It’s against my religion to believe the official report

“His disciples came by night and stole his body while we were asleep” (Matthew 28:13). That is the official report from the Roman soldiers tasked with guarding Jesus’ tomb about Jesus’ alleged resurrection. The claim of Jesus’ resurrection comes to us through unofficial eyewitnesses without any established credibility: filthy fishermen, former prostitutes.If first century Palestine had a modern news agency reporting on Jesus’ resurrection, they would say, “Roman soldiers report that executed … [Read more...]

This is what spiritual warfare looks like

"If anyone among you wants to be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me." There are so many bad interpretations of what Jesus means when he says that. But to the early church, it was clear. Taking up your cross meant refusing to offer sacrifices to Caesar and facing a death sentence as a result. The martyr Ignatius of Antioch would be horrified to learn that American Christians are excoriating a man for refusing to stand during what is blatantly the modern-day equivalent of … [Read more...]

The problem with the golden calf story

I noticed a problem in the Bible that I'd never noticed before in church last week. The sermon was about the story of the golden calf, which as everyone knows is the incredibly egregious sin the Israelites committed against God after he brought them out of Egypt. Because God told them in the second commandment that they were forbidden from worshiping any graven images of the divine. The Ten Commandments happen in Exodus 20. The golden calf happens in Exodus 32. Therefore the golden calf was a … [Read more...]

My seven salvations so far

There is nothing more anxiety-inducing about growing up Southern Baptist than the obsession with having a "sincere" salvation experience. You can't be saved by your works, but if you "ask Jesus into your heart" emphatically enough, then your life will change so drastically that it will be clear and obvious to everyone. Which means if your life doesn't change drastically, then you weren't really sincere when you asked Jesus the first time, so you need to try again. See, it's tricky. Because if … [Read more...]

We’re all a basket of deplorables

Basket of deplorables. What an odd phrase that Hillary Clinton chose to use. She was probably exhausted from fighting pneumonia. If there was ever any question about whether our entire nation is a basket of deplorables, it has been answered by the way we responded to an elderly woman getting sick and almost fainting after a ridiculous work schedule. Not an ounce of sympathy or genuine concern for her well-being. Just another excuse to attack her. Saying that we're a basket of deplorables … [Read more...]

An open letter with 12 honest questions for the Wesleyan Covenant Association

Dear Wesleyan Covenantal Association,First of all, I'm not afraid of you. I don't think you're being malicious and deceitful to gather with a group of like-minded Methodists to be inspired and synergized. I know that you see an analogy between what you're doing and the original Methodist movement which sought to revitalize the Church of England. I share your longing for a spiritually vital, theologically robust Wesleyan movement.In many ways, the WCA is where it makes sense for me to be. … [Read more...]

My four favorite parts of Science Mike’s new book

If for some reason you don't know "Science Mike" McHargue, he's someone you need to know, especially if you're nerdy and Christian at the same time. Science Mike hosts two awesome podcasts, Ask Science Mike and The Liturgists, which he co-hosts with Michael Gungor. His new book Finding God In the Waves is an incredible story about his journey from faith to atheism and back. It's one of the most encouraging and compelling spiritual memoirs I've read. And it's way more than a memoir. It's a … [Read more...]

A poem I wrote on September 12th, 2001

On September 12th, 2001, I was sitting with a bunch of anarchists in an illegally occupied apartment in Washington, DC, while military vehicles were humming in the streets around us. I really thought that we were going to get rounded up and thrown into jail. We had been planning a political protest for the October gathering of the World Bank. It had to be called off of course. September 11th completely killed the momentum of the anti-globalization movement at a moment when it was really starting … [Read more...]

Five things I would tell my suicidal 21-year old self

Since it's International Suicide Prevention Day, I wanted to share some reflections about my suicide attempt during my third year of college on December 11th, 1998. It made no sense. I was a student leader at UVA. I had a very loving family. I was pledging the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and meeting tons of new people. But I was desperately lonely. And I was caught in a panic attack over my final paper in my Religion and Drama class.I hadn't done any of my reading for that class that … [Read more...]

How about instead of buying your pastor a beer you stop driving us to drink?

It's International Buy Your Priest a Beer Day, and I'm feeling like the woman who recently needed to lash out against Instagram white woman wine culture. I used to love beer, the darker and stouter the better. I genuinely miss the taste of it, but it's also true that beer was part of my cool pastor image. I was the pastor you could get a beer with, and if you ever did, I would drop the f-bomb early on in our conversation to let you know that you were safe with me.But all the time I was doing … [Read more...]