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Tag Archives: classism

The Central Park Five

A co-laborer at New Life recently encouraged me to watch The Central Park Five. It is the story of five teenagers – four blacks and one Hispanic, ages 14 to 16, who were arrested and charged with raping and beating, nearly to death, a 28 year old, white woman after dark in Central Park. The boys were portrayed as  “beasts,” and “wild animals” with no remorse for their actions. Donald Trump placed full-page ads calling for the return of the death penalty. They spent the next 7-13 years of their lives in prison. Their lives and families were ruined. The problem: They were innocent. The murderer who committed the crime finally admitted it in 2002. This documentary is important to watch for many reasons. Here are my top three: 1. Social class and racial divisions remain a deep reality. The Central Park Five gives us an amazing portrayal of the injustice that befalls so. Read more.

If Christians Could be Honest about These 10 Things (Part 1)

What would happen if Christians could be honest about: Why there is so much religious pathology in the church. Why so many young people leave the church. Why so many Christians don’t deal with their own “stuff”. Why we don’t live what we believe. Why life is still hard. Why there is so much hypocrisy in the church. Why betrayal eventually visits every Christian. Why racism, classism, and sexism persist in the church. Why so many people in churches are judgmental. Why the church cannot meet all our needs. A friend of mine, a literary agent, asked if I could write a book responding to questions that she had struggled with for so much of her Christian life. I’m not interested in writing a book on the answers but I did expand and edit her list. I don’t find, however, that these questions are indictments on the church. Understanding the answers, actually, is key. Read more.

10 Trends for 2013

Where we live impacts us. I have been the pastor of a multiracial, international church in New Life in Queens, NY for the more than twenty five and a half years. It is the soil out of which I see the world and the larger church. Thus, I offer the following trends, or concerns, that I believe we need to carry to God in prayer: Evangelicalism will continue to lose young people in their teens, 20’s and 30’s who are genuinely searching for an authentic transformative experience with God. The issue of same-sex marriage and partnerships will increasingly dominate our youth ministries. We will be very slow to equip our youth leaders and ministries with a well-thought, nuanced, theological response. There will continue to be little interest for Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox believers to learn from one another. Marriage discipleship will remain non-existent or superficial in our churches. The high divorce rate, along. Read more.

Facebook, MySpace and White Flight?

I am only now beginning to enter the space of social media, so I am very much in a learning mode. Yet, I think it is worth pondering Danah Boyd’s initial findings around racism, classism and social media. She is a a Social Media Researcher and  Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, recently completing her PhD at the University of California (Berkeley).The following is an excerpt regarding her work:  Speaking at this week’s Personal Democracy Forum in New York, Danah Boyd said that even among people with access to the Net, long-held social divisions of race, class, and income are starting to play out online, particularly among teens now starting to choose which social network they prefer, MySpace or Facebook. “Social media don’t eradicate social divisions,” says Boyd, an expert in NextGen behaviors for Microsoft and a senior fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. “[Social media are] making. Read more.