Why You Ought to Leave the Church (John 4:5-42)

By Matthew L. SkinnerRecently, a large wealthy church decided to break up with my denomination. I’m not 100 percent sure I know why. But the no-regrets explanation they wrote implied that religious differences between us were too severe for them to stay committed to our relationship.Religion has a way of making people do extraordinary things to create peace and unity. It also, as we know well, has a destructive capacity to turn people against one another. It can make us grip our c … [Read more...]

Dare to Sit With Suffering (Genesis 12:1-4)

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By Melissa BrowningPeople weigh in on the morality of aiding refugees and others suffering from natural and man-made crises.Abram left his homeland on a promise and a prayer. God called. Abram went. The Biblical text makes it seem so simple. There are no signs of struggle or doubt. There is no grief over what is left behind, only the forward look toward a new land and a new future. Leaving home for Abram seems so easy.As I reflect on this week’s scripture, I’m in Lebanon lis … [Read more...]

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By Greg CareyThe legacy of Eve continues to permeate images of women in our society.What was that Eve all about?We could let the advertising industry tell us. Katie B. Edwards’ recent book, Admen and Eve, uncovers (that was a pun) several diverse, even contradictory uses Eve serves. Obviously, the Eve story provides a free opportunity to depict naked or nearly naked models coupled in kinky ways with men—and with snakes. Eve, the temptress, overwhelms our resistance with “fo … [Read more...]

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/onscripture/2014/03/2202/

God Beyond All Relationships and Agendas: Exodus 24:12-18

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By Walter BrueggemannExodus 19-24 enacts an agreement of mutual fidelity between YHWH and Israel. That covenant consists in two major parts: YHWH’s commands set the requirement of covenant in the form of the Ten Commandments (20:1-17), and Israel pledges allegiance to the covenant through obedience to YHWH’s commandments (24:3, 7). This enactment creates a relationship in which the defining dynamic is one of “command-obey,” with the understanding that Israel’s obedience will result in abundan … [Read more...]

How to Be Perfect (Matthew 5:38-48)

By Eric D. BarretoThere's more to this year's Olympics than sports.“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Seriously, Jesus? Have you even met some of us? Have you seen the depths of our jealousies, the breadth of our greed? Have you noticed how insatiable our egos are? How deeply insecure we all are?Perfect?You cannot mean what you seem to mean.What then do we do with this seemingly impossible call? For many of us, this is one of those … [Read more...]

A New Way of Being “Pro-Choice”

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By Rev. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Ph.D.Ella Baker chose her own path to effecting positive change. “I knew from the beginning that as a woman, an older woman, in a group of ministers who are accustomed to having women largely as supporters, there was no place for me to come into a leadership role. The competition wasn’t worth it.” These are the words Ella Baker spoke regarding her decision to leave the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCLC, in 1958. Baker was one of the core … [Read more...]


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