About Mark Sandlin

Mark is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) from the South. He currently serves at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. 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." 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 sits on an island beach.

Following Jesus in the Age of Trump: Resistance as a Spiritual Practice

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” ― Napoléon Bonaparte“Religion is the opiate of the people.” ― Karl Marx Trump, at some point in his bid for Presidency, recognized the reality of those two statements. Then seemingly out of nowhere, never having been a particularly religious person himself, he “found God.”Don't get me wrong, I think Christianity is very important to Trump. Just read what he had to say … [Read more...]

On Living Wide Awake: A Prayer

Good and gracious God,Awaken us.May we see violence, oppression, hatred, hoarding, power, and privilege with eyes wide open.Even as we've make some progress, assuring more equality for some and enlivening a sense of righteous resistance against the abuse of power in others, we have continued to live in an all too routine awareness of the places in this world where people needlessly suffer and are abused.Aware, but not significantly motivated to risk our own … [Read more...]

10 Things Church Can Learn From Geeks

As the Church continues its slow and laborious downward-turned death spiral, geek culture continues to boom! After just a little thought, it’s not hard to see why.For the sake of transparency, I have a true confessions to make: This minister dabbles in geek culture. “Dabble” may be an understatement. It’s more like I bathe in the geeky goodness of the culture — much like Harry Potter’s face in a pensieve. While there’s plenty to denounce about geek culture (like sexism, just to name one), the … [Read more...]

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On the Limitations of Words – A Prayer

Good and gracious God,Sometimes our words get in the way.Sometimes we allow our words to be the full extent of our actions.We say that we love someone, but our actions can seem less than loving.We say that we would hate to see anyone go hungry, but we drive by people who have little to eat.We say we worship the Prince of Peace, but we back violence, and division in far too much of our lives.We say we want to help make this world a better place, but we … [Read more...]

A Christian Minister’s Rewrite of the RNC’s “Christian” Prayer

There's been a whole lot of discussion and (rightful) condemning of the opening statement and prayer from Pastor Mark Burns at the Republican National Convention.To be clear, I've played my part in the condemning.For reference, here is the opening statement and prayer:Of particular concern is that statement, "...our enemy is not other Republicans - but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.""It is particularly concerning that this is being presented as a Christian … [Read more...]

10 Cliches Christians Should Stop Saying

I think people who say these cliches are mostly trying to be kind, grateful, and even humble when they say some of them. But if we really do want to be kind, grateful, and humble we need to think about these sayings a little more – and then stop saying them.This is, by no means, a complete list. Nor is it in any particular order.But it is a pretty good place to start...10) Everything happens for a reason. Implied in this is a very specific understanding of how God interacts with the … [Read more...]

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Being More Loving [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,We sometimes struggle to love the way we should.We sometimes allow our relationships to become distorted, exploitative, even destructive.We gossip and slander, we belittle and bully – at times, we even find ourselves wanting vengeance.Remind us that these things, that way of being, points to a systemic problem.That way of being comes into our lives through systems of power, privilege, greed, and other measures of earthly … [Read more...]

10 Things You Can’t Vote For While Following Jesus

Being a “Christian” means “being a little Christ.” Put even more succinctly, it means “following Jesus.”Can you actually do things on this list and call yourself a Christian? Well, of course. Sadly, people do it all the time.Are you following Jesus when you vote for these things. Nope.1) Anti-LGBT lawsAsk yourself: “Who would Jesus discriminate against?”As you think about the answer, keep in mind that while the Pharisees encouraged discrimination against women, tax collector … [Read more...]

Favorite Bible Verses from the GOP “Leadership”

Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, except Transexuals.”Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself – but not your poor neighbor.”Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of the privileged and its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he … [Read more...]

May We Stop Creating God in Our Image [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,We love you.But, the you we love is the you we have created.We love discovering that you are much like us – after all we are created in your image, right?We love those moments when when a piece of scripture confirms the things we long suspected and gives us divine permission to hold on to biases, judgement and even damnation.Unexpected God, break into the “realities” we have created.Confirm within us the thing that our spiri … [Read more...]