A Christmas to Remember

A Christmas to Remember

As we sat discussing wedding plans, we reviewed all of their family history and started dreaming up lines for a wedding homily. Lauren said, “We just want to be good people,” and I wrote it down. That line will be in the homily.

The Dangers of Radical Islam and Christian Hypocrisy

The Dangers of Radical Islam and Christian Hypocrisy

I’ll be honest. The sight of all those cheering Christians almost brought me to tears. I cannot bear the thought of a so-called “Christian” sanctuary filled with cheers and praise. The pastor says: bomb the hell out of them, just as Jesus said. The people cheer.

Seven Monks and a Baptist Church

Seven Monks and a Baptist Church

In a world of such maddening events, I am proud, honored and humbled that seven Buddhists from the other side of the world, and at least 150 neighbors, from across my own community, were comfortable to come to a Baptist church, sit for an hour, search the silence of their own souls and the strains of ancient, chanting rhythms, in search of peace.

My response to Governor McCrory:  "Fear not."

My response to Governor McCrory: "Fear not."

It takes work to overcome our fears. Daily, persistent, intentional WORK. You have to decide not to be afraid. You have to take deep breaths, utter phrases that are filled with Truth rather than propaganda over and over to yourself, and then push yourself to press through the fear and decide to live life to the fullest.

Justice Before Judgment

Justice Before Judgment

So, what do we do when the world comes crashing down? When skyscrapers fall? When mad men appease their merciless god with fear and death, a bloody worship and the praise of a mother’s agonizing grief?

Maybe Starbucks is Not the Problem

Maybe Starbucks is Not the Problem

Since when are secular companies, practicing competitive business in a free market society supposed to speak for the Church?  Is that what Christians really want?  And would that actually “put Christ into Christmas” – or just make him another commodity, traded on the Market?

Social Security.  Not Individual Security.

Social Security. Not Individual Security.

Speaking from a perspective of enlightened self-interest, it’s clear that in a capitalist economy the stronger the lower and middle classes are, the more money those at the top are going to have.

And speaking from a perspective of faith, God’s concern is not those whose hard work and unmerited advantages put them at the top. It is the well-being of all – especially those whose hard work and undeserved disadvantages have put them closer to the bottom.

Dressing Up Our Idols

Dressing Up Our Idols

Foolish idolatry!  Can you imagine, wrapping up some little stone statues to keep them warm, while a child lies shivering in the very same night air? We good Americans, schooled in the virtues of Christian orthodoxy, have been gratefully enlightened beyond such silly, abusive hypocrisy. We would never do such a thing.

Or would we?

Someone to Count On

Someone to Count On

In his research on “happiness economics,” John Helliwell writes: “if 10 percent more people thought they had someone to count on in life, it would have a greater effect on national life satisfaction than giving everyone a 50% raise.”   “Someone to count on” – not economic factors that can be measured - that’s the solution to our problems. 

When do 140,000 American lives not matter?

When do 140,000 American lives not matter?

A recent study has shown that between 2002 and 2013,  141,796 Americans have died in gun violence in this country. 141,796 mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, children, friends. In that same time period only 263 Americans died in attacks by “terrorists.” If you are offended by those quotation marks, please ask yourself … Of what, and of whom, should we really be afraid?

The Gospel Will Always be a Threat to Power

The Gospel Will Always be a Threat to Power

So today, governments are afraid of preachers, because the Gospel has always been a political narrative.  You only have to read the critiques by U.S. politicians and pundits of Pope Francis's comments on climate change and income inequality to understand the truth of this assertion.

5 Stars for our Child Development Center

5 Stars for our Child Development Center

We will take those 5 Stars and celebrate! But the number of stars will never fully show what it takes to care for children. That takes love and can only truly be measured by the heart. Our CDC has heart.

Even a Neurosurgeon can say Embarrassing Things

Even a Neurosurgeon can say Embarrassing Things

Being a successful neurosurgeon is apparently no guarantee you won’t embarrass yourself in the national spotlight. I’m not sure which constitution Dr. Carson had in mind when he opined that no Muslim is fit to be the President. The US constitution guarantees freedom of (and freedom from) religion, and specifies that no religious litmus test shall deter anyone from holding office. 

Please Hold us in the Light

Please Hold us in the Light

There is much that needs to be said, that needs to be addressed, that needs to be changed, and I am prayerful that our work in Charlotte might stand as an example across the country.

Kim Davis:  Blinded by Belief

Kim Davis: Blinded by Belief

So bless Mrs. Davis for her conviction.  But as we say in the South “bless her heart.” Once again religion has blinded the religious from seeing that God has “more truth yet” to shine on us (John Robinson). And thanks be to God for a secular democracy – unbearably slow though it sometimes is.

The jury is still out. But the verdict is in.

I think of my nation, still divided, still judging one another not by the content of character, but by the color of skin. I think that there are a lot of very complicated factors in this case, but what I know is that this mostly comes down to America’s Original Sin, and unless and until we can finally own it and engage the very hard work of healing we’ll always be waiting on a jury…