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

A Christmas Grinch – and a Christmas Hope.

Five days before Christmas, the City of Rochester, NY bulldozed all the belongings of residents in a homeless village and put their few earthly possessions in a giant dumpster. Take that Christmas. Bah-humbug. Homeless displaced again as City destroys tent city (in photos) Submitted by T. Forsyth on Sat, 2014-12-20 19:55 Today, December 20, 2014, the City of Rochester, NY destroyed Sanctuary Village. This was the last stop for people with no place to go. Tents, sleeping bags, tarps, and,… Read more

Why I’m Spiritual *and* Religious.

I’m Spiritual *and* Religious. I realize that saying this may be swimming against a current, but for me, they each inform and complement the other. Here’s an analogy. I enjoy playing my trumpet by myself and practice it as I have time. This is like my spirituality. It’s a personal way for me to express myself and to commune with God. And yet I also enjoy playing my trumpet with others in bands and orchestras. This is like religion (which… Read more

Rock of Ages 2.0 – poetic injustice.

things weren’t right in ferguson. i mean israel! i said things weren’t right in israel! …new york. instead of God’s chosen people blissfully basking in the warm sun of freedom, they couldn’t breathe because the air was thick with the heavy jack-boots of imperial oppression. instead of the hebrews building projects of their own design, her craftsmen and laborers were laboring under the thumbs of Roman task-masters who had them constructing temples to their pantheon of gods and housing for… Read more

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