church

What keeps you up at night? What kinds of things bother you so much that you have trouble concentrating? What are your deepest fears? Unless you are a theologian, a member of the clergy, or schizophrenic, I’m willing to bet that having a solid understanding of the doctrine of a religion isn’t on your list.…

Read more Telling or Listening?

Let’s be clear. If you belong to a church or other religious or spiritual organization that doesn’t want to address the tough issues, that doesn’t want to take a tough stand, that doesn’t want to confront the problems that are present in society but prefers instead to make nice, to keep the peace, to avoid…

Read more Jerking for Jesus

About a year ago I happened to be working in urban neighborhoods on a Sunday morning. As I moved around town, I heard parts of sermons from three different churches through overdriven PA systems. The message from each? You shouldn’t be spending money “in the world” on clothes and hairstyles, you should be giving your…

Read more The Church as Poverty Pimp

I was part of a discussion on Facebook today around Institutional Religion’s discomfort with people like myself who identify as SBNR, or spiritual but not religious. It started out with an observation by someone who had heard uber-snarky Lillian Daniel prattle on about how, in her mind, SBNR folk are little more than intellectually marginal folks who are…

Read more Spiritual but not Religious – It’s not just a walk in the park.

What is the purpose of the Church? Some would say that churches build community, and indeed they do. However, in the 21st century there are countless other organizations seeking to build community. What makes local churches different? Some would say that the local church offers a place to worship God, and also builds community. That…

Read more The Happy-Clappy Church

Those of us who either grew up in or had our spiritual coming-of-age in liturgical churches (for the most part, the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran traditions) tend to find great comfort in our liturgy. The order of worship each week – and weekday, for that matter – is the same. Many of us…

Read more Liturgical Snobbery

I was in North Carolina this past weekend, though I don’t really know all the cities I was in. They seemed to change so fast. I do know that I stayed in Atlantic Beach and preached at Father’s House in Newport. I also spent a night in the vicinity of New Bern because US Air…

Read more North Carolina