Communication in the Church

Jumping to Confusions

What is it about we human animals and our tendency to climb the ladder of inference and leap blindly into a steaming pile of assumptions?  Each and every day we create chaos, confusion and pain for ourselves by ascribing intention, assuming motives, projecting values and jumping to conclusions.  Compounding this […]

Functional Filtration

Another aspect of the complexity around navigating our differences and disagreements of our personal filters and mental models.  By basic premise the past couple blogs is that we need better ways of disagreeing and living with differences of opinion, worldview and values.  However, it has been interesting fielding emails that […]

Debatable Disagreement

I regularly encounter people who believe that disagreements in the church are evidence that we should split the denomination, that somehow we are defined by our differences rather than a common faith, a shared baptism, a risen Savior, and a God bigger than our pettiness.  Probing deeper reveals that the […]

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

We tend to celebrate our pluralistic and richly diverse culture and, in the church, we talk long and loud about radical hospitality and open hearts/minds/doors.  Yet, we still seem to be having problems knitting our intercultural parts into a well-integrated body of Christ.  There is so much latent and subversive […]

The Janus Conundrum

A day of new beginnings often produces mixed results — hopefulness & skepticism, promise and problems, anticipation and anxiety.  In The United Methodist Church we are poised — some say on the threshold of a new day, others say on the brink of utter annihilation (most feel we are somewhere […]

We v. They

Like everyone else, Raleigh Hayes saw the world, and the people with whom he was obliged to share it, through the kaleidoscope of his own colored designs.  As the years turned the viewer round and round, the bits of glass fell into new patterns, but the perspective remained limited to Raleigh’s eye.  […]

Obtuse Is As Obtuse Does

Okay, let’s face it, we have a lot of differences that are not easily reconcilable.  We are split over dozens — maybe hundreds of issues.  So, why do we go out of our way to misunderstand one another and to ascribe negative (even malicious) intention where there is none?  Obviously, […]

One Indignation Under God

Have you noticed the mammoth chip some United Methodists have on their shoulder?  Just mentioning it makes some people mad.  I’ve received eight nasty emails since yesterday, when I posted the not-too-profound concept that anger is a choice and that no one else can offend us; we can merely choose […]

The Unforgiving

I am back from Annual Conference (and a few days off to recuperate…).  My inbox is packed with mail from people who loved this year’s conference, hated this year’s conference, were proud of this year’s conference, were ashamed by this year’s conference, were excited by the delegation we elected to […]

Pure Theology

There is one phrase I hear that just drives me crazy when it comes to the Bible: I don’t interpret scripture; I just read it and do what it says. Basically, this is a false statement intended to end discussion by claiming that the person speaking has a crystal clear […]

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