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September 8, 2017

“Tubman is the third Methodist, after Ulysses Grant and William McKinley, to appear on USA currency. All three were known for simple words, plain manners and tenacious lives of action and duty.” 
[— Mark Tooley, writing at


I still have two quick visceral responses to those three letters.

The first is panic, which is immediately replaced by amusement.

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, I was part of a community where informing on one another was actually called our Christian Duty. The verbal shorthand, invoked upon catching someone in an unacceptable act, was that three letter code, C.D.I.

Which stood for being a Christian Duty Informer, by doing one’s Christian Duty to Inform. Hence, C.D.I.

Which was a title some held in high esteem.

One C.D.I. infraction for which I was noted — and I’m not making this up —  was listening to the radio. In fact, it was rumored that I was “possessed by the demon of the radio.”

And you see why my panic gets replaced by amusement.

But it’s finally not funny.

So what then actually is the duty of Christians? Presbyterian author and poet Ann Weems has wisely pointed out that churches spend way too much time, what I’d even call flailing about, in search of mission and purpose statements when we were given this a while back —

“Go out and train everyone you meet,

far and near, in this way of life,

marking them by baptism in the threefold name:

Creator, Savior, and Holy Spirit.

Then instruct them

in the practice of all I have commanded you.”

— Jesus said that. In Matthew 28.

Seems like that’s a call to a life of both action and duty to which we’ve yet to be tenacious enough.

It’s time.

It’s time to realize that our authentic Christian Duty is to Inform others of the love of Christ. And as St. Francis famously said, “If you have to, even use words.”

Gives new meaning to those three letters, C.D.I.

Or maybe it simply restores them to their original meaning.





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