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RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: Second Chances in an Unforgiving Society

September 10, 2019 By dwayman

By Rev. David Thompson

Rev. David Thompson is a retired Elder in the North Central Conference of the Free Methodist Church, a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain and mental health counselor, and former Superintendent of the former Minn-I-Kota Conference. One of his sons is one of the 70 million Americans with a record, for a decade-old misdemeanor that has been a barrier for meaningful employment, housing and credit for the past eight years. Only recently was he offered, as a veteran who served seven years on active duty, a second chance in employment with a good job with the VA to help other veterans like himself, get on their feet after suffering wounds of mind, body, and spirit in war- time service.

Supt. Thompson presents an important and profound call on all of us as compassionate Christians who ourselves live by God’s restorative mercy.


Anytime one starts talking about restorative justice in a world where revenge and punishment are often the normal response for offenses against persons and society, it is to venture into controversial waters.

I am deeply sensitive to the pain and grief that is visited upon victims of crime and the challenge to forgive, feel safe, and rebuild trust that has been lost. This is no small task of mind and spirit requiring sometimes years of counsel and support from friends and caring clinicians. It takes a real touch from the Lord to help many move on in life after such a trauma and not remain captured by fear and anger.


August 12, 2019 By dwayman

Dr. David B. Schreiner in the Summer of 2019 writes an opening volley as a Free Methodist interested in the moral aspects of the advancements in  “altering the genetic code with which people have been born or will be born.”  Both for the healing of disease and the enhancement of humanity, this science is in need of ethical guidance, especially for those of us who are Christians.

Stating his question clearly he asks: “How do the general moral imperatives to tend to the disenfranchised and vulnerable mentioned throughout Scripture implore us to pursue the betterment of life and deal with diseases that have a high mortality rate among the young and elderly? Do the Church Fathers, who used Scripture to comment on many experiences beyond the purview of the original authors, provide any insight on how to go beyond the plain sense of Scripture?”

Here is his work:

CRISPR/CAS9 and Editing the Human Genome: Moving Beyond the Text to Engage in Theological Discourse

On July 29, National Public Radio (NPR) published a story about Victoria Gray’s battle with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).1 SCD refers to genetic blood disorders that affects a patient’s red-blood cells. Instead of the normal, squishy, round red-blood cells, which move effectively through the patient’s blood vessels, the red-blood cells are hard, sticky, and sometimes in the shape of a sickle. Most importantly, the mutated red-blood cells pool at certain junctures in the blood stream and cause an incredible amount of pain.