“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Foreigner”: God Cares for the Oppressed

This week we take on the controversial and subversive message of the ancient Hebrew prophets such as Jeremiah and Micah. Their message was disturbing and disruptive 2500 years ago, and their message continues to interrogate any and every religious or political impulse today. These ancient prophets offered an entirely different way of viewing life, religion, and God. We have to remember that they were social and political critics and not soothsayers divining the future. Think of Nathan and David here. Or Elijah and Ahab. What is true religion? What does it mean that God is holy, and Christians are called to be holy?
Unfortunately, many Western Christians think in the same ways as the ancient Judahites: religion is morality, not holiness; God is my comfort, not my disrupter. The Hebrew prophets will come along and preach a few simple messages. One is quite simple and yet almost never practiced. “The widow, the orphan, and the alien: God cares for the oppressed.” True religion is this: caring for those who cannot care for themselves–taking care of whoever “lives” in your world no matter their country, color, or creed. Morality in society is needed, but morality is not paramount. Never does the Bible say that God is “moral.” “More'”–a Latin word signifying the idea of building fences around to guard against. Morality easily slips into oppression and hatred for the other(s). It used to be moral to deny African-Americans their civil rights. Morality really stinks when it is used in arrogance and greed.
God is holy. Holiness means that Jews and Christians are set apart unto Yahweh. For what? Set apart not to defend our possessions and use others for more possessions–think Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard here–but set apart so that we can swing wide the gates of mercy and compassion. “Welcome, my friend, whoever you are.” Ignoring the poor, turning our eyes away from the desperate, looking down upon those who struggle, stealing other peoples’ lands–the list is endless. All these are travesties of injustice. God is vulnerable here in God’s holiness; we are most vulnerable here too. To be holy means to open our clinched fists and crossed arms–to open ourselves up to the suffering of others and, most importantly, their care and well-being. “God has told you, O human, what is beautiful. Now what does Yahweh “I-be-who-I-be” require of you but to do the right thing, to love kindness, and to walk in humility with your God?” (Micah 6:8 trans. mine) And check out

Michael Hudson’s prompt for this week’s question of the week. And you should have heard Sydney Bailey’s personal words as we wrapped class this last Tuesday.
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson
“The Widow, the Orphan, and the Alien”: God Cares for the Oppressed
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Michael Martin Hudson

Meet Our Graduates: Ryan Nelson

Ryan Nelson
Craig Streetman
King University
Meet Our Graduates
Ryan Nelson
“Philosophy major Ryan Nelson (Class of 2019) applies his dual degree in philosophy and psychology in his work as a Registered Behavior Technician in Kingsport. He works with children, primarily with autism, to provide the support and tools they need to live a gainful and happy life. He notes that his degrees have proved helpful “in learning the terminology” and providing a “solid theoretical foundation” that facilitated his mastery of the theories that he applies in his work with clients. He also notes that his background in philosophy has proven particularly helpful in his work with older clients, who are naturally curious and both stimulated and calmed by philosophical conversation. Ryan has the mind of scholar and the heart of a servant. We are proud of the good work that he does for his community.”
From Dr. Craig Streetman

Meet Our Graduates: King University Bible and Religion: Trevor Wentt

Meet Our Graduates: Trevor Wentt
Trevor Wentt, King University
“I came to King on a wrestling scholarship and stayed because of my professors. I actually tried to transfer out of King–twice. The major I thought I wanted wasn’t there, yet God had different plans for me. While there, I found photography, had my worldview constantly expanded by my classes and through the friendships and mentorships that developed with many professors. Yet, in some ways, my experience differed from most. As a young black man, I was growing into consciousness concerning what it means to be black in this country at that time. I was supported by many professors and encouraged to continue growing. I was even gifted Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man for my birthday one year by Dr. Don Hudson, which has been a formative text for me. Although, inevitably, I experienced pushback and racism from some students in this time of growth, I was supported by others, both professors and students alike. At King, I was challenged to think, question, and help people see the world and God in a more expansive way. From fitness to where I went to graduate school, King helped shape me. Although I have slightly more debt than I’d like, King gave me incomparable freedom and flexibility to become. Since then, I’m currently pursuing making art to challenge perspectives and give hope to marginalized and oppressed peoples full-time, after working in churches and finishing up my MACM from Emmanuel Christian Seminary. King was nothing short of formative, and I am grateful.”
We were fortunate to have Trevor come study with us. He’s one of those students who taught me to question my own thinking and step out of my comfort zone. He is a beautiful man who creates beautiful works. And he continues to teach me. Next semester I will be offering a class at King: “When the Coat of Many Colors Runs Blood Red: Race and Christianity in America,” and Trevor has agreed to advise us and participate in this class. Keep an eye on him–he will do good and great things as he already does. Thank you, Trevor, for trusting us with your undergrad education. You left King a better place than when you began.