June 27, 2022

During the deconstruction process, Christians often say it’s difficult to hear from God. All the ways that they used to feel intimate with God are now called into question. They often say that the Bible has gone stale for them and want to know how it can come alive again. The Bible If you were raised Evangelical, you were probably told that the Bible is the primary way that God speaks to people today. Many conservative churches teach that at... Read more

June 24, 2022

The phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” contains a hidden spiritual truth that most have never seen. At face value, this phrase means that each individual perceives beauty differently. What’s beautiful to one is ugly to another. Beauty is subjective rather than objective. The common interpretation of this phrase is socially, spiritually, and artistically profound. It keeps us from limiting the concept of beauty to predefined characteristics. It allows beauty to possess an elusive and mysterious quality... Read more

June 22, 2022

“I feel convicted that I need to give to support that missionary.” “I feel convicted that I need to give up chocolate for Lent.” “I feel convicted about that lie I told my boss.” I hear these phrases in Evangelical circles all the time. And the more I think about it, the more I feel convicted we need to stop saying that.   As the Gavel Falls I’m drafting this article while sitting in court, waiting for my client’s case to be presented. As a behavioral... Read more

June 18, 2022

Why do Christians find it necessary to prove God, or to defend God, to other people? Natural disasters, pandemics, wars, political unrest, and personal tragedies often cause believers to question God. These same events can also give unbelievers reason for their claims that there is no God. The problem of evil and suffering causes some to doubt. Others double down on faith—and even feel the need to protect God from being misunderstood. But are Christians really called to be God’s... Read more

June 16, 2022

In medieval artwork, Moses is hard to distinguish from the devil. Could there be a connection between the two? Artists of the Middle Ages depicted Moses with horns because of a common mistranslation that rendered the rays of light from his face as “horns.”  (See Exodus 34:29-35.) Due to this translational error, countless artists depicted the prophet with golden shafts from his head, while others gave him full-blown antlers. Interestingly, artwork of the same era depicted Satan with horns. But... Read more

June 14, 2022

When my family left the intrusion of the city and the noise of neighbors, I traded my boyhood playground for Christopher Robin’s hundred-acre wood. My brother and I spent our magical childhood playing among the trees. We climbed in their mighty arms and built forts in their branches. We chased each other around the spreading roots of our great oak guardians. Our young friends the saplings swayed as we swung on their pliant trunks. Since that time, sacred trees continue... Read more

June 11, 2022

My client was in prison, addicted to drugs, and had reached out to my program for help. I met with him, and we discussed the change he wanted to see in his life. He wanted to get clean, and wanted sobriety. He wanted a new start and a new life. I told him I would join him in that vision for his future. “Only If He Receives Jesus…” Later, with the client’s permission, I spoke with his mother on the... Read more

June 8, 2022

This is for all who have walked out of the church. Some of you left for good reasons and others–not so much. Some of you should stay, and others should stay gone. Here’s what I mean…   Some left because you were hurt. Christians mistreated you. Leaders abused you. People who claimed to follow Jesus neglected you in your time of need. They offered advice instead of giving you the help you needed. Instead of a listening ear, they handed... Read more

June 4, 2022

Since when did Christianity require people to sign on the dotted line? It must be in one of the lost Chapters of the Gospels that Jesus, calling his new disciples, pulled out a scroll and made them sign their adherence to the creeds. Or maybe a forgotten passage in the book of Revelation says the names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are actually the signatures of the Saints, pledging allegiance to the heavenly statement of faith. If not,... Read more

June 1, 2022

Not long after Marriage Equality was passed, the Baptist association of which my church was a member passed a resolution depicting biblical marriage as between one man and one woman, for life.  I was the only pastor to voice opposition to this resolution.  At the time, I was not free to express my affirmation of LGBTQIA folks in the church.  My dissent was primarily due to the fact that Baptist churches are autonomous and that a resolution of that sort... Read more

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