Friday Fuel: Bad Theology, Bravery, and White Girls

February 21, 2014

There are some weeks when you just need good words.

This was one of those weeks when good words just seem to soak in like rain.  There has been so much to read, to watch, to absorb, and it has all been very needed.

These are some of the things that fueled me this week.

The Problem with Little White Girls

I have literally never heard of Pippa Biddle’s blog until this week, but she wrote something that suddenly blew up all over the internet.  It’s especially timely for me, having just returned from Africa.  And it made me all the more thankful to have gone to do what I am able to do.  We did not have a bunch of third world people trying to “make a mission trip” for us white people.  The Problem With Little White Girls (And Boys)

The Church Was Super Lucky

Let’s be honest, the internet feeds on criticism.  And Christian blog land is really no different.  I am just as guilty as the next blogger of using the negatives as blog fodder.  I’ve been trying to be more positive, I really have.  But Ed Cyzewski definitely wrote a post that convicted me the most this week.  The Church Was Super Lucky to Have Me As An Online Consultant.

Bad Theology Can Kill

Now, if there is a reason to be negative, it is probably this.  You know about the snake-handling pastor who died (from snake bites).  I’m usually pretty comfortable with a little mystery and leeway in my theology, but it’s this kind of thing that makes me veer comfortably back to a more Type A, Left Brained theology.  There are some lines we have to draw.  And Zack Hunt draws them beautifully.  Bad Theology Can Kill.

Terrified of Bravery

Finally, I know this is from last week, but it really resonated with me.  Yesterday, I knew I was not going to sleep well and sure enough, I was awake at four a.m., brain reeling with some kind of anxiety.  And so much of anxiety is about anticipating what will happen to me, rather than how I will live my life.  That’s why Alece Ronzino’s words really impacted me.  I’m Terrified of Being Brave.

Those are a few of the writers who fueled me this week.  What about you?

3 responses to Friday Fuel: Bad Theology, Bravery, and White Girls

  1. Wow, Matt… Thank you for this. Really.
    Alece Ronzino recently posted..may i carry her heart along with her name…

  2. It’s interesting how no one thinks their own theology is the “bad theology [that] can kill.” It’s just those other guys’ religion that’s making them run Inquisitions, storm off on Crusades, strap bombs to their chests and run into shopping malls, throw acid in women’s faces, play with poisonous snakes, deny basic medical care to sick children… etc., etc. … Never mind that they arrived at their “bad” religious beliefs in exactly the same way anyone else arrives at their “good” ones. Faith just isn’t a useful tool to figure out which ideas are valuable and which ideas should be rejected.

  3. Matt. I really enjoy your blogs. NQF–???

    Here is my reply to Pippa Biddle. I wasn’t trying to be negative, because she is actually out there doing something, but could use a bit of insight from an old guy.

    You are wrong on many points but I do want to thank you for your actual efforts in visiting other countries.
    I’ve lived in rural Thailand for the past 10 years and visited many times before. I’ve also been on Church missions to build churches in rural, interior Brazil, lived in the Marshall Islands for two years and traveled to many places.

    Yes. There are some disadvantages in being white in many countries– just as in some instances being white in the States is a disadvantage. In developing countries foreigners—often referred in slang as some type of Frenchman—pay more for almost every product they buy. That is until the foreigner learns some of the language and learns how to bargain. I’ve even found the many of the people are so honest I asked them what a natives of the country would normally pay and they tell me. I usually offer a bit more because I can afford it and they also enjoy the interaction with a ‘whiteman’. Please understand that when I say ‘whiteman’ I refer to almost every foreigner regardless of color.
    When I went to Brazil I had no actual construction skills and even the people who did where daunted by the type of construction used in this foreign place. But, we, men and women, learned quickly because we adapted and let the local experts advise us. Building the church was a permanent sign that people from another part of the world had come to visit and work and care about them. The amazement could be witnessed on the faces of the people, young and old, at whitefolks working in the same manner as they worked. Almost unheard of. They saw us smile and give kindness and bits of sweets to the children, aided in repairing cuts and scrapes and in the end—and I think most people who participate in actual mission work would agree—we, the church-people, took much more away with us than we offered, in the form of opening our eyes and feeling the Spirit fill us with the goodness of people who have very little but are willing to share with us.
    It’s the same in Thailand. I have a small farm and at first the village would come out to watch me work and sweat. They were amazed at the amount of sweat that came from me until I explained that this was normal for a whiteman. Now they sometimes offer to help but most often they go about their work while I do the same.
    I understand what you are trying to say and you are a blessing for the work you do, but learn from an old man, me, that building something or repairing a structure is worth ten times all the face painting and trinkets in the world. I pray for your efforts and outlook. You are blessed..
    Dannie Hill recently posted..Return to Thailand