Words can spark a revolution (But please stop shouting)

I've been thinking about the influence of Words.No I'm not about to talk about campaigns or political ads. Instead, I'm talking about movements that the world, and they all began with words.Independence Day marks the beginning of US freedom. But it started with words – really a short document, a Declaration that named the source of true freedom. The War started with words, not battles.Fast forward 225 words to Ronald Reagan, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." We had spent billions … [Read more...]

Divided We Stand: How Christian Faith Can Heal Our Land

I’ve been thinking divisions lately, since they seem to be so prominently highlighted in conversations, media, and politics.The discussion last week in this space about "intolerance" is still raging. My online friends are now neatly divided into political camps with heated exchanges on Facebook. Even in this forum, it seems as if every article I write someone tries to goad the division, to drive a wedge deeper.Us Versus Them The world has devolved into two basic groups — “Us” and “ … [Read more...]

Does Christianity Promote Intolerance?

In the public square of opinion, just about anything goes these days. We no longer simply recognize diversity, we celebrate it. We don’t just acknowledge our differences, we embrace them. What was once fringe is mainstream.As a Christian White Male, I’m told quite clearly that I “must tolerate” everyone and everything. However, I am finding that I am no longer tolerable by others.Some of it is a rebound from hundreds of years of single-race, single-religion rule in a nation founded by peo … [Read more...]

Beyond Black, Beyond Blue, What Really Matters.

I was too young to remember the 60’s. As a toddler I only cared about nap time, snacks and my Tonka trucks. I was innocent while the world around me exploded with violence, riots, racial tension and war.I remember my father later telling me about the times, what he felt when Kennedy was assassinated and then Martin Luther King. It wasn’t black. It wasn’t white. It was just wrong and he felt it.That’s how I feel today.With just a few minutes of network news and I’m longing again fo … [Read more...]

My Life Lessons, Retold in Punctuation Marks

There was a point in my life when a question mark hung over my head.You see, I didn't know the future, and it scared me. I couldn't figure out tomorrow, next year or the future. I was paralyzed by the thought of just not knowing. Uncertainty led to stupidity as I tried to order the future around my pride. I eventually found a relationship with God, a place to turn the question mark into a period. But the story wasn't over.Then for a while my quest was for knowledge about the deeper t … [Read more...]

When Christians don’t pledge allegiance: Bronco takes a knee

Another NFL football player, Denver Bronco Linebacker Brandon Marshall has decided to not stand during the traditional playing of the National Anthem. He is using his proclaimed Christian faith as the reason for taking a knee.“Honestly, I’m a man of faith so I prayed about it long and hard, and I feel like it was the right thing to do,” he told a local news station.This isn’t the first time Marshall has stood up for the faith in the public eye. He debated ESPN’s Stephen Smith live on the … [Read more...]

Not Like Me: 70 years of hardship, but she refuses to break

Sexual abuse. Alcoholism. Racism. Handicapped. Depression. Imprisonment. Abandonment. All of these are things 70 year-old Suzanne Kiser has encountered in her life. She’s not like me. I’ve never encountered any of those things. Not one of them. But together, we are talking.Suzanne Kiser is one of those people who has seen it all. The 70 years of her life has been marked by pain, suffering, and indignity.  Not many of her woes have been self-induced. In a word, life has been unfa … [Read more...]

Not Like Me: A millennial who lost his faith in God

This is part of an exploratory series where I'm "expanding my table" and inviting other voices into my world. "Not Like Me" is an honest attempt to reach across traditional and perceptual divides to try to understand and perhaps gain a little insight. Are you not like me? I invite you to send a note. Today, let me introduce you to Chris – a deeply engaging, interesting young man who isn’t like me. He has rejected his Christian upbringing. Perhaps you know someone like this or have a family me … [Read more...]

3 Words That Will Set You Free: “I Don’t Know”

I remember standing behind the lectern, laser pointer in hand. Teaching, leading, I imparted knowledge and inspired action. But to be honest, I was no expert. I just learned how to study and how to relay the finer points.Hundreds of times I looked at eager eyes from the chairs pulled into a circle. Opening the book, pointing out history and theology and imagery, everyone said how great it was.  I really didn't know anything more than anyone else.A long time ago I took a position behind th … [Read more...]

Not Like Me: A Series on Finding Commonality through Difference              

Next week I’ll begin a new season-long series here at Red Letter Believers called, “Not Like Me.”I will be specifically seeking out people who are different than me and then we will have a conversation. I want to know what makes them tick, what motivates them and what the hopes and dreams they carry with them.It’s my hope that through this series I can learn about “others” and that you’ll come along for the ride.We live so much of our lives through assumption, stereotypes and putting … [Read more...]