MONDAY MEDITATION: How Many “Likes”? (May 3)

About that time King Herod began to harass some who belonged to the church. He had James, John’s brother, killed with a sword.  When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter as well. – Acts 12:1-3a Herod Antipas followed in his father’s, Herod the Great’s, footsteps. Mean, vengeful, neurotic, violent. He also played to the …

Read more

Honesty and Humility Aren’t Enough

There are two defining virtues for a Christian: honesty and humility. Honesty: Christians have the courage to try and see themselves as they are, as objectively as possible. We search for blind spots, masked prejudices, self-justifications, and so forth. (Wasn’t that the point of Wesley’s small groups?) Humility: We admit we are hopelessly and unconsciously …

Read more

No Pure Place to Stand

The Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church recently completed its three-day meeting in Springfield. We elected delegates, lay and clergy, who will represent us at the 2020 General Conference, the policy making body of our denomination. The people we elected (with surprising quickness) all endorse full inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community into the …

Read more

Suggestions for a New Methodism

With the Judicial Council’s recent decision that central elements of the Traditional Plan are constitutional, the trajectory of United Methodism has been set for the immediate future. There will be no Book of Discipline-approved ordination of homosexuals, nor will there be same-sex marriages performed without harsh penalties. The resulting uproar in the aftermath of the …

Read more

My Bible Is as Worn as Theirs

After the United Methodist General Conference approved the Traditionalist Plan, which kept restrictive language against homosexuality in the denomination’s Book of Discipline, there was great rejoicing in the world of far-right evangelicals. On February 27, 2019, Franklin Graham posted his happiness on Facebook. He saw this as a victory for “God’s Truth” and the “clear …

Read more

The Night I Apologized for the Church

I never thought I’d feel the need to apologize for the United Methodist Church. Being raised in the UMC fold, and pastoring in it for four decades, I’ve always felt a sense of both comfort and pride. I still do. Pluralism. Emphasis upon grace. Encouragement of people to develop a faith authentic to themselves. Respecting …

Read more

Christianity’s Future?

Religious identity in America continues declining. One survey found that 35 percent of Americans now identify themselves with no religion, and that 44 percent of millennials view themselves similarly. (Christian Century, January 16, 2019) It’s obvious that whatever the Christian church has been doing is simply not working anymore. The future of the church, if …

Read more

%d bloggers like this: