Christian witness

A Heart As Big As God’s

An adequate life, like Spinoza’s definition of an adequate idea, might be described as a life which has grasped intuitively the whole nature of things, and has seen and felt and refocused itself to this whole.  An inadequate life is one that lacks this adjustment to the whole nature of […]

Prophet Margin

Are there prophets in the church today?  Are there any willing to speak the truth regardless of the consequences?  Anyone willing to point out the unconscionable amount of money and time we waste in meetings and conferences?  Anyone willing to point out that our own systems and structures are as unfair […]

Sins of Nomission

A large number of United Methodist congregations are struggling — with money, with members, with commitment, with leadership, with a host of problems large and small.  Many of these churches aren’t doing anything wrong to cause these problems — in fact, they aren’t doing anything much at all.  And that’s […]

Ascribes & Pharetics

There are two deadly types of leaders in today’s congregations: ascribes — those who ascribe negative intentions to other people’s actions — and pharetics — legalistic types who go out of their way to misconstrue and manipulate information to make others look bad.  Two quick illustrations: A young pastor left […]

Christianaughty

“Naughty” is a great word.  Today it often means risqué, improper, bad or inappropriate, but in its origin it was an all-purpose word that could mean bad, evil, worthless, of no value, unhealthy, unpleasant, disagreeable, adversarial, contrary, difficult, improper, or hypocritical.  At its heart and essence was the sense of […]

In the Land of Beginning Again

In the 1946 film, The Bell’s of St. Mary’s, Bing Crosby sings Grant Clarke & George W. Meyer’s, In the Land of Beginning Again.  This sappy, wistful, wonderful song fits the film beautifully, wishing for the chance to start fresh, to let go of past regrets, and to move forward […]

Do We Really Love “Them?”

I saw a heartening article in USA Today on Christmas Eve.  Jews and Muslims in the Detroit area were joining together to do charity work on Christmas Day to help compensate the lack of Christians who would be off celebrating their holiday instead of working in soup kitchens and food […]

Where Jesus Goes After Christmas

Driving past a church this morning, I noted that the Nativity scene was already down (sorry Wise Men — snooze, ya’ lose.  Wouldn’t want to honor Epiphany by accident or on purpose…) and Mary and Joseph were laying face down in the snow and the baby Jesus was buried under […]

Belief Is Choice

I surf a lot of sites and listen in on a lot of discussion threads about what people choose and choose not to believe.  What is interesting is that both sides deny they are making a choice about what to believe.  Dogmatism swings both ways, and many loud voices on […]