This post is an expanded response to a comment to last week’s post about Christian giving. I gave the person commenting a short answer, but I think this topic deserves more attention. Here is the comment on which the post is primarily based: Plainly speaking, Christian giving is almost always overstated by most Christians. In reality what they give at best covers about 1% of … Continue reading Christian Giving
It’s been pretty obvious to me since I seriously spent four years reading the words of Jesus that his teaching have strong socialist roots. So, why are so many who claim to be Christian against any form of socialism? Just say that word and they go into the immediate attack mode. That is just another of a long list of things I don’t understand about … Continue reading Jesus Was A Socialist
For this Revisit Wednesday I want to go to a post I wrote here over 12 years ago. It was the first time I seriously looked at the idea of Jubilee, but it would not be the last. I know from personal experience that the idea of giving someone something that they haven’t earned is much against what many white evangelicals believe. I can still … Continue reading Jubilee – Revisited
Of course, everything I say here at RedLetterLiving is my opinion, but sometimes it seems particularly necessary to make that declaration. Since I am going to compare some religious establishments on the post, this is one of those times As a little bio for this post, I give you a quick history of my six stages of Christian life: I was baptized into the Catholic … Continue reading The Church Needs Shame…
Divine Intervention means different things to different people and religious organizations. For many in the religious community it means that we must pray to God not to get cancer or even be sick, and if we do get sick, we must leave it up to him to cure us. Doing this puts everything in God’s lap and practically no responsibility to us personally. In coordination … Continue reading Divine Intervention
January 17, 2021 There is so much of the Old Testament that still drives many versions of Christianity, especially among White Evangelicals. They seem to be fixated on the wrath of God rather than his love. The vast majority of the source of that wrath comes from the Old Testament. It’s time for a new version of Christianity that focuses totally on the words of … Continue reading It’s Time For DIVORCE… Or at least another separation
Given what I post here the title above probably sounds like sacrilege to you. But in many ways being an Evangelical was just easier than taking my spiritual life seriously. I was an Evangelical for twenty-five years so there had to be something that kept me going back. Here are the things that I miss about being an Evangelical: The Conservative Evangelical Church is primarily … Continue reading I Kinda Miss Being An Evangelical
Last week I gave you a catch-up on where I have journeyed in my spiritual life for the last six years. I ended that post with the one big remaining question that I will address here: Do we even need a “public” body of Christ? All the lavish religious cathedrals around the world have always disturbed me. It just seems to me that Jesus never … Continue reading The Public Body…
Don’t you realize how much damage you are doing to Christ’s church? JUST QUIT IT! Why can’t you see how you are acting is driving people away? JUST QUIT IT! I know you are deadly afraid that everyone is now looking elsewhere for their spiritual needs, but don’t you realize that maybe the primary reason for that is you and your current actions? JUST QUIT … Continue reading To My Evangelical Friends.
When I decided I wanted to study the philosophy of religion I had no idea what I had bitten off! I now know that it is one of the major branches of Philosophy. I knew Socrates had things to say about it 400 years before Jesus, but I never dreamed how far it went from there. Since almost every culture that has existed has either … Continue reading The Philosophy of Religion
In order to be called ‘Swiss cheese,” you must have so many holes per cubic inch. In order for a wine to be called “Bordeaux”, it must be made in France. There is no such requirement for anyone or anything to take on the label “Christian”. “Anything can label itself as being “Christian,” so we must always look to the person of Christ to guide … Continue reading The Christian Label
I’ve seen the light go out in people’s eyes when they decide it’s safer to embrace a doctrine or a policy that their gut tells them is wrong than it is to challenge those who say it’s right. I’ve watched open minds close and tender hearts harden. I’ve seen people pretend to believe things they don’t actually believe and do things they don’t actually want … Continue reading Conformity….
What do we do as Christians when confronted with these harsh realities? The Bible urges us to “remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself!” (Hebrews 13:3). Jesus knew what it was like to have a loved one incarcerated. His cousin, John the Baptist, was falsely accused and arrested (and eventually executed). Perhaps this is why Jesus, in Matthew 25, tells his disciples … Continue reading To Set Prisoners Free….
Young and old, rich and poor, and people from every social, economic, political and cultural background are starting to rethink their faith. A fresh movement is happening, and in its purest form is about one thing: following Christ. This transformation is reshaping the Christian landscape. Believers are starting to simplify their faith in order to exemplify Christ—a simple yet profound way to live out the … Continue reading Revolution….
Sometimes I take a peak at the website I put up for the church I was once a member. I have been gone for three years now but nothing has changed on that site since I left. The pastor just doesn’t see the Internet as being valuable in reaching out to the community. But one thing that is updated is the text of his sermons … Continue reading The Sit Back And Wait Syndrome….
When St. Augustine wrote On the Trinity, he tried to work out a conundrum. He wanted to figure out how women could be the image of God. He finally solved the puzzle by writing that when a woman is alone, then she is not in the image of God. It is only when she is joined with a man, when she is one flesh with … Continue reading The Image of God….
I admit that I find the gospel of partnering with God for the healing of the world much, much harder than the gospel of God loves you and wants to give you a ticket to heaven. It’s harder emotionally, physically, financially, socially and culturally. It’s tiring. Without the Holy Spirit, without worship, without community I’d give up and go back to that old gospel. It … Continue reading The ‘Other Gospel’ was easier
Worth reading is a recent interview with Pope Francis conducted by Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica. Scalfari, an atheist, had written to request an interview, and was floored when the Pope himself called to schedule a time. The whole interview is worth reading and pondering. I was especially struck by one interchange in which Pope Francis says something very akin to something George Fox said. … Continue reading A Quakerish Pope?
I like to think of the Great Emergence as reported in the book by Phyllis Tickle as “Post-Religion”. It moves beyond what we call currently call religion into the next phase of focusing on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. It moves beyond building cathedrals to building relationships and love between all of God’s people not just those in our particular version of Christian … Continue reading It Moves Beyond….
Christians will not be agents of reconciliation and healing as long as they see the world from the perspective of the privileged or fail to even attempt to see from the viewpoints for those who are unlike themselves in important ways. We have a higher calling than simply to be representative of our race, class, nationality or whatever else defines us in this world. “As … Continue reading Agents of Reconciliation..
3) We turn Christianity into a culture rather than a lifestyle. We have turned Christianity into a market. We have reduced Christianity to products we consume, sell, and advertise. We are more about profits than prophets. Christianity has become a culture rather than a lifestyle. We’ve been taught to consume Christian products rather than being Christian. We’ve been taught to be salespeople for Jesus rather … Continue reading Inspiring Quotes…
2) We focus on The Great Commission over The Great Commandment The Great Commission does not supersede the Great Commandment. Our mission is first and foremost: “Love God with all your heart and mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.” What we have done is divorce The Great Commission from the Great Commandment. We falsely believe our commission to make disciples is separate from our … Continue reading Inspiring Quotes….
Morf Morford considers himself a free-range Christian who is convinced that God expects far more of us than we can ever imagine, but somehow thinks God knows more than we do….. As he’s getting older, he finds himself less tolerant of pettiness and dairy products. SOURCE: Morf Morford: It’s NOT the economy, stupid | Red Letter Christians. I am going to do a rare cross post … Continue reading God Knows More Than I Do…..
“as we returned from work, we saw three gallows… The SS [guards] seemed more preoccupied, more worried, than usual. To hang a child in front of thousands of onlookers was not a small matter. The head of the camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was pale, almost calm, but he was biting his lips as he stood in the shadow … Continue reading Where Is God???
Here are the five greatest reasons parents “lose” their children from Christianity: 1) Falling into the temptation of using religion to control their children through guilt and shame. — “Jesus is watching you!” Even the best parents can find themselves wanting some divine backup in a conflict with their children. However, using God for intimidation in a conflict with children has two major issues. First, it … Continue reading Five Reasons Christian Parents “Lose” Their Children
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….
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….
This is an ongoing post about the book “If Grace Is True” by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland. Here are the words for today. Many people are suspicious of experiences with God. The believers in Jerusalem were suspicious of Peter’s experience. You may be suspicious of mine. Some argue that such experiences aren’t trustworthy, that infallible Scripture is the only safe guide in our search … Continue reading Suspicious of Experiences With God…..