Do I Matter to You?

I just have to say that my opinions of the overall moral character of the Spectrum community has been massively altered in the last year or so as hidden attitudes have been more clearly revealed. I know nobody cares, but I’m done with this forum. There is no light or life left in it, only dead men’s bones.

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Where in the Bible can I find the precedent that says only a male should be the leader of the church? Jesus appeal was whomsoever will m a y come… man woman …white, black, yellow every man or woman may come and lead others to him. That is the precedent that I read in the Bible. Every member should be engaged in soul winning and E.G. White recognized her calling and precedence whatever that is never stopped her.

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Hi Matt. Don’t be too quick to indulge hopelessness. These are not the times to caress our happy impatience. In every dialoguing community outlier voices often seem to predominate, but they take over only when sensible voices like yours quit in frustration or protest. Stick around to make the forum better.


I feel the frustration of the author and I completely understand the need to “feel” like you matter. Everyone wants that. But I’m torn because how do you acknowledge someone’s pain if you disagree with the basis for that pain? You matter! Jesus’ death in the cross tells us all that definitively!! Does my “Feeling” like i matter depend on how someone treats me? It shouldn’t, but I get why it affects us.

2 quick points…

  1. I want to help you feel “mattered“
  2. I disagree with the reasons why you feel Like you don’t matter

If I feel disrespected based on a faulty premise, are you obligated to sympathize with me even though my reason for feeling disrespected isn’t accurate?

I truly don’t know


If you’re an Adventist, you believe that, when people die, they neither go to heaven, purgatory, or hell, but that they “go” nowhere; they enter an unconscious, non-living state. Christian commentators call this “soul sleep.”

So, let’s say that, at work, you come across a person who’s sad that her mother just died, but is happy that, “She’s in heaven, right now, with my dad, praising God in glory.”

  1. You want her to feel comforted.
  2. You disagree with the reasons she feels comforted.

What do you do?

The answer should be simple: If you are a kind person, you aid her comfort.

This doesn’t mean that you say, “I’ll bet she’s doing loop-de-loops around the throne!”

But, it might mean that, if, six weeks later, when you ask how she’s doing, she says, “I’m sad, @Yoyito. I miss my mama,” that you sit down with her and say, “Tell me about her. What was she like?”

Or, you might say, “Let’s talk over lunch,” take her somewhere to eat, and pay for it.

If you read Courtney Ray’s essay, it’s fairly clear that she’s in distress. So, how would you comfort someone in distress? Do you you check to see if you agree with the politics of every person that you comfort?

Black people wouldn’t care if you, or white people, don’t think police brutality is real, or even if you don’t think racism exists, IF they derived the same social benefits as if you did.

Several weeks ago, when @Sirje objected to the call to say BLACK LIVES MATTER, I told her: There is no magic in the words, "Black Lives Matter."

If you don’t want to be part of Black Lives Matter, or say the words, don’t. Start your own group.

Start the Black Lives Should Not Be Maliciously Eradicated By Police, Especially When Those Black People Are Unarmed, And We, As White, American Taxpayers Will Do Our Best To Make Sure That Any Person, Especially Any White Person, Who Allows Or Enables This To Happen Will Feel Our Undiluted Fury And Wrath…Movement.

Start the BLSNBMEBPEWTBPAUAWAWATWDOBTMSTAPEAWPWAOETTHWFOUFAW Movement, and put those initials on a sign.

Or, come up with your own acronym, do the work that has the same effect as my proposed title, above, and proclaim that work and its necessity loudly, and with strength.

I don’t know Dr. Courtney Ray. But I strongly suspect that, if you do that, you will never get an argument from her…or even one from Black Lives Matter!


Do not make a case for Priest & Levite-ing your way out of this (Luke 10:25-37), because to do so—not in this order—is not respectable, is un-American, and is against God.


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Joe Aldred: "Well, I have a pet theory that terms like microagression, for example, brings into play class. I think it’s largely privileged, middle-class Black people who talk about ‘microagression.’ You know: People who feel that they’ve made it this far, and there are some people asking, you know, ‘Where are you from? Where are you really from?’ You know: That sort of stuff.

"I have to say it’s something that, for example, doesn’t phase me at all!

"If somebody says, ‘Where are you from?’, I say, ‘Well, Birmingham,’ and if they say, ‘Where are you really from?’, I say, ‘Jamaica!’ [laughs] It just doesn’t bother me.

"I think that…. You know, for the last maybe 30 years, I have steadfastly refused to be drawn into, what I regard as, the shallowness of ‘frothy’ Christianity; that seems to want every local church to have a mixture of different ethnicities, just because we can desire it!

"And yet, the power plays, rooted in some real evil, of the way Black people have been treated by the West, still are there!

"So when we play our narrative out, getting everybody into the same space, we know what’s going to happen in that space: Whiteness is still going to predominate.

"And that’s why, for me, if the church is, as Gavin [Calver] says, going to ‘lead the way,’ then I’d suggest, very humbly, that one of the better things that church can do, is to empower the weak.

"The prophets of the Old Testament were very clear about justice. ‘You must look after the widow. Look after the orphan. Look after the stranger. You must empower those who are weak.’

"Because, if we continue to suggest that the way forward is ‘white change’; a change of heart — and this, of course, this is a real danger, post- George Floyd: That we are so white-centered that, where we’re looking for change to come from is in the attitudes of white people — well, somebody says if you don’t learn from history, you’re likely to make the same mistakes.

"Well, we’ve been here before! We’ve been here when Martin Luther King died, and we’ve been here several other times, when we erupted, and we think, 'Ah, massive: This is a kairos moment!

"In my view, the kairos moment comes when we empower those who are weak to stand up, not when we continue to make a call for whiteness to be reasonable.

Whiteness is a power structure. It will never be reasonable. Not unless what is faces is a power, across the table, that can punch just as hard as it can.”

Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, excerpt (46:45 - 49:50) from, “Unbelievable? Is the UK Church racist? Chine McDonald, Gavin Calver and Joe Aldred,” Premier Christian Radio, Saturday, August 22, 2020


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The truth is that stating “all lives matter” is not a dismissive message. It is a clear and truthful message, and so truthful it is, that even Jesus himself died for all lives to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The reason that message is considered dismissive by some is that it lessens any kind of impact intended by the “black lives matter” statement. It is likely that not much thought was put into the blm statement prior to it being made a loud cry for it really doesn’t state anything we didn’t already know. The blm statement is a set up for clarification and the alm statement is a natural and logical response. Unfortunately the set up includes setting up individuals for an emotional disparity when others respond with the alm clarification and that is an unexpected and hurtful resulting experience.
Could a better statement have been developed to more accurately address the social issues felt by blacks? Probably, but I do not know what that would be. Maybe something that would have addressed why law enforcement is even involved with blacks in the first place? Maybe a statement that would include how to respond appropriately when involved with a possible arrest? Maybe a statement that would include how to properly protest? Riotous Violence, looting, vandalism, and blocking roads is not lending a positive light to the social justice cause and in fact is contributing to the feelings of disparity written by the author of this article as these behaviors stir up and cause anger, not care and concern by the intended audience. I wonder what the impact on the public would be if thousands of protesters would, side by side, lay down and line the sidewalks everywhere with signs erect showing their words of protest. Imagine this taking place in front of the White House, in front of every police precinct. So much could be heard without a shout of any kind.

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There are two BLMs - 1) the concept that black lives matter; 2) the marxist organization that is totally political. The concept is not a problem, obviously. The BLM organization that will beat your brains in if you don’t mouth the words is an oportunist gang of hoodlums. All words matter - all actions matter - all life matters.


It is dismissive.

It is dismissive, to the degree that the Black people who hear it, as a response to the statement BLACK LIVES MATTER, receive it as dismissive.

Put another way, you may pop into your boss’s office one fine morning and refer to him as “Jim,” in order to convey conviviality.

But if he takes a staffer addressing him by his middle name as a sign of arrogance and disrespect, you saying, “It was meant to convey conviviality,” will probably not save you from emptying your desk.

The framework within which white people state ALL LIVES MATTER is not the same one within which Christ says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)

To even pretend that such a flip and arrogant declaration has Christian pretensions is to denigrate, what is literally a life-or-death matter, with, apparently, hostile intent.

The reason that message is considered dismissive by Black people is because it negates the intended effect of the statement BLACK LIVES MATTER by dragging it down into the mud of white fantasy and wish fulfillment.

It’s an act of corruption, in other words.

Are you white?

I ask because you speak as though the statement BLACK LIVES MATTER was made for white consumption; “it really doesn’t state anything we didn’t already know.”

Based in my experience, that reads like the type of thing many white people would say.

Yes, I think you are white.

No, I don’t think that’s quite it.

I think the issue is that the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement was formed in response to the killing of unarmed Black people by police. The hope was that by making a short, pithy statement about the humanity of Black people, that Black people would become recommitted to the project of building their own humanity.

However, to a great extent, the white response, to the unarmed killing of Black people by police, has been what you, and many here on Spectrum and elsewhere, have offered: A debate about semantics.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. This is typically white, but also typically lethal.

It’d be like if, in response to this March 28, 1960 protest in Memphis, by striking city sanitation workers, above, white counter-protesters had shown up with signs saying WHITE GUYS ARE MEN, TOO.

The obvious goal would be to make fun of the protesters. Making fun of Black people is something that racists do, a lot, and to thunderous applause.

This is a great question.

I’ve never heard a Black person say, “We need a better slogan.” However, clearly, white people, many of them, have a different viewpoint.

So, what could a better one be?

I guess it depends on one’s objectives.

The objectives of Black people, in this instance, are to move the world to see their humanity, so as to create urgency for their just treatment.

As for white people, one of my mentors hypothesized that racism is, in essence, a set of white defense mechanisms; ones in which white people engage to assure white genetic survival. (I wrote a Twitter thread on this hypothesis, recently, explaining it in more detail.)

If true, then, perhaps, protesters should march with signs that say WHITE GENETIC SURVIVAL.

That way, it would remind people of what is at stake, and maybe everyone, then, would calm down.

You just lumped a lot of things together that don’t actually do so.

It’s kind of like saying, “Jogging, deer rutting, trick or treat, and laying down tar,” because they all take place near intersections.

It’s been done for decades, including at BLACK LIVES MATTER protests. Not an original thought.



In fact, @Sirje, there are over 7.5 billion BLMs: There’s the one that actually exists, plus there are the ones that every person on Earth thinks exists.

As I said in my earlier response to you, and above, I’m sure most white people would like to fine-tune the incipient organization to their liking.

But, if so, this is no different than anything white people have said about any entity, here, that sought to grant Black people dignity, including the abolitionist movement, including the anti-lynching movement, including the Civil Rights movement. (The same is true for similar efforts, everywhere; anywhere non-white people are subject to white dominance.)

As I also said, however, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” Both versions of BLM, including the one you detest, believe that Black people should be able to hold their hands up and not get shot in the face by cops.

If you agree, then do something about this, please, and call it whatever you’d like.


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It all began in the garden, in the shadow of an apple tree.
The very first man blamed the very first woman.
History has shown-as has religion-that then it was open season on “the other”-
on those things that divide us.
Identity politics, spawned in the garden-the original, and chief sin-
Whether that is political choice, religion, melanin, gender, sexual orientation,
we’ve no shortage of useful foils.
Some have even perfected their sartorial skills and weave and spin artful fig leaves to cover their own donkey-which suggest they have surmounted the chief and original sin.

"nothing new under the sun"suggests we need to be stripped of this Melanesque Möbius calisthenics in order to be given new white robes-robes that can even cover my own far- too-white über-sinful “pew contacting anatomy”.

Or we can keep circling the mountain, in some ground-hog perpetuity, each blaming the other. The thinking that created the problem (discriminating/subjugating another) will never yield a different result.

Dare we take off our deer skins, our white skins, our fig leaves, our melanin shields? If we dare not, and continue to refuse the new robes, we will be stuck here. Recorded human history clearly has precedence here-while we garrulously forfeit our promised future (and implicitly blame god for making these conservatives, women, centurions, “others”).

To do so, we sow our witness;
Jesus’ life doesn’t matter.

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Thank you for your comment. I agree with the example you give. Of course I wouldn’t go into a theological debate with a grieving person. And I wouldn’t go into a racism debate with someone who’s breaking down over police brutality. That is not the time or place to debate. I would listen and sympathize. But the difference I see is that the debate over racism is pushing society and the church to make real changes that I don’t agree with. So that’s where I’m stuck. On a personal level I can be there for someone, and have. But on a corporate level, if I speak out and say this issue is not as it’s being presented, that will add to the individuals perception that I believe he/she doesn’t matter. This was the authors point. That the church is not supporting the changes they are advocating. I don’t support those changes either and that fact makes him feel dismissed. So…how do I let you know you matter when my disagreeing with your changes is what you’re telling me makes you feel like you don’t matter.

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And what if the changes being made are artfully done in order to justify the prior premise that the person who feels they don’t matter can blame another for their own feeling they don’t matter.

Like spraying WD-40 on a teflon slide
and claiming since they dont stop they are guilty.
Self-fulfilling prophecy much?

Before you are actually “done with this forum,” why don’t you share with the forum those aspects of moral character that were “massively altered” lately? This would be a great contribution, don’t you think?

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Matt, I agree. Life is too short to hang out in the graveyard. My disappointment has been how many fall silent when race comes up and the “I’m not a racist” racists come out to play. You’ll find a few consistently pushing back, but not many (admittedly, it’s exhausting). If Jesus were walking among us, he would no doubt say, “Pick up your mat and walk!”

That’s why I feel I can’t stay silent…i don’t want to make people feel like they don’t matter. But isn’t the real solution to have them realize the movement they promote is actually what is making them feel “ unmatrered”? And the author say “black people feel” as if it’s a given. I know many black and brown people that don’t feel what he describes.

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What then would be changes against racism that you could agree with? What are real practical anti-racist solutions that you support in society and in the church? What is your alternative?


Are these the same ones making the claim they cannot be racist-
on the basis of their melanin tinged skin?
And that the melanin deficient are racist, no matter what they say or do-
again, simply because of superficial qualities they were born with?

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My experience as well and they are being silenced. Where is free speech for the Black person who has a different perspective in spite of history? I know they exist. Are they mistreated by the elite as well? Many are just ordinary people as well as professionals, educators, and pollticians. They are able to see all sides, and that makes them more Christian and forgiving to me. They refuse to be followers. It has been reported that 84% of urban Black brothers and sisters want the police for protection. The good coming out of this is hopefully police reform. Too many of them are afraid of being killed before they can react. Many police are Black and they should be in these areas and not white cops. I would respect BLM if they started a peace corp to help the poor instead of destroying their lives.

I agree with the author on an important point–the expression of pain that Black people feel. Because my friends are middle-class Blacks or biracial (most Blacks are), and mostly women in an integrated church, I have not heard this pain. It is only through articles like this that I get any feeling for what Blacks go through that have experienced these things. I grew up with Black neighbors who have now have a large business in the area (probably mullti-millionaires). We both lived in “shacky” houses then and I’m sure they live better than I do. I think they deserve it.

The problem with the author, is that she presents a thorough explanation of where she comes from and why she feels the way she does, yet to be a dialogue and express issues, it needs to take seriously the feelings of the “other side.” I am sad when someone suggests I am a racist because I don’t agree with them, and angry. I feel put down, misjudged, hurt, and like all my work for civil rights was in vain. I am still an outsider, rejected for being white and even hated.

And yes when a cause is so important to me, it is painful to be accused and called names. No, my life is not in danger, but I don’t think the author’s life either. There can be no dialogue without listening…


Thank you for asking. This is the heart of issue, real vs perceived racism. Real issues of police brutality would be lessened by 100% mandatory bodycams. I live in LA, Lapd is almost exactly proportionately represented by officers as the makeup of the city, 70-75% of officers are minority. Diversity in policing is a must. Trumps first step act was a good start. A study of equity in sentencing for similar crimes is also needed. Those are issues I’m behind 100%. They would improve our country. But they will not end the perceived racism because they are not the core Reasons affecting blacks.

Then there’s perceived racism…the hard truth is 72% of black children are born out of wedlock. That’s an enormous hurdle to overcome. the breakdown of 2 parent family has decimated the black community. Statistically, when black children are born in 2 parent homes (regardless of income level) their poverty rate is actually lower than the white poverty rate. When I researched this and saw the difference in incarceration rates, poverty, crime, and income level for two parent black families I was shocked. So if having 2 parents reduces all these categories, sometimes even below the level of white poeple…then to me that is the core issue, not the system. Helping the black community means getting to the source of how to advance. But when this is said, I’m called a racist or a sell out to my race. There’s a difference between racists and a racist system. I See racism in people…I don’t see A system that is as racist as the author states,

What changes to the system do you think are needed.