June 21, 2021

My son was very upset with his grandparents one Sunday morning. Their church passed the elements of Holy Communion. My son watched his relatives take bread and juice from the trays while refusing to share any of it with him. They were appalled by his reaction. He was then four years old. I explained it to them. In our church everyone receives communion. Their church only baptized believers received it. Try explaining that to a three year old. We did… Read more

June 17, 2021

The Working Class has spoken. They spoke in 2016 and 2020. But are we listening? The biggest problem for churches that I see is that we ignore working class people. Yep. It’s the people in the trailer parks, low income neighborhoods, and rural areas working for wages who are crying out. We fail to hear them. Why? It’s simple. Churches want and must have middle class people to pay for everything. Every value the churches stand for during our holiday… Read more

June 14, 2021

June is the month I consider again the same is question. What paths lead to a spirituality for Environmentalism? Ideas about recycling, green energy, rain forest protection, and catastrophic warnings have been offered in my lifetime. Few of these ideas have caught on with the general public. Recycling turns out to be a matter of convenience. Green energy is only gradually coming into mass use. Hollywood style catastrophes rarely happen in real life. A spiritual vision for the natural world… Read more

June 10, 2021

“There was only one (morally) perfect man who ever walked the earth.” I was in the sixth grade when I overheard this claim made by one of our teachers. We were in a public school in the South. It was hardly a hotbed of secularism. I knew who she meant. Jesus Christ. It was unthinkable to consider Jesus was morally problematic. He was perfect. Jesus was sinless. He was divine. He rose from the dead because he died without sin…. Read more

June 8, 2021

The Pandemic introduced me and other reluctant clergy to Online Worship. We witnessed heroic efforts on the part of many clergy to learn over night how to record, edit, and stream something resembling worship. Seminaries did not and could not prepare us for it. We went online to learn how to do things online. Clergy experienced anguish, exhaustion, and our churches closing with a real possibility of never reopening. In short, we were tried and found faithful to our ministries. I… Read more

June 3, 2021

Addiction is fashionable in churches. Congregations host Recovery meetings, have Celebrate Recovery ministries, and, because of the Opioid Crisis, hold overdose response training. I am glad there is interest. The absolute worst thing churches can do is ignore a problem. I am also grateful. Grace works one day at a time if it works at all. I have a few words of advice for churches considering these ministries. Addiction Is A Living Death The late Brennan Manning is known for… Read more

June 1, 2021

The churches are not coming apart and failing because of beliefs. It is happening because of certain attitudes among believers. I have spent most of my adult life in pulpit ministry. I once believed orthodoxy was the primary need. Then I thought maybe the true enemy was fundamentalism. Attitude is highly valued in pop culture. It is also the annihilator of churches. I have three categories of attitudes that are destroying churches. Just for fun, I will use movies to… Read more

May 27, 2021

Yes. You read that correctly. Disciplining instead of discipling. I had an experience with this concept some years ago when I was a Youth Minister in a congregation in North Carolina. We read a passage from the New Testament that says, “among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander whom I turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:20) The leader then discussed the context of the passage. But the youth group asked, “These two… Read more

May 25, 2021

Delicacy is the quality most feigned by obnoxious people. To claim, “I am offended,” gains the moral high ground. It does not matter if one is on the left or the right, religious or not, northern or southern. The belief that one’s own feelings should matter while those of other people do not is an evil trap. Practicing this belief is sinful. And it is socially acceptable if others agree. My experience of ministry demonstrates the sin of delicacy ruins… Read more

May 20, 2021

The Sea of Galilee is a wide lake of the Jordan river.  The Jordan flows toward the south to the lowest place on the Earth’s surface – The Dead Sea. It gets its name from the salt of the surrounding desert causing no life to survive within the lake. Some people say no birds fly over it because there is no fish to eat and no water to drink. When one views the Jordan from the south, it hardly looks… Read more

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