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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Reading the Bible Like Conservatives Read the Qur’an

There's an unfortunately popular meme going around conservative social media depicting some horrific doctrines of “radical Islam and ISIS.”In at least one case, from the Conservative Post, the meme’s accompanied by a message suggesting all American Muslims should have to deny the doctrine listed or “leave our country” [my emphasis].The list includes things like: enslaving for sex, approval of beating slaves, and killing non-Muslims.This is an example of a hermeneutic (which is a fa … [Read more...]

How the “I’m Special” Confirmation Bias Ruins the Bible

The bumper sticker that jokingly says, “God loves us all, but I'm His favorite,” points to a much bigger problem that absolutely ruins much of what we read, (or, more precisely, interpret) from the Bible.Everybody wants to be loved. It's human nature to want to know that you matter to others. We all want to know that we are “special” to someone.One of the strengths of the Christian faith (among other faiths) is the confirmation that God loves you – that you are special.It is also one … [Read more...]

The President #Wins With Actual Traditional Values… From The Christian Left

For far too long, we've been hearing political pundits who lean right and the talking heads on Fox News throwing the words “traditional values” around like a frisbee.To quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”When right-leaning thinkers say “traditional values” it's code language for “the things we want in the United States.” If you push them on it a little, they are even likely to concede that they are tal … [Read more...]

No Trinity For Me, Please

 This is the second 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. As a Christian, I'm a follower of Jesus. … [Read more...]

Question Mark: Q&A with Mark Sandlin

Question Mark -- Week of July 20  From time to time, I ask for questions on my personal Facebook page (feel free to friend request me). Based on nothing in particular, I'll pick five of them to answer.Admittedly, most of the questions deserve much more consideration than I can give them in a few paragraphs, but I think this could be a good place to start conversation and possibly to challenge some long-held opinions of what a Christian must believe. It might even be something you … [Read more...]