Teach

I may get blasted on this.  That’s okay.  I am sharing almost twenty years of similar responses here, and I think we — especially clergy — need to listen.  Laity across the United Methodist Church are sending four messages loud and clear:  prayer, stewardship, evangelism and Bible are NOT being […]

Too Busy

Meeting with a group of clergy last Thursday, the conversation turned to prayer and the idea of teaching people to pray.  There was general consensus that prayer is a good thing, but it became quickly evident that most in the group view prayer as something we “have” to do rather […]

Lest We Forget

Nine years after the tragic attacks on 9/11, what have we learned?  Have we learned to folly of fanatical expressions of our religious faith?  Have we learned that turning whole cultures of people into an enemy is short-sighted and stupid?  Have we developed a deeper awareness of other faith’s, extending […]

Multiple Choice

Okay, here’s an easy one: “and they’ll know we are Christians by our —– love idiocy hate bigotry I want to choose #1, but in light of the current news about an evangelical whack-job in Florida who wants to commemorate September 11 with the burning of the Koran, I am […]

Holidanger

On the cusp of the Labor Day weekend, a memory came to me of an odd — crazy — man in my neighborhood growing up who vehemently believed holidays were evil and unChristian.  Harold McKeever was one of those perennial “old men” — my mother remembered him being old when […]

Who Do I Think I Am?

This is a common question: who do you think you are?  I get it all the time — probably more than most because I speak my mind and I speak with conviction.  I have gotten three different “who do you think you are” emails this week.  Here are excerpts from […]

Fear of Faith

In my youth, I had a friend who was obsessed with the devil.  A Christian, but obsessed with the devil.  Satan haunted his every waking moment.  He was constantly warning all of us of the power of the Deceiver — waiting around every corner to trick us, trap us, tempt […]

Conditional Christianity

There is no greater power on earth than the love of God, evidenced in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Of course, this gift is only given to Christians. I heard a United Methodist pastor preach this recently, and I called him a few days later to ask if […]

Holy Warps

Okay, I understand disagreements over theology.  I understand disagreements over fundamental beliefs — between different religions.  I think most of the divisions and debates are pointless, but I understand them.  What I don’t understand is the virulent and vehement disagreement over discipleship and church membership.  What are our defining features? […]

Holy Disorientation

The root of the word “orientation” comes from the idea of using the rising sun — the east — as a reference point to stay on course.  We” orient,” then as the day passes into night, we become “dis-oriented,” until the sun reappears and we can “re-orient” ourselves.  A sublime […]