December 8, 2023

The following is Part 1 of an ongoing series exploring gender roles in the Church. A recent study by Church Clarity showed that in the United States, 76% of the 100 largest churches believe in ideas like complementarianism, a doctrine that assumes women are less equipped to serve in leadership roles than men. That also means that in these churches, women are not allowed to preach. Ideas such as these are widespread in the church at large. A landmark 2018... Read more

December 2, 2023

The Sermon on the Mount in the gospel of Matthew reveals not only Jesus’ teachings, but how he modeled discipleship. By simply observing how he interacted with those closest to him, we can gain powerful insights into how we can share our lives to transform the world around us one relationship at a time. It’s Not Complicated I remember going through the Sermon on the Mount from the perspective of discipleship with the last congregation I pastored. It was a... Read more

November 22, 2023

In the United States, so many on Thanksgiving will gather together with loved ones and others they can marginally tolerate to eat too much food offered in combinations we would likely not intentionally select any other time of year. There are regional nuances for sure; in certain areas in the south, black-eyed peas are required and sweet potatoes without marshmallows look naked, meanwhile in parts of New England it is a scandal if the vegetables lack maple glaze. Then again,... Read more

November 18, 2023

No one ever intentionally joins a cult. Most of us seek community by joining fitness classes, book clubs, organizations such as the local PTA or a political party, or even institutions like churches. Although Jim Jones may have been the infamous Peoples Temple cult leader who orchestrated hundreds of his follower’s deaths in Jonestown, Guyana, he was also the pastor of the Peoples Temple Christian Church. Not only was Jones a well-respected ordained minister of a major Christian Evangelical denomination,... Read more

November 15, 2023

When someone quotes a scripture to support a particular point of view or argument without considering the broader context or the original intended meaning of the text, it’s called proof-texting. We’ve all seen it. Some of you probably even do it. But cherry-picking verses to support preconceived notions or personal biases is not only dishonest, it’s dangerous. This Will Make Some of You Angry There are those who selectively highlight specific passages while ignoring others, manipulating scriptures to suit their... Read more

November 11, 2023

Celebrity tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and reality TV star Kat Von D recently opened up about her faith in Jesus, sparking criticism from certain Fundamentalists who scrutinize her past and question the authenticity of her witness. Her response has been, in a word, Christlike. We should not dismiss these incidents as just another gossipy celebrity scandal. The treatment Kat Von D has received starkly illuminates how the attitudes of a small but vocal minority could successfully misrepresent all Christ-followers, and her... Read more

November 5, 2023

As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, its impact upon Christianity in the Western world continues to resonate. Because the majority of Christians in the United States identify as Evangelicals, their actions and beliefs have an unique influence upon broader society. Unfortunately, many American Evangelicals have begun to believe and spread lies which not only damages the witness of all Christ-followers, but also has the potential to endanger and harm innocent individuals whom Jesus identified as our neighbors. Cruel Intentions As I’ve... Read more

October 29, 2023

A few years ago, I read a social media post in a pastors’ group written by the pastor of a small-town evangelical church that left a lasting impression on me. One quiet weekday afternoon, the pastor arrived at the church to find a disheveled man wandering in the front yard. His body odor could be smelled from several feet away, and dirt was noticeably smudged all over his face and arms. He had clothes that were torn and soiled, and... Read more

October 25, 2023

Regrettably, there is abundant evidence which demonstrates that many evangelical Christians exhibit intolerance towards individuals of other faiths. However, by embracing Christ’s personal example of love and compassion, we have an opportunity to transcend biases and unify a church culture that has become increasingly polarized. Social Monsters I have struggled to find a charitable description of the changes I have witnessed in people I love over the course of the past decade. Evangelicals, including a significant number of clergy, who... Read more

October 22, 2023

Too often, Christians suggest to individuals suffering from depression that God is the answer. While some people of faith may believe this kind of advice comes from a good place, not only are these sentiments less than helpful, they can also communicate judgment, prejudice, and even hatred. The complexities of faith and mental health require a more compassionate approach. Though a profound source of strength, faith cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges of depression. If We Are the... Read more

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