Think Small (#567)

In every battle between the empowered establishment and some group of people calling out for relief from oppression, the vast majority of Christianity has been on the wrong side of the struggle. In almost every case if you would have chosen the struggle of the oppressed you would have been on the right side of God's work in history. Wayne and Sara saw Hidden Figures, a movie about racial oppression in the NASA space program. That coupled with a recent discussion about his former work with BridgeBuilders leave Wayne disturbed about oppression and whether we do enough to help people who need it the most. But our efforts seem so insignificant against he magnitude of problems that permeate society. Thinking large paralyzes us, but finding our way to love the next person and come to their aid can change the world.

Podcast Notes:
The 2016 RSS Feeds
A Christian and a Muslim Walk Into A Studio
Hidden Figures
To Make the World Better, Think Small by Arthur C. Brooks
The Shack Trailer
Sign up for The GJ Shack Showing in Thousand Oaks, CA on March 4 at 4:00 pm
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16 Comments

  1. I don’t know if your misunderstanding here is intentional or you’re just being contrarian. I’m for no such thing and never have been. I regard life as sacred, but for all the time and money fighting over the law for the last forty years, we’ve not slowed the death rate at all. The Republicans only use this as a wedge issue to get social conservatives to vote their way when they actually have no intention of solving the problem because they’d no longer be able to exploit it. I realize my position here is greatly nuanced, but to characterize it this way is a tad ridiculous if not irresponsible, John.

  2. Loved hidden figured movie. Just want to say I think the movie was depicting racial oppression in 1960s America. NASA was starting to break the barriers. That’s the way the movie seemed to me. I know you have to be brief in your intro remarks but if the movie was right NASA was really a leader in moving towards racial and gender equality at that time because they needed all the help they could get. As a (older) woman who loves math I could relate to the story.

  3. Reread my response in light of the podcast. What I meant is that I don’t think you were ever on the wrong side of that issue. It’s all good here. Have a great time on your trip!

  4. We have not slowed the death rate because you and I are subsidizing it in our taxes. I agree that the best change is one on one but sometimes it takes more. Sometimes dare I say it – God gives us government to step in. We fought a war to free a group of people that were in no position to secure those freedoms for themselves.

  5. Hi Wayne & Brad,

    I’m a long time listener, first time commenter. (Long time listener = about 5-6 years, but I have not listened to ALL the archives like some have) =) I really appreciate your podcasts and Father has used you two to help me receive His love in deeper and deeper ways. Thank you so much!

    A quick funny story: My first time listening was a a bit weird. I was enjoying your intro conversation, waiting for the ‘teaching’ to start and then I realized it was all ‘intro’! And I’ve been hooked ever since! =)

    I have a couple thoughts to share about this podcast and hope this is OK.

    You two were talking about building bridges and finding common ground. You made some comments about liberals and conservatives and how conservatives give credit to liberals for being compassionate but then liberals don’t give that same credit to conservatives (even though compassion IS there). I’m just wondering aloud — rather than, as a conservative, asking “How come liberals don’t give us credit for being compassionate?” perhaps a better question to ask is “What qualities do we conservatives see ourselves as having that WE’VE failed to (or chosen not to?) see in liberals?” In other words, in the interest of finding common ground, if conservatives want liberals to see in them the things they don’t currently see, then isn’t the place to start with conservatives being willing to (or choosing to?) see in liberals the things they don’t see?

    Also — re: the “Fair Act”. I admit I don’t know anything about it except what you two mentioned. My political and social views don’t always line up with yours and of course that is fine. But today was the first time I actually became a bit angry with a couple of things you said. It seemed as if you were making a point of arguing against LGBTQ history figures being highlighted. Maybe I misunderstood?

    If an author in the 18th century did not want to be outed as Gay, can you blame him? If that same author were alive now, then perhaps in today’s environment that author *would* be willing to come out, especially if using his voice meant helping others from being bullied.

    And, is it wrong that we have black history month? Is it wrong that we teach about the values that Amelia Earhart and other famous women contributed to society? Much like the women in the movie Wayne mentioned (Hidden Figures) about the black women who had to walk a half a mile to go to the bathroom? Since the old adage is true “History is written by the winners” then shouldn’t it be fair and right to go back and review the “history” that we’ve always known and taught our kids, to see if there are things that the winners left out that need to be put back in so that today’s generation in school gets to learn a more accurate version of history instead of just what was written by the middle-class white men winners/oppressors who wrote those history books to begin with?

    Again, maybe I missed the point of your discussion and your hearts were more impassioned about not having legislature enforce things without the people’s collective will, and less about wanting to specifically argue against the inclusion of LGBTQ historical figures in history classes in school?

  6. Hi Keith. We don’t mind people disagreeing with us or even getting a bit angry. We don’t claim to have it all figured out nor do we pretend to speak for anyone but us. But given your question here our concern was more with the fact that legislatures pass laws without inviting or equipping people to see why something is important and solicit their support rather than settle for frustrated compliance, which often only exacerbates the animosity between various groups. I don’t know anything about the Fair Act, but I do know that under the guise of anti-bullying curriculum can be used for social engineering to please those in power and that being contrived to be inclusive, rather than being true and fair to history. Finding ways to stop bullying has to be done in the face of our differences, not co-opting government institutions to choose sides. I don’t think anything we said would argue for not including women, black, and gay contributions to history or suggesting it is wrong. Not sure where you got that.

    • Thanks Wayne,

      My comments/questions re: the inclusion of women and black historical figures were meant to be rhetorical: as if to say, since we mutually agree it is right to include them, isn’t it also right to include LGBTQ history as well? Sorry to give you the impression that I thought you were arguing against those former — just the latter. And I suppose because LGBTQ inclusion is a bit of a hotbed topic, your tone of voice seemed to be one of incredulity when you made a brief comment about posthumously outing authors — and I read too much into that. Sorry. =)

      In re-listening from about 31:00 on, it is more clear to me (especially in light of your reply) that your main point was speaking out against the practice of legislating without consulting/equipping the people who are in the front lines of day to day carrying out what the party of power forces upon them. And I’m with you on that one!

  7. By the way, Keith, loved your comment about realizing the show was all “Intro.” Brad and I got a good chuckle out of that. And we’re glad the podcast has been an encouragement to you.

    • Thanks Wayne,

      So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore was the second book of yours I read (after The Shack) and I STILL want to know if that really was the Apostle John!!??! 🙂 Then I read He Loves Me. The idea of the cross as a cure, instead of a penal substitution, was revolutionary and revelatory for me!

      As I listen to each podcast, Father draws me a little deeper into a life of Living Loved and I appreciate your & Brad’s hearts as you share your life and “intro” conversations with us all.

      Thanks for never getting around to the “sermonizing”.

      ~ Keith

      PS — I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but I’m reading a book called “Naked Before God” by Martha Williams. It reminds me a lot of SYDWTGTCA in it’s style as well as it’s deeper meaning, re: Father’s affection toward us. It is an easy and enjoyable read and I recommend it.

      • Keith, glad the dialog helped straighten that out. Glad to know what you were thinking. The Jake book as we all it is fiction, so each reader can come to the conclusion that satisfied his or her view. When John puts Jake right into the same situation Jake was in when he met John, it’s a subtle attempt to show my conclusion. What he’s telling Jake is you’re now ready to be a John too! For Jake, he was just an older brother, one who was living loved when Jake wasn’t, which is why it made him look so strange. But over the course of the book he becomes more and more like John himself, both in how he is living and how he is engaging others. But of course, at a deeper level, John is a type of the Holy Spirit who comes alongside to help us in his time and in his way.

  8. Just seen ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ “Doss hears the cries of the dying soldiers and decides to run back into the carnage instead of away from it. He spends the entire day and night carrying wounded soldiers to the cliff’s edge and rappelling them down on rope, each time PRAYING TO SAVE ONE MORE.”
    Another example of Mother Teresa’s words “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”

  9. You mention that, statistically, kids who are virgin are bullied more than other sexual groups (including, I assume, LGBTQ). I’ve been trying to find data to support that statement and I’m having trouble. Can you refer me to your source(s)? Thanks.

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