Small Towns…. And Churches, Have Changed

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

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

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

Dear Church

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

The Church Is Not a Democracy….

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 Leaving Religion Costs You Everything…

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…

Everyone Needs A Clubhouse….

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….

Not That Much Different….

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….

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…….

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…..

The Fullness of God’s Grace….. (Part 3 – If Grace Is True)

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)

The Emergent Church….. They Love Everyone….

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….

About The Church & Politics…

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…

The Slippery Slope…..

 


Slippery
I am totally sick of the “slippery slope” that my conservative friends so often cling to!!

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.

Continue reading “The Slippery Slope…..”

Separation of Church and State — 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.

Continue reading “Separation of Church and State — Taxes”

The Separation of Church and State — The Founders Views…

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…

God Is Not Dead But the Church Is On Life Support…

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…