Do. Love. Walk.



Hello, my name is Michael Clevenger. My life is a romance with providence. I love Jesus, the least of these, worship, music, biking, intercession, traveling, theology, philosophy, non-violence, learning, listening, reading, adventuring, exploring, tea, writing, photography, coffee, stirring up others faith, good times, good sweet tea, & good BBQ-- not necessarily in that order. Check out my new blog "Gospel of the Kingdom" below.

DELETING THIS BLOG

Hey friends,

I’m deleting this blog.

If you would like to still correspond on here please follow my blog

Gospel of the Kingdom

Thank you!  It’s been real, it’s been fun, it’s been real fun!

gospelofthekingdom:

Great TED presentation on a 10-month-long nonviolent protest in the Palestinian village of Budrus by Brazilian filmmaker Julia Bacha where she asks why we only pay attention to violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict — and not to the nonviolent leaders who may one day bring peace.

gospelofthekingdom:

Your faith depends on your presuppositions about the Bible. The implications of this realization are all encompassing. Any statement that begins with, “The Bible says …” is actually a statement about what the speaker believes. This is equally true whether you are Rob Bell or John MacArthur. You are all working from the same source material here. The chant of Joel Osteen, waving the Bible above his head and pledging allegiance to the words therein, is ultimately no different from an exegesis of Jesus’ compassion by Shane Claiborne, in that both are rooted in individual interpretations and assumptions about what the Bible is, generated by their prior presuppositions, ideals, experiences and connections. When you argue about Scripture, you are arguing your biases. If Mark Driscoll and Marcus Borg sat down to discuss their differences, underneath all the banter is nothing but two different presuppositions about the Bible. Who is “right” and who is “wrong” is ultimately a question of who has the “correct” interpretation about the bible. But since both parties judge their own interpretations about the Bible by their own presuppositions of the Bible, both are ultimately appealing first and foremost to their own presuppositions.

Dear Church, at some point you must recognize and name your camps and denominations for what they truly are: self-affirming cloisters of people who are happily comfortable with their self-validating presuppositions about Scripture. Your next reformation comes when you abandon your arguments about what the Bible says, and invest your energy into investigating what the Bible is. Stop arguing about how to “apply the Word of God” and start formulating truly informed thoughts about church history, the nature of the canon, and the doctrine of inspiration. Even if there were something concrete about these convictions explicit in the pages of Scripture itself, you would still have to account for your personal belief in those words. You must unearth and examine all these unchecked assumptions. You must delve deep into the matrix of your own assumptions about textual authority. Herein will be the most painful and honest declaration of Christianity yet, for only when you seek to honestly address the beliefs you most desperately cherish can you genuinely declare your faith to be honest—honest to your own heart, mind and soul, and to God.

-James Shelley, Letters to a Future Church

Found this gem at the church in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! Score! #Yoderforthewin (Taken with Instagram)

Found this gem at the church in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! Score! #Yoderforthewin (Taken with Instagram)

CAN WE JUST HAVE A HOLY GHOST PARTY RIGHT UP IN HURRRRRRR; MET THE DEADLINE, THANK YOU PAPA!

This is Mike. He’s sassy. Comes with name I suppose. (Taken with Instagram)

This is Mike. He’s sassy. Comes with name I suppose. (Taken with Instagram)

gospelofthekingdom:

As we look at the world on a global scale, everything is far from okay. There is much injustice for the righteous to ache over. Consider the following facts:

  • Sixteen percent of the world lives on less than one dollar per day. [1]
  • Forty percent of the world lives on less than two dollars per day. [2] 
  • Eighty percent of the world lives on less than ten dollars per day. [3] 
  • Seventeen thousand children die from hunger every day. [4] 
  • The nations of the world spend three billion dollars per day on defense (56 percent by the United States).[5] 

To put it in perspective: Each day, for every child who dies of hunger, the nations of the world spend $176,000 on security (which means defending themselves from one another). One hundred sixty-six thousand dollars per dead child on defense?! Do we really not see the madness and the injustice of this?! But we tell ourselves it’s just the way things have to be. If we don’t build billion-dollar bombers, things will go wrong—as if something has not already gone very, very wrong! So while the nations spend billions every day on their security … the orphans die and the widows weep. The very least the righteous can do is to ache over this and yearn for a better way. Hopefully the righteous can do much more than ache and yearn, but any step toward building a better world begins with a painful acknowledgement that the present arrangement is unacceptable

In the fourth beatitude Jesus blesses those who ache over the pervasive injustice and deep brokenness of our world—Jesus blesses those who refuse to keep looking at the world through the status quo—they ache for something better.  Something better is what the kingdom of God brings, and it’s why the disciples of Jesus pray day by day:  ”Thy government come, thy policy be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  At the very least the disciples of Jesus formed by the fourth beatitude refuses to let the  Beast have their imagination, and they will not perpetuate the satanic lie that “it has to be this way.”  No!  It does not have to be this way!  There is a better way!  Jesus shows us that better way!  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for things to be made right, for they shall find immense satisfaction when and where the kingdom of Christ brings saving transformation and redemptive justice into the world.  The disciples formed by the fourth beatitude know the difference between the intransient ugliness of injustice and the redeeming beauty of justice, and they long for the beauty of Christ’s justice to save the world.

-Brian Zahnd, Beauty Will Save the World

________________________________________________

[1] Anup Shah, “Poverty Facts and Stats,”  Globalissues.org, September 20, 2010, http://www.globalissues.org/article26/poverty-facts-and-stats

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] CNN.com, “UN Chief:  Hunger Kills 17,000 Kids Daily,” November 17, 2009, http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/11/17/italy.food.summit/index.html

[5]  Anup Shah, “World Military Spending,”  GlobalIssues.org, May 2, 2011,
http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#WorldMilitarySpending 

Salvation in ill-fitting blue pants

gospelofthekingdom:

The testimony of activist Jeremy John, written for Geez Magazine, who spent six months in prison for civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas where he found Christ.  

I lived in a state of incredible tension for the next few months.  I found the chapel, and I found a Bible.  Before prison, I had set out to read the entire Bible, and, depending on what I found, either refute or endorse it.  I had gotten to Daniel by the time I was incarcerated.  Prison provided plenty of time to continue reading.  The Old Testamend didn’t really do it for me.  And I really didn’t like the Christians in the camp.  I crashed a Bible study by arguing against obedience to the governing authorities.

But something happened when I got to Matthew — something that had never happened in all my love affair with knowledge.  I had read Taoism, Buddhism, Confucius, Proudhoun and Malatesta.  I had read Wittgenstein, Camus, Sartre and Fanon, but nothing compared to the story of Jesus.

Jesus story cannot be dismissed as yet another action that makes sense from a rational perspective because he chose to die.  If Christ’s action could “make sense,” then it would not be a perfect love, it would instead be an everyday selfish act, explained away by self-serving motives and purposes.

I may make a few posts on his testimony, because at the end, there are great thoughts on moving from focusing on structures to people and justice to love.

You can (and should) read more on his blog at glassdimly.com

gospelofthekingdom:

Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now.

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

gospelofthekingdom:

Stanley Hauerwas talks about how American Christians read Romans 13 so as to justify American state power.  This clip is from a panel discussion held in March 2007 at Duke University called “Religious Speech in Public Discourse.”