Yesterday, the day before we mark 50 years since the assignation of Civil Rights icon MLK, jr., the Iowa house votes 55-45 in favor of a bill rooted in Racism and Xenophobia (54 Republicans, 1 Democrat) The anti-immigration bill they approved, SF 481, is commonly known as a Sanctuary City BanRead More
In Arabic, Jusoor means bridge. But near the Syrian border in Lebanon, Jusoor means something more; it’s the name of an organization that represents the future of Syria and two of the schools they founded to educate its youth.Read More
America has reached its tipping point in many important ways. This includes the rising emphasis on important Social Issues that many in our society are bringing to light and seeking to significantly change. Issues like Misogyny, Islamophobia, Racism and more have been thrust into the spotlight and rightfully so. At the same time, there is an emerging group of 'Christian Defenders' who are trying to wade into Social Advocacy as well, exposing an often incompatibility between the two.Read More
This week, the American President publicly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Part of my response to this travesty, was to post a meme on my Facebook wall in support of Palestine (see below) My meme had been shared 40 or 50 times when someone decided to share it in an Anti-Muslim Facebook Hate group, with over 450,000 members, called The Deplorables. Once that happened, my public profile began to light up with bigotry, hatred and more.Read More
My wife and I just spent a week in Lebanon, what follows are our first impressions of this remarkable place. Although we would have loved to spend months exploring the beautiful country, we split our short time between the urban sprawl of Beirut and the agriculturally pristine Bekaa Valley. It was in the Valley where we met with Syrian Refugee’s, the main purpose for our trip.Read More
In the midst of the massively controversial Flag kneeling debate, ex-NFL Coach Mike Ditka was quoted as ignorantly saying, “There has been no oppression (in America) in the last 100 years, that I know of.” Just days later, Eminem freestyles at the BET Awards praising Colin Kaepernick for the act of kneeling that Ditka had been critiquing. So why is it that two white guys, who have spent tremendous amounts of time around Black men have such contrasting views on this issue? And what can this teach us not only about Racism in America but also Islamophobia?Read More
Over the years, I have encountered some remarkable Christian organizations and individuals who are Loving our refugee neighbors in beautifully bold ways. Often making significant sacrifices and expecting little or nothing in return. But along the way, I have also noticed something quite strange that I can only describe as some Christians who seem to actually hate the very refugees they are trying to Love?Read More
There are countless churches and organizations across America that have programs teaching people how to evangelize others into their version of Christianity, some that I have participated in. These groups are typically focused on the idea of trying to follow what is called ‘the Great Commission’ of Jesus, but in practice, the attitudes and actions of these organizations can sometimes produce a form of (American) Christian Supremacy.Read More
So, I used to be a Neo-Calvinist. Yes, there was a time in my not so distant past when I couldn't wait to read the next Mark Driscoll book or listen to the new David Platt sermon. And although I didn't know it at the time, John Piper was god-like to me.Read More
We all submit to social norms, some are helpful and some are unhelpful and even hateful. Often, the social norms we adhere to are rooted in ideologies that have developed over time and are connected to an affinity group that we may be part of. In other words, we are following them, because people like us follow them.Read More
Recently, over 500 Evangelical Christian Leaders signed a letter that was sent to the current President and Vice President expressing their grief over the recent EO, Muslim Ban, with a request for reversal. This is great, it really is. Seeing Evangelical Leaders rise up and speak out is awesome, necessary, and helpful. Thanks to all who participated in this initiative! However...Read More
A number of years ago, I met a young Christian couple who was passionate about Loving others and had some questions about our Muslim neighbors. As we chatted, the husband shared that a few weeks before, he had purchased a Quran and had been reading it in hopes of better understanding those who follow Islam.
When his wife heard this, she was shocked, her face was suddenly covered with fear. She asked when he brought it into their home and upon hearing the date, she said she had felt something was wrong in their house (spiritually) and was now convinced of the reason why – there was a Quran in their house.Read More
Much of the world has been flooded with the idea that allowing refugees into our respective countries should be feared. Some even suggest, Loving these neighbors boldly is just plain foolish. I recently spent time in the Middle East with Syrian refugees and here are some things I learned, first-hand.Read More
I recently got married. Our wedding day was a very special day for many reasons; including how fortunate I am to now be married to such a remarkable woman. Our wedding was an intimate gathering in a small city in the Midwest, surrounded only by our closest loved ones; it was a day I will never forget.
As I look back on that day, I consider the current cultural shifts in America and I wonder how many people would actually consider our wedding to be very un-American?Read More
The wind howled outside and sand pelted the side of the makeshift tent we were huddled in. I sat across from my new friend Hasan, a Muslim refugee who had recently fled unimaginable violence in search of a safe place to call home. But for now he wondered if he would ever leave this desert camp, or if it would someday become his grave.Read More
The following was written by an Iraqi Muslim friend who arrived in the US as a refugee. Her name has been changed for privacy and security.
I always take a deep breath and listen to my heart. It says, who am I? Where am I? Where is my family? How can I live again when I long for everything I have lost? All of these questions are in my head every day. I answer myself with yes, it is difficult, but you will live. It is difficult, but you will succeed. It is difficult, but it is worth it to give my family a better future.Read More
When children get in trouble for fighting with each other, we often hear them explain their actions with something like, 'But Johnny took my toy’ or ‘Johnny pushed me first.’ Children are great at pointing the blame at others to try to justify their own actions, especially if their response was equally foolish or harmful. But as adults we are supposed to know better, right?Read More