Tag Archives: Upward mobility

The Request of James and John, part 2

“I never met a man I didn’t like.” — Will Rogers

Will Rogers must have had an exceptionally bright aura.

Continue reading The Request of James and John, part 2

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The request of James and John, part 1

Social predation consumed more of Jesus’ energy than any other single issue.  This comes to my attention lest my current ambitions for upward mobility leave me in a position to be tempted to look down on people.

For me, all my life until this writing, the foremost example of Jesus’ stance on this has been his response to the request of James and John.

Continue reading The request of James and John, part 1

Work

(Originally posted 05/18/12 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged  02/12/14.)

To get from Point A to Point B, you must move.

At this moment, as I write this, I am living in a pit.

I am homeless.

I face a choice: do I want to get out, or stay here?
Continue reading Work

Issues with upcoming posts II

Part I:  Issues with upcoming posts

If I’ve learned anything in the past two years, it’s this:

(1)  The Way of Peace works, and my calling is to walk this way.  But it takes work that I’m not always willing to do.  Call it cross-bearing.
(2) A large portion of the poor will inevitably be poor forever.
(3) No one can prescribe another person’s dreams.
Continue reading Issues with upcoming posts II

My homeless self: White “resentment” and black power

“Generations of slavery and discrimination make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower classes.”

Do you agree with that statement?  If not, you harbor resentment toward blacks.

That is the premise, not the conclusion, of a recent study by three political scientists.  As reported by James Goodman in the October 6, 2013 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the study’s conclusions seem indisputable.  I question its premise.  I ask whether “resentment” was the best or right thing to measure; whether this criterion statement was the best or right way to measure it; whether the criterion statement is factual, and if so, whether it matters.
Continue reading My homeless self: White “resentment” and black power

Swimming against the tide

The Trump administration’s alternative Christianity

In recent weeks, I have become strongly motivated to become upwardly mobile. This raises theological issues.

Phil Zuckerman is a non-believer. He has no accountability to Jesus or the Scriptures. He doesn’t have to walk the Christian walk or talk the Christian talk. He doesn’t face the challenges, or have to do the work, I do as a follower of Jesus. Yet he wants to prescribe what Christianity must be.

He ascribes a certain Christianity to those who surround Donald Trump, and finds fault with it. I have no need to adopt or reject that Christianity. I have my own to practice. But it is not what Zuckerman wants to prescribe to me.

What’s wrong with Trump’s cronies? Apparently, as Zuckerman sees it, what’s wrong with them is that they’re prosperous. The love of God, as he portrays it, does not apply to prosperous people, but instead the poor. Only the poor.

So, according to the Christianity Zuckerman would prescribe for me, if I become prosperous, God won’t love me any more.

If anyone finds that he says differently from that, please advise. I welcome correction.

(Sigh.)

To walk the path to which I feel I’m called, I may need to focus on a Jesus saying Zuckerman does not cite. In fact, I have never heard any liberal cite it. Nor has it ever been cited in the chapel services at the homeless shelter where I stay; where they seem to think that all that matters is what one believes, and never what one does.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. … So let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

In other words, do praiseworthy things.

Praiseworthy actions glorify God.

If I were to become self-supporting, would that be praiseworthy?

Might my example encourage or inspire others?

Might I even teach, by example, the ways whereby one may become self-supporting?

Would that serve God?

As to the whole thrust of liberal ideology, it appears that, if I strive to do what I feel called by God to do, I’m swimming against the tide.

Resolution

One can want the best for another person, but
only that person can define what “the best” means.

Thursday 2017-04-20

On the walk from the shelter to church Wednesday morning, I was in great turmoil.  I may or may not manage to recall all the questions now.  Pastor is focused on the need to change systems (people’s circumstances) in order to alleviate poverty, and seems unwilling or unable to consider how people act; my orientation is the exact opposite, wanting people to change their ways in order to alleviate poverty.  Pastor says he doesn’t like it when I talk about squalor; but doesn’t squalor need to be talked about, given that it’s why “haves” won’t invest where the “have-nots” live?

I am torn between the way I want to live, and the way I have to live in the situation I’m in.

Continue reading Resolution

Accepting revulsion 2: Life in the looney bin

Miscellaneous notes about accepting bad feelings.

[Second in a series.]

One afternoon some years back, I hooked up with my bud Brian Williard at the Light Street McDonald’s.  We were there for maybe half an hour, and then set out eastbound on Baltimore Street towards the shelters where we stayed.  I stay at one, and he stayed at another about 100 yards farther east.

We walked and talked, and he talked, and he talked, and a lot of what he talked about wasn’t necessarily of much interest to me.  It came to me:  “I’m doing ministry; he needs this.”  Finally, he said, “It’s such a relief to talk to somebody sane.”

Continue reading Accepting revulsion 2: Life in the looney bin

Rough day at BK

Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.

Rough day at BK.  I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all.  But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave.  (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined.  I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.

The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.

Continue reading Rough day at BK