available for congregants of color. This is also why it is important that when such endeavors are undertaken, they not ultimately be headed by white pastors and leaders (and they so often are). It’s why we must hedge toward the marginalized culture in planning worship services and events, rather than compromising squarely in the middle. Because there is no ‘happy medium’ when one group is so disproportionately abused.

8. I Hope My Son Gets Arrested at School Today by T. Max Christie McMillan 

I know that in Christ, no one is beyond hope, but I am not feeling incredibly redemptive right now and I cannot fathom how one who is as hardened, apathetic, powerless and uninspired as Long is, could be helped. I hope that he sees how his inactivity was an action of reinforcement all on its own. How he showed every black girl in that room that there was no defense for her – even in the school in which she is supposed to feel safe and educated. How he influenced every black boy in that room to believe that it was permissible to watch your sister be assaulted and you sit and do nothing – not even lament the occurrence. 

9. Anyone Feeling Closure After the Death of #KellyGissendaner?, by Andre E. Johnson

If someone who by all accounts, had been a model prisoner, one who had received a theology degree, one who had mentored and counseled others, one who had 90,000 folks signed petitions asking Governor Deal to halt the execution, one who had a letter of support from Pope Francis, one who had shown great remorse for her crime, one who had the forgiveness of her children and who had sang Amazing Grace as she was led to death and one who had been white and a woman, if she could not garner any grace and sympathy from the state of Georgia or from the majority of Christians, then I fear that we still have an uphill battle for us who stand against the death penalty and work for its eradication.  

10. #RachelDolezal and Misconstrued Privilege, by Andre E. Johnson


If so, then Dolezal presents another set of problems. Her choice not to just perform blackness or just be in allyship with black folks, but to self-identify as black is more egregious. This argument finds its home with those who suggest, “Whites are under siege” or the more sinister, “war against whites.” If so, then Dolezal is not a friend, she is not an ally, nor is Dolezal simply appropriating culture nor is she simply confused. Something else is happening here and I can only imagine the sympathy and support she is about to receive from those who believe white folk are under siege in this country.


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