Rev. Tom Griffith recently wrote an article about the structure of The United Methodist Church where he states that the core business of the church is NOT “making disciples of Jesus Christ.” He writes, If we truly believe in the Wesleyan concept of God working through God’s prevenient grace that brings a penitent to the point where s/he is ready to accept God’s saving grace, we must admit that we are not the ones who are doing the “saving” or creating of new disciples. That is God’s job! Griffith goes on to say this: Rather, our core business, from no later … Continue reading Have We Lost Our Core Purpose?
Here is a good, and a little bit funny, article on the nature of “biblical” marriages. If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s how the author sums up the nature of “traditional” marriages with a biblical foundation: Traditional marriage is one man with multiple wives, multiple concubines, wives conquered in war and wives acquired in levirate marriage, possibly including girls under the age of ten, but definitely not including anyone of a different ethnic group, in an arranged marriage with disposition of property as its purpose. That seems very different from “one man, one woman,” does it … Continue reading More on Sexuality, Acceptability and the Church
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 world.” We can rally around those things with unity and purpose. BUT . . . the moment we seek to determine the details in the “how” of doing those acts of love and the work of being and making disciples, our unity often dissolves into interminable, soul-destroying squabbling and even death. So, we make rules. We do it as a … Continue reading The Human Tendency: We Murder One Another Over the Details
It has been a strange week. Still in brain fog most of the time from the anesthesia of surgery (more info here, here and here), coupled with some fairly strong pain relievers, I found myself more physically still than I can ever remember. Time for the life of the mind with reflective thought delights me, but my best thinking seems to take place when my physical body is in action—walking, gardening, doing routine pedestrian but necessary tasks. Most of those activities had to be set down during the days of healing. It was time to learn once more just to … Continue reading Getting Free
I wish I could get it across that what Jesus lived and taught has almost no relationship with the “hate-ianity” that masquerades as Christianity across the press, airways and religious institutions today. What should be a grace-infused, fully-life-giving, all-welcomed, heavenly-spaces-opened, mystery-explored, forgiveness and reconnection-enjoyed experience has turned into a “gotta hate gays, gotta vote republican, gotta be sure and send everyone who believes differently to eternal conscious torment” religious charade. Now, the “gotta-hate” group makes better headlines. And the “gotta send everyone else to hell” mentality makes for tighter cohesive groups where if we are in, we are really in. … Continue reading In Heaven As It Is On Earth
Those who have been hearing my teaching for a while know how I’ve interpreted the Garden of Evil/Fall story through the breaches of covenant that took place before the woman and man ate the forbidden fruit. The crafty serpent begins the process by inviting them to doubt God’s goodness: “Gosh, all this good food and you can’t eat any of it! How nasty God must be!” The woman perpetuates the process by embellishing the truth: “Sure we can, but not that main one–if we EVEN TOUCH IT, we will die!” Then the man puts the finishing touch on it by … Continue reading Keeping Silence, and the Destruction of a Generation of Young Women
Well, I was taking a quick break from digging through emails and paperwork and decided to check out the New York Times. My eye caught an article titled, “After Firings and Controversy, the Wedding Will Go On.” I took a look and saw that it was about a gay couple, long partnered, long open about it, life-long faithful Roman Catholics, one of whom was a teacher in a private Catholic high school in St. Louis. He and his partner had decided to go to NYC on their 20th anniversary together and marry there, where same-sex marriage is legal. Again, there … Continue reading It’s OK as Long As It Stays Hidden