Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxBerlin

For more information on Michael Shellenberger, please visit www.tedxberlin.de. Michael Shellenberger is co-founder and Senior Fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, where he was president from 2003 to 2015, and a co-author of the Ecomodernist Manifesto.
Over the last decade, Michael and his colleagues have constructed a new paradigm that views prosperity, cheap energy and nuclear power as the keys to environmental progress. A book he co-wrote (with Ted Nordhaus) in 2007, Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism
to the Politics of Possibility, was called by Wired magazine “the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring,” while Time Magazine called him a “hero of the environment.” In the 1990s, he helped protect the last signi cant groves of old-growth redwoods still in private hands and bring about labor improvements to Nike factories in Asia. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
Nuclear energy is the only practical alternative that we have to destroying the environment with oil and coal.
-Ansel Adams, 1983 (14 min)

Metzler Mennonite Church Service 2018-12-30

Transcript (auto-generated)

Good morning, Church. Good to be here with you this morning and experienced with you what God is doing here in our midst and to those of you that are connecting online. I trust that you’re experiencing his presence as well, and we’ll experience what he’s yet wants to do in our time together. Merry. Merry Christmas to you. I didn’t have a chance to share that with you before I trust you had a merry Christmas, then are looking forward to a great new year. You know, Jesus Christ, as your Lord, you have reason to anticipate a great new year ahead of us. I I’m really expectant. In light of what may yet be ahead of us in this year twenty nineteen, I really believe that it’s going to be a breakthrough year. I’ve had lots of confirmations that God’s wanting to break through in some great ways. In twenty nineteen Austin, bless you. And you’re going on May the Lord breakthrough ahead of you on, and I just wanted to share that on January nine. There’s going to be a breakthrough here in our county, where YWAM is going to have their first tract of ground in Lancaster County for awhile. Lambaste here in Lancaster County. So January nine, we’re going to be a part of be part of a commissioning, a time of inviting what God wants to do here through the sending ministry of YWAM, I really believe for God to come through in great ways. This morning we were challenged by the story of Daniel. Daniel lived in a dark day was not an easy day, but Daniel postured himself and the Lord through many great ways. Through the move of his holy spirit in and through Daniel, there was breakthrough. There was awakening that happened through many different experiences, through signs and wonders, beyond ability to describe that cat that catches our attention. Yet today, with fire not touching and leaving unscathed, the people of God, the lion’s mouths being kept closed signs and wonders in amazing ways that awakened even Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful man of that day to the reality that there is a living God in the same God that shut the lion’s mouth and quieted The power of the fire is living among us. Yet today, and even yet today, as we as we hear our living post Pentecost were living in a day that the Lord was very clear that he has pouring out his spirit in our day, which I mean which I believe is, is for us to anticipate that whatever God has done through mighty men and women of God in the Old Testament, we can anticipate Just as much, if not more, in our day as we live in the day of the Lord pouring out his spirit. This morning, I’m gonna be bringing a message that has been burning in way for least seventeen years. It’s only this year that I’ve been at a place that I feel like I’ve been released to be able to, to share this this message. And Nevin and I were talking about it several months ago, and he invited me here this last day of this last Sunday of twenty nineteen. Well, in the outset of a new year to bring and share this message. As you say in two thousand won, there was a group of US leaders in LMC that we’re sensing that we need a breakthrough. We need the Lord to lead and come through in our church or we’re in trouble. We need More of what he wants to do. We did experience him in greater ways, or away is a church or in trouble. And there was a group of us to start gathering once a month as a prayer gathering. There was many seventy people that came together and you heard some of this story, but I’ll be sharing more of it because it’s still this morning. We got just still unfolding and as we gather there in the conference center, thinking about the church thinking about our congregations thinking about what God wants to do, We said, Lord, show us, Is there anything standing in the way of you pouring out your spirit again over your people, the Mennonites, over your people, the Anabaptists? You have done it before. Is there anything standing in the way of you doing it again? And as we cried out to the Lord, we went into small rooms and small groups and came back and shared our findings as we listened to the Lord and in answer to that question, and as we shared our findings, we put him up on a white board, and as we looked at it, we said, Whoa, is there something developing here that we need to pay attention to? And as we analyzed it more carefully, we we outlined it as a as, uh, an answer to our prayer that there are some strong holds over us as a church over us as a Mennonite, people over us is Anabaptist that have been affecting us, and we define these these strongholds in several different areas in several different ways.

  1. And one of them was a fear of sharing our faith. Way recognized that that was not true at one time of the Anabaptist people. In fact, they were so bold, so courageous and sharing their faith that they were being burned at the stake. But while there are others still sharing their faith in the midst of that happening, it didn’t shut him down and inquired him until a certain day it wore down, and we became known, particularly here in America as the quiet of the land. So we recognize that has a strong
  2. We recognize another stronghold as being having a fear of being too open to the work of the Holy spirit, of fear of the work of the Holy Spirit. So we pondered that one for a while.
  3. We also recognize the stronghold of of having a facade of peace, where we portray that we are people apiece. While we have many unresolved issues and lots of unforgiveness within us in such a way that we’re not able to to experience that realm a piece where God inhabits and and his praises come forth from as we as we prayed about this as we studied our Anabaptist history over sometime who came to this place of realizing that this fear of sharing our faith has some roots back in our old land in Switzerland, in the area of Zurich, where the persecution persisted for two hundred years and a war down. This courage and boldness in such a way, and we realized that there was never any forgiveness that was shared between the people group. So the perpetrators of the persecution and the recent and the victims of it there were they never came together. And as we sought the Lord on this, we recognize this profound understanding that’s not just true over a body of believers, but it’s true and each one of her lives. It’s true in her own families that unforgiveness is a seed bed for the enemy strongholds that where unforgiveness persists, were on forgiveness exists. It opens us up to allow the enemy to come in and established his headquarters establishes operating power in our lives. And we recognized that something has to happen in we, you know, some of the story of how forgiveness was processed there with the Lutheran Church. Their forgiveness was process with the state Reform Church, and that was quite a journey. But then we have this question in front of us. What about this sense among us? What about this? This prevalence of a fear of the Holy Spirit when we are a people that claim to be believers in the Trinity? Is that right? I think that’s our understanding of Scripture. Our confession of faith is very clear on that, that that we believe in the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. And yet, as we think about our own life and experiences, it seems as though they’re there is there is something. Maybe it’s not with you, but it’s has been prevalent across the church that we recognized in our study of the culture of the Mennonite church for for five hundred years, ever since the Reformation, the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit of believe since Pentecost and Weah’s Ah, Anabaptists were very much a part of that. In fact, if you listen to people in in Europe, they would say that the Anabaptists were really the hosts of the power of the Holy Spirits. Outpouring of the Reformation leaders of churches and the ecumenical people in In in in Europe would recognize that the Anabaptists became the host of this power of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in that day. But what would have happened, What happened, What transpired in order for a change to happen in such a way that, uh, it’s somewhat unimaginable for us today to be the people of Daniel to be expecting God, to move in our behalf in such a way that signs and wonders become part of the story, become part of the revelation to the world around us. And there’s an awakening even of world leaders to the reality that there is a living God. We’ve been serving the wrong card because the the God of Daniel, there’s a living god. I believe God’s wanting to do a great move in our day, we could be critical about what’s happening in our day, and we can look at the the political environment and we can. We can look around us in our communities and all the violence and all the of the chaos in our world today. It’s time for an awakening, and I believe that I believe, God Assume is much on the throne. Today is what he was two thousand years ago when he said Jesus into the world as there was a need for an awakening in that day. He’s just a CZ much on the throne today. I believe he desires Justus much an awakening from the people of God through the people of God. As we open ourselves up to understanding this, this reluctance in regards to the Holy Spirit that we realized was a a developing nature among us as a church. It’s not just with me, it’s not just with you. It’s been a developing nature in the life of the Anabaptist church, the Mennonites, the Army, the Brethren, brethren in Christ, those of us, that and and actually it goes even beyond that now share a little of the reason for that a little bit later. But we recognized that there is a time in his three when this changed and there was a place in history where this change took place. And as we experience the unveiling of this revelation, we found ourselves in Munster, Germany, and our I im here to share a little bit off this story with you this morning. Because our our our prayer and our our our sense of need for this to be resolved our sense for healing in regards to these wounds and Munster, Germany, we’re so important, so significant, that we had to believe and hold on for God to bring about this resolution. This is something that caught my heart over there over the last seventeen years since that prayer gathering and in two thousand, and one that gripped me with such a sense in such a passion in such a mission that I cried out to the Lord and said, Don’t allow me to be taken Don’t allow me to be taken away from this land until this mission is fulfilled because I believe that the Lord’s wanting to bring a new day to the life of his church and to break off any resistance in anything that may hold us back from experiencing what God wants to do in and through the church in our day. So the journey began and I, along with a team of other individuals, have found ourselves and Munster, Germany over the last over the last fifteen years, at least four or five times. We’ve been there praying and seeking the Lord, meeting with leaders there, connecting with the Catholics who is the issue that developed was an issue primarily between the Catholics and the Anabaptists that transpired there, and Monster I believe that the Lord wants to. Move in and threw us in our day. And I invite you to turn to Romans. Chapter eight gonna share here from versus ten to seventeen. I believe. That all of us would agree that the Holy Spirit is not meant to be feared. We know from Scripture that this is true and it should be understood in that way that Justus, we believe in the father and open ourselves up to him. Justus, we believe in his son Jesus Christ and want to create space for him. And we’re so thrilled to be able to celebrate his birth again here just a few days ago. So two, we should have the same sense of of openness to the Holy Spirit. Because we know that that he is one person as he is Father, son and Holy Spirit, there’s nothing within us. That should have resistance to what God wants to dio in and through his spirit. Let’s read here room’s gate starting first ten. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin. Yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the spirit of hammer raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal body through his spirit. Who lives in you? Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation. But it is not to the sinful nature to live according to it, for if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die. But if by the spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Because those who are led by the spirit of God of God, our sons of God, for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear. But you receive the spirit of sun ship and buy him. We cry, Abba. Father, The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we’re God’s children. Now if we our children, than were Ares Ares of God and co heirs with Christ if indeed we share and his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. We believe. As Christ lives in us, His spirit is alive and living and brings life to us as a people and as the Scriptures would say here, for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear. But you received the spirit of sun ship. I believe the gods wanting to do something today to bring new life, a new courage into us as his people, to trust him, to be able to trust him in new ways to be able to trust him, that when we go out on a mission strip that we can know that he’s going to go ahead of us, he’s going to be there. Whatever our circumstances are going that we’re going to encounter, we can trust him. He’s faithful and he and he will show us his his love and reveal himself to us in his power. And in our day today, if you’re listening to new songs that are being written today, I believe the spirit burst. No revelation of father’s heart for different times and seasons in are in the life of the church. And right now there are many, many songs that are being written that air coming through about overcoming fear being no, no longer a slave to fear. And right here we have this understanding It’s based in this understanding right here in Romans. Ate for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear. But you received this a spirit of sun ship that I believe the Holy Spirit wants us to be an overcome er in the areas that fear wants to limit us from experiencing the greater things of God. Let’s go to our story of how I believe the Lord is wanting to break through in our lives and through the church in a new way. The story of Munster, Germany and Munsters Minster Germany is known among the Anabaptists and Man A Baptist history as the city of the cages. And this is the story as persecution broke out. Bear with me in in sharing a little bit of this history. I’m not much of a historian, but I see God at work in the midst of history That, I feel is is significant for us to get a grip on here today. And there will be aspects of this story that will be new to you in ways that I trust will give you hope, as it is giving me hope in light of what gods wanting to do in our day. But his persecution broke out in Switzerland in fifteen twenty five, and the Anabaptists were pressured out of the country as they were as they were being pursued, that they migrated north into the northern lands and particularly Germany. And as they were moving, the spirit of the Lord was upon upon them and whole cities were being swept and a baptism as they were, as many were coming to a place of new faith in Christ. And they were being re baptized. And this this movement kept moving north until it found a resting place in Munster, Germany, and Monster became the center of the bold preaching of that day. The profits of that day and I say profits. Because the early Anabaptist leaders were known as the the profits of that day. They were the they were the bold creatures. But they were also sharing new revelations out of dreams and visions that they were experiencing. And as the word was coming live in them, they were profits. I ng on the streets, observe before the ever left Switzerland. There was a prophetic anointing on those early leaders, and this was this was bring a new life to the people of Europe in that day that tens of thousands of people would come to monster. Those monster was this place where this where the where the fiery preachers were sharing. And then there’s this new freshness about what God was doing in that day, even to the point that there were thousands being re baptized on the streets of Munster, Germany. Uh, and in these early days, we’re talking about fifteen thirty one right now. These these these Anabaptists leaders in that day became so affirmed, and we’re so warmly supported in that day that they became the leaders. They they were given space on city council. And this is this is just within a year or two that they moved into this city that the Anabaptist now have have the majority of the seats of City Council in Munster, Germany. It was from it was from there that that they I saw this greater opportunity to establish there what they were seeing in in there many dreams and visions that they were having having about God, wanting to establish in this city a city of Zion, a special place even for his return. Ah, special place for the kingdom of God to be revealed. These Anabaptist leaders, many of them found themselves experiencing dreams and visions. And over over some time, they lacked the credibility of always testing this and checking this with the word of God. And there became Ah eh? No on infiltration off practices that did not necessarily align with Scripture in time that they were so zealous about establishing this new kingdom of God there. And they had their places of power in the city and and they started moving in the direction of forcing baptisms and forcing re baptised, re baptism. The leaders open themselves up to polygamy and the main leader, Yuan one Leyton, took on sixteen wives for himself to propagate this new kingdom that that they had a sense that God wanted to bring to monster. And this went on over the next year, to the point of them mandating that anyone who wanted to live in the city had to be re baptized. This was a Catholic city. So this man a decision for the Catholics that were there, and the Anabaptist leaders eventually pushed everybody out of the city, including the main, the main bishop that was head of the large cathedral. There’s a cathedral there in the city of Monster that covers probably two acres of ground. It’s that large. But this bishop that was head of that sanctuary there was was pushed out of the city, and all of those that were not accepting re baptism were pushed out of the city and it was a double moated city. It had high walls. They locked the city gates. And now we can establish this great city of Zion. The bishop of this of this cathedral was also the head of the military of that day because the church and the state were together. So he posted his military troops around this city of Munster, Germany, and over the next year and a half, he cut off their force food supply. And many of the Anabaptists starved that were in the city. After a year and a half, the head marshal of the military of the calf of the Catholic Bishops Army broke through the city. Gates came in and executed about eight hundred of the remaining Anabaptists. All except the three leaders, those three leaders, they stopped each in a cage, that four foot square, about six foot high. For the next six months. Paraded them around Europe as a message to the world, saying that if you open yourselves up to this way, the new move of the spirit this is likely what will happen to you to scare people back to the structure Church of that day he brought after six months, they were brought back to the city of Monster. They were executed in those cages and those cages were hung several hundred feet high on the steeple of St Lombardi’s Cathedral. There in Munster, Germany, those cages are still hanging there. Yet today, five hundred years later, sending a message to the world yet to all those that are looking at, look up there. Yet today, three hundred three hundred years, around eighteen thirty, that the last of the remains of these three leaders fell through those cages. As we prayed, we realize that we have some responsibility in regards to what happened there in Munster, Germany. Many writers of men tonight history have have have created some portrayal of these individuals and these leaders in Munster as not being necessarily mainstream Mennonites depends on how you look at it. You might say I might be able to find some convincing evidence of that, but the reality of it was these were crucial Mennonite leaders. Anabaptist leaders of that day. Meno, Simon’s brother, was a part of this movement. We don’t know for sure, but he may have been one of those that was executed in the city. After was taken over Meno Simon’s was very observant toe what was happened there. And as a Catholic monk, I was so drawn to the way that the spirit of the Lord was moving in Monster, that he was awakened to the reality of a living God through what was happening in the early days of Monster. What was happening there in its early days was a riel outpouring of the spirit of the Lord. The spirit of the Lord was moving there in great ways, but it became perverted and it became all came off track and miss, like what God really wanted to do and what he wanted to finish it. And and it it’s so impacted the world that that new Thor himself as he observed at Martin Luther, who was, though what was really though the the founder of the one that God used in in birthing the The Reformation. It’s Martin Luther looked on with what was happening in there and monster with the Anabaptists, he said. My church will be a church of the word on ly, not a church of the spirit. And this was likely something that was also embraced in the Catholic Church as it became embraced in many ways, even across their Mennonite church. About this question. This reservation about the work of the Holy Spirit. Somehow the enemy found a way putting a lid on what God really wanted to do through this experience. This encounter this atrocity in wind stirred Germany. We believe the Lord wanted to heal this, so we knew that there had to be a time of reckoning with the Catholic Church. So through much prayer and many supernatural developments, there was a coming together. In May of twenty eighteen as this, the bi annual convention of Catholics in Germany was hosted in the City of Monster. So there were forty thousand Catholics gathered for four days in this city of Munster. And this was a time when the Catholics, as they reflected on the history of Monster, They they recognize themselves that there was something that needed to happen with the Anabaptists. So they invited Anabaptist to be part of the discussions for these meetings in May. And out of those discussions, some of us that were on this journey for some time we’re invited two Monster. It was in St Lombardi’s Cathedral. Here’s the picture of Catholic, a Catholic Luther and too many nights. One of the many nights is Keith Flank, Bishop of Lincoln. Mr Conference, who was part of our team that was there. Keith stood in the gap for the Mennonites of this day and acknowledged, are wrong in our misrepresentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our misrepresentation to the world of the work of the Holy Spirit. A misrepresentation of the Church of Jesus Christ. We were acknowledged this to the Catholics into the leaders and ask for forgiveness in the midst of this setting. And there was a reciprocating of that as there was expression of regret and not acknowledgment of wrongdoing from the Catholics. Even a message, even a message from the pope in regards to his regrets for the way that the Anabaptists words we’re treated and mishandled. This was This was the day that we were longing for, for four years this day, of recognizing the need for forgiveness in the midst of this journey. This journey. You go on to the next light crystal. Here’s a picture of the streets of Munster while we were there in May, and it was likely right here somewhere where we’re standing here in this street where the baptisms and re baptisms were taken place in those streets of Germany, those streets and monster. Fifteen, thirty, fifteen, thirty one. Okay, next line. How did we How did this door open up for this? For this forgiveness to happen, God has his ways of opening up doors. In two thousand and seven, there was a group of us that were invited to Germany because there was a group of leaders in Germany, these air business leaders, these air church leaders, these air community leaders that meat every meat on occasions just to come together, to pray and to seek God’s heart for the country in the nation of Germany, to pray for their leaders. And this group of individuals started wearing this burden for the healing of Munster, Germany. And they dedicated a four day period of time just to pray for this healing of this episode. The Anabaptist Catholic collision of Munster, Germany, and believing for a new day that would come out of this as that healing happened. So they wanted a group of Anabaptist to come, and they found out that there was this group of us here in the US that we’re connected with some Anabaptists in in in Europe as well. And they invited us to come to this meeting this gathering before I left for that for that conference, Elaine was along with Mia’s. Well, before I left, I got this picture of a key, and it was a skeleton key, like an old key to an old house, and I knew I was supposed to put it, put a key in my pocket and take it along with me. For some reason, I didn’t really understand why. But as a search for a key, I couldn’t find one. I couldn’t buy one. I couldn’t find anyplace that they’re available. Then I thought about one in a closet in our upstairs bedroom of our two hundred year old log cabin, and I went upstairs and look at that key and said, That’s just the one that I saw in that picture. I stuck it in my pocket, not knowing exactly what I was to do. With that. So we’re in. We’re in Germany were meaning with this group of seventy leaders were having times together. We had just visited Move Munster, Germany together the day before and we’re third into that third day. Elaine and I were ready to leave our lodging quarters to go to this meeting again for the day when I thought about it. I still have this key in my pocket. So I asked the Lord, What should I do with this key? And immediately I sense the Lord say already showed you this morning already. Told you. What did I hear? What did I miss? So I went back through my morning and I found myself reviewing my devotionals that morning and I found myself. Guess where I found myself in Daniel. That was my devotional that morning. Then in Daniel, Chapter ten, it talks about Prince Michael. And that’s where I read in my reading that morning. It was about Prince Michael. And all of a sudden the lights came on because I realized there was a Prince Michael in this group. In Germany, they have royal families. Yet in Germany, noble families that have been part of the the heritage of that country for years, and they all have their castles yet that were passed on from generation to generation. Man. Prince Michael and Princess Philippa were in this meeting and I didn’t know them. I hadn’t met him, but I knew that there of a royal family, and I knew my mission. I knew that I had something in my pocket that Prince Michael needed. So that morning we were together in a prayer time and we were We were going to join in small groups in a prayer time, and I was assigned to a small group. And guess who was in that small group? It was Prince Michael. As I went into the small group, there was a chair empty right alongside of Prince Michael. So I take my chair. After the prayer time, I introduced myself and said, I have something for you. That I sense the Lord is saying that you need this key to represent the key that you will be and opening up the way for Anabaptists and Catholics to come together for this healing. I shared with him that this key represent a closet door because we is Anabaptists. Have a skeleton in our closets that needs to come out needs healed. And this key comes from the closet door. Oven Anabaptist Leader. And I’m sharing it with you because the Lord has has a mission for you. That will be very significant. I left it with him. Continued to pray. And over the last years, our connections with Prince Michael and Philippa, his wife, diminished. And then I really felt burdened to go to Germany just last fall in twenty seventeen, at the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, and I was in a gathering there. Then a CZ worship was beginning in this gathering of of of a naked man ical gathering of reformation, reformation, entities. Here, somebody, two people walk in through the door. And it was Prince Michael and Prince Philip. I said, Yes, this is a new day because at that time we already do that. We were invited into conversations with the Catholics in May, just six months later, and Prince Michael was going to have a key in this, and I was able to share with him about what was unfolding, and he said yes to it. He said We got it and he became a very instrumental person in opening up the doors for this healing and forgiveness to happen. Facts. Um, it was It was a matter of couple months later. We got a phone call, Our email. I believe it was from Prince Michael. He says I’m coming to Silicone Valley in California. He’s a large business owner in in, Ah, in in Germany, said Um, group. Bring a group of business leaders, the Silicon Valley to meet with the apple in the Google people, and we’d like to stop in at your house. Could we do that? So Prince Michael and Prince is Philippa showed up at her house and I was able to take him up to the door that the Lord was using as an example, how he was going to be a door opener to open up the way for what God was going to do and and there they invited us that when we come to prepare for ourselves for this gathering in Ah because there were further developments by this time of this gathering in May, he said, You can come to our castle. We can have a Mennonite gathering there at the castle for several days so we can pray together and that weaken prepare ourselves for this. This a healing ceremony in Munster that we went. We gathered at his castle for several days, and from there they provided provisions for us. So through other royal families, for us, too, be lodged in a another castle in a near Muenster during our time of this healing event. And I don’t share that to bring any any particular glory in regards to our ability to connect in this way or to have this privilege. But I share it because I believed God was so pleased, so so pleased to open up this way for this healing that he rolled out the red carpet for there to be a royal welcome into this place of all of this healing and and forgiveness as we you go on the next. This is a picture of his castle where we stayed at next line. There’s another picture of a castle where our team from the US here the A number of bishops there that were part of this healing ceremony. And three of us were Lancaster Conference bishops. Next life. We found ourselves invited to a reception there. And this is a CZ. We went to this reception. Uh, we had no idea who was there. Why we were going to this castle for a reception. This was the night before the healing ceremony. As we went in, there was a group of about seventy people there and we realised that these were city leaders of Munster, Germany. These were Catholic church leaders. These were these were priests. And and then they start sharing their story. And here we realized that we were actually standing inside. We were being hosted in a castle that was no constructed by the proceeds that the Catholic bishop gave to his head marshal of his army. This this castle was built by the head marshal of his army as a reward for him overtaking the Anabaptists people and recapturing the city of Monster. So we were there in this setting, and as we gathered around a reception table that healing began to begin as we start acknowledging our wrongs and start confessing and start forgiving each other right there in the middle of that setting next side slide, please, as we were ready to leave. After this healing ceremony, and I could share much more about developments and happenings there. But we needed a place to stay at the airport before we flew back home. They’re the Frankfurt airport and Prince Michael said, Well, my castle is right close to the airport. As you would know, you could just stay at our castle for the night before your flight departure. So we accepted that invitation. I said, there’s only one thing we will not be able to be there, but we’ll give you the key to the castle. So there was just this small group of us from the US were given the key to this castle. They said, Just take any room that you want Help yourself to any food in the in the kitchen. That’ll be fine. That night, as we retired, there was an Amish bishop along with us. As he you chose his room. He found that the lighting in the room was in his bedroom, was too low to bail to read, so he chose to take a chair into the bathroom. And as he was sitting in the bathroom reading, he heard a commotion over his head. And there he looked up as he gets showered with plaster. And here there’s a hole in the wall of this old castle right above his head and their electrical wires protruding through the wall. Really unusual kind of occurrence. Just so happened this castle’s over a thousand years old, and it happens in this moment when he’s sitting there the next morning we had a little time of worship, and he brought this experience to us, he said. I need to serve, but we need to ask the Lord what this meant and as we prayed, NASCAR Lord, the Lord said the power my power is going to break through and these old historic walls will no longer be able to hold it back. That’s a word that I believe is a revelation. It’s an indication of what he’s wanting to do. He’s wanting to break off whatever these ceilings are. That these limits that we put on to him through what he wants to do through his spirit in our day. And he wants to break through those walls that we build up and said You could do so much in my life. But you can’t do this. You can’t do that. I only believe for this and only bleed for that. He’s got, he reigns. He’s the God that comes to us in his might and in his power he comes to us through his holy spirit comes to us as our counselor. He comes to us as our comforter. It comes to us to produce the fruit within us of love, joy, peace. He comes to us to fill us with his love. He comes to us to be the revelation to a world that’s looking for answers. He comes to us. How does he come to us? He comes to us through the spirit of Jesus. He comes to us through his Holy spirit. He comes to a church that he wants to be C B, an expression of who he is through his character, but also through his power that there could be an awakening in our world. There going be awakening to the reality that there is a god of Daniel. There is a God that’s among us. There is a god of the Metzler Church. There is a God who is who is deserving of our respect and our honor. Just three weeks ago, I was asked to share this very story with the group of hungry, spiritually hungry Amish and abating north of New Holland. And there was a group gathering there for a weekend meetings that called. They called the meeting’s impact. It was impact weekend, and they want Mohr and I. There was a group of twelve twelve leaders that they invited to come and share with them through this week this weekend, a meetings, and as I was sharing there on Saturday afternoon of this experience, and as I shared of this word that came to us through this hole in the wall, it’s electric wires protruding through it that I believe that God is wanting to do a greater work, and I just started praying over this group and a start. And as individuals, there is a Aziz a start exclaiming, We want to see a new day. We want to see way, want it. We want to see these areas of walls broken, throw in ways that we can experience the mohr that God has for us. As we prayed there in that moment, we sense the spirit of the Lord moving. And it was an hour later that way you received a text from the leader’s house after I was finished praying when the leaders of these meetings came up and he, too, affirmed that guys wanting to break through and he continued praying into that. And an hour later, from his house, we got a text over the picture on that. In his study in the place where he experiences God, the study in this new house said he just finished building No, the place where God meets him over and over again. There’s this picture of wires that sprung through a wall in his study. It was behind a wall hanging on the wall hanging. Call it. Fire was burning. Brother and sisters. It’s not about a hole in an old castle wall. It’s not about a wall hanging, burning in a conservative church. Leaders study. It’s about a God who reigns. Talk about a guy who wants to get our attention. You got it. It’s about a guy that wants to awaken us to the reality that we can trust him. We need him. We don’t need only just trust him. We need him. We need strength beyond our strength. We need it for the situations and the circumstances that were encountering in our world as young people as old people, as we get a Zoe get older in the situations that we experience in those days we need, we need his power. We need his strength. And he wants to know what he wants to bring. A revelation of the fact that as we open ourselves up to him that the normal is not normal for his people. He is a god of the supernatural. He’s a god that desires to reveal himself in and mighty and powerful ways. They asked questions about who was Jesus in his day. And the re witnesses said, Well, the lame, well, the blind. See, he’s the same Jesus In our day He’s looking for a church that says, Come Lord Jesus, come and take your place in our day in whatever way we have made, We may have held him back. I believe he is. He is desirous and listening. For acknowledgement of that people. I believe that he has more for us in these last days, and we need him. And he has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love in a sound mind. Hey, hey, hey desires for us to come beyond being a slave to fear but received his spirit of sun ship. So what is the answer for us? What is the answer for us in overcoming this? What is the answer? I believe it is that it is in our finding our place in his son ship as his sons and daughters as his children. As it says here, the spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now we’re children. Then we’re Ares Ares of God and co heirs with Christ, I believe is we find our place. We confined that whatever the Lord has had for Christ to experience, I believe that we can know is for us. He said it was It was good that he leaves this or if he came to thousand years ago. But as he left, he said, It’s good that I leave if I do not leave. Guess what? The Holy Spirit will not come. He desires for us to allow room for that place in our lives for him to rein. We’re on the threshold of a new year. If you’re here today, there’s something that resonates with this in this with you. In whatever way that you are here, and you have even the smallest little sense within you that there’s more. I invite you to let God bring that revelation of that more to you in whatever way that resonates with you, that we have our ways of putting a little and the Lord in the work of his spirit, whatever ways we have put put, put him into a box and say, It’s all right for that You’d do that over here. But I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with you in that way. Just think about it for a moment. What that might say to the father that loves you so much and wants you to experience the greatest of victory, the greatest of overcoming strength, not only for you, but for your family, for your neighbors, because he is our answer in our day, he’s full of transforming power. Yet today he is among us to bring a new day let’s come before him here. So we open ourselves up as his children. May we be able to say no longer a slave of fear? I’m a child. I am a child of God. Come Lord Jesus. Thank you. Thank you. You have not overlooked us in our day. Thank you. That we can anticipate what you have for us. Here is a church that Metzler What? Whatever. Church. You might be a part of your here today, but you have faith for the new that God wants to do among us in this day that we could be the church that allows for a world to recognize that you are the living God, Father, in whatever way that we have put limits on you. And we have questioned the work of your Holy Spirit as we have done that as a body of believers as Anabaptists. But we say we’re sorry. Forgive us, Lord, whatever way any of us here today are able to enter into that and say I don’t want to align myself with that fear of the spirit. Lord, may you hear that cry. May you bring us to a place. Of allowing room for you for your work, wherever that path may be, wherever that path is that you lead us on. You give us the grace to trust you. Whatever might lie ahead in this next year You give us the grace to trust in your strength and the power of your holy spirit For you is your word says your kingdom is not a matter of words but of power. Lord, may you break through in my world in new ways A new way that brings life brings light and pushes back the darkness in a way that you could be seen for who you are. It’s the reigning lord working. Now you hear our prayer here today. Take us, Lord, while we say we don’t know exactly what this means. I don’t know exactly what we’re saying even as we’re opening ourselves up to this. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness that we can trust you. We can trust you for this walk this way in this revelation of who you are so lord here today we declare. That your power will break through and these old walls, we’ll no longer be able to hold it back. Whatever those walls in our lives have some history to them. To the extent it’s five hundred years, Lord, we pray for the breaking off that breaking through that we declare a breakthrough. You know, his thoughts are coming. Two individuals minds here, right now of hopes and anticipations. Father, we invite you to bring breakthrough. May you direct us, lead us in the way that leads to break through in ways that brings you glory. For yours is the kingdom and yours is the power. And yours is the glory forever and ever and ever. Amen. Amen. Any of you feel a need for some further prayer. There’ll be somebody here that would pray with you in the front of the church after we have our dismissal, really right for you, the direction to our clothes. There’s one stands there that will sum up Not some momentarily, but it’s related to the message this morning in two hundred forty four in the red hymnal two hundred forty four. The last stand zone talks about, uh, we I can no longer fear. And I’m confident that I am a child of God. Uh, my God is reconciled. My thank you, Lloyd, for coming and sharing your heart and with God has called you to share with us. This morning, I would just repeat what Lloyd said and closing after the dismissal. Prayer benediction, David leaders in a typical closing verse of song. But if what Lloyd shared this morning has spoken to you and you would like to pursue that, spend some time together sharing and praying together or invite you Justin, meet here in the front and others Khun Congar there around and pray together and share together no further that stand for placing prayer. God, you are a god of order. You’re God of creation. You have made everything, and it is on your control. So Lord, help us. It’s your people to know what that means in very personal ways. In ways that are meaningful for this congregation, we just invite it continued work of your holy spirit among us. Lord, As we leave here this morning, may we go with that full awareness that you have filled us with all of who you are that we may be completely aware of your presence and your leading in each of our lives? Lord is not about us. It’s not about what we can accomplish. But it’s about how faithful we can be and walking with you. So go before us. Bless our ways for yours is the kingdom and the glory and the power forever. Amen.

 

See link in first post of discussion. Sermon begins around 41 min 15 sec. (Lloyd Hoover)

Abortion, Civility, and Rule Breaking

We probably disagree on this, but as I see it, people like Putin, Duterte, and Trump are not actually restoring law and order. I don’t think that is what authoritarian leaders do, it is what they promise. Remember that Nixon was the “law and order president”. As I see it, they are making a mockery of law and order, turning it into a tool that an authoritarian leader can use to advance his own interests, hound his enemies, protect his friends, hide his own actions, and enrich himself. I am extremely concerned about law and order, I just want to make sure that it applies to the president as well. I have some examples in mind, I want to avoid giving them now simply because I want to avoid putting hot-button issues into a post at this point of the conversation. We may well disagree on my examples, I would like to find a calm way to discuss them in order to be able to discuss and learn together.

In the long run, if I’m right and this becomes obvious to people, then they may judge both Christianity and the pro-life movement as political pawns with little moral authority if we are fiercely loyal to them. I think that’s what happened in Europe as the children of Germans realized that their Christian parents had generally supported the Nazis. I think the same might well have happened in the United States if Christians of all races had not marched together against racist laws.

I think it is really important to have some moral distance from any political leader. I’m probably a lot more concerned about Trump than you are.

.. I don’t think democracy “works” and I don’t think it’s stable in the long run. I don’t really sit around worrying about “how to make democracy work”, either.

.. I guess the difference is I’m not part of the “we” of trying to make political change happen – instead, I think political change happens because God is ultimately orchestrating the affairs of men. If men don’t voluntarily choose to stop doing a grievous sin like abortion (or world wars, or the Holocaust, or all manner of other evil), God eventually intervenes. And I don’t think God is constrained by the democratic process.

.. Ending abortion, or dealing with roving drug gangs, is definitely restoring some kind of law and order. It’s not an ideal, but it’s improvement in the right direction. And I think it’s a consequence of us more progressive-minded people being so obsessed with laws and rules that we end up letting criminals get away with turning cities into war zones because we were so fixated on the rights of criminals to due process and so forth.

.. I do pray that God will intervene, but I worry about American Christians anointing a strongman who promises to beat up our enemies. I see some religious leaders treating Trump as “God’s anointed”, sent to save America from our sins. The Trump Prophecy and many things coming out of Liberty University seem to approach idolatry, as does the billboard Jeremy mentioned.

.. If I were to advise Christians, I’d tell then to follow the Bible, which necessarily means not voting, not fighting in wars, not killing people, and so on. Regardless, abortion will only be ended through force. God is in charge of using that force. Persuasion doesn’t stop murder.

.. I think abortion will not be ended by force, unless you mean the return of Christ as an act of force. Abortion pills are too easy to transport, even if they were to become illegal.

A change of heart, that is conversion (not persuasion, although that too will help), is the best way to end abortions. Meanwhile, we can reduce abortions with easy free access to birth control, free prenatal care, free birthing centers, and reducing other financial barriers to parenthood.

Hutterite help: A refugee sponsorship story

What happened when a Hutterite colony decides to sponsor a refugee family? When Paul Waldner and several others from Green Acres Colony signed up for sponsorship in January, a Syrian family of four arrived a month later. While the Syrian family doesn’t live on the colony, members from the colony regularly visit Wawanesa. We joined them on one of these visits. MCC has had the opportunity to work with all types of different people in Canada through our refugee sponsorship program. If you live in Canada and want to learn more about how to sponsor a refugee family visit: mcccanada.ca/refugeeresponse

An open letter from OurStoriesUntold to Eastern Mennonite University in response to its statement regarding L. Shifflett’s testimony

You are misleading the public when you refer to Hartman’s aggressive behavior toward Lauren as “past”. It was not prior to his employment but during his employment as Vice President for Enrollment that the stalking incident, which led Lauren to reach out to Lindale for help, occurred. Where and from whom did you get your timeline, and why was Barbra Graber (Mennonite@snapnetwork.org, 540-214-8874), as Lauren’s SNAP advocate, not contacted to confirm it before you chose to publicly contradict Lauren’s testimony? We are tired of reading the lie repeated in the church press that Hartman’s atrocious behavior toward Lauren happened only prior to his employment at EMU. Hartman was an EMU VP in September of 2014. It is clear in her story that she came forward to Lindale out of fear of Luke in August of 2014 and that Lindale leaders contacted EMU around that time. By referring to Hartman’s relationship with Lauren as “past” at the time it came to your attention, all we have left to conclude is that you do not believe her.

.. Secondly, when you refer to Luke Hartman’s behavior toward Lauren simply as a “relationship” rather than qualifying that relationship as one marked by “stalking” or “abuse” your decision not to acknowledge the violent nature of Luke’s behavior toward Lauren suggests, again, that you either do not believe Lauren or do not consider the terror she experienced relevant to the role of the university now or in 2014.

.. These disciplinary actions and measures were commensurate with what we learned about his past behavior and were also done in the context of the measures taken by Luke’s church.”

What “past behavior” did you know about and why aren’t you telling us about it here? Public safety is at stake. In not disclosing this information you are continuing to help protect a known predator.

.. Lauren, however, has now provided lots of new information that reveals Luke’s behavior as also sexually violent, abusive and manipulative. Does she get any of your gratitude? Why not take this perfect opportunity to say “Thank you, Lauren! Thank you for your bravery in providing this critically important information that contributes to the safety of all.” Why not take this perfect opportunity to say WE BELIEVE YOU, LAUREN. Instead you subtly but clearly again distance yourself from her by sidestepping any admission that her account had any import for you.

.. We are glad Lauren’s story has moved you to examine and learn. We also need to know whose professional counsel it is that you will seek. You have not shown, in your handling of this situation in 2014, in your silence ever since, and in the statement you sent to employees and students, that you are committed to the best interests of survivors and those most vulnerable to sexual violence. You are not in a position to ask that we blindly trust you to live out such a commitment adequately going forward. Will the professionals you seek teach you how to become even more skilled at refraining from taking responsibility for the fact that a known predator continued on in a high position that gave him easy access to young prospective students? Such professionals exist and are consulted regularly by universities all around the country. Or, will the professionals you seek truly help you learn to prioritize and advocate for those vulnerable to abuse? We hope for the latter, but only your transparency will assure us that this is, indeed, the path you choose.

.. Since Lauren’s harm has gone unacknowledged, your acknowledgement here that many individuals have been harmed (which, in itself, is certainly true) functions to minimize the harm she experienced. You have made her harm relative and unexceptional. Know also that when you do not express solidarity with survivors your prayers for grace and healing are unwelcome (some use the word “sickening”) to the ear of survivors who have been abandoned and betrayed by the church.

.. No, actually you should not be advising anyone who has been sexually violated to go to EMU’s counseling center or campus pastors. Such resources may provide excellent service for other student needs, but victims of sexual violence have special legal as well as emotional needs that require very special training. An invitation to report any incidents or suspicions of sexual violence in-house offers institutions the opportunity to hide, minimize, and manipulate its reports of rape and sexual misconduct for its own benefit. As of now, victims have no certainty of a fair and impartial hearing or advocacy by anyone related to EMU because the advocates who are there to offer them support are employed by the institution responsible for their safety and thus legally liable.

.. Cases of sexual violence must not be dealt with in-house. We have heard too many stories of tragically harmful counsel from Mennonite employees of Mennonite institutions for far too many years to allow such invitations to go unchallenged.

.. Sharing testimony is one way that survivors put their lives back together. Secrecy is a huge part of what makes abuse violent and devastating. Victims of abuse receive the strong message from perpetrators and from society that they must stay quiet, and this rule of secrecy is precisely what enables the cycle of abuse to continue. When survivors tell their stories, they are (in the act of telling of the story!) both dismantling the power that the rule of secrecy has held over their lives and taking back a healthy degree of control in their lives. Deciding if, when, how and how much of one’s story to tell is literally a process that puts pieces of a survivor’s control over their own body, mind and life back into their hands.

.. One of the ways the rule of secrecy becomes so strong, both for people experiencing abuse and amidst North American culture more broadly, is that we have this pervasive idea that being abused is something one should feel shame about. Of course, well-meaning folks would never explicitly say that victims of abuse should be ashamed of themselves, but we send precisely this message when we say that certain parts of survivor’s experiences ought not to be publicly shared, that they ought to stay hidden. If someone is murdered or kidnapped or robbed, we all expect that the details will be publicly shared, and while we rightly feel devastated for the ripples of suffering that befall the loved ones of both the victims and perpetrators, we do not see it as the victim’s fault that public awareness of the violent offense brings suffering to the community. Any harm that knowledge of violence brings to the family or community of the one who perpetrated that violence is the responsibility of the one who acted violently, not the one who disclosed the information to the public.

.. Public testimony regarding abuse is especially important when the one who acted violently is a community or institutional leader. It is a common mistake of our culture to think of abuse as primarily about private relationships. Abuse, even when it manifests between two individuals, is about wider problems of power and control. Institutions, particularly educational institutions like EMU, have an ethical and legal responsibility to do everything in their power to create a climate in which members of the community are protected from the threat of violence, including the violence of abuse. Thus, when a leader in such an institution perpetrates such violence it must be investigated thoroughly and transparently.

.. I’ll only say that it is not responsible, ethical, or faithful for anyone to make reconciliation the responsibility of a survivor of abuse. To do so is to misunderstand and abuse the Christian concept of reconciliation, which has everything to do with transformative justice.

.. we simply don’t know what Lindale told EMU when they learned of Luke’s abusive relationship with Lauren. When EMU first heard of Lauren’s situation in 2014, we don’t know specifically what was communicated. Lindale may have only communicated Luke’s past relationship with Lauren (i.e. not the stalking incidents), which would explain EMU’s use of the language

.. am unsurprised that their disciplinary actions were not made public for a couple of reasons. One, there is probably a lot of legal red-tape to get through, both on a state and institutional level, which may limit what they can or cannot disclose

.. My guess is that EMU is not making a hard stance with Lauren at this time because they are still trying to reconcile the Luke they knew with the Luke they have been presented. We know that there are always more than one side to a story, and that the truth is generally some combination of the sides. I think EMU is trying to discover as much of the full, true story as they can, and want to avoid “taking a side” in order to be an unbiased arbiter of the situation.

.. I have to point out, When I went to EMU they basically fired (pushed out) a professor for making a statement about supporting gay marriage, just a statement. Even if Lindale didn’t tell all the details knowing that there is a student/ former student who has been harmed by an employee should be grounds enough for being fired.

.. What I’ve noticed is that people are often sympathetic to survivors, yet turn their backs when accountability is called for.

.. Lack of objectivity” and “too many emotions” have been coded phrases for silencing women in particular, as well as survivors of all genders, for quite some time. This may be an area where EMU Senior would like to reflect a little and do some more reading and thinking.

It’s obvious EMU Senior feels a real stake in this issue, as indicated from the time spent composing such a long and in-depth comment. What is at stake, I wonder? Is there an investment in EMU’s reputation and identity? Is there an desire to disbelieve that Mennonite cultures and theologies could contribute to violence? That’s an area worth exploring.

.. You said: I don’t think “innocent until proven guilty of enabling a sexual abuser” is a radical proposal for a principle.
Actually, I heard a law enforcement officer tell a room full of lawyers just the opposite. Sexual violence is NOT a crime that should be considered “innocent until proven guilty.” Quite the opposite. This is why the law requires mandatory reporters to report any “reasonable cause to suspect” sexual abuse. Sexual predators love it when you and I give them the benefit of the doubt. They know how to play that victim card to its full effect

.. I agree with you here. It is not that there are huge numbers of men who abuse it is that 1) when someone is abusive, he or she tends to have many, many victims (from the hundreds into the thousands) and the tendency continues through life unless/until exposed.

.. I can tell you that evidence has come to light. I can certainly tell you that those who hired Luke had the ability to get a good understanding of the situation if they had chosen to make the effort. Much of this story has not been told, so please don’t draw conclusions about institutional innocence. If the rest of the story is not soon told by EMU or an independent investigation then we will do what we can to tell it as best we can within the bounds of legal responsibility and ethical integrity and according to the wishes of those whose stories we hold. Suffice it to say, the public is still being kept in the dark about a whole lot of things regarding this issue. And there should be a whole lot more outrage about that than there is, in my opinion. But this topic is difficult, especially for those who have sexual secrets of their own to protect.

The Mennonite Church and Sexual Abuse

In January (2016) Luke Hartman was arrested for solicitation of prostitution and resigned from his position as Vice President of Eastern Mennonite University. The Anabaptist-Mennonite chapter of SNAP urged anyone who had been harmed by Hartman to report to an authority outside of the church. SNAP received information suggesting that Hartman had used his positions within the church to harass and abuse people within the church; SNAP reported that leaders within EMU, MCUSA, and Virginia Mennonite Conference may have withheld information that allowed Hartman to continue in positions that gave him the power he abused in violent and harmful ways.

.. There is no mention of why they declined to simply hire GRACE as the top recommendation from the panel.

.. SNAP representatives are concerned that the use of GRACE is being discouraged because of that organization’s insistence on full access to institutional records. An investigation by an outside organization will only be worthwhile IF that organization does their job thoroughly and with integrity.

.. Mennonite Church USA has an opportunity in this moment to take significant steps toward the repentance and change it says it seeks in dealing with sexual abuse in the church. We can move toward healing and hope for sexual abuse victims, but we must prioritize those victims over the fears of institutional leaders and the personal relationships some people have with perpetrators and their enablers.

More Benedict Option Dark Side: Mennonite experience

It seems the Ben Op is based on a faulty premise, that there is a connection between the events of late antiquity and today. I disagree, I believe that the destruction of western thought after WWI was permanent, irreversible, and total. China is the future, a godless, atheist, kleptocratic state that encourages “an orgy of consumption and a dearth of idea”. This is what many American think democracy means, the ability to but stuff at Walmart. The West is dead. You may chose to live in a Ben Op community, but you are simply avoiding, or at best postponing, the inevitable.

.. How to avoid being a cult? I suggest three things. First, the community must avoid all intrusion into the private life. No dress codes, no discipline, no holier than thou kind of rules. The church may suggest that people do things, but avoid making it into a contest. Since this is a voluntary organization, it must have a certain amount of freedom.
Second, there must be outside authority, a bishop, a pope, who is not related, by blood or marriage to the powerful people. Too many things revolve around families, especially when fertility is high. One generation and 40 kids later, things get ugly. The authority must not be easy to corrupt.
Third, there must be a transparent system in allegations of abuse. People in these communities often try to keep everything a secret, and without a clear process, abuse cases (sexual, embezzlement, adultery) can drag on, damaging people who weren’t initially involved.
Frankly I have a very low opinion of human organizations, and therefore find the idealism behind the Ben Op the most ridiculous thing. No matter how good the idea seems, it will, as always, turn into a rank pit of incest and corruption. It is the nature of things.