About Mark Sandlin

Mark is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) from the South. He is a co-founder of The Christian Left. His blog, The God Article, was recently named as one of the “Top Ten Christian Blogs.” He also writes for "The Huffington Post" and "Sojourners." He’s married to an amazing Baptist minister and has two fabulous teenagers. More than anything (other than peace and justice), Mark wants to have a beverage in one hand and a book in the other as he and his wife look across the shores of Ocracoke, NC.

Sunday Morning Prayer — 10/19/2014

morning prayer

                          (A Prayer of Confession)Good and gracious God,We confess, as we attempt to follow the teaching of Jesus which encouraged us to love all people, that our lives are not as welcoming as they should be.We confess that we do wish to love everyone and we do try to love everyone but it's just a whole lot easier to love some people compared to others.We confess that the … [Read more...]

What the Church Needs Now

Copyright: pictureguy66 / 123RF Stock Photo

“I'm tired of hearing the Church is dying.” In the past 12 hours, I've heard that statement no less than half a dozen times.I'm sorry. I understand.But here's the thing: the Church is dying.(It's important to note that by colloquially saying, “The Church is dying,” folks are really just saying the Church is continuing to shrink and doesn't seem capable of recapturing its heydays of the previous century.)The thing is, just because we grow weary of reality, doesn't mean we shouldn … [Read more...]

Full of Sound and Fury Signifying Quite a Lot: Review of Fury

fury

Fury is a film that pits humanity against the machines of war. It's a film which intentionally wears its angst-riddled heart on its sleeve simply for the sake of capturing a glimpse of life. It willingly casts aside any interest in preaching to you for the opportunity to show you the underbelly of war. It blatantly thumbs its nose at the long history of how war movies are typically crafted in Hollywood for the chance to give us something new that might change the way we conceptualize war.It … [Read more...]

Why YOUR Vote Matters This November

Reich on the elections

This is one of the most important mid-term elections ever.The balance of the Senate hangs on each vote.Why does that matter?Because the Republicans have already made it clear what they will do if they control both the House and the Senate.A friend recently sent me a Robert Reich video that explains it very well. It's a short video and well worth the watch.  All of the things Reich talks about in the video will deeply impact those who are already s … [Read more...]

Stay Informed My Friends – A Cautionary Tale

stay informed my friends

Recently, a friend and I were at a local book and coffee shop talking about our faith. We both tend toward what I think of as having an "evolving faith." That is, one which is both willing to question the traditions of the Church and also to incorporate other perspectives.We talked about the value of various faiths, the importance of new information and a variety of other topics that aren't welcomed in as many churches as they should be.They are the kind of things that are ultimately … [Read more...]

Now That All Can Wed In North Carolina…

Copyright: skvoor / 123RF Stock Photo

I took a vow to sign no more wedding licenses “until all can wed” in the state where I'm a minister.That was three and a half years ago. The denomination that ordained me for ministry had just made it possible for LGBT folk to be ordained as ministers of Word and Sacrament of the Church.While I was elated about the ruling and how it took seriously the biblical reality that we are all created equally in God's image, the vote also had a surprising effect on me.It magnified for me how fa … [Read more...]

The Harry Potter Re-Write, “Christian” Style,” is Everything That’s Wrong With Christianity

Jim Carrey dressed as Harry Potter in the film "Yes Man"

Once upon a time, there was a segment of Christian believers who lived under the fear of everything and anything that wasn't exactly like them or what they had been taught to be true.One day, one of these folks, a lady and mom named Grace Anne whose user name was proud housewife, decided that her wee little ones were being deprived.You see, they wanted to read books – Harry Potter books – but Grace Anne was afraid because everyone knows that if you read Harry Potter books, you turn into a … [Read more...]

I’m the Bogeyman, That’s What I Am

Copyright: sorad / 123RF Stock Photo

Most folks tell me they think of me as a laid back, fun-loving, peace freak.I've always thought that was a reasonable assessment.As it turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.You see, I'm the Bogeyman.I know — it shocked me too!According to an article on theweek.com, conservative Christians have a new Bogeyman – and it's me!It gets worse: It's probably you too.In her new book, evangelical author Chelsen Vicari speaks of one of the largest threats to faith – the Chri … [Read more...]

The Tradition a Heretic Values

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This is the fifth post in a series called: “This Collar Is Too Tight: Heresies From a Southern Minister.” You can read the first post here. The short explanation of this series is this: the institutionalized Church spends a lot of time defining who’s in and who’s out. Biblically, I find that a lot of the “measures” used don’t hold up. I’m making the argument for a larger acceptance of theological diversity in the Christian Church.   “Are you serious? You're going to go against a few thousa … [Read more...]

Love is a Hell of a Thing

Copyright: frenta / 123RF Stock Photo

“Love” is a notoriously difficult emotion to define.The word sounds so simple, yet defies a simple definition.We throw it around like a Frisbee.“I love you.” “I love my kids.” “I love my spouse.” “I love a good Cab Sauv.” “I love Sunday football.”You know what I really love? Vanilla ice cream with crunched-up Reese’s Cups in it!When trying to define love, the problem we run into is this: the love I have for my kids, the love I have for my wife and the love I have for vanilla i … [Read more...]


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