Christians often wonder why Mormons believe such an incredible system: golden tablets translated with "magic glasses," an advanced society of ancient American Indian Israelites who left behind no archaeological evidence at all, an eternity of godhood producing spirit babies, and special protective underwear. What we must understand is that Latter-day Saints believe these things for the same reason that people everywhere believe the things they do: they want to believe them.
It's worth Christians asking: just why are blasphemy laws wrong? Now, obviously, as Christians we disagree with Islam and its teachings. And, obviously, we stand in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. But why would such laws against blasphemy not be appropriate in the reverse case.
I think this movie might be one more window on how the people we are called to love view us. The movie itself veers at times toward empathy. If there's any group easier to be demonized by Hollywood, one would think it would be undead Religious Right activists.
Conservative Christians, obviously, aren't for getting naked in public and drunk anywhere. That said, I don't think there's anything here to be outraged about, as some sort of act of desecration. It was, to be sure, immature and stupid.
I had promised never to mention Pat Robertson here again. Every few months he says some crazy scandalous thing. Let me just say this bluntly. This is not just a statement we ought to disagree with. This is of the devil.
I received an email from a young minister who is discouraged. He's just starting out in ministry, and says his preaching is terrible. He's trying to improve, but is just starting out, and is mediocre. Here's what I think. Your first few sermons are always terrible, no matter who you are.
As a Mississippian and as a Baptist Christian, I cringed the other day when I heard that the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs had moved a couple's wedding ceremony to another venue, to keep a controversy from erupting in the church.
Gun violence is clearly a pro-life issue to the extent that murder is evil and a violation of the dignity of the person and the right to life. That said, usually what people mean by including gun violence as a pro-life issue is not about gun violence, directly, but about gun control measures.
You know the guy I'm talking about. He spends hours into the night playing video games and surfing for pornography. He fears he's a loser. And he has no idea just how much of a loser he is.
The arguments for racial reconciliation were persuasive, ultimately, to orthodox Christians because they appealed to a higher authority than the cultural captivity of white supremacy. This authority couldn't easily be muted by a claim to a "different interpretation"
The catacombs are the legacy of a tiny persecuted band of believers. The cathedrals represent a very different turn in church history: a church that not only could grow in size but could, in fact, outgrow and outlast the Empire itself. We need both, somehow.
If you are asked to pray, you can only pray as a Christian. In so doing, you are actually, ironically enough, protecting the rights of other religions and their chaplains. I frankly don't want a Muslim chaplain forced by the government to pray like a Episcopalian.
Mother's Day is a particularly sensitive time in many congregations, and pastors and church leaders often don't even know it. It is good and right to honor mothers. We must recognize though that many infertile women find this day almost unbearable.
Maurice Sendak, who just died, doesn't seem, at first glance, to have much to teach Christians. After all, he was an atheist with a cynical outlook and a foul mouth.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of trickle-down liturgy. What I mean by that is music that is designed and marketed somewhere, makes it on Christian radio or other media, and then becomes familiar enough that people start singing it in church.
Sometime before dawn on Sunday morning, a spike-torn hand twitched. A blood-crusted eyelid opened. God was not simply delivering Jesus (and with him all of us) from death.
In this case (and in many like it) a boycott exposes us to all of our worst tendencies. Christians are tempted, again and again, to fight like the devil to please the Lord.
Tuesday was the ninth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. We might disagree about whether the war was the right decision, and about where U.S. policy should go from here. But those who belong to Christ ought to be able to agree on one at least one thing: prayer for peace, justice, and gospel in the old country of Abram.
My wife and I are at an impasse. There's been no abandonment, no sexual immorality, and no abuse. We just don't get along. We should have known we are incompatible.
Depression is not just unpleasant; it can be debilitating and dangerous, and it signals that something has gone wrong somewhere. God created us as whole persons, with body and psyche together.
This Sunday would be Johnny Cash's eightieth birthday. To be sure, Cash's Christian testimony is a mixed bag.
There's nothing quite as bleak as a city street the morning after Mardi Gras. The steam of the humidity rises silently over asphalt riddled with forgotten doubloons, broken bottles, littered cigarettes, used condoms, clotted blood, and mangled vomit.
Pro-gambling elected officials aren't evil villains (necessarily). Many of these elected officials have good aims. But I think both proponents and opponents of expanded gambling see this as merely a "values" issue.
Most of our varying critiques of musical forms are often just narcissism disguised as concern about theological and liturgical downgrade. That's why I think we need more, and better, worship wars.
Eschatology and discipleship in the church is kind of like sex education in the home. Just because you don't talk about sex with your kids doesn't mean they will grow up ignorant of sex.