John Wesley, creator of the pattern now successfully being used by the neo-calvinists.

Church Plants Redux: Seven Reasons Why the UMC Can’t Plant Churches Quickly

“A drastically oversimplified screed masquerading as analysis.” That’s what one commentator called a recent blog I had written about the influx of young men into the neo-calvinist churches. While he could possibly have been kinder in the comment, I agree … Continue reading Church Plants Redux: Seven Reasons Why the UMC Can’t Plant Churches Quickly

Mystery Worship Eleven: A Missed Opportunity

Note:  this is part of an ongoing series.  Mystery Worship One is here;  Mystery Worship Two is here; Mystery Worship Three is here. Four is here. Five is here. Six is here. Seven is here. Eight is here. Nine is here. Ten is here. On my first Sunday back in Texas, I decided to attend an Orthodox Church for my Mystery Worship time. With some research for preparation, I discovered that the Orthodox Church considers itself the only true church, and is not in communion with other Christian groups.  Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Communion are expected to have made a confession in the presence of … Continue reading Mystery Worship Eleven: A Missed Opportunity

More on Sexuality, Acceptability and the Church

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

The Human Tendency: We Murder One Another Over the Details

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

In Heaven As It Is On Earth

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