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christ on the cross
When to Give and When to Build
I’ve spent the majority of my life in the institutional church, giving of myself and being blessed by folks giving of themselves into my life.  That time in my life was very valuable.  It was necessary.  Had I not spent so much of my life in that environment, I would not be suited for the plan God has for my life, for my family and for my church. My wife and I are planting Church of the Misfits in the West Atlanta Metro area.  We have both spent so much of our lives to the institutional (brick, mortar and steeple) church....
emergency exit
Why I Am Leaving Christianity
For reasons I will never quite understand my Internet connection will not let me access my notes.. so here is my contribution to this months synchroblog about Following Jesus. With apologies to those who are not normally involved in this part of my life.. you might as well know now. This months blog is about following Jesus. Even after I write it , I have to take a deep breath after that sentence. My friend Jacob Pordiosero once painted a painting of an abandoned boat by a shoreline of the Sea of Galilee ( well I imagined it was the...
rabout
Changing The Mind: Helping Others See How Wrong They Are
It’s really hard for me to believe how wrong everyone else is. What a more pleasant world it would be if everyone just agreed with me, drove the way I wanted them to, fell in line with my set of beliefs. How pleasant that world would be. I am, of course, being facetious. I think. The title of this article is tongue in cheek, I think. And I write it knowing that I’m wrong. About a lot of stuff. I think. Statistics show that most people rarely ever change their minds about a specific issue or firmly held belief. If...
faithreligious
Faithful vs. Religious
As much as these concepts seem similar, being faithful and being religious aren’t quite the same. To practice a religion, one must first have faith. But being faithful means that one follows religion with all its idiosyncrasies, practices, rites and such. In the case of a Christian, this means to follow the Christ (the anointed), accept Jesus as the Christ and messiah. Following entitles doing as the Christ instructed as the proper way to respect and worship God while maintaining faith in God and surrendering to Him. But being religious means going to church (social interaction to hear the Word...
queerandbeloved
Queer and Beloved
There’s a scene in the movie The Exorcist where the two priests talk about why the devil would choose to possess Linda Blair’s character out of all the other people in the world. Max Von Sydow’s character responds, “I think the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as… animal and ugly. To make us reject the possibility that God could love us.” And that’s the basis for all of my anguish and despair. All of my questions, my doubts, and my fears all boil down to this one fear: that God might not love me. It happened...
jesus engraving
Seeing The Scars
I think Thomas gets a bad rep. After all, he wasn’t in the room with the other disciples when the risen Christ appeared to them. He didn’t see the nail-scarred hands himself; neither did he stick his hand where Jesus was speared. All he had was the word of his fellow disciples, and they’ve obviously gone crackers! Jesus is dead, remember? They were all there when He died, so they should know. They saw the man they called Lord for three years hanging on a Roman cross, despised and humiliated. They saw the blood pouring from his hands, feet, brow,...
holy week Jesus 2
Holy Week Contradictions
I heard an interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently. In it he talked about the ongoing deep work that is needed as South Africa moves from Apartheid and three centuries of oppression and domination of people with white skin over people with black skin. Krista Tippet, the interviewer, posed the conversation of how one would know whether the work Bishop Tutu had been doing had “achieved” it’s goals and what “recovery” looked like for the people of South Africa. Archbishop Tutu responded with this story: I recommend listening to the interview. The story I’m referencing can be found from: 22:52-25:21...
prayer_statue
Is It Okay To Stop Praying?
I stood slowly after the closing prayer. The long sit on hard wooden pews had stiffened my muscles. I rubbed my back as I slid sideways into the aisle. My mother-in-law motioned me to stay put. “I’ll go get the kids.” As I gathered up Bibles, papers, and bags, an older lady approached. “Joy, I just love to watch Elli while you and Scott sing. It makes her so happy.” I never know what to say in situations like these, so I just smiled at her. Elli’s face shone and the joy in her soul exploded from her entire body...
uncivilized
Anything Less Would Be Uncivilized
Do you ever feel tense when talking about religion? Do you feel like there are some things about religion that you have not come to understand? Do you have questions about faith that you are afraid to ask in a formal setting? Have you ever expressed your beliefs with someone only to find yourself in a heated debate about religion and faith issues? Well, there probably is no simple answer to why so much religious tension exists; could it be, however, that the starting point to deconstructing the complicated tension surrounding religion lies in an examination of our very own...
Now These Three Remain
Now These Three Remain…
Oh, January. The turning of a page, the start of a chapter, and the beginning of a journey into undiscovered country. A time of pledging to not repeat the same mistakes or failings that the preceding twelve months brought time and again. Looking at the world with fresh, clear eyes and the chance for a new start. A hope in the unseen. The irony that “hope” is a four-letter word is not lost on me. And like other four-letter words, this one can cut with its sharpness. For such a simple word, “hope” carries a world of power behind it....
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