Response to Dr. Metzger’s blog “The crucified God confronts gendercide”

Dr. Metzger, your blog is so full deep, moving truths. The following statements/stood out as I read your blog over and over.
“God is for us and not against us” – This reminded me of the prophecy of Ezekiel recorded in Ezekiel 34: 1-10. He prophesied against the irresponsible shepherds of Israel. These shepherds instead of feeding the flock, they feed themselves and clothe themselves with the wool. As a result of their neglect, the sheep are scattered. In verse 10, God declares that he is against such shepherds. The very thought of God being against you or anyone is paralyzing. Who will you run to for help? You never ever want or get God to be against you! Ezekiel uses the same phrase in 5:8. He uses this phrase to express God’s judgement. it is so calming to know that God is for me and not against me, in Christ.
“As we ascend to Christ in faith because of the out pouring of God’s love into our hearts, we are free to descend to our neighbor in love”
“Like God who is for us, we are now free to exist for others …”

Just like you,”I will give myself more fully to the care of others as a response of gratitude to God and free exercise of the divine love”.
I agree with Bonhoeffer’s argument that “Jesus is the man for others and the church is the community for others”. Jesus influenced every person He came into contact with. May the Church follow His footsteps. I wonder how this can be achieved in our individualistic culture! My limited observation these past few years is that, very few people/Christians seem to have time for the “other” – everyone is either busy, unavailable or tired. How will the church have time for the victims of violence and abuse when we fail to make time for those with in and are hurting? Ministering to the victims of violence most often means disrupting your busy schedule and comfort. It will require taking time to listen. Unless we – the Church, yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him produce the fruit of the Spirit in us without which we cannot hear the cry of the victims of violence. Jesus our perfect advocate was so anointed with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10:38; “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”.

Response to Dr. Metzger’s blog, “Lights Out”

The wise pastor/chaplain – the one who will not only give spiritual care well but will be doing it joyfully, will exercise pastoral care with spiritual strength derived from God, the leading of the Holy Spirit and with ample help provided by family members of the patient while exercising their spiritual gifts and calling. For such a pastor/Chaplain, prayer is a very significant part in his/her preparation to care for someone of another faith tradition or any person who is approaching death. A pastor/chaplain who maintains a healthy relationship with the Lord will exhibit virtues such as those described in Galatians 5:22-23. These virtues; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are characterized as “fruit” in contrast to “works”. Only the Holy Spirit can produce them, and not our own effort or academic training. When the Spirit fully controls the life of a believer (which I believe a pastor/christian chaplain should be), He produces all of these graces in the life of that believer (a pastor is first a believer before he becomes a pastor). I acknowledge that the pastor/chaplain’s effectiveness will also require practical preparation and common sense.
Now, if the pastor/chaplain’s motivation is to perform a duty in his/her own strength, then very serious mistakes a bound to be made and people will be hurt.

In response to the following paragraph in your article,
“Some Evangelical Christians may struggle with the reflections in this article. They may fear that it advocates for multi-faith end of life care without care for the gospel and truth. As those committed to biblical Christianity, we must always be prepared to give a reason for the hope within us when asked, as 1st Peter 3:15 states. However, it also states that we must always do so with gentleness and respect. Gentleness and respect require that we do not force our views on others. Yes, as Christians committed to the biblical hope, we long to share about our faith in the eternal security of life with God in the resurrected Jesus through faith in his love poured out by the Spirit (Romans 8:18-39; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Romans 5:5). But hopefully we also desire to live out the biblical exhortation to do for others what we would want them to do for us (Matthew 7:12). If we wish to be treated with respect and not have others force their views on us, no matter how well-intentioned, we should respect them and not force our views on them. If we demonstrate respect for the wishes of the dying, their faith traditions, and our shared humanity, they may very well ask us to share our views. However, we must guard against bait-and-switch tactics and trust God for his leading rather than force conversations.”
this is what I have to say:
I would have loved to learn from your personal experience; how you failed to show respect and gentleness and how you corrected that in your own life. Or how you were tempted to employ bait-and-switch tactics and how you overcame that temptation. Or a situation when you forced a conversation and how that impacted you when you discovered that you just did it. Or, how God turned around what seemed to be a blunder into a blessing.
Chaplains go through a lot of emotional suffering as they live out the biblical exhortation to do for others what they would want others to do for them by showing love and compassion. I sincerely do hope we pray for them and encourage them. God be God

Cross-cultural Relationships

Cross-cultural relationships don’t just happen. Healthy cross-cultural relationships are hard to form, harder to maintain and easy to destroy. Serious effort and sacrifice must be put into the equation. Such relationships require time, wisdom, intentionality, great sensitivity as well as the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I want to share with you what we are doing at our Church in order to develop these very important and necessary cross-cultural relationships.
At our Church, we have started a class for the entire congregation. In this class, we are looking at the key things we need to incorporate in our Church life and ministry in order to enhance sensitivity towards our fellow brothers and sisters of other cultures and race.
We have created a platform where people freely talk about their individual cultural background. As a result, we are celebrating the rich cultural diversity we have in our Church. We acknowledge that in Christ, we are all equal not just in regard to our standing before God but also in status in our community as a Church.
We started with the basic things which we believed would make every individual feel important. These included:
Learning to pronounce each individual’s name right
Seeking to know the meaning of those names. In some cultures, you can learn much about a person’s history, circumstances at birth, family history, the main characteristics of their culture, as well as their traditional belief system if you give them opportunity to explain to you what their name means.
We are learning to be good listeners. Through this, we understand their personal interests as well as their point of view.
We are encouraging all the members of our congregation to show hospitality to others with different cultural background.
Cultivating a discipline of respect and valuing people. Respect is a virtue I always have believed to be the number one ingredient of a healthy platform for cross-cultural engagement. When you respect someone, you are honoring the worth and the dignity of that person. You are acknowledging their unique individuality. This means that you are going to take their preferences and ideas seriously. A general attitude of respect assumes that each person has something to teach us. Respect is merited by all human beings because they are created in the image of God. There is a longing among all the people to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that longing in all of us, we must respect each other.
All these are taking us far in building positive cross-cultural relationships within our congregation.
1John 3:18; “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
1John 3:23; “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
1 John 4:7 – 11; Beloved let us love one another for love is of God: and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God ….
vs 11, “ Beloved if God so loved us , we also ought to love one another”.


For a long time, I have had a stigma attached to the whole idea of confrontation. Until recently, whenever I heard the word confront, my mind would be flooded with things such as; fighting, hurting each other, death threats, character assassination, demeaning, attacking, lawsuit and so on and so forth. Brother Joseph L. made a statement which intrigued me. He was responding to one of my blogs. This what he said; “Sometimes confrontation is necessary in the work of advocacy. Our impurities seem to come to surface under the pressure of confrontation”. As I explored more about this whole idea, I came across this quote by Dave Anderson which aroused my interest in this subject even more. He said; “Demonstrating love is what truly pleases God. Thus, we must confront, for to fail in this discipline is to evince apathy and indifference towards an individual’s welfare and potential. But we must confront in love, doing so for the right reasons and with just motives. We confront to improve the character or competence of an individual, to preserve our culture, and to protect the organization’s future”. When I put these together with the definition of the word “confront”, I see clearly that confrontation is constructive. There is absolutely nothing wrong in facing a situation that makes you uncomfortable or in facing someone with facts and doing so with the right attitude, the right way.
Consider the following scriptures with me:
Matthew 18:15-17;
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hear you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the Church, let him be to you like a heathen”
Inn Galatians 2: 11-14, we have a record of apostle Paul’s confrontation with apostle Peter. Paul writes;
“Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him face to face, because he was to blame; for before certain men came James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter before them all, if you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?”
There are many other passages of Scripture which emphasize this discipline. I can not quote them all here. But this is my admonition. We all make mistakes. Those mistakes can result in harmful effects if they are not corrected. However, Correction must be done in love. When we learn to confront and to express our honest feelings to one another, bonds of trust begin to form. Confrontations usually have a counterintuitive effect of deepening a relationship. Do not be timid. Stop choking your convictions. Ask God for wisdom and Let the Holy Spirit guide you.


Listening is an essential part of communication. No communication happens until we decide to listen. Speaking and listening are like a nut and bolt; neither is much good for holding a machine together with out the other. In James 1:19 , James admonishes us saying; “So then my brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
It is important that we learn to listen patiently, and attempt to experience what others are transmitting. No basic communication occurs until we listen so sympathetically and attentively that we hear more than words. Natives need to be heard and encouraged to speak openly what they feel.
“Mohandas K. Gandhi, Known by many people as “Mahatma”, was born in India and lived there until as a young man he went to Great Britain to study law. He then spent twenty years in South Africa, struggling against the government’s racist policies. During those years he visited India and was never out of touch with Indian people. But he finally returned to live in his homeland, a leader of the Indian efforts for independence commanded him to spend the first year in India “with his ears open but his mouth shut.” His first important task was to listen”.(Louis Fischer)
We need to learn from this great leader. Missionaries go to the mission field as expatriates and try to address viewpoints, issues, and cultural matters they do not fully understand. They end up making lots of blunders simply because they have not taken time to listen first. My exhortation to missionaries who are doing a noble work among the nations is, “listen to the national”. They need to be heard. By so doing, unnecessary antagonisms will be avoided.
In my encounter with other cultures, prayer has been and will continue to be my number one priority. The words of Jesus Christ recorded in John 15:5; “Without Me, you can do nothing”, is the truth. This truth motivates me to seek the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit. I need His wisdom; the wisdom that comes from above that James talks about. I do not want to go in my own strength. Second, I observe, listen and ask meaningful questions more than talking about my agenda, in the first few months of my encounter with them. This is because I want to understand them. I want to make sure that I understand and affirm how and why they behave and respond to particular situations the way they do. This would help me to understand that culture’s internal aspects such as: their concepts of personal space, their ideas regarding modesty; their concepts of leadership, fairness, as well as their beliefs of how children are raised and how they understand truth. Likewise I would let them ask me any questions they may have.
Names of people and places are so important in some cultures. Just by asking the meaning of a person’s name or the meaning of the name of the village, one would discover a lot about their history, struggles and belief system.

Response to Dr. Metzger’s blog “Should ethics be biologicized”?

Dr. Metzger, once I read the definition of eugenics in the dictionary I have as “the science of improving the human race”, I must admit that I was stunned by the whole idea. I thought to my self that to even have a discussion who believes that there is some possibility of improvement, that discussion will have to begin with kind of assumptions this individual has about the nature of man as well as the sinfulness of man.
Man is a created being; created by God. when God created man, He formed the spirit of man within him. (Zachariah 12:1). No one race is better than any other. God created man with a free-will, the ability to choose. It will be admitted that man’s will is weakened because of sin and only God change this situation. Actually God does not improve human situation, He takes care of it through Christ.
Scripture declare further that; “It is He that has made us and not we ourselves”. I would emphatically assert that a created thing cannot improve itself; only the creator can.
The following paragraph from your blog impacted me.
“In the Christian Scriptures, one finds the combination of ethical prescriptions—such as to love one’s enemies and to care for the orphan, widow and alien in their distress, regardless of the consequences to the seeming pleasure of society at large, economics included—and emotive predictions—such as the envisioning of a society of equals, where the poor are lifted up and the rich and powerful are humbled. These Scriptures do not discount the tribal instincts that we all manifest. In fact, it acknowledges them, but encourages us to move beyond them to care for the dispossessed. It will involve preserving the ‘non-productive’ elderly. It will entail our society learning from the past when we failed as a society to be “non-violent toward little brown Vietnamese children” caught up between the ideological forces of the Cold War, as Dr. King lamented. Such education should lead us to care for African American young men who are often endangered in our racialized country, and to welcome refugees from troubled hot spots abroad like Syria lost at sea and in the desert in the ideological war with terror’

The Heart and advocacy

Recently, 1 Samuel 16:7 came to my mind. It says;
“Man looks at the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart”.
The heart is internal-not seen by those around us, but is the very essence of life. It is the center of hidden emotional, intellectual, as well as all moral activity. It is the inner self which thinks, feels, and acts and therefore central to man. Because it is hidden, it is so easy for us to not give adequate attention to it. Scriptures reveal several conditions of the heart. I will mention just a few of them: Jeremiah 17: 9-10 says that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Psalm 101:5 tells us that; “The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart Him I will not endure”. Ezekiel 11:19 talks about a stony heart. John 14: 1; – a troubled heart; In Acts 5:13, Satan filled Ananias’ heart. Matthew 5:8 – a pure heart. We should not only put emphasis on our outward appearance only but should also pay even more attention on the hidden man of the heart. How? By checking my attitude. Listening to what comes out of my mouth for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Dr. Metzger expressed it so wonderfully when he wrote in one of his article that:
“Purity of heart is not an isolated phenomenon in Scripture. Further to what was noted above in Isaiah 6:5-7, one sees a fundamental connection between purity of heart and eye and mouth. Purity also involves innocence of hands. Those who are pure of heart are not violent. They do not shed innocent blood. They are peacemakers (See Proverbs 6:16-19; see also Psalm 24:3-6). They pursue righteousness and flee youthful passions (2 Timothy 2:22); they are obedient to the truth, which involves sincere brotherly love (1 Peter 1:22). Indeed, those who are pure of heart are pure in other ways.” This is a necessity in the work of advocacy.
I think of refiners who attempt to purify molten metal from all its dross in order to create objects of honor, beauty, and strength. They put the unrefined metal in a pot or a furnace and heat it until all the dross was burnt out of the metal. God uses different means (some not so comfortable) to remove impurities from our heart. This is absolutely necessary because it is only after the removal of all impurities, then we can see God. We need to yield to God’s purifying processes and “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete and lacking nothing” (James 1: 2-4)
There would absolutely be no point to live a “Christian life” and in the end not see God.
”The pure of heart will truly see God. They will understand God’s ways. They will experience the beatific vision”(Dr. Metzger). They will execute the work of advocacy effectively. I want to be one who sees God and who listens to God, as revealed in Jesus. Those who do so are truly blessed.

Response to Dr. Metzger’s blog “Darwinism, Dawkins and Down syndrome”

Dr. Metzger, I totally disagree with the idea of killing the unborn and denying the the opportunity to live. This does not increase happiness. Our Lord Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) teaches us how to be truly happy. “This term (Blessedness)is an exclamation of the inner joy and peace that comes with being right with God. it is a happiness that transcends what happens in the world around us, a happiness that comes to the soul from being favored by God”. True happiness can only be achieved through God just as St. Augustine states in his writings that “Despite of hardships, persecution and disease, true happiness can be experienced through a close relationship with God and not acquiring material things (or eliminating/killing those who inconvenience us)” Dawkin’s appeal to look for happiness by killing the unborn is deeply troubling. It is not wrong to look for happiness. The issue is looking for it in the wrong places.
Dr. Metzger these are some of the scriptures which came to my mind as I read and in response to your blog.
Genesis 4:10-11;
“But the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground! Now you are cursed and banished from the ground, which has swallowed your brother’s blood.”
Blood speaks. Even the voiceless’ blood speaks/cries out to God. Cain was severely punished for murdering.
Exodus 20:13;
“Do not murder”
Taking the life of a two week old baby in the womb is indeed as sinful as taking the life of a forty year old adult person.
John 9: 1 – 4;
“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
I am perturbed about these men that instead of having little faith (as little as a mustard seed) to believe that the works of God be revealed in the precious people with down syndrome, killing them was the best option they had to offer!! God is the healer.
Jeremiah 1:5
“ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
It’s only God who has the final word regarding the destiny of the fetus in the mother’s womb. He does not need any help to determine the destiny of the human being He has formed in the womb. In my view, killing the unborn does not increase happiness as Dawkin’s supposes. Instead, it increases guilt, depression, and unhappiness.

Bridging Cultural gaps

A three year old Church plant, racially and ethnically pluralistic, and was committed to a multicultural ministry, seemed to have excellent moments together as a multi-ethnic congregation until some brethren expressed their discontent about the worship service. These brethren felt disconnect between them and the team of worship leaders regarding the style of music and the songs that were sang. At first, this was quite confusing to the lead pastor because all the worship songs that were chosen and sung by the worship team (mainly immigrants) are composed by Christian artists from the same ethnic back ground as those brethren who raised the concern. Individuals from diverse cultural and denominational traditions in that congregation had differing expectations particularly about the worship service. The lead pastor quickly realized that the church is a cultural community and that there were cultural gaps in the church community that needed to be bridged.
Multi-ethnic community truly represents the Kingdom of God and building such a community requires great sacrifice. Members in a community like this need to understand their personality tendencies. This self-awareness becomes a very helpful tool to cultivate a culturally competent attitude. This will help the members to relate and engage with each other with greater sensitivity. Understanding culture’s internal aspects namely; Concepts of personal space, ideas regarding modesty and beauty, concepts of leadership, concepts of fairness, values, understanding of truth, and how different cultures view power and the distribution of power, is paramount because they vary from one culture to another. It is in these internal aspects where cultural clashes happen. By identifying the values and motivations under the surface, we will be able to suspend judgment and instead develop cultural sensitivity. There are differences among cultures and we must place value on this diversity.
We are admonished in 1 Peter 2:17 to “Show proper respect to everyone:….” – regardless of their race and/or ethnic background. Cultural sensitivity by itself won’t effectively bridge cultural gaps. Respect is as if not more important as cultural sensitivity. Respect involves tolerating and appreciating differences.
Respect is established when you consistently consider, value the opinions and feelings of others; talking to and treating them the way you would want them to treat and talk to you. We should prioritize respecting others over and above seeking to be respected.
Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others What you would want them do to you.This sums up the law and the prophets”
Respect is necessary for relationships to thrive. It is one of the cornerstones for all successful relationships.
We should prioritize understanding others over and above seeking to be understood. What Oscar A. Romero wrote is true. He wrote; “We must overturn so many idols, the idol of self, first of all, so that we can be humble, and only from our humility can learn to be redeemers, can learn to work together in the way the world really needs. The church entrusted with the earth’s glory, believes that in each person is the creator’s image and that everyone who tramples it offends God”.
Jesus Christ, our perfect example, modeled respect as he interacted with various people. He cared, respected, and showed concern for all his disciples. He exhibited gentleness with the Samaritan woman at the well. (John 4:1-11) Jesus was kind, sensitive, and treated children and adults respectfully. He is the greatest advocate.

Response to Dr. Metzger’s blog “Unfinished Business”

Dr. Metzger, there are several portions in your blog which stood out as I read your blog over and over. First of all, this portion of King’s speech.

“To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process and our victory will be a double victory.’”

Dr. King’s speech is not only dynamic but it also reveals key attributes/character traits in this great advocate’s life. They include: a passionate concern to make things right for people who are in distress, resolute, courageous, persevering, a non- retributive love towards opponents, desire for reconciliation, determination, prophetic anointing, -”King called people back to God’s word”, and several others. In my view and to answer to your question towards the end of your blog, in order to break through the divisions in our society today, we(the body of Christ) need to pray and to cultivate these attributes in our lives, of course with the help of The Holy Spirit. This is what it is going to require the Church to move forward the work which Dr. King started.

Secondly, the attitudes and/or sins you pointed out in your blog Dr. Metzger, which are counter productive and therefore slow if not cripple the work which Dr. King started. namely;
Arrogance – you wrote;
“The irony is that we in the white Evangelical Christian community have only recently begun engaging in significant ways on matters of injustice that concern us all. And yet, we often think and operate as if we are the ones leading the charge. Please forgive us for our arrogance.”
“Profit mindedness” – overly concerned about making profit, but not nearly enough about being prophetic.
A lack of concern for people in distress; orphans, widows and the underprivileged
A lack of vision for all people across the ethnic and economic spectrum
“King’s love of rights for all people and the right to love all people were powerful”
Unwillingness to reach out and forgive and accept forgiveness
“If Dr. King could forgive his White oppressors for the horrific harm they did to him, his family and his community, I can certainly forgive those who are hostile toward me.” King fought hate.

I strongly believe that when we guard against such attitudes and sins and cultivate the attributes I mentioned earlier, we will be and become the kind of leaders who will fulfill Dr. King’s Spirit-inspired vision. In my case, these will help me become an effective advocate for vulnerable teens as well as pastors and church leaders who are victims of injustices by their partners.