Turning the Tables and Righteous Anger

Jesus courageously confronted injustice. He challenged the temple’s hierarchy against the backdrop of the ongoing economic and social oppression of his times. Jesus was a non-violent revolutionary, but he was not passive.

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Podcasts: It’s About Time

From The Parliament of World's Religions

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is proud to distribute It’s About Time, a weekly podcast produced in partnership with our allies at Religica.org and Seattle University.

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The MYSTERY Is LOVE

The embodiment of LOVE is achieved when we who are made of LOVE, recognize ourselves in the other, because LOVE is not something that we do, LOVE is who we are. LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, LOVE never ends. Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. When we recognize ourselves in the other, we are the embodiment of LOVE. Now we know only in part, then we will know fully, even as we have been fully known. When we recognize ourselves in the other, faith, hope, and LOVE abide, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.

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Values to Build a Life On

Part IV: Dedication to Compassion for All Humanity

The 22nd chapter of Proverbs seems like a random list of statements that are right brain rather than left because they wander around a labyrinth rather than go straight to a clear point. Yet a message of compassion stands out that begins with how children are raised.

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Maya Angelou On Being Christian

To help kick off Black History Month, here are two bite-sized pieces of wisdom from the late, great literary genius, Maya Angelou. Like gems, these are ideas you can put in your pocket, and take them out whenever you need them 🙂

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Social Justice, the Good Samaritan and Outsourcing Charity

One of the most common arguments I hear against “social justice” is this:

Many Christians believe the Gospel calls us to get personally involved in doing charity. They argue that we shouldn’t work to improve economic and political systems because that would be outsourcing our Christian responsibilities to a third party, such as the government. For example, they would say Jesus calls us to personally feed the hungry (Matthew 25:31-46), not to pay taxes so that the government can do that for us.

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Perfecting Love

If God is love, then God is something we do, rather than somebody or something we try to believe in. If God is love, then God is a relationship, and not a Guy in the Sky or some other kind of supernatural entity. If God is love, God is nothing to fear. If God is love, when we really love someone – even of another religion, or of no religion at all – God is in that relationship, blessing it. So these three words wipe away all the theological debates about science and common sense versus religion. These three words sweep away the problem of evil, the perennial conundrum of how an all-powerful God could love people while allowing horrible things to happen to them. If God is love, then God is not in charge of the universe. Love is extremely powerful, but it is not directive. Love does not force anybody to do anything, nor to force anything to do anything to anybody. If God is love, then God is omni-attractive, not omni-potent.

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3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage

What’s the antidote to rising nationalism, polarization and hate? In this inspiring, poetic talk, Valarie Kaur asks us to reclaim love as a revolutionary act. As she journeys from the birthing room to tragic sites of bloodshed, Kaur shows us how the choice to love can be a force for justice.

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Borg and Compassion

I just finished “Unbelievable” and found many things in the book that I was unaware that I believed. I am curious to know how you feel about/reconcile people who are truly evil or unrepentantly evil like child abusers/pornographers. I can deal with people whose belief systems are different than mine but not with people who purposefully hurt other people, especially children. Some even believe it is their right to do so.
How can we love these people wastefully?


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The Inward Journey, the Outward Gaze

Progressive Mysticism with Julian of Norwich

Theologian Karl Barth once counseled, “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” In graduate school over 40 years ago, I heard a modification of Barth’s wisdom, “The preacher should have the New York Times in one hand and the Bible in the other.” This advice surely applies to the spiritual seeker and social activist as well. We must have our eyes trained on eternity while boldly living in our time and place. Touching eternity, the cosmic wisdom of God, grants perspective and hope in the moral arc of history. But the wide perspective – our hope in God’s arc of justice – is of value only if it guides our pathway in responding to the unique challenges of our time.

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Christmastide* Greetings

I hope you’ve been having a restful and reflective season. And, I realize that, for many of us, this has been a difficult season – whether simply feeling the weight of national and global tensions and tragedies, or the pain often borne uniquely in our immediate context.

I carried this paradox with me in my conversation with my dear friend Alexander John Shaia yesterday. It was our final Make Advent Great Again dialogue, and it’s too good not to share with you

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Church Confession

I am the church, and this is my confession.  My last confession was 500 years ago.  I have oppressed women and kept them out of leadership positions.  I have oppressed gay and lesbian people.  I have judged people pointlessly for having normal sexual urges and relationships, treating sex like a disease instead of lifting it up as a precious gift from God. 

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God’s Trans-affirming Love

How does the church and God feel about transgender people? Will they go to hell?

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Praying a New Story

“Praying a New Story” offers a way of seeing and being in the presence of an “everywhere” God” – in all, through all, never absent, always nears.

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If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics

These are new prayers for a new age. They spark the spiritual imagination back to life and reorient us to a mystical unity with the universe, Spirit, and all of creation.

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Christian Theology and Contemporary Knowledge

My answer to this question is a complex one. On one hand, I believe there are tremendous riches in the Christian tradition. It’s a 4,000+ year theological lineage which contains endless metaphors, parables, and doctrines which have helped foster human evolution and have sparked some of the greatest social reform movements in history. That must be acknowledged and celebrated.

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Joran Oppelt interviews Matthew Fox

Joran Slane Oppelt (Integral Church) sits with author and theologian Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada to discuss the relevance of the Creation Spirituality movement and the importance of ritual.

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Christians Knowing Christians Without Agenda

I don’t need or want to change you. But I ought to get to know you. After all, we both profess to follow this same guy Christ. And we inhabit the same public spaces. As a Christian, part of my responsibility is to at the very least get to know Christians of other stripes and build positive relationships, perhaps even mutually-beneficial relationships, whenever possible. Many Christians are already doing this.

And sometimes in doing this I pause and say to myself… “I actually like that you are different from me…. it gives me a chance to learn something new and see things differently.” And maybe somewhere in this we find the miracle of the unity we already have—and a taste of the unity to come.

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