The Church Has Bad People In It

The church of God on earth, even when it is at the best, has wicked people and hypocrites in it. In Adam’s family there is Cain, in the ark there is Ham, in Christ’s family or school there is Judas. In the church of Jerusalem, planted and governed by the chief apostles, there are false brethren. The true sheep are often without and wolves within. Therefore we may not so much as dream of a perfection of the church of God on earth so long as wicked people are mixed with true believers.… Continue Reading

John Calvin & “Ridiculous” Tribalism

Jerusalem was, at that time, the Mother of all the Churches; for the Gospel had spread from it over the whole world, and it might be said to be the principal seat of the kingdom of Christ. Any one who came from it into other churches was received with due respect. But many were foolishly elated with the thought that they had enjoyed the friendship of the Apostles, or at least had been taught in their school; and therefore nothing pleased them but what they had seen at Jerusalem.… Continue Reading

Busyness, Excuses, & Suffering

It is Easter Season, which means I come up for air once or twice a week. This is my excuse for the lack of posting. I think I still have a few helpful things to say… coming soon. Until then:

Suffering people are all around you.

Fighting against abortion, sex trafficking, and other hot-topic needs are all absolutely necessary, but don’t let championing “over-there” suffering diminish the suffering of people in the pews next to you. Americans, yes even white, middle-class Americans, can suffer too.… Continue Reading

Is A Wedding All About Adam & Steve? Adam & Eve?

If you are not growing weary from Christendom’s talking past each other on the issue of religious freedom/anti-gay discrimination/a rarely-more-nuanced-middle-ground-description of the brou-ha-ha; if you are not weary then you are a tribalist, controversialist, who gets off on sparing with any comer. How’s that for vitriol? Consider yourself judged by me! I kid, I kid.

Toward the goal of not talking past each other, I want to briefly consider the state of marriage in ‘Merica.

A Celebration of Love, Commitment, Etc etc

When you attend a 2014 wedding in the great US of A, you are most likely to hear, even in the most churchy of church ceremonies, a few blasé reflections on love, a few comical anecdotes about commitment, and maybe even the rare exhortation that “marriage ain’t easy.” The ceremony, often times called a celebration (along with funerals, but that’s another post), is all about the future bride and groom, celebrating their love, kicking off their new digs in style, and generally treating the get together as a slightly-more-formal Super Bowl party.… Continue Reading

Rachel Held Evans, Not Fighting, & Continuing the Discussion

Rachel Held Evans, notorious blogger extraordinaire, has written a very insightful and in many ways helpful entry entitled: “The Cost.” She highlights the painful relational cost of being ostracized from her conservative roots when she came out as an evolutionist, feminist, LGBT activist. She also, very helpfully (and perceptively) sympathizes with conservatives who are labelled as bigots and extremists in the media and the culture-at-large. Here are a few highlights with her conclusion (on which I will comment below):

They say I’ve taken the easy way out.Continue Reading

What’s Your Poo Telling You?

No, this is not a post about poo, or coffee, or salad, or stock photography. It is a post about what’s inside our body coming out, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The Setup

I received this nifty little book, What’s Your Poo Telling You?, several years ago from a good friend. My always-wanting-to-read son brought it to me yesterday and a wonderfully poopy analogy popped into my head. It is true, what we put into the body comes out in all manner of interesting ways.… Continue Reading

Dinah, Downton Abbey, and the Justice of God

Let me setup a story for you. The main character is a momma’s boy, he’s fearful and bends to the will of every man he encounters, and the women in his life get everything they desire for good and for ill.

Similarities aside, I’m not speaking about Lord Grantham. This guy works hard for a shady step-father, escapes in the night, sleeps with no less than 4 women (whenever and for whatever purpose they want), eventually fathering 12 sons (and 1 daughter is mentioned; more on her later), he fears family reunions, and capitulates to his wicked neighbors amidst the most horrible of situations.… Continue Reading

Stories and Resolution, Pt. 2

If you’ve ever been to a reunion, high school, family, or the like, you’ve experienced the joy of shared experience. Whether it was a childhood memory with cousin Ed, a freshman year fiasco with your biology teacher, or the state championship trophy you hoisted in ’94, it is in our shared experience that we find life.

Our shared experience brings life in another way. In the sharing of our life stories with others, we invite them into our stories and therein find life.… Continue Reading