Closed Hearts, Closed Minds, Closed Doors: A Letter to all LGBTQIA and Allied United Methodists

You are loved. You were made in the image of God. You are part of the same creation that God breathed God's own breath into. You were knit together in the womb by God's own hands. You are beloved.Our church is flawed. Our church is made up of people, and all people are equal parts loved and sinful. We live in a fallen world that is clenched by fear. We may not see the full inclusion of the whole spectrum of God's children in our church this General Conference, or the next, or the next, or … [Read more...]

Wayne Grudem for President #nothanks

Disclaimer: I tend not to comment on politics, and I haven’t been following the Republican race very closely, but I came across something this week that was really startling (excluding anything Trump). It is a clear reminder that we need to be aware of who is informing our candidates and potential future leaders. A Slate article by Ruth Graham unveiled that Marco Rubio has installed Wayne Grudem as part of his religious liberty advisory board.You may not recognize his name, but W … [Read more...]

Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies

Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies Bec Cranford serves as the Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services at the Gateway Center, and supervises a contextual education course at Candler School of Theology.Poverty pornography, charity charlatans, and self-serving service versus relational missions honoring Christ in the least of theseAs we mature in Christ, many of us will become dissatisfied with churches that have a mentality of country clubs, and … [Read more...]

God, Jesus, and Thoughts about Incarnation

At best, we can barely draw correct inferences concerning things we find on earth. Only after much thought and work do we come to understand what is right in front of us. —Wisdom of Solomon 9:16 (CEB)What must it have been like for God to wake up in a tiny, needy body? What must it have been like to surrender omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence to be defined and divided into just one thing? Just one thing with limitations, with vast spaces between, with no idea about the experience of … [Read more...]

Unboxing

They’re nothing more exciting than a box. Cats love them - usually empty. Kids use them as fuel for endless expressions of imagination. We get gifts in them. Send gifts in them. We get practical things out of boxes and extravagant things. Boxes are great. And so, it’s no wonder that we talk about the way we see the world as putting things in boxes or insisting that we are box breakers.From early in life we learn to categorize and order the world around us. Mom usually gets her own box. Then c … [Read more...]

All Lives Matter vs Black Lives Matter: The Already and the Not Yet

There has been a lot of debate over the phrases “Black Lives Matter,” and “All Lives Matter” over the past year. I would like to frame this conversation in religious terms. Christians have a unique vision of the eschaton, or in non-theological terms, the end of human history. We believe that in some ways, the end, that is the full reign of the Kingdom of God and the restoration of all creation back to its creator, is here now already.If we look around us, it is clear that the world is not hea … [Read more...]

Calling God “She” — It’s Just Another Pronoun!

Many people believe (even at a subconscious level) that to refer to God using female pronouns is just plain wrong, if not heresy.I am constantly amazed at the linguistic contortions people will go through to make the point that, while God is not male or female, we still must use male pronouns to refer to “Him.” Other writers assert that God is spirit, not gendered in any sense of the term, but they still use “He” and “His” exclusively throughout their argument.  (Google “Is God male?” to see … [Read more...]

Five Elements of Church Error (part 2 of 5) – Leaving Slavery & Segregation Behind

Do you believe in slavery? Would your church hire a pro-segregation minister? Would you be part of a spiritual community that banned attendees of a different race? Would you attend a church that refused to allow inter-racial marriages?  I'm guessing that not only would you answer "no" to these questions, but that most of you have a hard time imagining that there was a time when the Bible was used to justify and support such notions. Thankfully, almost all Bible teaching today comes from a place o … [Read more...]

Five Elements of Church Error – The Unexpected Jesus (Part 1of 4)

Part 1: Were We Wrong About Jesus Being Wrong About Eschatology?Early in my journey to a fulfilled eschatology perspective, I had the question, “How could the mainstream church have been so wrong for so long about eschatology?” I asked the question this way, because I held to the presupposition that God wouldn’t let the faith I grew up in be in error about something as significant as the timing and nature of the coming of Jesus for “most” of history.I had the perspective that the majority … [Read more...]

Us or Them versus Us for Them

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...]


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