This is the conclusion of a post over at RedLetter Christians by Stephen Mattson that I want to feature. (Click here to see the original post in it entirety). As I said before it puts the major problems with our current version of American Christianity into an almost perfect shell. Today we will look at the last four things and next time I will give some personal thoughts … Continue reading The Worst Things About American Christianity (part 2)
My friends over at RedLetter Christians have done it again. They have put the major problems with our current version of American Christianity into an almost perfect shell. The words below were some of the thoughts penned by Stephen Mattson. See all the complete text by clicking here. I see no reason to add any additional words. I will be using the next two posts … Continue reading The Six Worst Things About American Christianiy
Abelard rejected the idea that Christ died as a result of God’s vengeance for human disobedience. Abelard was horrified by the novel teaching of his fellow theologian, Anselm (1033–1109), who proposed that Jesus died to satisfy the divine justice of his Father, as a payment of a legal debt required as recompense for sin and to restore God’s honor. Abelard exclaimed: Indeed, how cruel and … Continue reading Dying For God’s Vengeance….
This “new” Christianity is sick of culture wars, political agendas, hypocrisy and legalistic doctrines. They prefer inclusion over restriction, dialogue over debate, practice over preaching, and love over judgment. Authentic communities are preferred over institutionalized organizations, and grassroots groups gain wisdom and knowledge from relational interaction, social media, the web, and an array of other sources—there is no monopoly controlling leadership or sources of information… … Continue reading The Times, They Are A-Changin….
While Tertullian emphasized the negative aspects of the military to Christian discipleship, Origen pointed out the positive vision of a life of Christian peacemaking. He criticized the army as a society of “professional violence,” pointing out that Jesus forbids any kind of violence or vengeance against another. “We will not raise arms against any other nation, we will not practice the art of war,” he … Continue reading Early Christians and War….
Before I start on my study of the history of the church I want to do an “aside” post here on another topic. I just read a very thoughtful post over at Rachel Held Evan’s blog about mysticism and evangelicalism. In it she was commenting on a book by Tim Challis about how mysticism, which he defined at any experiences with God outside of the … Continue reading Replacing One Mediator With Another….
I have been studying the history of the church to try an understand how we got to where we are today. An important book in that investigation is entitled “A People’s History of Christianity, The Other Side of the Story” by Diana Butler Bass. This is not the first book I have read by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. With this … Continue reading A People’s History of Christianity….
When I was a kid in the Catholic church I remember that the priests and nuns took a vow of poverty. That is they put their obedience to God above monetary gain. That seemed like a noble thing to me. Of course I have come to realize that this vow of poverty did not mean that the Catholic clergy lived a lifestyle of the poor … Continue reading A Vow Of Poverty…
Let’s continue on with our brief study of the Gospel of Mark. This time it will be about people’s faith and the Bread. I know that seems like two different things but let me try to tie them together. During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these … Continue reading About The Bread…
Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked.“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not … Continue reading A Maturing Jesus??
As mentioned a few posts ago Jesus had some very stinging words about the religiously powerful of his day. The Gospel of Mark 7 is one of those places. Lets study some of those words. He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:” ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship … Continue reading Religiously Powerful…
Let’s get back to a study of the Red Letter to learn how we are to live. He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the … Continue reading Hiding The Light….
This is the true purpose of satire: to mock power. It is, truly, the language of the powerless. From the biblical prophets, to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, to Swift, to Twain, to Orwell to our beloved Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, satire works best when the targets are the powerful and elite—be they institutions or people. Jesus’ sharpest comments were always directed toward the politically or … Continue reading Christians and Humor….
One of the underlying assumptions is that money from the offering or tithe belongs to the church. But the Scriptures consistently teach that the offering is God’s instrument of redistribution and that it belongs to the poor. Giving to the poor should not make its way into the budget; it is the budget. One could argue that small portions of the Israelite offering (no more … Continue reading Embezzling God….