Scattergories

Here is a convenient way to decide who is “in” and who is “out,” who we will love, and who we will hate (or disregard.) Stick a label on them. We have liberals, conservatives, progressives, Calvinists, Hyper-Calvinists, moderate-Calvinists, pre-tribulationalists, post-tribulationalists, mid-tribulationalists, Armenians, fundamentalists, denominationalists, Methodists, Baptists (Southern, General, Regular, Independent, … Continue reading

The Problem with Being Right

Everyone likes winning. But, every time someone wins, someone, or several someones loose. The thrill of winning, usually keeps us from thinking about the losers. Victory trumps empathy. It just feels good being right. Having the right answer, being correct, being the most astute, identifying with the right group, being a … Continue reading

The Unlikely Similarity Between Fundamentalists and Atheists

It seems like atheists and fundamentalists would be at the opposite ends of spectrum of religious belief. But are they? I was forced to think about mystery and certainty when writing a a chapter for a new book. That’s when it hit me. Atheists and fundamentalists both have a fondness for … Continue reading

How Spiritual Formation Does Not Happen

  This post is a continuation of a previous article, “You need to Get Plugged In” It is  my response to the typical church, programmed-based approach to spiritual formation. It treats people like cattle to be herded through a process with the other cows. That ignores one of the basic characteristics of God. … Continue reading

When You Leave the Institutional Church

Image by t0xicsunshyne. Creative Commons. De-toxing, de-constructing, re-constructing, healing, and sorting things out, takes time. So, be patient with the process. Be patient with yourself. I missed the extended family the church provided. I missed the sense of validation and destiny that caused me to feel I was doing something significant, … Continue reading

When Worship Rocks

Image by Kelly. Creative Commons. When I would visit my black, Pentecostal pastor friend’s church, I would leave feeling like I had been put through an emotional ringer. It was draining, but cathartic. They had awesome, emotionally intense music, singing, playing, praying, dancing, and swaying. There were times of reflection and … Continue reading

Was Jesus Political?

The Evangelical church became a political force in the eighties. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson began articulating a “Christian position” on issues of national interest. Interestingly, it was always the same as the Republican position. They began with moral issues, moved on to “family values”, and eventually had … Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between Jesus and Christianity?

One cannot help but see the stark contrast between Jesus and present day Christianity. It is almost as if they are two different faiths… one separated, cloistered, its own subculture; the other, on the streets, in the slums, and bars. One, trying to be holy through self-improvement and dissociation, the … Continue reading