“I’m no longer a Protestant. Sort of.”

The following is a blog written by a first time guest contributor to The Holy Kiss. Part of my advocating for progressive Christianity is seeking to amplify the voice of young progressive Christians. Simone Ramacci is a young Italian Christian who is currently studying at a university in England. I hope you find his ponderings as insightful as I do. – Roger  ======= Today I did something I never expected I would: I went into a church and asked for… Read more

Why they killed Jesus.

The Romans didn’t kill Jesus because he performed miracles or healed people on any day of the week. He wasn’t killed because he taught (or criticized) spiritual truths or religious practices. They executed him because of his subversive politics and his perceived threat to the stability of the Palestinian region of the Roman empire. They killed him for his work in organizing a labor movement of disgruntled Galilean fishermen who were sick and tired of being oppressed by unjust Roman… Read more

Let’s change the Lord’s Prayer. (again)

 Let’s face it, the world has changed. That is, our understanding of it has changed – and how we perceive things – is reality for humans. For the first few centuries of Christianity, people believed in a cosmology that had a 3-tiered universe; i.e., one where Heaven was (literally) above us. Earth is where we dwell now. And below us, for unfortunate souls, a (literal) Hell. That view no longer makes sense to most people in the 21st century. We… Read more

Jesus is/isn’t the only way. – “They can’t all be true” – except when they are.

As a progressive Christian pastor and author I frequently receive critical pushback from conservative and fundamentalist Christians who adamantly declare that the only way to experience salvation is by giving intellectual assent to certain specific truth claims about the life of Jesus. Scratch that, they don’t generally care about his life, their focus is primarily upon Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Their message boils down to “Unless you believe that Jesus died for your sins and that he physically rose… Read more

Maundy Thursday, Footwashing, & Porn.

The title may’ve grabbed your attention. Unless you’ve got a foot fetish, it’s probably because of the third thing mentioned in it. Let’s face it, Maundy Thursday is the least known about, most intimate, and least attended, of the Christian holy days. The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and then wraps up with “holy week” – which is comprised of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the great culmination of the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection known as Easter. Most people… Read more

To Hell with Hell.

Hell isn’t Christian – or Jewish. It’s pagan. The modern English word Hell is derived from Old English hel, helle (about 725 AD to refer to a nether world of the dead) reaching into the Anglo-Saxon pagan period, and ultimately from Proto-Germanic *halja, meaning “one who covers up or hides something”.[2] The word has cognates in related Germanic languages such as Old Frisian helle, hille, Old Saxon hellja, Middle Dutch helle (modern Dutch hel), Old High German helle (Modern German… Read more

Muslims for Lent? – True story.

Holy inter-faith solidarity Batman! Mullah Liam ad-Deen is responding to the massive number of Christians around the world who are being persecuted by renegade Islamist radicals by calling Muslims to show solidarity with Christians by fasting during the 40 days of the Christian season of Lent. It’s also an invitation for Muslims to show gratitude for how many Christians have been extending olive branches to them – and defending them. The organization Muslims for Progressive Values  has been promoting his… Read more

When Atheists Kill – (or when our assumptions go wild).

  This may be an inconvenient truth in certain quarters, but Christians and Muslims don’t have a monopoly on waging war or killing people for ideological reasons. Indeed, the two worst genocides in human history were waged by atheists – Stalin and Mao. A horrible triple murder that took place last night in North Carolina may prove to be the latest instance of a militant atheist killing – at least in part- due to his prominently declared ideology. “A call… Read more

Christianity in Crisis: from fear to faith

Christianity! A 2,000 year old tree that’s mature, big, & mighty. With over 3 billion members & 40,000 denominations, it’s connected throngs of people to God & Jesus. Our tree is rooted to the earth & reaches us to the heavens. What a great & glorious gift to the world! Video of this “7-21” talk at the Christianity 21 Conference held in Phoenix, AZ this week. Yet rumor has it, we’re dying. Apparently, Christianity’s hey day is over in the… Read more

The Holy “Huh!”

I used to be more easily triggered by things, more reactive, and generally more anxious and frustrated. Things have been shifting for me though. I’m now more unflappable, more intentionally active on my own terms, and generally more calm and reasonably content. One of the practices that has helped is to name, own, and state my feelings. Another practice is centering prayer which has me setting aside time regularly to just “sit and be” with God in silence. It’s quality… Read more

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