The “Good Trouble” of John Lewis

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on August, 6 2020

John Lewis, the ‘conscience of Congress’, preached a lived theology and activism of “good trouble.” Good trouble was the work of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and it was an expression of Lewis’s faith. The immediacy of his “good trouble” was heard in his jeremiads, inviting all to action. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” Lewis repeatedly said throughout his lifetime.

COVID-19 And The World Community

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on March, 26 2020

In a responsible response to the coronavirus outbreak, also known as COVID-19, church and worship services across the globe are canceled. Traditional Bible study has gone online. Sermons are watched on Zoom, and old videos of singing church choirs have popped up in my inbox. Our global engagement with one another right now is social distancing while staying connected, revealing our acts of spiritual communion. 

Rethinking Forgiveness

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on October, 31 2019

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” in Luke 23:34 has always troubled me, because it is the first of the seven utterances by Jesus on the cross. I’ve been taught that the act of forgiveness is a sign of spiritual mettle and grace under fire. And, as an African American, the act of forgiveness appears to be our immediate go-to place in the face of unimaginable racial horror done to us. 

The Concepts of the Virgin Birth and Physical Resurrection

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on June, 13 2019

Both the virgin birth and physical resurrection are the pillars of the Christian faith, and many Christians struggle with both concepts.

Turning the Tables and Righteous Anger

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on February, 14 2019

I have chosen Matthew 21: 12-17 text about Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers” because I notice America is angry. And, with this anger I’ve noticed we have lost the ability and desire to “ agree to disagree,” to talk across our differences; thus, consequently, civil discourse has devolved. For so many, this story of Jesus turning the tables of the money changers becomes a non-apology for getting angry, for posting biting commentaries, and for online rants on divisive political issues, theological controversies and discussions on some polarizing social and cultural issues.

Wrestling with the Bible

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on October, 25 2018

Interpreting scripture as the “ ord of God” is always subjective and suspect in intent, whether it is being done in the ivy towers of seminaries or within the holy walls of sanctuaries. Interpreting scripture with menacing messages – and with litanies of dos and don’ts – is not about embracing and empowering all people, but about authority and power over certain groups of people. The authority of scripture does not lie in what God said. It lies in the hands of those in power who determine what God ought to say.

Radical Inclusion Requires Moral Leadership- Part 3

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on August, 2 2018

Moral leadership has never been consistent in my lifetime, and I presume for us all. Like most social issues that are shaped by our human actions or inactions, moral leadership has its ebbs and flows.

Building a “beloved community” is an act of radical inclusion – Part 2

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on July, 19 2018

If Apostle Paul were alive today I know he would be apoplectic with rage by how Sessions used his sacred text. Apostle Paul was about building a beloved community, evident in his writing in Ephesians 2: 15, 19-22.

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on July, 12 2018

Radical inclusion must not be intellectualized but instead connected deeply with our need for personal healing which requires us to heal our “isms.”

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on March, 1 2018

While Trump’s comment will now make it more difficult for immigrants from “shithole” countries to enter the U.S., the challenge, however, will be particularly arduous for its LGBTQ asylum seekers. These people flee their countries to avoid criminalization, torture, violence, public persecution, political scapegoating and moral cleansing.