How Toxic Shame Turns Evangelization Into Abuse

Toxic shame is one of the most powerful forces in human culture.

It is commonly discussed in therapy and self-help circles. People also regularly talk about the “guilt and shame” of cultural Christianity, especially as it relates to sexuality.

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Shymma video from Gaza won 1st place in the 2016 Global Peace Song Awards music video contest

Shymaa, a little 4 yr old girl who laid in a comma in a GAZA hospital, during the summer of 2014. She would recover to find her entire family was murdered during an Israeli bombing. Her story sparked the 2 Unite All benefit album with 30 world famed musicians like Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, Stewart Copeland, Philip Lawrence (Bruno Mars) and the Love All Love Wins / UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) movement.

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For Christ’s Sake! It’s Not About God!

– a sermon on the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25: 14-30

We all know full well that millions and millions are suffering and dying and yet to protect ourselves we bury what has been given to us, because we are afraid of being consumed by the wicked master who will surely banish us into the darkness if we do not keep safe what we have been given. We dare not risk loosing anything at all, lest we end up in the outer darkness weeping and gnashing our teeth.

So, for the most part we play it safe and we don’t take any risks and we spend our lives living in fear of that wicked master. If I had to draw a line between the wicked slave-master and some character, I wouldn’t have that line end up with God. Indeed, I’m sure that the wicked master is not God.

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Learning to Welcome the Dark: Advent 1

By Leah Schade for Patheos

I invite you during this Advent season to spend some time with darkness, even if it scares you a little. I’m not saying you have to plunge in the deep end and risk your safety. Try dipping toe in the shallow end at first. When the sun goes down, don’t immediately turn on the lights. Don’t turn on the t.v. Put away your glowing cell phone. Sit in the darkness for a while. Try it just for 10 minutes at first. Maybe 30 minutes if you’re feeling brave.

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Devil’s Whisper Music Video

from Raury's new Album "All We Need"

“Devil’s Whisper” taken from Raury’s new album ALL WE NEED.

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You Are God: The True Teachings of Jesus

By Brandon West

In this article we will explore how the true teachings of Jesus can be summed up by three little words: you are God. Some missionaries came to my house the other day and I was given the opportunity to come face to face with the religious mind, to discover their relationship to God, and to remember my own (non-voluntary) experience with religion.

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Tracee Ellis Ross Has A Message That All Women Need To Hear

Tracee Ellis Ross has accomplished many of her dreams ― and even won some of the highest honors her industry has to offer ― but it takes just one sentence for someone to make her feel diminished.

In an inspiring speech for Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit, the “Black-ish” star opened up about the way some people respond to her being a 45-year-old woman who is not married and does not have kids.

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Feast if the Transfiguration ‘A’

  It is good for us to be here. Be attentive. The Webster Dictionary defines an ‘aha moment’ as a point in time when one has a sudden insight or realization and I would add, a mystical …

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The Arts of Ritual

  Recently, my daughter, Liz Burklo, invited me to speak with a group of the social work student interns she supervises. She wanted me to equip them with skills in conducting rituals that can serve the communities …

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Hollywood, the Christian Church, and Sexual Abuse

Over the past weeks the masks have been ripped off the faces of many famous and powerful men, exposing sexual assault, harassment and conduct unbecoming to anyone who has a shred of decency.

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Addendum to book: Sixth Extinction ?

In recent years biosphere degradation has been forcing many scientists and nonscientists to focus
attention on the interacting dangers within the relationship between our human species and this
planet. Many are concluding that we humans have become an ecological force contrary to
biosphere stabilization and that this is so serious it could lead to our extinction. Renowned
physicist, Stephen Hawking is now sounding the alarm. He has even predicted that we have
less than 600 years before the planet turns into, as he describes it; “a sizzling fireball.”

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The Connection Between Climate Change and Gun Control

From the perspective of political theology, the issues of climate change and gun control are related in two ways. The first linkage is that progressive Christians need no promptings on these issues. By massive numbers they know that God is calling on them to enact laws to control guns and to take actions that help to wean the country away from carbon producing energy.

These issues also tell us something important about how many Conservative Christians think about political issues.

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Thanksgiving as a Myth of Origin

Thanksgiving fits neatly into the “sacred feast” of the sort of the Hebrew Passover feast. Thanksgiving ties us to American history, family history, and religious devotion while denying actual history, especially as it relates to the relationship between Native Americans and the northern European invaders who stole their land and tried to extinguish their culture while killing off most of their population. Americans need to come to an honest awareness of our history, both the parts we can be proud of and the parts that call for confession and penance. The past does not have to be prelude. We can choose to help create a greater America.

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Wild Horses: The Last was First to Ride, Here Is What We Found

By Kimberly Stover for Patheos

  “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away Wild, wild horses we’ll ride them some day.” –The Rolling Stones I’ve always been in love with horses. The thought of riding a horse into the wild excites my spirit …

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Is the sense of self an illusion?

Would you comment from your Christian perspective on the Buddhist assertion that we have no separate self or separate existence because we cannot understand who we are without understanding who we aren’t, and our separate existence is known only because of everything we are? Is the sense of self an illusion?

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Cherry Picking Religion – Roy Moore’s Twisting of Faith

By Rabiah Ahmed for Patheos

The Roy Moore scandal grows everyday; there are more accusers, more accounts of disturbing behavior. But even as the evidence mounts, Moore’s defenders remain steadfast. What is most striking is the language used by his supporters to say that Moore’s predation upon minors was not only unremarkable, but somehow ordained by God.

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2 Takeaways from Pope Francis Statement on Capital Punishment

Pope Francis recently made bold comments on capital punishment. He called it “contrary to the gospel” and flat out “inadmissible.” In these words, we are seeing the culmination of what’s been building over the course of several pontificates—John Paul II, especially, but other popes, as well.

There are, at least, two developments happening in Church teaching that I see:

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The American Empire

In a speech Robert Gates gave as Secretary of Defense in the second Bush administration, he let on that the United States’ navy is larger than the next thirteen navies combined. Again, eleven of those thirteen countries are our allies. The U.S. currently has 800 military bases around the world in eighty-five countries. 250,000 military personnel staff those bases for an annual cost of 156 billion dollars.

This global military presence is unique in history, and its existence speaks louder than the hypocritical words of American exceptionalism that we seek no advantage for ourselves, that our military presence throughout the world is only there for the good of others. As recent history suggests, we use this unprecedented military power to move from enemy to enemy in an attempt to shape the world in our interests.

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