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S3:44 Takeaway 3: Treat Labor Well

S3:44 Takeaway 3: Treat Labor Well

What Christians can learn from unions in General Motors from the 1980s.

A few months ago I produced two episodes about the Christian roots of American labor unions. And… a bunch of people stopped listening to the show. It turns out that many American Christians are conservative and, therefore, anti-union.

This mini-episode is the counterbalance to that series. Here we discuss the inefficient practices at General Motors in the 1980s. It was an era where GM slipped from holding over 40% of the market share to 17%. What happened? It’s a story of unions, gasoline, and the reasons we treat labor well.

Resources used:

Discussion Questions:

  • Do you have a bias for or against labor unions?
  • Who do you know who is or was in a union? What is their work ethic?
  • The labor unions in GM in the 1980s were inefficient. Does that make all labor unions inefficient?
  • Does specialization in factories help or hurt in the long run?
  • Do you have a bias for employers or employees?
  • Do you work as unto Christ in your own job?
  • What is the Christian way to work? To employ someone?
S3:E43 Takeaway 2: Communism Can Be Used As A Scapegoat

S3:E43 Takeaway 2: Communism Can Be Used As A Scapegoat

An interview with Jemar Tisby to discuss race, communism, and why we sometimes don’t like to talk about either.

Season three of Truce has been all about how the rise of communism in Russia impacted the Christian Church. As we approach the end of the season, I want to highlight some of the important takeaways.

One of them is that communism can be used as a scapegoat. That is used by some people to get the public to hate or disregard something they don’t like. That could be the COVID crisis or Black Lives Matter.

Our guest today is Jemar Tisby. He’s the author of the New York Times Bestseller “The Color of Compromise” and “How to Fight Racism“. He’s also a frequent voice on the Pass The Mic Podcast. You can access his Substack email list here.

Helpful links:

  • Article about the Wyoming Health Department official who resigned due to his denial of COVID 19.
S3:E42 Take Away 1: Think Deeper About the Past

S3:E42 Take Away 1: Think Deeper About the Past

It’s time for American Christians to rethink the past. Can nostalgia for part of the past impact our witness?

MAGA folks look back on the history of the United States and see a golden era: the 1950s. When religion was in the public eye, television and movies were clean, and father came home from work with dinner hot on the table. The trouble is that this vision of the 1950s only existed in our imaginations or if we chose to ignore the world around us. The 1950s were an era of great upheaval, with public monuments to religion being erected at the same time as heavy censorship, McCarthyism, wars, racism, and sexism.

For the next few weeks we’ll be revisiting themes from season three of Truce to pull out some important takeaway. Takeaway 1: Think Deeper About the Past.

Helpful links:

Discussion Questions:

  • What do you think of when you think of the 1950s?
  • When is it okay to remember just part of history, and when do we need to consider the whole picture?
  • What era do people who wear MAGA hats want to return to? In other words, when was America greater than it is now?
  • When you think of your own childhood, what comes to mind?
    • Do world or social issues play into that?
    • How is nostalgia a helpful tool?
    • How can nostalgia shape our memory of the past?
    • Is there an era you wish to return to?
  • What can we do to create a fuller picture of the past when we retell it?
S3:E41 How to Deal With Christian Nationalism

S3:E41 How to Deal With Christian Nationalism

Christian Nationalism, QAnon, and conspiracy theories are in most churches. How should we react?

The January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol demonstrated the dangers of extreme Christian nationalism. When we allow our ideas about God and His protection to overrun the Bible, we get into serious trouble. Now, many Christians are questioning their faith. Why does the Jesus of the Bible look so different from us and our country?

In this episode, Chris discusses our strange relationship with the United States. We love it when it affirms us, but we don’t know what to do when the US behaves in an evil manner. How do we unify the Church in an era of division?

Helpful Discussion Questions:

  • How have you seen the United States tied to Christianity?
  • What do you think people mean when they say the US is a Christian nation?
  • When have you seen the US behave in a Christian manner?
  • When have you seen it wander from Christian principles?
  • Do you follow the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount, or an economic Jesus?
  • How can you love people in your local church who believe different things about Jesus than you do?

Helpful links:

  • You can learn more about the Virginia Law Codes in Rebecca Cox Richardson’s book “How the South Won the Civil War”.
  • In the episode, I reference that the US provided rebels in Afghanistan with copies of the Koran and VHS bootlegs of the movie “Rambo”. You can learn about that in Steve Coll’s book, “Ghost Wars” pages 90 and 194-197.
  • Learn about John Adam’s day of fasting
  • The Treaty of Tripoli
  • More about Dalton Trumbo
  • “Trumbo” movie trailer
S3:E40 Skye Jethani and Post-Christian America

S3:E40 Skye Jethani and Post-Christian America

How should Christians react in a post-Christian society?

Many theologians describe our modern era as being post-Christian. Meaning that religion was once public in the United States, and it is slowly disappearing. Is that okay? Is it possible that now is a great time to be doing ministry?

In this episode Chris interviews pastor/ author/ podcaster Skye Jethani. He’s the author of the book “What if Jesus was Serious?” and co-host of The Holy Post podcast with Phil Vischer. Skye’s wisdom for this time helps Christians put today in perspective.

Discussion Questions:

  • What is meant by the term “post-Christian”?
  • Do you think we’re living in a post-Christian world?
  • How do our environment and culture impact Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount?
  • What does it mean to love our neighbors? Turn the other cheek?
  • Do you agree with Skye when he says that we are to obey our leaders, and yet we are the leaders in the US?
  • If so, how does that impact how you live and work?
  • Have you ever lived in an environment that was non-Christian? How does that differ from a culturally Christian area? Was it easier to do ministry in one over another?

S3:E39 Is School Prayer Illegal?

S3:E39 Is School Prayer Illegal?

When did school prayer become illegal?

American Christians have disagreed about school prayer ever since it was declared illegal in the 1960s by the Supreme Court of the United States. But what were the conditions surrounding that debate?

In this episode of Truce, we break down the debate using Justice Hugo Black’s majority argument against school prayer. It goes all the way back to the founding of the Church of England when Thomas Cranmer wrote the Book of Common Prayer and helped the king solidify his divorce. Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest role in the Church of England. But when Mary Tudor rose to the role of queen, she executed Cranmer because she was Catholic and he was Protestant.

Justice Black’s decision hinged on the story of Cranmer. England was thrown into turmoil with every new regent because they could change the religion. The US, he argued, was founded on principles that would keep that from happening. The Establishment Clause of the US Constitution prohibits the government from establishing a religion. So… is school prayer a violation of the Establishment Clause?

When did school prayer become illegal? 1962.

What do you think?

Discussion Questions:

  • Have you ever used prayer as a weapon like Chris did in the locker room for his school play?
  • What are the benefits of prayers that are written down? What are the drawbacks?
  • Do you recite written prayers? Why or why not?
  • Was the Regent’s Prayer right in being non-specific about which God it referred to?
  • Do you think your country would benefit from a national religion? What if that religion could be changed over time?
  • Did you ever pray in school?
  • Should we pray in schools?
  • What did you think of Justice Hugo Black’s majority opinion which used the example of the Church of England in the 1500s as a reason why we should not have school prayer?

Helpful links: