Jesus Responds to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

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(Based on and adapted from Matthew 25:34-45, The Message)Then Jesus will say to those on the left, "Enter, you who are blessed by God. Receive what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was hungry, thirsty, homeless and shivering because I was a refugee and you welcomed me … [Read more...]

A Prayer on Peace

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Good and gracious God,Life itself is a struggle between peace and violence.In the wild violence gives life to some even as it takes it from others.In relationships violence shatters hopes, destroying both people in different ways.Inside ourselves violence wreaks havoc as we tear ourselves down in judgement, low self-esteem, self-doubt, and pity.Yet, in each of us, it would seem there is a seed of peace. It calls out not only to be recognized, but to be … [Read more...]

Progressive Christianity is Not an Oxymoron

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They said I was... a radical. a liberal. anti-American. a tree hugger. a peacenik. a socialist. a progressive. But I was just following Jesus.Contrary to what some may tell you, progressive Christianity is not an oxymoron. We have a long tradition of progressive ancestors going all the way back to Jesus – yes, Jesus was progressive, not actually Christian, but he did start the whole movement.History is important. It informs us, inspires us and it can even comfort us. I … [Read more...]

A Prayer on Letting Go of “Magical” Prayer

Good and gracious God,Not my will, but thy will.Letting go  of prayer that is somehow magical can be a very difficult thing to do.To have the power to change your will, to change you, is appealing  in a most human way.We confess  that our understanding of prayer is slippery and seldom certain.We know what we want it to be, most of the time, but it is so difficult  to grasp it's true potential: not to change you and not specifically to change the world but to … [Read more...]

By Her Own Standards Bristol Palin is Worse Than a Slave Owner – Here’s Why

By many people’s measure, Sarah Palin spawned the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson in the GOP. It's so terribly fitting then (and I do mean terribly) that Sarah's daughter, Bristol, has not only taken up one of Ben Carson's more ridiculous blatherings, but has taken it to the next level.In a recent article post for Patheos, Bristol writes that not only is Carson correct in saying people who have abortions are like slave owners, they are actually worse!Bristol's argument goes like t … [Read more...]

A Minister’s Letter to a Small God

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To a Too Small God,I don't really know how to say this. Honestly, if you were a bigger god this would be so much easier. If you were bigger, you could take the questions and I wouldn't be so worried about hurting you.Look, I've been trying to make this "us" thing work for awhile now, but it just feels so increasingly and shamefully dishonest that I can't take it anymore.This is it. You are just too small of a god. We're finished.I've known it for awhile, but it all came … [Read more...]

How To Respond to Other Christians Who Quote “I am THE Way”

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One of my personal mantras is “One God. Many paths.”I’ve been surprised by the number of fellow Christians who not only disagree with me, but who are offended that a Christian (let alone a minister) might “legitimize” other religions.I recently had this very discussion with a conservative Christian friend at our neighborhood bar. Yep, you read that correctly, conservative Christian at a bar.His response to the idea that God may love and include people from other religions? “I am the … [Read more...]

Saving God: The Liberation of an Institutionalized God

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The Church is in the midst of a powerful, unparalleled transformation.Many, including myself, have deemed it the death of the Church. And, while it is true that the Church is on a voyage that will leave behind what it once was, the idea of a “dying” church is incomplete. Incomplete in the reality that one of the most defining stories in Christianity is all about death not being an ending, but, rather, being a new beginning.Not surprisingly, in the midst of this metamorphosis, the Church … [Read more...]

A Prayer of Remembrance on 9/11

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Good and gracious God,Today we come before you with heavy hearts as we remember the events of 9/11.For some of us today is a mixed bag of emotions.We hurt deeply for those who lost their lives and those who lost their loved ones.We mourn the nearly 3000 who died that day.We are humbled by the bravery of the first responders.We continue to grieve with our neighbors in the loss of our national innocence - our false sense of constant safety.As we think of the … [Read more...]

Progressive Christian Minister Says #IwasKimDavis

Photo: Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Do you know Kim Davis (the County Clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue same sex marriage licenses)?I do.I grew up in a small town in the South next door to folks like Kim.They taught in my schools, served lunch, ran local businesses, worked cash registers, served as police and any number of other positions with a public profile.The Kim Davises of this world played a undeniable role in my life during my formative years.It makes me all the more conflicted when I see people … [Read more...]