Can detachment from others serve life?

Calls for empathy and compassion toward oppressors and abusers are popular in American Christianity. I think this is true of a variety of branches of Christianity, although more conservative branches may express this empathy differently from more liberal branches. Not really surprising--after all, Jesus told us to love our enemies. Jesus said "Father, forgive them." Jesus was always being moved with compassion.Empathy and compassion can be great things. But after leaving fundamentalism, I … [Read more...]

Proverbs of Ashes and suffering to save our oppressors

I'm currently reading through Proverbs of Ashes by Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker. In the chapter I'm reading, Parker shares some thoughts about several different theologies of suffering and what these theologies say to and about survivors of abuse.One of the theologies Parker addresses is the "moral influence" theology of suffering (pg. 41). This theology states that by accepting violence, as Christ did on the cross, we can appeal to the conscious of our oppressors and change t … [Read more...]

#PlanetCCM: Five Iron Frenzy, the Soundtrack to My Deconversion (and Reconversion)

Photo by me!

Content Note: Discussion of suicide and depressionMy husband (fiancé at the time) went to a Five Iron Frenzy show last year, shortly after the band reunited and started touring again. When we walked out of the concert venue, we both started to say something at the same time, then stopped, and laughed."You first," I said."No you.""Alright. I was just thinking that Five Iron Frenzy kind of makes me believe in God again. Maybe being a Christian doesn't have to be horrible. What were … [Read more...]

Embodied Faith is a Faith I Can Live With

Image via Suzannah Paul

Today, I'm guest posting at Suzannah Paul's blog on the topic of Embodied Faith. This is a really important topic to me--the idea that my faith matters to my body and to the experiences I have in my body has been so healing and freeing for me. So, I hope you'll check out my post and the other posts in Suzannah's series on Embodied Faith!Here's a quick preview: What theological insight can I gain from my body and from my bodily experiences?In my depression, I can meet with the suffering … [Read more...]

I write from my wounds and they don’t hear Jesus

Today I saw a tweet by a liberal (?), progressive (?), doesn't-think-gay-people-should-have-sex-but-probably-changed-their-FB-profile-picture-to-the-HRC-logo-a-few-months-ago (yeah, that's it) Christian blogger I once read and appreciated. It said, If you only write from your wounds from an abstract “Church” and you no longer root yourself to a body of believers, I don’t hear Jesus. I can't help but think that many of the liberalish evangelical or post-evangelical bloggers I once followed and l … [Read more...]

If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar is not.

Last night at church, my pastor talked about the phrase "Jesus is Lord," and what that phrase means. After church, a fellow church goer was wanting to start a conversation about what "Jesus is Lord" means to different people and asked if I would write a blog post on the subject.My relationship with the idea that "Jesus is Lord" is complicated in a couple of ways. First of all, as someone who identifies as both a Unitarian Universalist and a Christian, I am wary of the exclusive mindset such … [Read more...]

Maybe God is a “bitch”

In the months following my decision to leave fundamentalism for good, I began to shy away from the idea of God as a God of wrath. No, how could God be wrathful? God is love. God isn't angry at us. God loves us.Maybe I was wrong.The wrath of God in fundamentalism is often used to talk about God sending little children to hell for taking a cookie out of the cookie jar. It's often used to talk about how God was so furious with us disgusting human beings that God had to use his own son, Jes … [Read more...]

Yup, the REAL problem with the church is Millennials saying “YOLO”

Image by David Hayward. Click for a link to his blog which has many more awesome cartoons.

I'm going to start out by saying that I actually go to a church, and I actually enjoy it very much. This church does all kinds of social justice work in their community. It's filled with kick ass people, and the sermons actually teach me something (which I never got in the "just read the Bible! Only liberals need theology. All you need to know is that you're going to hell unless you say this little prayer" brand of Christianity). They put up with me even though I'm definitely not a United … [Read more...]

From the archives: A Church “Building Project” that Made a Difference

This post was originally published on December 7, 2012Many churches get super excited about building projects. These projects are supposed to represent big changes to the church, new ideas, progress, and relevance.Even the fundamentalist churches I've attended got excited about building projects, though these usually involved new gymnasiums where we could play the A.W.A.N.A "run around the circle and then go in for the beanbag" games rather than stadium seats or new stages for the … [Read more...]

Learning the Words: Justice

The blog Defeating the Dragons (by fellow ex-fundamentalist, Samantha) is running a series of guest posts on "the words many of us didn’t have in fundamentalism or overly conservative evangelicalism– and how we got them back." Today, I'm participating in that series, talking about the word "justice." How fundamentalists view the word "justice" and how feminist and liberation theologians view the word "justice" are two VERY different things: The justice of God, to fundamentalists, has absolutely … [Read more...]


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