April 30, 2017 Newsletter: Platforms, a Racist Photo & Kendrick Lamar

Here is a look at some of the interesting stories we have been reading and others we have written about in the April 30, 2017, edition of the Faithfully Magazine newsletter.

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April 30, 2017


Quotable

Dr. Yolanda Pierce

“Racism is a structural evil and it’s present and pervasive in our Christian seminaries and churches, perhaps more so than the larger public. If you’ve been called to train generations for service to the Church but continue to foster racist ideology, please stop. And repent.”

-Dr. Yolanda Pierce reacting to the racist photo from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s senior staff.


 

Platforms, a Racist Photo & Kendrick Lamar

Hello Faithfully Magazine Friends,

It’s been quite an interesting week. From women of color feeling left out of discussions on platforms to faculty at a seminary with a racist past publishing a “controversial photo”… a lot has happened. And don’t forget this article onauthority and Christian women bloggers, which fails to seriously considerchurch patriarchy and the historical exclusion of women, according to one male observer.

Oh, here’s that “controversial photo” showing senior faculty, including a dean, at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary — after making a plan, acquiring props, finding a site for the photo and deciding on their poses — pretending to be “preaching gangstas” or whatever. The photo left a doubt in many minds that the school’s racism was, in fact, in the past.

Are you a fan of Kendrick Lamar?

If you’re asking “who’s Kendrick Lamar?” don’t worry, you might still appreciate this story. Amid ongoing buzz about secular rappers wowing audiences with gospel-centric raps comes Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, DAMN. Lamar has been exploring religious themes for a good while, but his latest album, which has some wondering if he is a Black Hebrew Israelite, inspired a recent comparison between his theological approach and that of Chance The Rapper’s.

RELATED:  Why Language Matters and the Southern Baptist Convention Should Be Ashamed

What really caught our attention, though, was Lamar’s response to that think piece, in which he shares how, as a kid, “feel good” Christianity left him feeling empty. Now, as a studied adult, Lamar says, “I feel it’s my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy.”

Interesting stuff, right? – If not, tell me about it. Leave your comments, story ideas and other suggestions in the comments section below.

Finally, if you know of anyone who would like to contribute to the magazine (we’re working on issue No. 2) or advertise with us, put us on their radar.

Blessings,
Nicola.


What We’re Reading & Writing

White Christians who attend church regularly seem to really like how President Donald Trump has been running the country. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that “regular churchgoers are the most supportive of Trump.” Their findings seem to challenge the notion that “cultural Christians” are different from “convictional Christians” when it comes to politics and church attendance…

In his attempt to understand possible causes of why U.S. churches remain segregated, Glenn E. Bracey II of Villanova University attempted to gain access to the community life of seven mostly-White Evangelical churches of various sizes. Bracey, a Black man, says the White believers he encountered overwhelmingly applied “race tests” to decide whether a person of color could be welcomed into the faith community.

Between 1904 and 1907, German colonizers attempted to exterminate Namibia’s Herero and Nama ethnic groups, killing about 85,000 people. Germany’s Evangelical Church has come forward with an apology and request for forgiveness, considering that some of its members stood on the side of the murderers.

RELATED:  Christian Conference Named After MLK To Push Repentance And Unity

By now, you’ve hopefully heard of Korean-American professor Tony Kim, who was detained by authorities while at an airport in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim reportedly taught at a university in the country that was founded by a Christian businessman and that mostly hires Christians. So far, North Korea has not explained why Kim was detained.

In South Korea, megachurches seem to be affected by the chaebol culture, parents handing down their businesses to their children to run. In this case, the pastor of a Presbyterian megachurch in Seoul is facing protest for attempting hereditary pastoral succession in this rather interesting article.


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