Watch! Enjoy! I’ve been singing this all day!

Here is a video composed and sung by my nephew Ranald Macaulay's children. They live in the UK where he teaches and his wife is a musician. Their son Simeon came up with the first part to this song while driving in their car. Noah their other son, then made up the following verses in bed while going to sleep. Dorry (their very talented musical mother) then put it all together and made a video. Enjoy! I've been singing this all day!Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book --WHY I AM AN A … [Read more...]

Put it this way: church may be a son-of-a-bitch, but it’s my son-of-a-bitch!

Some of my secular (or lapsed ex-religious) friends don’t get why I “still” go to church. When they say, “Frank, God’s only in your head!” my answer is, “Yeah, whatever. What isn’t?”Or as the poet Yehuda Amichai writes in Gods Come and Go, Prayers Remain Forever:I say with perfect faiththat prayers precede God.Prayers created God.God created man,And man creates prayersthat create God who creates man.My question isn’t, “Did I create God who creates me?” but, “Do I n … [Read more...]

Does church help you to become the sort of person you’d pick to be stuck on a desert island with?

When I first joined the Greek Orthodox Church in 1990 I argued the finer points of theology and church history with my long-suffering evangelical mother and sisters. (Dad was spared, having died in 1984.) I argued as if any church I happened to join was ipso-facto the gatekeeper to heaven. I argued in a way that implied that a human could find THE TRUTH and judge others by it. I argued in a way that denied that our brains process what we hear and see and touch and, therefore, all information is … [Read more...]

Ironically this authentic vibrant refuge was across the street from the hate factory “church” Mars Hill Church

Last night I sang children’s songs with a group of children and adults with Intellectual disability with significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits. In other words: I was in a real church helping outcasts. Ironically this authentic vibrant refuge was across the street from the hate factory “church” Mars Hill Church, that until recently was led by Mark Driscoll.We were gathered at the Open Gathering Church. Some of us were in wheelchairs and electric carts. The service reminded me o … [Read more...]

The future of the meta-universe Church is not going to be about more or less entertainment, rock bands or cool hip young leaders but about openly embracing doubt

What’s needed to save the dwindling Church is a new paradigm: the embrace of atheism as the true religion and religion as the true atheism. Like box stores, the trend in churches is a few get huge while the rest slowly fade away. Progressive Christians and fundamentalists seem to agree when they look for causes of church attendance decline. They parse the details of how church is “done” related to both theology and method. To rock out or not? To affirm a literal gospel, or not?These quest … [Read more...]

Love Through the Eyes of Christ — Easter

 I was shuffling forward in the communion line, with my five year old granddaughter Lucy in my arms. I was lost in gloomy thoughts, brooding on my past and on my doubts, failures, and my past meanness to my wife Genie (we've been married 44 years) when I was young, stupid and so woefully controlling as a teen "father." I was feeling that going to church was a waste of time. I was feeling unworthy in every sense of the word and sinking into a gray depression.Lucy is always in and out … [Read more...]

I Ended Up in the Greek Orthodox Church and Found I Was Just as Dumb as Before

(Tulips, Wind & Sun Oil on canvas 24 x 24 by Frank Schaeffer)In 1990 I joined the Greek Orthodox Church because, in the words of Umberto Eco, I aspired “to the construction of narratives capable of providing [me] with an explanation and a model, an exemplary image.” At first I missed the point of my escape from my evangelical past almost altogether. I argued the finer points of theology and church history with my long-suffering evangelical mother and sisters. (Dad was spared. He’d died … [Read more...]

My Answer to the Patheos Lenten Question of the Week: Forgive!

In our small local Greek Orthodox church my wife Genie and I both like the Lenten Service of Forgiveness. It ends with each person in our parish walking to the front of the sanctuary, kissing the icon of Jesus, then bowing in front of our priest.“Forgive me,” we say.“I forgive you,” answers our priest, as does each member of the congregation.We embrace and then together we say: “God forgives us both.”After that exchange my each person takes his or her place next to the priest in a … [Read more...]


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