Taking Sides

An excerpt from Jonny Rashid’s new book JESUS TAKES A SIDE (2022). See below for details of an online event Jonny is hosting with The Alternative Seminary this Saturday!

Our church’s first love feast after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States changed me.

Our church celebrates something called the love feast, also known as an agape feast in some traditions. It is a worship meeting where we fellowship and reconcile among one another, letting our love and unity prevail. You can find references to love feasts in Jude and 1 Corinthians 1. At them, we eat together, welcome new members, and take communion. At our love feast in January 2017, our team had assigned me to offer the words of institution and the elements of communion to the assembly.

Admittedly, my mind was elsewhere. Donald Trump’s first executive action as the new president was in effect. We know it colloquially as the Muslim ban, but formally it is Executive Order 13769: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. It was a travel ban against people from a list of Middle Eastern countries and it had gone into effect that Saturday. It barred entry for anyone (with some exceptions) from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. I got a notice on my phone that there were Arab immigrants in airports and they could not enter into the country because the ban was in effect.

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