Help! White nationalism and the human pecking order

Here’s the thing: we humans, similar to small-brained chickens, have this need to know our place in the pecking order. Most want to peck our way to the top, uncaring of the damage we do to others in the process. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Is White Nationalism in any way compatible with Jesus’ Commandments? No. I [Read More…]

The con man, the church, human gullibility and our beliefs

Once we have spent time in a particular belief system, especially in a “church” environment that demands massive contributions, unquestioned loyalty, absorbs all spare time and which forms the entire social network for people, most don’t have enough mental energy to figure out that something is terribly wrong. A year and a half ago, I did a [Read More…]

Help! The refugee crisis: What’s the Christian way to reduce terrorism?

Should the government move to restrict egress based on nothing but “what might happen,” especially refugees seeking asylum are fleeing home-grown wars, then there is only one proper Christian response: “Bring them to me. I will care for them.” Dear Thoughtful Pastor: “Is there a better, more Christian way to minimize terrorism threats in the [Read More…]

“The Christians”–both the play and the reality

The vote supports Pastor Paul, but it doesn’t take long for Pastor Joshua’s new church, affirming the reality of hell, to drain the mother congregation. I saw The Christians on Sunday. Lucas Hnath wrote this play about Pastor Paul, a man who had skillfully grown his church from a tiny storefront to a huge megachurch, [Read More…]

Help! Does an all-powerful God cause the innocent to suffer?

The easy answers like “It’ll all turn out OK in the end. If it is not OK, it’s not the end” nearly make me sick to my stomach. What does that say to those who are suffering horrifically in this very moment? Dear Thoughtful Pastor: One of my lectures was on innocent suffering and how [Read More…]

Why I will listen to DJT take the presidential oath of office

Can a man whose world revolves primarily, or even only, around himself and his need to be powerful make a decent and responsible President for the whole of the US? Friday, January 20, I head to Austin. I’ve explained the reasons why I chose to march there more fully here. I will be on the [Read More…]

Help! How come the innocents, not the perps, get hurt?

But one leader, totally absorbed in him or herself and the need to hold onto perks of leadership and prestige, can wreak havoc on the larger civilization. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I am reading about Prometheus and the good stuff he did for humanity.  Zeus does not punish Prometheus for his trickery but punishes humankind, the [Read More…]

Why I am joining the women’s march

I will join the January 21, 2017, Women’s March on Austin, a part of the larger Women’s March on Washington. I march not to protest a Trump presidency, no matter how distasteful I may find it. Instead, I stand in support of those who are likely to be hurt by the policies that are expected [Read More…]

Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: what about Israel?

Israel is as capable of doing evil as any other nation Its laws and policies are set by humans, not God. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What is your view on the US supporting Israel? I am often fascinated by what appears to be unqualified support given to the nation Israel as though its leaders can make [Read More…]

New Year/new mercies (we hope)

We have reached the end of 2016. It seems like many found this past twelve month period unusually difficult. Think of Syrian refugees, beloved celebrity deaths,  world-shocking political upheavals. I personally have friends suffering from soul-shattering health crises and even more in spiritual crisis, wondering where God is in the midst of this. As do [Read More…]