A Modern Take on Luke 15–Probably Heretical, Possibly Shedding Fresh Light on a Shocking Story

The Complaint A group of VERY IMPORTANT church leaders began to grumble about Jesus.  “He ignores us, the movers and shakers, the ones divinely given the leadership of The Church. Instead, he takes his meals with people who don’t even give $5 a year to our coffers, haven’t partaken of the sacraments in years AND even support gay marriage and homosexuals as ordained! The church will decline in numbers even further if they get their way.  Why isn’t he dining with us in the hotel conference room so we can form a new strategy on how to build growing, vital, money-generating congregations…

The Phone Call and the Novena

A dear friend of mine phoned earlier this evening.  She refers to herself as my “spiritual mother” and I very much believe it.  She’s in her late 80’s, and is simply beautiful. I describe her as a piece of pure light wrapped in a tiny piece of increasingly frail human flesh. We connected about a year and a half ago.  She had been reading my newspaper columns in the Denton Record Chronicle and phoned to talk with me and see if perhaps the church I serve would be able to embrace her and her unique understanding of Christian spirituality.  I assured her she…

One Thoughtless Move

From what I can tell as I read other blogs and reports from General Conference, it was the rigid adherence to Roberts Rules of Order and a case of thoughtlessness that led to the dismantling yesterday of a key element in the United Methodist system. Now, is the current system working well?  Nope.  But I’m betting the unintended consequences of this move, to give Bishops the power to put clergy on a two year transitional leave, without financial support, without health insurance, without pension contributions, and for many, without housing, and for clergy to have no power to refuse appointments that could…

Mormons, Polygamy, and Secrecy

Yesterday, when I visited the blog “Ask Mormon Girl” and made a comment on her post about the need to talk about polygamy, I also received by email all the comments following mine. They were many, and ranged from heartbreaking to hurt and angry to condemning. Many Mormon women posted about their agony over the fact that they had indeed been taught that a polygamous marriage was a necessity in what they call the “Celestial Kingdom.”  When some responded with the possibility that the doctrine of the necessity of polygamous marriages was no longer valid, others stated vehemently that this doctrine is…

The Call to Obedience

“If only I had faith . . .” When there is an “if only” statement, it is generally followed by a “then” statement. So what is the “then” that follows the “if only I had faith” statement? Here are some possibilities: “Then” my prayers would be answered. “Then” I would ace my exams. “Then” I would get well. “Then” I would win the lottery or get a raise. “Then” my children would be OK. “Then” I would find the love of my life. “Then” my spouse would be nicer to me. “Then” I’d lose some weight. Lots of options for our “then”…