Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 2

Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 2 …strive first for the kingdom of God and (God’s) righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 Last week I suggested the church may be canceling Christianity by the practices and teachings it has adopted as standard church fare. What I mean … Continue reading Is the Church Canceling Christianity?, Part 2

Is the Church Canceling Christianity?

Is the Church Canceling Christianity? Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-16a Wikipedia defines cancel culture as “a form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles.”[1] I began this series of Life … Continue reading Is the Church Canceling Christianity?

Reborn into Ordinariness, Part 2

Reborn into Ordinariness, Part 2 “I was reborn into ordinariness, but what more could one ask for?” Kevin Kelly[1] Kevin Kelly, an independent photographer at the time, was 27 years old and in Jerusalem during Easter weekend, an experience he shared with Ira Glass on the podcast, This American Life, in 1997.[2] He found himself … Continue reading Reborn into Ordinariness, Part 2

Reborn into Ordinariness

Reborn into Ordinariness “I was reborn into ordinariness, but what more could one ask for?” Kevin Kelly[1] The annual Christian celebration of Easter is over. Easter Sunday, even in the post-pandemic days, is one of the few times that people flock to church in unprecedented numbers (the other being Christmas Eve). Easter is an unusual … Continue reading Reborn into Ordinariness

Guns ‘n Moses, Part 3

Guns ‘n Moses, Part 3 The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the … Continue reading Guns ‘n Moses, Part 3

An Extraordinary, Ordinary Christmas

An Extraordinary, Ordinary Christmas Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Luke 12:6 Our challenge at Christmas, as every day, is to stop discounting the ordinary in search of the miraculous so we can see the miraculous in the ordinary. The Christmas stories of … Continue reading An Extraordinary, Ordinary Christmas

The Church vs the Christ, Part 2

The Church vs The Christ, Part 2 “Christ is not Jesus’s last name.” Richard Rohr[1] Assuming the church to be synonymous with God has led to a deceptively limited perception and portrayal of God, both for church and non-church people. When our pastors remind us of the importance of supporting the “work of God,” it … Continue reading The Church vs the Christ, Part 2

Questions vs Answers, Part 4 …Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. Matthew 25:40 One of the ways to handle an issue is to reframe it as a problem. Once an issue has been stated … Continue reading

Questions vs Answers, Part 2

Questions vs Answers, Part 2 “You insist on explaining everything as if the whole world were composed of things that can be explained…Has it ever occurred to you that only a few things in this world can be explained your way?” Don Juan Matus[1] Our desire for clear-cut answers to deep and difficult questions, and … Continue reading Questions vs Answers, Part 2

Reconciliation vs Retribution, Part 3

Reconciliation vs Retribution, Part 3 The term “heresy” is used with derogatory connotations by evangelicals & their apologists, yet all it means is belief contrary to orthodoxy. The religious elite of western Christianity have rarely been on the right side of history, so finding myself out of alignment with what they have determined to be … Continue reading Reconciliation vs Retribution, Part 3

Reconciliation vs Retribution, Part 2

Reconciliation vs Retribution, Part 2 We need to bury once and for all those fear-and-punishment scenarios that got programmed into so many of us during our childhood. There is no monster out there; only love waiting to set us free. Cynthia Bourgeault[1] In order to feel better about ourselves and our own perceived shortcomings, we … Continue reading Reconciliation vs Retribution, Part 2

Reconciliation vs Retribution

Reconciliation vs Retribution And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Matthew 6:5 Many believe the institutional church today is faltering because too many people know too little about Christianity … Continue reading Reconciliation vs Retribution

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 6

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 6 I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11 The term spirituality is derived from the concept of Spirit, generally meaning not physical. In broad terms, spirituality seeks to … Continue reading Spiritual, not Religious, Part 6

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 5

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 5 What if (Jesus) didn’t come to start a new religion – but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world? Brian McLaren[1] As we ponder why increasing numbers of people consider themselves spiritual but not religious, … Continue reading Spiritual, not Religious, Part 5

Spiritual, Not Religious, Part 4

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 4 Where you have absolute solutions, however, you have no need of faith. Faith is what you have in the absence of knowledge. Flannery O’Conner[1] Various studies confirm that roughly a quarter of all Americans do not identify with a religious tradition, Christian or otherwise. The numbers are even more striking … Continue reading Spiritual, Not Religious, Part 4

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 3

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 3 …in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. Colossians 1:24b A few months ago I wrote about my belief that the church has hijacked Jesus, prayer, God, and the Bible from non-churched spiritual seekers, largely unintentionally, … Continue reading Spiritual, not Religious, Part 3

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 2

Spiritual, not Religious, Part 2 Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. Philippians 3:15-16 Last week I made the general and stereotypical observation that most … Continue reading Spiritual, not Religious, Part 2

Spiritual, not Religious

Spiritual, not Religious Buddhist meditation…seeks not to explain but to pay attention, to become aware, to be mindful, in other words to develop a certain kind of consciousness that is above and beyond deception by verbal formulas… Thomas Merton[1] One of the underlying components differentiating Churchianity from Christianity is the distinction between religion and spirituality. … Continue reading Spiritual, not Religious