When I moved into the small rural town that become my home twenty-one years ago, I was proud to proclaim that I was no longer a big-city guy. When I went back to church after a twenty-year absence I was proud to proclaim that I was part of a congregation once again. But then, everything sort of changed. The last nail in rural/church life coffin … Continue reading Small Towns…. And Churches, Have Changed
Perhaps the most serious long-term damage that Trump has propagated is religion. Of course, in this case he was only the catalyst, not the only one primarily responsible for that. For the most part, individual religious institutions have done pretty severe damage to themselves. One of those religious leaders that comes to the top of this deadly heap is Franklin Graham. He took over the … Continue reading Perhaps the Most Serious Long-Term Damage
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition…. One of my major projects for 2021 is to understand just what Humanism is all about. I have to get my mind in an objective frame of mind before I … Continue reading Humanism
Check out my post over at RedLetterLiving to see my view of how people choose a church and why some don’t choose any church. Continue reading How People Choose A Church?
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…
The Exodus has begun … it’s not going to stop… People are leaving and & not coming back… People are leaving you because you are silent right now in ways that matter to them… The singular thing you can offer them is a clear and unflinching voice that emulates the voice of Jesus… Source: Dear Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving – John Pavlovitz Continue reading Dear Church
We in the U.S. know that one of the primary foundations of our democracy is freedom of speech. That is being able to say something different from our leaders and not suffer serious consequences. In my opinion, this is what has allowed our country to remain so strong over the centuries. Many times criticisms lead to change and though we might not realize it at … Continue reading The Church Is Not a Democracy….
When I read the words in the source article below they rang very true to me. Even though I was not a minister like he was I too felt the cost of being forced out of a church community for having different/unacceptable beliefs. I dared, among other things to say the earth was more than 6,000 years old. After 36 years in the Evangelical Charismatic … Continue reading When Leaving Religion Costs You Everything…
I want to bring over a slightly edited archive post from one of my other blogs at RedLetterLiving.net for this Sunday’s post. It is from March 13. I’m not sure who brought up the concept but it is about how churches are actually more like clubhouses than anything else. They are buildings that are built almost exclusively for their members comfort. Yes that comfort does … Continue reading Everyone Needs A Clubhouse….
Here’s one person’s attempt to summarize the Gospel in a single sentence. It’s by Bruxy Cavey, the teaching pastor at The Meeting House. He says “The Gospel is the good news that God comes to us through Jesus to show us his love, save us from sin, set up his kingdom and shut down religion.” Just thirty words, but I think he does a great … Continue reading The Gospel In Thirty Words…
We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against. We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers. We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation. … Continue reading Not That Much Different….
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…….
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…..
“Hunt out and talk about the good that is in the other fellow’s church, not the bad, and you will do away with all this religious hatred you hear so much nowadays.” – Will Rogers, 11 March 1923 This quote from Will definitely applies to the churches in the U.S. but it equally applies to many other things that are problematic in our country today. … Continue reading Hunt Out The Good….
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….
I spent my first fourteen years in the Catholic church but really haven’t kept up with the details except for an occasional theology study. I know the picture here is a once in an era event. It has been centuries since a pope has resigned from office. The first thought that came to mind when I saw the picture here is that of two very … Continue reading Pope — CEO Or Spiritual Leader???
Occasionally people knock on my door or hand me a tract on a street corner or strike up a conversation with the aim of asking, “Are you saved?” Even before I believed in the salvation of every person, I always answered with an enthusiastic yes. Often, rather than sharing my elation, my inquisitors would look me up and down with a dubious eye and ask … Continue reading Are You Saved???
I was certain if I could preach the perfect sermon the altar would fill with people overcome by God’s grace. Now I realize there are many hindrances to experiencing the fullness of God’s grace—confusion, fear, prejudice, ignorance, and pride, to name a few. The removal of these obstacles ought to be the primary purpose of the Church. Unfortunately, the Church has often erected more barriers … Continue reading The Fullness of God’s Grace….. (Part 3 – If Grace Is True)
Our personal experiences invade all our perceptions of life. It is who we are and how others see us to be. I want to spend this post talking about personal experiences and how that relates to Christian outreach. What do our perceptions have to do with religion. Let’s face it we are a product of our experiences. I just finished watching a program in which … Continue reading In Their Shoes…
I am going to spend the next few posts giving you some more info about the emergent church movement now taking place around the world. The source for these posts is a book by Tony Jones entitled The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier. Tony is one of the original leaders of this movement so his words have an insight into the beginning thoughts about just … Continue reading The Emergent Church….. They Love Everyone….
The church is in Politics more than the Politicians. February 17, 1929 — Will Rogers As I have mentioned a few times already in our study of Thomas Jefferson, his principle of the separation of church and State was more to protect the State than the church. It seems that Will understood this also. Unfortunately not much has changed since even Will’s day. The … Continue reading About The Church & Politics…
If I hear another person give me a slippery slope story I just might punch them. The idea of the slippery slope consumes so much of their lives. It is the center point for their current stands against gun regulation. It is the center point for their current stands of excluding anyone from their religious circles who don’t totally align with them. It is the center point of their current stands on taxes.
Source: Churches and Taxes – ProCon.org.
US churches received an official federal income tax exemption in 1894, and they have been unofficially tax-exempt since the country’s founding. All 50 US states and the District of Columbia exempt churches from paying property tax. Donations to churches are tax-deductible. The debate continues over whether or not these tax benefits should be retained.
Proponents argue that a tax exemption keeps the government out of church finances and thus upholds the separation of church and state. They say that churches deserve a tax break because they provide crucial social services, and that church tax exemptions have been in place for over 200 years without turning America into a theocracy.
Opponents argue that giving churches special tax exemptions violates the separation of church and state, and that tax exemptions are a privilege, not a right guaranteed by the US Constitution. They say that in tough economic times the government cannot afford what amounts to a subsidy worth billions of dollars every year.
I am going to do a couple of posts here on a pretty controversial topic and that is church and State. I just finished three months worth of political posts so I thought I might as well tackle another difficult issue before my blood pressure finally goes down to normal. Being a U.S. history buff I have read quite a bit on Jefferson and his … Continue reading The Separation of Church and State — The Founders Views…
I am going to start a series of posts around quotes from some of the many books I have read. One of the favorites is the book “If God is Love” by Philip Gulley. Here is the quote for today: The theology of love begins with the assumption that all people are God’s cherished children and deserving of love. “We love because he first loved … Continue reading If God Is Love… (Part1)
This is a cross post from one of my other blogs at RJ’s Corner. I thought it appropriate for RLL also. It is terrible to think what the churches do to men. But if one imagines oneself in the position of the men who constitute the Church, we see they could not act differently. The churches are placed in a dilemma: the Sermon on the … Continue reading God Is Not Dead But the Church Is On Life Support…
I know in the introduction to this study I said I would not be following a timeline but instead be giving you a mosaic. But after thinking about it for a while now I have decided to do the timeline approach. In addition to a time line I have decided to try to interweave it with the history of the Roman Empire. I know this … Continue reading A Change of Heart…..
I want to state up front that I most likely don’t have a complete picture of church history and I’m sure some of my conclusions will go contrary to many of today’s theologians. Especially those with very narrow agendas. I also want to tell you that since there are now 39,000+ different versions of the church of Christ I believe that the church is severely … Continue reading About Me and This Study…
I am just posting a quick “aside” here to let you know that starting today I am posting again over at RedLetterLiving.net. The posts will primarily be about a study I am currently engaged in on how the Christian church got from its beginnings to where it is today and what the future might be. If you are interested in that sort of thing pay me … Continue reading RLL Blog Announcement
Here I am a senior citizen so I thought I had completed all of life’s rights-of-passage. But I was recently proven wrong. Because of my stand, here and elsewhere, that I believe that the earth is more than 6,000 years old I have been asked to refrain from some worship activities at my current church! It seems I am not allowed to believe the age … Continue reading A Right of Passage….