Dear Thoughtful Pastor: How can “the church” as an institution address or correct social/economic injustices based on race both within the church and in society? How can the church itself restructure to ensure “power sharing” among people of different ethnic backgrounds? The church, generically used as a gathered people of God, carries the responsibility to live out the balance of grace and justice while speaking with prophetic voices. We also know these human tendencies: One, our instinctual fear of the “other.” Two, the common use of a scapegoat upon which to place external responsibility for our various ills, both societal … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Justice Issues and Heaven for Pets
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Is it possible to force a person into rehab? My mom confronted my sister about her drug problem again. Of course my sister continues to deny it even though we all know she is lying. She has … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Forced Rehab and Misplaced Forgiveness
A mass resignation of members from the Mormon church is expected to happen Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, over the newly seen rules that essentially ban children of same-sex parents from participating in any Mormon rites of passages until such children … Continue reading Exodus and Secrecy: Mormons Now, UMC’s Later?
“Nothing, I would argue, is more effective at driving people away from religion than watching its most elite representatives—the whitest, malest, straightest, most educated, with the biggest platforms—devolve into kindergarteners, ganging up on others, bullying, preaching a Gospel of intractability … Continue reading The UMC At the Crossroads: Elitism or Inclusion–or Holy Love?
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: “There are obviously bigger issues for Christians than whether or not Starbucks celebrates Christmas in any shape or form. Why are so many so upset, what is it that they are really asking for?” I’m going on … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Christmas Coffee Cups and Protestant Splinters
Most of us can agree on major goals. For the church, it is “Love God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul and love your neighbor as yourself” and “Make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the … Continue reading To Trust in The Lord
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Why don’t people like the Jews? Certainly in recent history (say the last 1,500 years) they have been persecuted more than any other group from what I can recall. Could it be the Jews set themselves up … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Persecution of Jews and Description of Heaven
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: My family and I have broken free from a Prosperity Gospel Church.I’m curious why so many people: A) Don’t see Prosperity Gospel for what it is, a money making business? B) How society or media is … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Prosperity Gospel and The Consumer-Driven Church
Two similar questions for the Thoughtful Pastor today from theologically deep thinkers. Dear Thoughtful Pastor: “What was the saving work that was accomplished on the cross? The Penal Substitutionary model seems inconsistent with my understanding of a loving God, as … Continue reading Ask the Thoughtful Pastor: Atonement and Salvation