Us or Them versus Us for Them

Jesus who Forgave the Oppressor. Jesus who sets free the Oppressed. Jesus who sets things right.

Us or Them versus Us for Them Ahh. The Bible. Romans 14. Read this for a second.14 Welcome those who are weak in faith,[a] but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. 2 Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that … [Read more...]

4 things Summer Missions Teams need to think about before headed to the City

How do we treat others when we are on a "mission trip?"

4 things  “Summer Missions teams” need to think about before headed to the city.Short term missions trips and summer service trips hold within them the power to transform leaders and youth with experiences, education, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Or these trips fumble into breeding a bunch of privileged, whiney, and sunburnt white kids indulging in poverty voyeurism or tourism. The later becomes a selfish act, what some have deemed “poverty pornography.” When service becomes about us, our … [Read more...]

Accompaniment as Emergence

The Truth a - 2011-02-24

I’ve been called to a ministry of accompaniment that means I have chosen to walk with one or two people or a family, serially, one after the other, to be a support for whatever it is that they are going through. To me, emergent church in the world looks like the ministry of accompaniment. Grounded in scripture, I cling to Jesus’ new commandment to love others as Jesus loves me; by this I will be known as his disciple. [John 13:34-5]In the past, our accompaniment has been to families with imm … [Read more...]

Compassion When We Disagree

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I was listening the other day to someone talk vehemently about religious people who hold strong views with which he disagrees. This man was energized, describing those others in unequivocal terms. He was emphatic in making his points about how wrong those others are, using labels to describe them. In his passion, he had objectified the others.In the same meeting, a woman lamented the many years of struggle with folks at her congregation who had held the parish hostage with their recalcitrant … [Read more...]

Jesus Did NOT Come To Save Your Sins

Baby Jesus

I used to know it all. I used to have it all figured out. I had answers for almost everything – including backup answers in case my first answer was insufficient. My “life-verse” was first Peter 3:15, which served as my motivation to “always be prepared to give an answer.”I used to be obsessed with knowledge. In fact, at times I would fall into despair if I came across a problem I could not figure out. I looked at external sources of knowledge (such as philosophy and science) as ways to bolst … [Read more...]

Rebellion and Awe

Scale

I am grateful to my people of origin, the Evangelicals. Sure they scared the hell out of me, left me with a dank reservoir of guilt and shame, and gave me an image of God more like an alcoholic father than the author of love and mercy—but I am sure I will get over those things eventually.When I was growing up, we Evangelicals were still afraid of popular culture and condemned everything that wasn’t us—from Lutherans to The Love Boat to Roller Disco—it was all just different shades of the Devi … [Read more...]

Why Evangelize Evolution?

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I’m often asked, “Why do you evangelize evolution? What ‘good news’ does science offer?” The following is my typical response...I used to be confused by many aspects of the world, including my inner world. Thanks to an embrace of big history as my creation story, I no longer am. I now have a depth of understanding that saints and sages down through the ages, including the biblical writers themselves, never imagined possible.I used to struggle with temptations and what I considered “sinful … [Read more...]

re-imagining God

homeless

in recent news an image of Jesus from the 4th century was found in Spain on a glass plate. This made the headlines not just for it's age but because Jesus is pictured in Roman style with no beard and in a toga. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29480874 there are actually similar images in mosaics in Britain in Roman villas converted into early churches.  now i think we can be pretty certain that whatever Jesus looked like as a 1st century Palestinian Jew he did not look like a … [Read more...]

Learning to Love Gordon College [my Homophobic Alma Mater]

OneGordon

Three weeks ago, during Gordon College’s homecoming, I stepped foot on my alma mater’s campus after nearly ten years. Sleuthing for a parking space, my friend Andrew dropped me off at the curb with three traffic cones and an armful of signs that read, “We love LGBTQ students #OneGordon.” I carted the subversive gear across the soccer field, past brick dorms and staring, possibly glaring, parents and alumni. A couple other people affiliated with OneGordon, an LGBTQ and allied organization for the … [Read more...]

Grandpas, Bapticostals, and the need to evangelize every damn body

I was worried about Nanny and Paw because they didn’t attend church. As a 7 year old, I thought there were three kinds of people.1. Folks who were saved,2. Folks who went to weird churches (at 7 that meant anything other than Baptist, Methodist, Church of God or Assembly of God) and probably were n’t saved,3.  and folks who did n’t go to church and must not be saved. That’s what the preacher said.We did n’t have children’s church on Sunday mornings. We’d go from Sunday school to t … [Read more...]


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