The Opposite of Love

Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop and author of Why God Believes in Love, is the newest columnist at the Daily Beast.  In his initial piece he suggests that his perspective will be one of a critical insider.  Robinson writes: Love is the central theme of the Bible, and yet we find it so hard to live lives of love.  The enemy of love is not hate, but fear.  When confronted by those who seem filled with hate, I try to ask “What are they afraid of?” with as much sympathy as I can Read More …

Angry Men with Fearful Minds

Philip Gulley, popular Christian author and pastor of the Fairfield Friends Meeting (near Indianapolis, IN), used his most recent "Back Home Again" essay in  Indianapolis Monthly to consider the prevalence of griping in our country - especially griping done by white men.  The words he uses to conclude his essay captured my attention and led me to return to his article on multiple occasions as I pondered just what this might mean for me:  . . . for reasons I do not fully understand but fully Read More …

WHCB: Summary & Next Steps

I have devoted most of my posts over the last week to exploring an important topic: "What's Holding Christianity Back."  Using a list of five items proposed by Christian Piatt, I considered church buildings, denominations, worship, church boards, and fear. So What? These factors are quite real.  They must not be ignored.  Reading these posts, pondering your own church experiences, and considering how an awareness of these issues may prove helpful as you live in the present with Read More …

WHCB: Fear

Christian Piatt includes fear on his list of five things that are holding Christianity back.  He suggests that "too often, our actions in church are governed principally by a response to what we fear might happen, rather than faithfully discerning what God is calling us to do." Reality Check Most congregations are risk averse.  When boards engage in decision making in risk averse organizations the possibilities for the future often look a lot like the successes of the past (and sometimes Read More …

What’s Holding Christianity Back? (WHCB)

Christian Piatt is the author of multiple books, including Banned Questions About Jesus and Banned Questions About the Bible.  Recently, he shared a list of things he feels are holding Christianity back: church buildings, denominations, worship, church boards, and fear. So What? Piatt labels these items as "the five biggest things I’ve seen that tend to keep us from doing our best work as the living, breathing body of Christ in the world today."  While he and I may disagree a Read More …

Halloween at the Hell House

Brian Kirk's recent article, "Christian Haunted Houses: Scaring the 'Hell' Out of Teens?," caught my attention for several reasons, including: fear based evangelism targeting teens remains a tactic used by fundamentalist Christians hell houses or evangelistic productions staged to "convert" teens and "save" them from hell are an extreme form deployed each year at Halloween I have been to the Hell House at Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, TX (the "original" upon which so Read More …