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Issue 024

Mad Mondays Issue 017
Pagan Moontide of Juno 15, Anno Domini 2020

Lord, have mercy.

"We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100

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Congrats to the Fisk family on buying a house! As Rev. Fisk makes his house home, the Mad Monday team still delivers madness as the Shadow Broker shares her thoughts. If you miss the Reverend’s words to the world, this four-hour stream might do the trick.

Broken Broker

This week I wept.

I watched the news for one hour, an oddity for an under-rock-dweller. Our brokenness was blatant. And I was overcome with grief.

“C’mon, let’s sing a hymn,” my husband said as he grabbed his guitar.

But I could not sing. I did not want to sing, not after seeing the turmoil in our country. I just wanted to cry.

What hope is there? Before the question reached my lips, I already knew the answer. So in my tears I do not only cry, but cried out.

There is no hope but you. Lord come quickly.

After my tussle with the media, my thoughts echoed Rev Fisk’s. What is truth? Where do we find it? Who can be trusted? I cried out.

There is no truth but you. Lord come quickly.

In my frustration I lamented to my husband, “How can we respond to all the anger and hate? There is no rational answer that will satisfy irrational people.”

“You’re so right,” he comforted, and then added, “but the problem is that you are irrational too. You have your own idea of utopia. And, if it were reality, that world would be just as broken as the one we have today. There is only one fix for this shattered world, and it comes from a wisdom outside of it. Funny thing is, through our human eyes, that wisdom looks irrational.”

The brokenness of this world will not be solved by any worldly wisdom. The world will never come up with a tactic, technique, or maneuver that could fix this situation, not fully, not outright. Watch the news yourself, and you’ll see that. We may make “progress,” but we will never be finished because this world is broken, and so are we.

Christ has redeemed this ugly, broken world. He became man, suffered, and died—an irrational game plan if I ever heard of one. And yet, the plan was a smashing success. The resurrection proves that. Now, he has plans to put that redeemed world back together his way.

Though sadness for this world may grip me, I know that one day Christ will return. This is faith: We believe though we do not see. We have confidence in what we hope for. And when Jesus returns, we will have no need of faith or hope because we will have him, and his “irrational” plan will be made reality.

So in my mourning, I praised God for the hope that he planted in me at baptism and has nurtured for 25 years. He promised deliverance and I not-so-patiently wait for his return.

And until then, we sing,

The clouds of judgment gather, the time is growing late;
Be sober and be watchful; our Judge is at the gate:
The Judge who comes in mercy, the Judge who comes in might
To put an end to evil and diadem the right.

Arise, O true disciples, let wrong give way to right,
And penitential shadow to Jesus’ blessèd light:
The light that has no evening, that knows no moon or sun,
The light so new and golden, the light that is but one.

Lord come quickly.


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Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

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Socially Distanced Symphony

If you were tuned to SMChill recently, Rev Fisk mentioned the strange experience that is the wearing of a mask in public. Many people have bemoaned how much harder it is to ‘read’ people when half of their face is covered. Breathable transparent masks may help with this but they are slightly creepy! 

(Did we mention that you can buy an awesome Mad Christian mask?)

As more of our ’normal’ activities are restarting, what is known about the coronavirus so far is useful in helping people gather while reducing the risk of contracting COVID. Wired looked at the changes that will be needed for an orchestral performance, including plexiglass around those sputtering, germ-spreading brass and wind sections.

Also from Wired, an interesting essay investigating who discovered the first vaccine.

The Seven Trendy Sins: Wrath

Way back in 2017, Pastor Hans Fiene wrote a piece for The Federalist about the phenomenon known as “outrage addiction”, with some arguing that outrage is now the value at the heart of America. With lines clearly drawn on most aspects of life and factors aplenty contributing to the feeling of helplessness (e.g. social media, failing social cohesion, the “epidemic” of loneliness), it is easy to fall into feeling outraged at, well, everything. Sometimes, we even seek it out, because “owning” someone gives that dopamine hit and credits us with the dreadful righteousness that comes from the affirmation of your "tribe."

An insightful podcast on The Spectator last week offered some observations on our modern view of anger. It is assumed today that “bottling up anger” is bad for your “wellbeing” and that letting your emotions out is good for you. The guest, Peter Wood, says that this is not the way it has always been and historically, heroes were those who faced aggravating circumstances, but kept their temper, comporting themselves with dignity and steadiness. 

Wood argues that ostentatious displays of temper in our sports stars - throwing a racket or spiking the ball - are now a form of entertainment. Our leaders are often no better, advertising their contempt for others (ALL CAPS) and at times deliberately provoking their opposition to anger. Even the recent waves of rage that have resulted in the destruction of people’s property were met with approval by much of our elite class and everyday, anger is the fuel that drives large parts of social media. 

In the current moment, the culture claims that "silence is violence” and so knee-jerk emotional reactions are what is expected. As long as you say the right things and pledge some money to an approved cause, virtue-signaling can be good for business. There are few penalties for wild outbursts, nor the horrible words that often accompany them, while thoughtful, measured responses will draw accusations of your complicity in racism and violence. 

Being angry is seen as an authentic way to “express yourself” and is more valuable, it seems, than self-control or making a persuasive argument. Yet, the more you express your anger, the more angry you’ll be.

It is not an easy task for mad Christians, navigating this polarized environment, but sometimes we have to take a stand with careful words, love for our enemies and a thick skin. Pray for wisdom, which is promised to all who ask for it.

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We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

Many of you would be familiar with Rev Fisk’s dream of inspiring Christians to be deliberately involved in their communities, joining local networks, and working for the benefit of their neighborhoods. Gene Veith wrote recently on his blog about early Christians who were suffering under the Roman oppression. 

While a lot of us might wish to withdraw, Prof. Veith concludes that now is a time to be shrewd, to get educated about the system that we have, and roll up our sleeves. He advises that we should make ourselves aware of every tool we have to preserve our freedoms, love our neighbors, and engage thoughtfully with the culture. 

Joy Pullman has also outlined ideas she has used to begin community organizing. Her writing at Faith and Public Life is worth browsing for Mad Christians who are looking for ideas to ramp up their involvement in their local 'hoods. She covers a lot of topics including policies that impact small and rural communities, education, and issues affecting families.

Consider Christ

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." Hebrews 12:1-3


♀️♂️😞Expert calls for inquiry into over-representation of autistic patients with gender dysphoria

🇲🇽 The largest Mayan structure ever found, detected by lidar technology, and not to be outdone... 

🇮🇹 A whole Roman city has also been found using ground-penetrating radar

💎 The pandemic has left a glut of diamonds

🧫 A library full of bacteria 

🌉 The Golden Gate bridge now sounds like a “wheezing kazoo” due to newly installed fences

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Sweetness You May Have Missed
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Creative Meanderings in the Fictional Mind of Jonathan Fisk

This week, we present the beginning of chapter one of Earth, a novel of the resistance. To listen audio by the author himself, check out this podcast.

Earth Cover Art found here

Let us pray: Almighty, eternal God, in the Word of Your apostles and prophets You have proclaimed to us Your saving will. Grant us faith to believe Your promises that we may receive eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.