Emerging Voices Blog

Emerging Voices Blog

The American Church's Absence of Lament

The absence of lament in the liturgy of the American church results in the loss of memory.

The 'S' Word, the 'D' Word, and '12 Years a Slave'

We do need racial healing. Our nation needs it desperately.

An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church: I Am Not Your Punch Line

When family drama shows up in the church, it grieves me. It riles me up like nothing else does because it is in my identity as a Christian and Jesus-follower where I am all of who God created me to be and has called me to be

I Emailed Pastor Rick Warren and There Is No 'If'

There is no “if.” I am hurt, upset, offended, and distressed, not just because “an” image was posted, but that Warren posted the image of a Red Guard soldier as a joke, because people pointed out the disconcerting nature of posting such an image — and then Warren told us to get over it, alluded to how the self-righteous didn’t get Jesus’ jokes but Jesus’ disciples did, and then erased any proof of his public missteps and his followers’ mean-spirited comments that appeared to go unmoderated.

Dear Pastor Rick Warren, I Think You Don’t Get It

This photo appeared yesterday on Rick Warren’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Apparently the image captures “the typical attitude of Saddleback Staff as they start work each day.” Hmmm. I didn’t realize Saddleback was akin to the Red Army.

Shalom and Gender Justice

It is only after the fall of humanity — when we decided not to trust God’s ways, when we decided to grab at our own way to peace and gratification — that women were subjected to men.

Why I Will Be Marching on Washington and Why You Should Too

Thankfully, "separate but equal" is a vestige of the past; Jim Crow segregation is no longer the law of the land; and racial slurs and derogatory remarks are no longer acceptable. However, we must resist the temptation to hail this racial progress while ignoring to the racial pain that still erodes the full realization of the American dream for so many.

'Silence is Golden': The White Church and Race in America

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the author says that there is a time for everything under heaven, including “a time to be silent, and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7. Over the past two weekends, the vast majority of African American congregations have spoken up, publically wrestling with responses to and implications of the Zimmerman verdict. Most white congregations have remained silent.

A Time to Mourn

A corporate injustice has occurred and the last thing we should do as people of privilege is to try to shut down the voices that have experienced genuine suffering and are speaking to the reality of an ongoing oppression.

'Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do)'

If the Church is going to survive we can no longer talk around the issue of racism. We can’t pray around it, and we can’t Holy Ghost dance around it. We truly have to deal with it.

The Zimmerman Verdict and the Resurrection of the Old Jim Crow

Three weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of its enforcement power. Last week the House GOP voted to eliminate 100 percent of funding for food stamps from the Farm Bill. As a result, food stamps are currently unfunded in the federal budget. Finally, last weekend, George Zimmerman was found “not guilty” and black America realized a web of laws have been hacking away at our civil rights to live and expect equal protection under the law. The old Jim Crow is back.

An American Story

The story of Trayvon Martin is a story that must be lamented if we are to write a story of justice in the weeks, months, and even years ahead. So my first response this week is lament and deep sadness.

Raising Black Boys in America: An Interview With Leroy Barber

Hate is useless. Don’t let hate sink into your soul, because hate will destroy you. And respond with love even if it’s hard. I try to teach my boys that, and raise them that way.

In Celebration of Freedom

We are free today to choose people. We are free to believe that a person is worth giving our lives for, that we can sacrifice and give all we have for the good of another. The power of our gospel sits in this freedom.

Creation is Groaning

Then the story of humanity turns in the span of one chapter. And it all hinges on how the first humans interact with a tree — a part of God’s creation.

Jesus and Affirmative Action

In a vote of 7-1 on Monday, the Supreme Court sent an affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas, back to the lower court for a re-hearing, while reaffirming the benefits of diversity in institutions of higher learning and authorizing the continued use of race as one factor in admissions. By sending the case back to determine if the University of Texas could find no “available, workable race-neutral” alternatives available to them

Watch the Vote: Supreme Court Effectively Kills Voting Rights Act

Blood had to flow from Edmund Pettus Bridge to prompt Congress to craft its original list, which was still largely viable. I fear blood may have to flow again before Congress and the will of the American public are convinced that 40 years is, indeed not long enough.

(Not) Just Another Day

For as long as I can remember, Father’s Day has been a challenge for me. You see, like many other children I know, I have deep painful scars when it comes to the topic of fatherhood.

Memory, Identity, and the Fourth of July

There are moments, before and after the Revolution, that we mutually agree to forget in order to plant hands to hearts and let tears fall on the fourth day of the seventh month every year.

The Voices Project: Offering Perspective to Places of Power

The Voices Project has become a natural expression of black leaders who often live and work cross culturally. We are not angry; we are not looking for a fight. We are speaking to each other, supporting our dynamic expression, and creating venues and platforms that give voice to all people.

Women, Voice, and Pentecost

Repentance begins in the heart. So, I must ask: “Will I repent of my silence — my safe silence?” Yes.

If Someone Hits You, Hit Them Back

The “if someone hits you, hit them back” mentality is destroying black men at an alarming rate. Dads, teach your boys to talk it over, look the other way, or keep walking when things begin to escalate.

A Caution in Pursuing the Common Good

As an African-American woman I enter the Common Good conversation cautiously because I know that in our society we have a habit of taking what is good for Western hegemony and making it the standard for everyone else.

Balancing our Budget through Humility, Shared Sacrifice, and Hope

In the midst of an exasperating and polarized political debate around the U.S. budget, our national and political leaders can learn valuable lessons from Holy Week.

On Door Prizes, Pony Rides, and a Gazillion Eggs When the Gospel Ought To Be Enough

Easter is often referred to as the Super Bowl for Christian churches. As expected, a great amount of time, energy, ideas, and resources are invested into this weekend. And I get it. And I agree with it – in part.