an outlet of encouragement, explanation, and exhortation

Category: Message Notes

Notes on Free Speech, Civil Disobedience, and Following Jesus

This post is written in support of the Long Beach Friends Church message of May 5, 2024 to provide links to associated material for further study. Listen to that message here.

David French wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times that clarifies many of the concepts and legal issues related to free speech and civil disobedience.

This is the commitment card for the Birmingham Campaign that Martin Luther King, Jr. let. There is a brief comment on the commitment card here.

The Bible Project podcast on the Sermon on the Mount, episode 15, explaining “Turn the Other Cheek” discusses Martin Luther King’s approach to civil disobedience. Below is Martin Luther King Jr. as quoted in this podcast episode:

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It’s a sword that heals. The ultimate weakness of violent retaliation is that it’s a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar but you cannot murder the LIE nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate so it goes returning evil for evil ,multiplies evil, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. I love that darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon “When Peace Becomes Obnoxious.”

Notes on “Focusing on Jesus – It’s All a Gift” Message

In this message, I mention a few resources to which I will provide links below.

First, the books that I mentioned.

The first book is a book that has been tremendously helpful to me as I worked on the recent messages on communion with Christ.

The second and third books are books that are very helpful in teaching and developing the practices and habits that are often described as spiritual disciplines. These are practices that we can do to put ourselves in the position to come to know and love God more deeply, and be changed by Him.

Lastly, I mentioned the organization Renovaré. Renovaré is a great source of podcasts, articles, books, conferences, and other aids to spiritual growth. Quoting from their website, they are a Christian non-profit that “models, resources, and advocates fullness of life with God experienced, by grace, through the spiritual practices of Jesus and of the historical Church.” What a blessing Renovaré has been to God’s people!

Notes for the Hot Topics – Creation and Human Care Message

These are links and notes for the Hot Topics – Creation and Human Care message.

Wikipedia on Barbara Reynolds, Earle Reynolds, and the Phoenix of Hiroshima.

The Film Raising the Phoenix. (Please note that efforts to raise funds to raise the Phoenix from where is sunk, sadly, have ended.)

The Quakers sailing the Golden Rule whose names that I never mentioned (oops) were Albert Bigelow, George Willoughby, William R. Huntington, James Peck and Orion Sherwood. And were there four or five men on the Golden Rule?

An Atlas Obscura article on the Phoenix, with pictures.

The Asbury “revival” comment video that I mentioned early in the message.

Notes for the Hot Topics – Abuse Message/Podcast

In the Hot Topics – Abuse message, I referred to a newsletter from Kristin Du Mez. You may want to read it for yourself. The newsletter refers to this Christianity Today article.

I also mentioned a helpful website with resources related to child abuse.

Also in the message, I gave some scripture reference recommendations for further study. They are reproduced here for your convenience.

Matthew 20.25-28 NIV – Jesus’ example as Lord and Teacher

Titus 1.5b-9 The Message – what to look for in church leaders

1 Timothy 5.19-22 NIV – how to handle sin in a church leaders

1 Corinthians 5.1-13 The Message – Paul told the church it must deal with a serious sin in the congregation!

2 Corinthians 2.5-11 The Message – The church listened to Paul but now it was time to forgive the sinner.

Colossians 3.5-15 NIV – Paul contrasts abusive behavior with our new life in Christ

All of the messages are also available as episodes of the LBFC Weekly Sermons podcast, available from your favorite podcast source. (Or if it is not, let me know. I use Libsyn to publish the podcast.)

Some Articles I (may or may not) refer to in my “Hot Topics – Abortion” Message

Here are links to some of the articles I mention in my “Hot Topics” message on abortion (also available as the LBFC Weekly Sermons podcast). Or perhaps these are things I should have mentioned, depending on which version you hear/watch.

One helpful article was David Novak’s What Does the Bible Say about Abortion. Novak is speaking about Jewish scripture with the word “Bible” in his title. Novak explains how a number of passages from Jewish scripture are mis-used and clarifies good interpretations.

Kristin Kobes Du Mez is interviewed on All Things Considered regarding how abortion became a mobilizing issue for the religious right. She discusses the polarization and politicization of the abortion issue. For a longer read with much more detailed scholarship, try her book Jesus and John Wayne. I’ve written a bit more on Kristen Kobes Du Mez here. In a similar vein, Beth Allison Barr’s The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth might be helpful.

Sarah Williams wrote a remarkable book about deciding to carry her daughter Cerian to term, shocking medical staff and professional colleagues. The recently rewritten edition is entitled Perfectly Human – Nine Months with Cerian. I first read this book and handed many copies out to others some years ago when it was first published as The Shaming of the Strong: The Challenge of an Unborn Life. It is a powerful book that you may find difficult to put down once you begin reading. While this book is easy to read for a general audience, Sarah Williams is a first-rate scholar that I first encountered through classes she taught at Regent College in Vancouver, BC. Her classes Marriage, Sex, and Family in Historical Perspective and another with the boring-sounding title Church and State in the Modern World are remarkably insightful; I learned a lot! Anything Sarah Williams does is bound to be top-notch and worth your attention.

Also, I wrote a series of short articles on women in the church and marriage on this blog some years ago that you can access here.