July 9, 2018

“Go and find out what this means: ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice.'” Matthew 9:13 This is what Jesus tells the religious authorities when they criticize him for partying with sinners. I would say that this verse is the most important verse in the Bible for Christians and a summary of the gospel that we need to hear every day. Everything that God teaches us and commands of us is for the sake of mercy. Christian discipleship is this: receiving God’s… Read more

July 3, 2018

God has convicted me of the need to write a different set of blog posts for a while. I’m going to call this series “Good Biblical Words” because the Bible has many good words in it, but understanding how they fit together is not self-evident. The second century bishop Irenaeus wrote that the Bible is like a mosaic of jewels that is supposed to form the image of a king, but they are often rearranged to make the shape of… Read more

June 29, 2018

It’s an ancient image from July 2016, in a different age before Donald Trump was president. But two years later, I still can’t find a better representation of what it looks like to take up your cross and follow Jesus, which is literally what Ieshia Evans said she understood herself to be doing in her first political protest. There’s nothing civil about taking up your cross, and there’s nothing more dangerous in the world that we’ve created today than civility…. Read more

June 19, 2018

White feelings can be dangerous for people of color. When a white police officer feels scared and overwhelmed by a black person, he becomes lethally unsafe. When a white woman gets weepy after a confrontation with a person of color, the patriarchal chivalric response is to defend the white woman’s honor, which in the past, has had lethal repercussions for people of color. These very real historical implications of white feelings haunt interracial interactions even when they’re online and seem… Read more

June 17, 2018

It’s often the case that I write blogs because I can’t go to sleep since my mind is restlessly wordsmithing something in my head. That’s what happened last night regarding a resolution before the Virginia annual conference to recommend rescinding the trust clause for churches who want to ditch United Methodism without losing their physical property if they disagree with whatever ruling comes out of the February 2019 General Conference. I have no idea whether the Virginia conference will even… Read more

June 16, 2018

I’m currently at the Virginia annual conference, the yearly gathering where United Methodist laity and clergy from Virginia come together to make decisions and renew our covenant with each other. Every year, the resolutions are probably my least favorite part of the time together. It might not seem like it because of how feisty I am when I’m typing words on a screen, but I actually hate conflict, at least in person. Sometimes I’ve actually had to leave the room… Read more

June 15, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a United Methodist layperson. Somewhere along the way in his spiritual journey he was taught the interpretation of Romans 13 that he used to justify the new ICE policy that separates immigrant children from their parents and criminalizes all immigrants without visas, including refugees seeking political asylum who do everything by the book. Christians across the theological spectrum have recoiled from Sessions’ use of scripture, but his interpretation is entirely consistent with the law and… Read more

June 12, 2018

Carolyn Moore is probably my favorite conservative United Methodist leader. What I see in her is a genuine thirst for Christ that is absent of the scorn that I encounter too often on the other side (and probably exhibit too often myself). Carolyn put out a challenge for us to have a better, more Spirit-seeking conversation within United Methodism as part of discerning our way forward. She laid out a framework for how such a conversation could be shaped. Here… Read more

June 8, 2018

The Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church has a practice each annual conference of giving Wesley awards (gold-spray-painted John Wesley bobble-heads) to highlight innovative ministries in the conference. I think it’s a great practice because it keeps the morale high at our annual gathering in a time when United Methodism is in turmoil. Earlier this spring, I was very excited about a campaign against sexual violence at Tulane that members of NOLA Wesley had a leadership role in. I… Read more

June 1, 2018

Ivanka Trump posted this photo with her son on Twitter because she’s a mom and she loves her son. The response from the Internet has been vicious with people calling her “tone-deaf” and Samantha Bee saying that she was a “feckless c***” since one trending story recently has talked about immigrant mothers are being separated from their children. When Samantha Bee got in trouble for what she said, Twitter filled up with pictures of Donald Trump supporters wearing t-shirts calling… Read more

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