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.” Mark received The Associated Church Press' Award of Excellence in 2012. His work has been published on "The Huffington Post," "Sojourners," "Time," "World Church Services," and even the "Richard Dawkins Foundation." He's been featured on PBS's "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly" and NPR's "The Story with Dick Gordon." 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.

We Must Not Forget — War is Hell

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For a very long time, I've been a closeted disliker of Memorial Day. The glorification of war that tends to go long with it, makes me sick to my bones. There are a myriad of us that feel this way, but we seldom feel like we can express it because our patriotism is always questioned. So, you may not realize we are out here.Today, however, I'm flipping the script.Today, I'm coming out as a anti-war monger who will honor Memorial Day.Not with a celebration and cook-out, but, instead, I … [Read more...]

Being an Advocate

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In honor of my wife's 13th anniversary of ordination, I thought I'd share my favorite Pentecost sermon. It's about being an advocate, something that Jeanette does so incredibly well.A quick note: this was written to be heard, not necessarily read.Based on John 14:15-21.In today scripture reading, Jesus tells us a few things. In preparing this message, I became particularly interested in three things Jesus says: 1) "I will not leave you.” 2) "I will send you an Advocate." 3) "Keep my … [Read more...]

5 Ways the Duggar’s Scandal Is Everything That’s Wrong With the U.S.

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If you spend any time at all on social media (and if you are reading this, you probably do), you've been bombarded with stories about Josh Duggar, one of the “stars” of the popular reality television show 19 Kids and Counting, having sexually assaulted and abused his younger sisters.Everything about this scandal bothers me. From the abuse to the way that his parents handled it to the way the press has portrayed it, it stinks like month-old trash. In many ways, it's a lens to many of the thi … [Read more...]

The Church Has a Bigger Problem Than Hypocrisy

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The much ballyhooed report from Pew Research shows an ever shrinking population of Americans who identify themselves as Christian; and, this has a lot of people (Christian and atheist alike) shining a spotlight on those leaving the Church and touting just how “not Christian” they are.Many who continue to identify as Christian are suggesting those leaving the Church were never very good Christians anyway, while atheists are trying to show there is a momentum of growth amongst non-believers. … [Read more...]

Letter to a Dying Church

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With the latest Pew Research report, we've seen lots of bloggers either wringing their hands over it or trying to prove it doesn't signal the end of the Church. I think it is clearly a sign of a dying Church – and I think that's a good thing.To the Dying Church,I hardly know what to say. Watching someone you love, who helped raise you, who cared for you when you weren't well, who partially defined who you would be, slowly perish before your eyes is difficult to say the least.I love y … [Read more...]

Christianity Needs a Sexual Reboot

feet in bed with words

It's weird. We Christians believe that, in one way or another, God created everything. We even believe that God called all this created stuff “good,” going as far as saying the stuff about humanity was “exceedingly good.”Which means God created sex and called it exceedingly good. (I am definitely on “Team God” on that one).Yet the Church has a long drawn out history of insisting that sex is exceedingly bad. (That just seems like such a hard sell to me. Yet, the Church has managed to do it … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Day Prayer for Those Without a Mother

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Good and gracious God,You know our hearts and you know that today some of our hearts ache.As others rightfully celebrate the joy and love of the mothers in their lives, this day, for some of us, is a somber reminder of the absence in our lives.For some of us, if we buy flowers today, it will only be in order to place them by a graveside.For some of us, if we buy a card today, it will only be in hopes of knowing our mothers one day.For some of us, if we buy … [Read more...]

The REAL Divide in America That Too Few People Acknowledge

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Corporate coffers are stuffed full. Their piggy banks runneth over.Since the mid-70s all real income growth has happened for the 10% of earners: top managers, owners and CEOs.But, strangely, businesses continue to lay off workers. And, they demand more work from those 'lucky' enough to keep their jobs (even though US workers already work more and get less time off than the workers of all the other industrialized nations).Us – the workers? We complain.We post our anger and d … [Read more...]

Getting at the Root of Poverty

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My wife and I have a wonderful garden in our side yard and a number of flower beds around the house. They are beautiful. We have to work diligently if we want to keep them that way.You see, like most gardeners, we have this little problem.Every time we turn around there are weeds trying to edge out our flowers and veggies.Now, we could just grab them and pull up what will come up and pretty quickly the beds would look beautiful again, but what we leave behind, the root, would … [Read more...]

The United States Needs a New Pair of Glasses

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It was 1990 and I was taking my first graduate level classes. Having grown up as a Southern Baptist, I was in my customary back row seat. Out of nowhere my right eye started twitching and it wouldn't stop. It wasn't long before it was driving me mad. It wasn't only slightly physically uncomfortable, but it became socially uncomfortable, too.Trust me, you don't want complete strangers thinking you’re constantly winking at them, particularly in public bathrooms. Awkward.After a few days o … [Read more...]