Spiritual seekers

When Fruit Goes Bad

By our fruits we will be known.  What’s that smell?  Why all the flies?  What a waste.  The rotten fruit of the Spirit is this: conditional love, repressed joy, fake peace, pretended patience, niceness passing as kindness, generosity to those who “deserve” it, narrow-minded faith-fullness, passive-aggressive gentleness, and demanding others […]

The Costs of Low Expectations

While cleaning out some files the other day, I came across a folder of interviews I did in 2004 with 22 lifelong United Methodists who, in their 60s, 70s and 80s, made the decision to leave the denomination and join another church.  These people did not make the choice based […]

O Death, Where Is Thy Sting

The powers that be at Marvel Comics decided to kill the Human Torch; at least the most recent incarnation (the Human Torch originally appeared in the 1940s as an android, then was reintroduced as a cocky young kid in 1962 as on quarter of the Fantastic Four).  At least, for […]

Missing the Forest For the Trees

In response to my “Back to Basics” post, many people are asking (demanding?) whether or not theology is at the root of “seeker aversion” to organized religion.  More conservative voices posit that our lack of Biblical integrity and adherence, our loose morals, and our “anything goes” liberalism may be what […]

Back to Basics

News flash!  We’re making the gospel harder than it needs to be.  I mean, how difficult is “good news?”  What part of “God is love” is so confusing?  What’s with our penchant to load up “for God so loved the world that he gave his only son” with rules, regulations, […]

Blackest Night

Since I was eight years old, the Green Lantern has been my favorite comic book hero.  Test-pilot Hal Jordan was a normal Joe, picked to be the Green Lantern of sector 2814 (space surrounding our solar system).  He wasn’t super-powered, but was given a ring that could create anything the […]

United Metholdist

We’re not getting older; we’re getting better.  Well, actually we are getting older, but this doesn’t mean we can’t get better as well.  The graying of our church — a subject of great concern and incredible misplaced anxiety — is worth looking into, but as an opportunity, not a problem […]

Dots Dying to Be Connected

Recent conversations with pastoral leaders in my home Conference (Wisconsin) about young adult ministry share a common theme: there simply isn’t enough interest in the area.  Apparently, young adults don’t want what the churches have to offer.  Except, this morning when I stopped off for my morning Buzz at Beans […]