It has been announced: The Donald isn’t going to show up for the January 28 Republican debate because he doesn’t like Megyn Kelly and her, “I’m going to keep you accountable for your sexist remarks” questions. Trump’s got money and … Continue reading “Trumpian” or Christian?
All our needs were met. Instructions were clear and signage was excellent. Gracious and competent attendants directed us through the gargantuan parking lot, waving us into a convenient spot. Greeters kindly showed us to waiting areas as the previous attendees … Continue reading You Choose: Was This a Worship Experience or Was It . . . ?
The Problem with Unity This past Sunday, while sitting in the Sunday morning session at the Unity Spiritual Center of Denton, I had a powerful flash of insight: This is the religious conservative’s worst nightmare and is one of the … Continue reading Unity: The Conservative’s Worst Nightmare or Our Best Hope?
“The doors of the church are still open.” The media will soon forget the horror of the June 17, 2015 murders of nine good people at Mother Emanuel, the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The next big … Continue reading Worship at St. James AME: “The Doors of the Church are Still Open”
I am not going to do any second-guessing as to background and causation of the tragedy in South Carolina. The facts themselves are horrific enough: a young white man spends some time in worship in a historically black church and then kills nine of them including the pastor. Somewhere along the line, he learned that hating those who are different is a permissible, possibly even admirable, way to live. Instead of dealing with what may have or may not have happened in his upbringing, I want to suggest some larger societal factors that I think are coming into play here. Perhaps we … Continue reading Five Factors That Create a Culture of Hate
It suddenly dawned on me last Sunday: Prayer is not media-friendly. In this past year, I’ve visited over forty different types of churches, writing up my experiences for a regional newspaper. I then post the columns on this blog and … Continue reading How Megachurches Have Killed the Practice of Prayer
I sat in a giant, rich Baptist church on Sunday, and heard the pastor say, “Just trust me on this one,” as he pronounced with authority the demise of the US and the rise of the Antichrist over the issue of same-sex marriages. Baptist churches are all independent–none has to answer to another. They can and do teach anything they want and all make their appeal to the Bible as their ultimate authority. I spent about 25 years in the independent church world. There the Bible is the ultimate authority. Disagreements are rampant; cult-like churches common. Indoctrination serves as the main … Continue reading Appeal to Scripture as the Ultimate Authority Leads to Schism
“Wow–Joel Osteen and The Summit in Houston have nothing on this place!” So my companion commented as we walked into the cavernous worship center of the main campus of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. Tier after tier of green-cushioned pews, … Continue reading Mystery Worship: Fear and Tribulation Bring in Money and People at Prestonwood Baptist
By now, anyone who has the news on will have heard about the Delta airplane coming into La Guardia Airport that skidded off the runway. It came within feet of plunging into the icy waters of the bay. Fortunately, there … Continue reading Airline Near-Disasters and Further Reflections on Lent
When the theology says, “You are a totally depraved human being. Nothing good can happen to you unless the sovereign God decides to grant you a blessing,” then those who are “blessed” find perfect justification to believe that the poor … Continue reading The Seduction of Young Men and Destruction of Compassion by the Neo-Calvinist Church Planting Movement