If We Know How to End Poverty, Why Has Poverty Not Ended?

It’s said that 45 million US citizens suffer from abject poverty; ”13.1 million children in the US are food insecure.” This is not even including the estimated 11.3 million undocumented individuals currently residing in the U.S."We spend so much time making our living that we never have time to live our lives."Anyone who has ever struggled simply to meet their basic needs knows how crushing the anxiety caused by this type of poverty can be; it's misery; soul-crushing, energy-sucking mi … [Read more...]

The American Church and Our Ties to White Nationalism

To Separate the Institutionalized American Church From White Nationalism is… …like removing the beating heart of raging bigot. …like removing the bride from her groom. …like taking Batman out of the Jokers equation. …like having a Michael Jordan without his drive.“White Nationalism is a type of nationalism or pan-nationalism which holds the belief that white people are a race[1] and seeks to develop and maintain a white national identity.”What reason does the American Church have to … [Read more...]

What Jesus Meant When He Told the Disciples They Can Move Mountains With Faith As Small As a Mustard Seed

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." - Jesus (Matthew 17:20, NIV)As a kid I remember during bible camp trying to move a mountain with my newfound faith that was presumably (so I was told) the size of a mustard seed. It was right after a dramatic alter call and my 1000th time in committing/re-committing my … [Read more...]

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Why a White Jesus is a Problematic Version of Jesus: Why and How He is a Dangerous Tyrant (Part 2)

Part 2: Why a White Jesus is So Incredibly Damaging Have you ever heard of a guy named Pete Holmes? It's okay if you haven't; he's a comedian that has podcast; but his podcast isn't comedic so much as it's just him having two hour conversations (as opposed to interviews) with various guests. He recently brought on a priest named Richard Rohr (you can listen to the full podcast here). But, within this conversation Rohr broke down the biblical narrative into four parts: Passion, death, … [Read more...]

Why a White Jesus is a Problematic Version of Jesus: What is Eurocentric Theology? (Part 1)

I follow this guy on Twitter who goes by the name of "Irish Atheist" and it is so incredibly painful to read the replies, from fellow Christians, to his tweets. I've noticed over the years that christians love throwing at him the notion that "he just has yet to find the right church home…" Here’s the thing… One of the most annoying things friends and/or family members say to me [that still remain in the Church] is, “You must have not found the right Church home, yet…” It’s this indolent, pious, … [Read more...]

The Cost of Joy: “But We Rejoice in Our Sufferings…”

Joy is not the absence of pain; it’s the presence of meaning and intimacy [regardless of pain or sufferings presence]. Suffering, far too many times, I think, is the result of inaction; that is, doing nothing in face of pain or unexpected hardships.  It’s when we can’t find or don’t have a reason to push forward that we tend to give up and allow hardship to win. Taking this on from a different perspective: Joy is a constant choice in which we repeatedly make, day in and day out until it becomes … [Read more...]

Church Marketing Sucks: What the U.S. Church Can Learn from Kendall Jenner and Pepsico’s Blunder

Quick Question (answer without stopping to think): Who’s thought to be the most influential Christian today? N.T. Wright, Chris Tomlin, Joel Osteen…? While I don’t have the research to prove it’s any one person, I can say with confidence that it’s none of the guys listed above. What I can say with confidence is that it can be whittled down to being either Kanye West, Justin Bieber, or one of the Kardashians.“We consider accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media … [Read more...]

Costly Grace as a Survival Tactic: Finding Happiness Despite the Pain and Suffering

Forgiveness is such a little B****. I mean, saying it more eloquently, forgiveness, it’s a double edged sword. If you forgive, then you feel as if they win; if you choose not to forgive, you then feel and find the truth within the platitude saying, “Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”Many times as a pastor, I'd be constantly asked by congregants "How do you forgive…?" And I'd tell them, "The same way you get over your ex: you sleep with as many p … [Read more...]

Megalomaniactic Pastors: What if Your Pastor’s a Functional Psychopath?

I meet up with a ton of pastors for lunch or coffee. It’s not a means of “networking” as it’s mostly just a means of connecting with like-minded men and women. These groups of people consist of mega-church leaders, musicians, youth pastors, lay-leaders, and everyone else in between. But, the other day I met up with a pastor of a larger Church, as he was guest speaking/preaching here in Philadelphia. Never thinking about it before, today really, I realized that most of us within pastoral ministr … [Read more...]

A Generation of Biblically Illiterate Followers of Jesus

Have you ever taken a step back and asked the question, “Why do I believe what I believe?”Many of us when asked this question, reply immediately, “Because of the bible.”Growing up in Churches this is just what we’ve been taught in Sunday school and youth group, from child hood on, singing aloud without thinking: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so…” We find ourselves believing and dedicating the entirety of our lives, the basis of our morals, the foundation of our h … [Read more...]