The responses here are intriguing. I could answer this question with my own failures and the successes. (“Success” meaning “I recognized what was going on and I acted.”) I might be as slow to understand as a brick wall, but eventually I understand. Don't call me an “ally,” though—I'm just doing the work to get myself to be the kind of person I want to be, and that it a person who loves, respects, and values the people around me.

What I find intriguing is the hostile responses generated here by those questions. If we think that ultimately fairness and…


Perhaps we’re trying to change the wrong part of civilian engagement with the police

We see the same thing nearly every night in our social media feeds and on our TVs.

A Black civilian is accosted by the police. The violence escalates immediately, and within a few moments-seconds if you’re Tamir Rice or Adam Toledo-the Black civilian is dead and the police officer is protected by a blue wall of silence.

This is how it has to be, we’re told.

Policing is so hard, the violence is so endemic, the split-second reactions of the police are so unpredictable, and the threat of the death of the police is so, so great that there is…


What is the message for those living in our cities?

What is necessary for someone to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to salvation? Some would say it is only the sovereign action of God. Some would say it is the persuasive witness of a follower of Jesus, someone who shows what a life of following Christ looks like. Others might say it is the cogent argument constructing a logical arrangement of facts, principles, and reasonable conclusions. …


Speaking as someone who has done my fair share of pranks—way back in the past, of course—I applaud this initiative and follow-through.


Medium is changing, and so am I.

Photo by Elena Saharova from Pexels

Medium is shifting its publication algorithms. It’s a business, and they have the right to do whatever they want, without explanation.

Sometimes businesses find that shifting their algorithms can significantly change their business success and economic health. Amazon found the right place after leaving its original model of a “bookstore” and changed to a customer fulfillment website, identifying that customers want more than just one thing from one place. Sometimes businesses try a new model and it flops — spectacularly. …


that's wonderful! no one could hope for something more than knowing they are someone who lifts someone else higher.


I remember growing up in the 50s and 60s. There was a bully in the neighborhood who delighted in "running" the kids. Somewhere during that time I realized that the only power a bully has over me is the power I give them.

I stopped allowing that to happen, and worked to depower the bully by influencing others. It worked.

I was raised creedally and emotionally by the Evangelical church, and in the late 60s/early 70s there was an enormous influx of change from the Jesus Movement.

But that got absorbed by the Evangelical Machine, and the bullies I saw…


I’ve struggled for a long time with the idea of race / racism being “real”: I’ve said that it isn’t real, yet race / racism is pervasive and influential, the phlogiston of social interactions.

Someone (Sean Carter--and not that Sean Carter) said something that cleared it up for me: Race isn't real. Neither is money. Yet an imaginary construct is so valuable to us that it controls our lives, our societies, our worth, our histories, and our futures.

Race is simply used by one group with the guns to do a brilliant thing: make the power remain to keep one…


And while you’re at it, do good, instead

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I’ve been in Christian circles since the days when my years were numbered in the single digits. I’ve been through spiritual formation guided by the church and by the religious texts (the “Scriptures,” to use our church language) and that has built me up to be the person that I am.

I’ve been through many changes in my religious experiences and understandings, some which have happened through careful meditation and analysis, some as a result of a personal crisis where what I believed turned out to be wrong on certain essential points.

And I’m working through now how a Christ-follower…


Time to dig out the root of racism in the Evangelical church

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

RECENTLY WE’VE SEEN yet another example of suppressed white outrage bursting out because — gosh darn it! — we’re spending way too much time on the things that interest Black people and not the things that interest “regular” people. We’re focusing on Breonna Taylor and George Floyd (identified only with a racist slur) and not on the Things That Matter.

This time it was the daughter-in-law of a white pastor of a successful Evangelical church in the suburbs of a growing city in the Southwest. You can go hunt down the video if you want — I won’t link to…

stephen matlock

Writer; observer; sometimes doer. Senior editor Our Human Family. Fiat justitia ruat cælum. More at stephenmatlock.com Mostly off Medium now & writing elsewhere

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