To Sin By Silence

While watching an episode of Burns’ “Vietnam” tonight (unbelievably compelling, by the way), I saw the first sentence here on a sign, attributed to Lincoln. Intrigued, I went spelunking on the interwebs. As is so often the case, the attribution turned out to be wrong; it was written in the very early 1900’s by poet(ess?) Ella Wheeler Wilcox. The entire poem from which it was taken is remarkably relevant today.

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.

Protesting the Protests of the Protest

protest (prō-test), n., an organized public demonstration expressing strong objection to a policy or course of action adopted by those in authority.

I was going to stay out of this; there are way too many talking heads out here already. But then I read yesterday morning that the pastor of FBC Dallas felt the need to weigh in.

These players ought to be thanking God that they live in a country where they’re not only free to earn millions of dollars every year, but they’re also free from the worry of being shot in the head for taking the knee like they would be in North Korea.


From this morning’s reading.

For YHWH your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the sojourners, providing them food and clothing.

You shall also love the sojourner1, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

You shall fear YHWH your God;
Him alone you shall worship;
to Him you shall hold fast,
and by His name you shall swear.

He is your praise;
He is your God,
who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.

Next to Tinseltown

When I was five or six, we lived in a rent house. I can recall two things about the house: one of the windows had a very long hose coming out of it from the washing maching down to the lawn, and our next-door-neighbor liked to work on his cars and I liked to sit on the engine and “help” him. (This is the closest I’ve ever been to working on a car.)

When I was thirteen, we lived in a different rent house, in a different state. I remember two things about the house: my bedroom was in the basement (which I loved) and the big open room next to my bedroom seemed big enough to play racquetball in.


Last time I talked briefly about a woman who’s influence on me was both deep and wide.1 Today I want to talk about the opposite end of the spectrum, a woman I spent a total of forty-five minutes with, in the company of several other people, six-and-a-half years ago.

It was our first trip to Cambodia. The church body we’re members of had formed a partnership with IJM, and a member of their church mobilization team led seven of us from 121 on a trip to meet as many organizations working on the ground as possible, and learn as much as we could about the country and the cause (combatting sex trafficking).

Instead of a Show

One more thought on our previous subject.

When Abraham is told of Sodom and Gomorrah’s impending destruction, he asks God if He will kill the righteous along with the wicked.

Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked!