Pentecost is the Day the Church Came Out!

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Today is Pentecost Sunday – it’s the Birthday of the Christian Church! For those who may not be familiar with it, Pentecost is derived from a Jewish holiday (Shavuot) that is celebrated 50 days after Passover.  According to the Book of Acts (chapter 2) on the day of Pentecost that took place 50 days after Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus’ followers (only about 120 at the time) were all gathered in a large upper room of a dwelling in Jerusalem.  The room was locked because they were afraid of being pers … [Read more...]

Cookies of Love: a Progressive Pastor’s Encounter with Fred Phelps

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Brother Fred - is dead. When someone passes it is right and well to remember them. The following is a recounting of an encounter I had with the late, spreader of homophobic hate - Fred Phelps -- at his worst, and perhaps at his best. During my last semester of grad school I was involved in monitoring the proceedings at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (effectively, the “Congress” of the denomination that meets every four years to adopt and revise policies & regulations) … [Read more...]

Mardi Gras, Sodomy, & Us: the sodomites among us – tend to be us.

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I see sodomite people.Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday. The day before Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent. A time for living with passion, vim and vigor, and for zealously sucking the marrow out of life. It’s also a time when some folks feel a need to wag their fingers. I’m feeling moved to wag a finger of my own – at those who tend to do the finger wagging. The following article is one of my favorites that I’ve ever come across. I found it 8 or 9 years ago in The Wittenb … [Read more...]

Have a Just Valentine’s Day

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It’s the time of the year when lover-dovers show their love and affection for their snookums by buying sweets and gifts of beauty. Chocolate and flowers are the top sellers (if anyone is crushing on me, I prefer dark chocolate and Gerbera daisies – just sayin’).As a Christian blogger, you might expect me to take this time to remind us that it’s actually called St. Valentine’s Day, and that it’s an official feast day in the Roman Catholic Church, and then go on to remind us about the brave pri … [Read more...]

16 Ways Progressive Christians Interpret the Bible

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I've long stated that Atheists and fundamentalists each tend to read the Bible in the same wooden, overly literalistic manner. The difference is that atheists reject what they read in that manner, while fundamentalists believe it. There's a lot of truth to that - enough that it tends to piss off members of both of those groups off when they come across what I said.However, I've also said that All Christians pick and choose which portions of the they interpret Bible literally, progressive … [Read more...]

What’s Eating Michelle Shocked? A Pastoral Letter to a Sister in Christ

Dear Sister Michelle,I’m a Christian pastor who is a long time fan of your music and have seen you perform live twice. The first time was in Washington, D.C. when you were touring with Billy Bragg in 1988 and the most recent time was at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina two years ago.I don’t think you identified as a Christian in 1988 but many of your early songs suggested to me that I should view you as a fellow follower of the inclusive ways of Jesus. Your music has been very em … [Read more...]


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