Jesus, Social Media and The New Marketplace


This weekend at Washington Cathedral, we begin a new teaching series called “Trending”, where over the next few weeks, we will discuss trending cultural topics, explore how they influence our faith and what the Bible teaches us about them.

I’m really excited to jump into the series this weekend with a message called "Digital Divide: When Our Faith Collides with Social Media"!

When preparing for this message, I couldn’t help but first wonder...would Jesus have used Facebook, or Twitter? Assuming these online platforms would have been available to him, I think the answer would be yes.

Why do I believe this?

Of Jesus’s 132 public appearances, 122 had a marketplace context. The four gospels record Jesus telling 52 parables, with 45 of them having a marketplace context.

Jesus valued spaces where people of all backgrounds gathered. For Jesus, that space was the marketplace. Today...social media is the modern-day marketplace. In fact, on Facebook alone, there are currently 1 billion active accounts being used every day.

Just as in the marketplace spaces in the days of Jesus, people from all backgrounds are on social media. Lives are shared. Important theological and social issues are discussed. Culture is shaped. News is broken.

But as we know...not everything about the internet or social media is beneficial. The number of friends, followers and likes you have don’t always equate to real life friends and relationships. It can be deceiving and sometimes be very hard to represent Jesus when those political and theological discussions are taking place. [preaching to myself here]

Thankfully, the Bible has plenty to teach us about authentic relationships, being a witness, guarding our hearts and wise living. All of these can guide us into using social media in healthy, Christ honoring ways.

I hope you’ll join us this weekend and hear more about the trending topic of social media use and how our faith can influence it in positive ways!

Speaking of social media...are you following Washington Cathedral on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?  We’d love to connect with you there!

Grace and Peace.


Who is The President Elect in Your Life?


I woke up Wednesday, November 9, 2016, shocked to find out that Donald Trump had won the election to lead the United States of American for the next four years.  Actually, I wasn’t shocked at all. I had stayed up and watched the election the night before.  It was interesting for me to see this election.  I love to watch history.  That does not mean I don’t feel compassion for all the people whose hearts are broken and whose lives have been crushed through events in history.  I guess I love history because I love people and I love God.   In ways that surprise us - God works through the fallible people and events that make up our lives. I write this devotion not to take a political side, although I have strong political opinions.  I write this in hopes that an event that is greater than history will take place in your life.  That event is that Jesus Christ becomes the President Elect of our lives.  That is huge.  That is not just a onetime choice, but a lifetime way of living through hardships and times we don’t understand, through victories and defeats.

 Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and give unto God the things that are God’s.  Mark 12:17 

 This verse gives Christians a formula to focus on changing the world.  We are always going to be good citizens, unless an injustice takes place worthy of our taking a stand against.  There is no greater love than this, than when a man would lay down his life for a friend.  John 15:13   We cannot stand by without acting courageously if a holocaust were going to take place.  Yes, we can be change agents as we reach and touch one life at a time or -  build one church at a time to change this world with love.  We have a lot of work ahead for us.

 I pray for President Elect Donald Trump.  I pray for his family, his success and his authentic spiritual growth. I pray for those who have shared with me how shocked and disappointed they are at the election. I pray for candidate Clinton, her family and all Democrats.  There is a lot of fear and division in our nation right now.   That is why  I am most excited that Jesus Christ is the President Elect of my life.   

 Your friend for the rest of my life,

 Tim White

The Beauty of Our Diversity


In the book of Acts, we see a young, thriving Church just trying to figure out this new way of following Jesus within their culture. They were committed to this Way and because of that, it grew. A lot. One of the most overlooked reasons for the growth of the early Church was their diversity. Throughout the New Testament, we see a very diverse church. Diverse in their thinking, personalities and even beliefs of how they understood the Church to function. Yet, despite their diversity, arguments and disagreements, there was unity - because they kept their focus on Jesus and the mission he bestowed upon them as his followers.

There's real beauty in our diversity as a church. But only when there's unity, too. These are days when politics and culture can and in some instances are dividing the church. Friends, we have to do everything we can in these important days to be united, rather than divided. We can learn to embrace and celebrate our differences, while still displaying the beauty and wonder of the gospel. It's really possible!

How can we better unite ourselves with those who are different than us?

Stop worrying about who's right or who's wrong...

Seek to discover some commonalities and grow in those...

Join with them to serve others who are less fortunate...

Remember that love and grace are central to our faith. Practice them daily...


Grace and Peace,

Pastor Rex


An Interesting Time in History


I love the Book of Isaiah.  Maybe because Jesus loved it and quoted it more than any other book. His life mission was Isaiah 61.

In 1973, I was seeking God’s mission and vision for my life when the wind blew my Bible open to Isaiah 61 on a mountain nearly 10,000 feet high, and the mission for our church was born.

I love the start of the book when the old prophet is telling the people of Judah that they have a choice ahead of them and that it is a pivotal time in history.  The first chapters are full of warning for the consequences of turning away from the Lord.  But there is hope also, when in Isaiah 1:18-20 God says…Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.  Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

I am not a pastor in order to be a politician.  I had thought seriously about a political career and was called to be a pastor.  As I have said from the beginning, I want people to come to church who disagree with me and I with them.  Church is not a holy huddle. It is preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God that will change our lives and the world.  While I am very politically active, I have always preached Christ first and last and I will do so till the day I die.  Now, I do ask, even plead, that everyone vote.  I pray for 100% participation. In Romans 12 it tells us “to be subject to those put in governmental authority over us.” When faith grows deep and people’s lives are changed that is how revolution happens.  Government changes because “government is only a reflection of the people” as Thomas Jefferson said.    I want to tell you that our faith in America is three thousand miles wide and one inch deep.  We need deeper roots and spirit-filled faith. 

That is why Saturday night is becoming our discipleship night.  We have chosen that night because our people are busy and weeknight discipleship does not catch the people we need to grow deeper in their faith.  Some radicals may want to go Saturday and Sunday. Others will choose between the two, and that is alright.

Nothing in this election has surprised me.  Our Christian faith is so shallow today.  But that does not relieve us of the right, privilege and responsibility to vote.  There will be a day, maybe in our life time, when we won’t get to vote and we will realize the gravity of this age that we are living in.  Also, don’t let all the hate speech take you away from being a Christ-follower.  You need to be able to speak kindly and forthrightly with those with whom you disagree. As there is so much division in our society it is Christians who will hold our communities and nation together with civility.  That is why I ask, beg and preach that you and I should pray for the candidate and their followers, that we are not voting for. It is the only Christian thing to do in that we are supposed to love our enemies.

I have written a novel on American patriotism called Ulysses Dream and asked the publisher to rush it to be published during the election.  I wrote it in a year and it took six months to bring it to market.  Yes, it deals with human trafficking - something that is an abomination to God.  Yes, it deals with immigration, something that is a hot political issue for both parties. President Obama deported more immigrants than at any other time in history and as you know, nominee Trump wants to put up a wall which will prevent illegal immigrants from entering our nation.  That would at least stop the coyotes (smugglers) and they would not be able to abuse people.  I think both sides can agree that good-hearted immigrants need to be treated with the same humanity and dignity that our forefathers were treated with when they came to this country.  Yes, in my book I argue for patriotism for our nation and for what it might become. It is a great and honored responsibility.

On Thursday, October 20th,  from 7 to 8 pm, there will be a launch for my novel Ulysses Dream at the Spirit Falls Sanctuary.  There will be an original composition by Rhonda Jones, including choir, violin and viola, and soloists.  There will be comments from Vietnam war veterans, Seattle Police detective (Retired), and others about the book, maybe even a Native American Chief.  I will give a brief synopsis of the book, and a Spanish actress will read a page from the book.  The book will be for sale and the proceeds will go to retiring the last of Washington Cathedral’s long-term debt.

Let’s all be in prayer about this election and make sure that you register and vote.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White