Help us rebuild flooded homes in Louisiana!!!

In 2016, Louisiana was hit by two of the most devastating floods in our history. In March 2016, flash floods inundated western and northern Louisiana. In August, southeastern Louisiana got hit. Many homes that were destroyed did not have flood insurance since there had never been flooding where they were located. So many families lost everything. The Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church has been working hard to rebuild homes and provide support to the families who are suffering. … [Read more...]

Detoxify Christianity: A FB Live Video Series for Lent

If you don't think there's anything toxic about American Christianity, then you can stop reading now. For the past decade or so, many evangelical Christians like me have been trying to find our way out of toxic culture war. We are troubled by the way that the theology so many Christians use uncritically today has been appropriated for centuries to justify colonial conquest, genocide, and slavery. We do not recognize the religion of "law and order" and "God and country" to be authentic Ch … [Read more...]

My ashes are my promise to resist sin (Ezekiel 9:4)

It's no secret that the mainline church would prefer not to talk about sin. That's how the ashes we put on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday came to be about "mortality" instead of sin. So we spend the day "contemplating our mortality," whatever that means. But when the Hebrew prophets covered themselves in ashes and sackcloth, they weren't philosophizing about death. They were lamenting their sin and the sin of their society. Ezekiel 9:4 offers a different vision for what Ash Wednesday could s … [Read more...]

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due” (Proverbs 3:27)

This past weekend in worship, we had the opportunity to consider Proverbs 3:27. In the NRSV and NIV translations of the Bible, it says, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due." But in the New Living Translation, it says, "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it." This difference in translation seemed like a powerful enough metaphor to merit a blog post.The Hebrew word that is getting translated is ba'al which means "owner, husband, or lord" according to my lexicon. So it's … [Read more...]

Jesus didn’t get crucified for writing a strongly worded letter to the Sanhedrin

Mark Van Steenwyk had an interesting proposal in a recent Sojourners article: taking disruptive direct action to white nationalist churches during their worship services over Lent. I've contemplated this idea. I don't think I would ever do it personally because I would lose my job very quickly that way. But I'm haunted by the reality of what Jesus modeled for us. The primary way that Jesus got the religious leaders mad enough to crucify him was by disrupting their sacred worship space. He tells … [Read more...]

When will political incorrectness stop being a family value?

Milo Yiannopoulos is the poster boy of the alt-right movement. His entire platform is based upon antagonizing political correctness, which has made him a sought-after speaker for College Republican chapters throughout the country. Since Milo's speaking events have drawn protests on liberal campuses, the Conservative Political Action Committee decided to make him a keynote at their annual gathering this week. That is, until footage emerged of him making comments in support of pedophilia. In other … [Read more...]

Is the Eucharist more powerful than an executive order?

On a recent podcast episode with Scot McKnight and Kenneth Tanner, Kenneth made the comment that the Eucharist is more powerful than any of Donald Trump's executive orders. I want to live in a world where that's true. I'm just not sure it is. Or rather I'm trying to understand why the church is undergoing such a massive failure to produce a grateful, merciful humanity, which is what we ought to become when our lives are ordered around the Eucharist.One of the most beautiful books I've ever … [Read more...]

The visa that would fix our immigration system

Fifteen years ago, I worked for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), a mostly Latino immigrant labor union. We were part of a coalition of immigrant rights organizations that developed an immigration reform proposal in consultation with Congressman Luis Gutierrez called the DREAM Act which had a goal of normalizing the immigration status of the undocumented immigrants living in the US as well as creating a sustainable system for the future. It's never been passed, but it's the basis for … [Read more...]

The revolution will not be built on white shame

When I first entered the world of white radicalism in the early 2000's, I noticed something that was fascinating to me. The posturing was almost identical to the world of white evangelicalism I had left behind. People who called themselves the greatest of sinners were as ruthlessly critical of other white people as evangelicals were of non-Christians. In both communities, self-flagellation was the currency by which we legitimized ourselves. In both communities, we were always one inappropriate … [Read more...]

The spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)

On Tuesday, the daily office lectionary included this verse from 2 Timothy 1:7: "God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline." As I contemplated this verse, my mind immediately went to this photo of Ieshia Evans, a devout Christian nurse who was arrested at a protest in Baton Rouge this July after one of the recent police shootings of unarmed black men. I have rarely seen a picture that captured such a perfect contrast between the worldly … [Read more...]