The Real War on Marriage

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I know, I know. I just wrote a piece on marriage. However—it got heavy traffic, which tells me that marriage is on many people’s minds, a lot of the time. And it’s on mine again today. So, here you go. I may be the only person you know who flips the car radio back and forth between Christian radio and NPR. And that’s a post for another day, but meantime; I was on said Christian radio station today, and heard a woman say a thing about the ‘attack on marriage’ in our country. And I … [Read more...]

A Bully is a Bully

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Today millions of people are wearing (or facebook posting) purple, in support of GLAAD'S "Stand up Against Bullying" effort. More and more folks are getting on the ‘stand up to meanies’ of band wagons these days. Since the evolution of the Trevor Project, more non-profits, celebrities, schools and entire communities are committed to this same message: stop being mean, meanies. And, if you are NOT a meanie, learn how to, you know, say stop. Thing is, gone are the days of a bully = big … [Read more...]

The Missing Flag

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So, I know this guy, and he's pretty amazing. I wish I could give you a long bio and a pic to go with this wonderful post, but he isn't ready to be quite so 'out' yet, and I respect that. Here's all you need to know: he is exceptionally bright, faithful, and compassionate. And he is 19 years old. Read on. With a tissue probably. This week, three million young people gathered  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to celebrate their faith with the most visible representative of that faith, the Pope. … [Read more...]

Freedom Within, Freedom Without

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As is so often the case... I was late to the party. The virtual wake for Will D. Campbell, that is. When he passed away earlier this week, my newsfeed filled up quickly with articles about his life and work. As a general rule, if I see something go by more than 5 times, I take a minute to read it. After all, if so many people are thinking/talking about something...there's a good chance it needs to go into my sermon notes for the week. So I started reading up on the late … [Read more...]

Head and Heart

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When a church is dying, The Body wants to know why. When people are leaving (or just not coming), when no new programs emerge, when there's no money for outreach, and no passion for mission, we start asking questions: what are we doing wrong? what are we just plain not doing? It's a sad conversation, with fatigue and frustration involved. The physical weight of the unknown and unknowable...it sits heavy on the congregational heart, and smothers everything. Even--maybe especially--the spirit … [Read more...]

The Trouble With Your “Lifestyle”

I'm going to say a thing. Stop me if you've heard it: "Just because I don't accept someone's lifestyle, doesn't mean that I hate them!" I've heard it before. So have you. If nowhere else, you've seen it (blowing up your newsfeed) on a meme quoting Rick Warren. But more broadly, you’ve heard it in conversations with people who do not support equal marriage rights. Maybe you’ve even said it, written it, or thought it yourself. This line of discourse is the new ‘love the sinner/hate the … [Read more...]

The Risk of Relationship

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A follow-up to yesterday's discussion re: "Moral Compromise."  We are talking about the beginnings of transformation. The sharing of real stories, real relationships; engaging open discourse and genuine interest in those we mark as 'other.'  Time and again we find that once an 'opinion' or an 'issue' becomes about a real live person, everything changes. That truth goes both ways. Always. There is still a long way to go down the road to equality and inclusion of LGBT folks, in all … [Read more...]

If You’re Still Saying “Lifestyle,” We’ve Still Got a Problem…

I'm going to say a thing. Stop me if you've heard it: "Just because I don't accept someone's lifestyle, doesn't mean that i hate them!" I've heard it before. So have you. Most recently, as a direct quote from Rick Warren. But more broadly, coming from folks in conservative settings all over the place.  And chances are, if you've heard some version of this line, the conversation was about gay people. Everywhere you look these days, churches, pastors and fundamental Christians are getting more … [Read more...]

Confession: Progressive Christians Love the Bible, Too

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It occurs to me that I should never be famous. Not that i was ever in much danger of that...i'm just thinking that i should avoid it at all costs now, because I am still experiencing 'feedback fatigue' from the discussion about amendment 1 the other day. I usually get a handful of readers, mostly church folks and my mom (who told me that i should sometimes count her twice, because she comes back to read it again). To give you a little perspective on the kind of traffic I got this week--i've been … [Read more...]

Yes, AND: The Gospel of Tina Fey for Congregational Transformation

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It's been about 6 months now since Foothills adopted an "Open and Affirming" mission.  As we close in on Easter, I'm reflecting on how it's changed us, and also, the truths of transformation that we learned along the way.  As ever, Tina Fey preaches it better than me. According to the gospel of Tina Fey, “the fun is always on the other side of a ‘yes.’ In her memoir, “Bossypants,” she expounds on the rules of improvisation. Call me a church nerd, but her rules of improv sound … [Read more...]