Silence: a movie for those tired of lies about God

Silence stops in its tracks the lies that good humans won’t suffer. It strips away any surety that our right actions and beliefs will bring the results we want. I spent my formative Christian years in Evangelicalism. This world hands out books of God’s promises: Bible verses, yanked from context, that suggest God is in [Read More…]

Help! Did God really want that child to die? Why didn’t God heal her?

We who call ourselves followers of Jesus carry the expectations that we will also heal, bring good news to the poor, offer release to the captives, give recovery of sight to the blind, and free the oppressed. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Last week, a Bible literalist church pastor was arrested in the death of his 2-year-old [Read More…]

Liars, lies, webs of lies, and more lies: time for truth

“Our president is a liar, and we need to find out how serious his latest lies are.” ~David Leonhardt, NYT I’m old enough to remember well when Richard Nixon went down. At that point, I thought all Democrats were of the devil and was sure God was on Nixon’s side and that Nixon would prove [Read More…]

Insurance for dummies and suggestions for the church

I’ve read most of it. All the analyses about the AHCA (“Trumpcare” or “Ryancare”), the proposed GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) have taken residence in my brain. I’ve also logged countless hours in conversation with an expert in the insurance world. So now I now offer a quick, admittedly simplistic summary for [Read More…]

Help! Can I forgive someone and still end the relationship?

Yes, we are expected to forgive endless times. Cultivating the habit of forgiveness makes life with others possible.  But forgiveness is not necessarily linked to friendship or reconciliation. Dear Thoughtful Pastor:  I recently ended a friendship that had, in my opinion, become toxic and harmful to my emotional well-being.  I have no doubt, whatsoever, that [Read More…]

Help! Is there any real truth in a world of “alternative facts”?

When I speak a “truth” that makes me look better and others look worse, the chances are 100% that I’m way off base from God-truth. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: The last election cycle and the first 100 days of the Trump administration have lead me to this question.  The commandment, “Thou shall not bear false witness,” [Read More…]

The Shack: a journey into grief and the questions of good and evil

That the love of God means the freedom for people to make their unimpeded choices for good or evil permeates The Shack. [Note: The Shack, based on the book by William P Young, is about to be released. The book caused enormous controversy among many Christians when it first came out. An editor, Chris Fenoglio, from [Read More…]

Help! Can I make my parents change their behavior?

Option: Confront your parents and insist they change their behavior so you feel better. Dictate precisely what you need. This has a success rate of something approaching zero. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: My parents are complicated and volatile. They have been that way since I was a child and have a very dysfunctional marriage. I love them [Read More…]

Help! What is a theocracy?

As messy as these multiple forms of beliefs have become, a theocracy would insist upon one, and only one, of those as the “correct” belief system. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What is a Theocracy?  Does our Constitution allow for a Christian Theocracy? Democracy means “rule by the people” as “demos”=“the people.” Theocracy means “rule by God” [Read More…]

Do not fear the clown, fear the supremacists behind him

We have truth here: the White Supremacist movement found their dupe in the soulless body of 45*, a man whose only goal is life is to be unfetteringly rich and endlessly adored by an impenetrable ring of loyalists. Sure I’m caught up in the political news. Thanks to a lingering bout with the flu, I [Read More…]