Friday, April 26, 2013

Why Am I So Annoyed By Progressive Christianity?

Anyone who has read this blog over the years, know that I have a bit of a beef with Progressive Christianity.
While it might sound like I don’t like Progressive Christianity, or that I want to move to a more conservative denomination, let me reassure you, I’m not going anywhere.
The fact is there are many reasons that I like running alongside Progressive Christians.  I love their support of LGBT rights.  I love their concern for the marginalized.  I love that they want to really study the biblical texts.  It’s for all of these reasons that I’ve been a part of Mainline/Progressive Christianity for 20 years.  This is my home.
And yet, I want to some times scream at my fellow travelers for being self-righteous, hypocritical jerks.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

What Joe Paterno and Kermit Gosnell Have In Common

 Like a lot of folks, I’ve been following the whole story on the role of the media concerning abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.  There’s a lot to said about media ethics and double standards. Last night, I watched a Huff Post Live segment on the case, which I consider some of the best coverage I’ve seen so far.  What made it so good was the honesty of the host, Marc Lamont Hill  and the Pennsylvania State Representative Margo Davidson, who lost a relative from actions at Gosnell’s clinic.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sermon: “On Pastors and Pastures”

A sermon from Good Shepherd Sunday 2006.

“On Pastors and Pastures”
John 10:11-18, Psalm 23
May 7, 2006
Lake Harriet Christian Church
Minneapolis, MN

I have to “blame” our Associate Minister, Tammy Rottschaefer for this sermon. For a while she has commented on the problem with parts of the church today in that we don’t know how to be church together. Somehow, all that talking about being church, sunk into me. For the past few months, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be church at this time and place. I’ve also been thinking a lot about what it means to be a pastor, a question that has been on my mind since I was ordained nearly four years ago.

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On Holy Friendships

My thoughts these days are drifting towards relationships, or the lack thereof in churches.
I’ve been thinking about this in light of a recent blog post on on the dearth of cross-party friendships.  The post linked to a longer article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the issue.  The author, Neil Gross notes that such friendships have benefits for the whole of society:

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Friday, April 12, 2013

How a Clockwork Pastor is Becoming Human

 When I started seminary 15 years ago, I had come to accept that I would never pastor a church.  I just wasn’t a people person.  Maybe I’d be a seminary professor or something.  I didn’t know it back then, but I was basically acknowledging my Aspergers limitations.

Of course, as you can tell, I didn’t end up as a seminary prof.  Instead, I’ve been the Associate Pastor at a church for nearly five years.  And somehow, I’ve managed to not mess things up, praise be to God.

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Being Gay at Liberty University

 Last fall, I wrote a blog post about how I’ve come to respect social conservatives.  What I’ve learned over time is that the view of social conservatives is not so black and white.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Now That We’ve Won (Maybe)…

526563_10151536092120549_414515262_nThis week's drama over the issue of same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court has been nothing short of historic. American society is at a point that I thought wouldn't come for several years, if not decades. Same sex marriage might be legal in most of the nation in a few short years. Here in Minnesota, it might be that by the end of the year we might have the right for gay couples to marry. It means that I can have my relationship with my partner Daniel, recognized by the state and therby able to receive benefits that heterosexual couples have enjoyed for a very long time. There's been a sense of celebration among my friends, as we see places like Facebook ablaze in the red equal signs with people showing support for same sex marriage. But there has also been a darker side. I've seen friends kind of using this moment to make fun and belittle those who have opposed same sex marriage. Of course, when you are on the winning side, especially in the culture wars, it's very easy to start "spiking the ball;" enjoying the tables turning.

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Happy To Be Stuck With You

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to abandon you, to turn back from following after you. Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do this to me and more so if even death separates me from you.” 18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her about it.
Ruth 1:16-18 Common English Bible

On my wedding day, we had a reception for family and friends at our house. I remember Daniel and I were getting things ready for the event. Daniel kind of gave me an order to get something done. I looked over to a friend who smiled and said, "you're stuck with him now."

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