Adam and Eve – A New Vision: Part 2

Why did God forbid Adam to have knowledge by forbidding him to eat of the Tree of Knowledge? The answer is, God did not forbid Adam to have knowledge, he/she was just pointing out the repercussions of having it. There are, indeed, serious consequences to having knowledge.

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Easter Week: A New Narrative

The profundity of Christianity is that nothing in it has but one meaning.

So it is with Easter Week.

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Five Weeks and a Holy Week

Are you envious because of my generosity? The question seemed to jump off the page. Far too often, I have felt envious because someone got something I felt I was entitled to – and I realized that I, like the laborers in the vineyard, begrudge God’s generosity. And, of course, envy and entitlement are major impediments when it comes to living a truly grateful life.

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Is the Solution to Nursing Home Abuse to Care for Elders Ourselves?

As Americans, our individualist society can often disconnect us from those who need our help — especially the elderly. While many other cultures have extended families living in one home together, Americans typically branch off on their own. While this independence can be enjoyable, it also can put vulnerable populations at risk.

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The Power of Signs, Symbols and Ritual

A Rationale for Religious Ritual When the Rationality of Words Fail Us

When there is an absence of conscious symbolic ritual, what happens with such a lack of awareness about the power that signs and symbols play in our lives, and the depth or richness of value and meaning they provide? How can we otherwise express what is ultimately inexpressible?

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We need safe spaces of worship

The high holy holidays of Passover and Easter are fast approaching and Ramadan is in May. Attacks, however, on places of worship are becoming too frequent in this global climate of intolerance. As a worshiper, I need our president to make us safe.

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A Requiem for Notre Dame de Paris, The Soul of a Nation

The psychologist and genius Otto Rank, author of the classic work Art and Artist, said that if you want to know the soul of a nation go to its architecture first.  Notre Dame de Paris and the entire gothic revolution of the 12th century Renaissance that it encapsules (along with Chartres Cathedral 30 miles beyond Paris), tells us much about the soul of France.  And our own souls.

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For Mainline Christian Clergy

This simple combination of “the Bible is the word of God” and “Jesus died for your sins” is what the public thinks lie at the core of Christian faith. I remember being told at Union Theological Seminary in 1963 that what we were learning would take 50 years to trickle down to the church membership.

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What I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do.

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

What do I believe?
It is simple really
I believe there is something much much bigger than I
I call that something God, or the Sacred One, although I am not sure that an anthropomorphic image of God is helpful.

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Allowing Children to Dress for Church in Ways That Embrace their Full Selves

As a 7 year old, I  was usually allowed to dress myself.  So I chose to run around with my hair in Jerhi curls, frayed blue jeans and a t-shirt. To the world, I looked like a girl, but in my heart, I was planning on growing up to be a man.This was long before I discovered the word transgender.

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At the Feet of the Master

But now that we’re halfway through the season of Lent, I think it’s the right time to talk about what is possibly the most important spiritual practice of all, the practice that makes all the others possible: the spiritual practice of letting something go. All the spiritual teachings in the world are not going to help us–even a personal invitation from the spiritual master himself is not going to help us–if we keep ourselves too busy to show up for him. Thanks for coming over, Martha says to Jesus this morning. But you know, I really don’t have time for this stuff!

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Why We Don’t Say ‘Illegals’

In much the same way, undocumented immigrants should not be called “illegals” nor should asylum seekers be said to be “sneaking in.” These terms paint a misleading picture—no doubt to discredit and reduce sympathy for these people. However, spreading a misleading testimony about others is a violation of one of the 10 Commandments.

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Holy Week Reflection And Questions

The wise and teaching Jesus proclaimed an egalitarian ethic of loving and serving others, even our enemies, as ourselves. The compassionate and practicing Jesus worked and advocated for equality, justice, and mercy for the despised, poor, sinful, and oppressed. The judicious and brave Jesus decried the hypocrisy and illuminated the spiritual perils of the wealthy, powerful, haughty, judgemental, and privileged. The betrayed and arrested Jesus commanded the nonviolent laying down of swords and the restoration of severed ears to hear. The tortured and dying Jesus exhibited forgiveness to those who persecuted him. The resurrected and empowered Jesus encouraged and gave the gift of peace to all who would follow his example and go forth to revolutionize relationships with all humanity and creation.

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Lao Tzu said stop thinking and end your problems.

I get the idea: thinking leads to judgment, and judgment leads to problems.

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Negative Racial Stereotypes in Popular Kids Movies

I’ve been immersed in watching animated films these days along with my toddler. Two of the movies in our daily rotation include Trolls and Sing (both 2016). Both are very well done. Both went to great lengths to offer something for parents as well as for children. And both, I believe, made efforts to avoid negative racial and cultural stereotypes. Yet, in both movies, some unfortunate mistakes fell through the cracks.

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What to Call Me?

“Are you a Christian?” is a question I hear often because I label myself as an a-theist. That means I don’t believe in an anthropomorphic god living in a mansion above a flat earth. My answer to whether I’m a Christian is more complex than a simple yes or no.

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Trees of Life

A few weeks ago, I went on a pilgrimage to a tree. Yes, a tree. A single, extraordinary tree named Pando. I’ve loved trees my entire life – their height, shade, spread, and grandeur, the distinctive beauty of each one. When I was little, I drew hundreds of pictures of trees. Despite their uniqueness, each individual tree looked remarkably like the others – a thick brown stick with a green cloud-like puff at the top. One tree, two trees, three . . . sometimes I would draw an entire forest of these trunks and leaves.

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Waking a Dancing World: A Zen Priest Reflects On Being Spiritually Fluid

By James Ford

I was recently a bystander on a Facebook thread about being Buddhist and Christian. My name was raised as an example of someone, how shall we say, “spiritually fluid.” A lovely term coined by Duane Bidwell, a professor at Claremont School of Theology, Presbyterian minister, and long time Buddhist practitioner.

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