Jeff Sessions’ Outrageous Bible Interpretation

The recent statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, defending the horrific separation of children from refugee parents on the basis of his tortured reading of Romans chapter 13, as well as Donald Trump’s recent statement that he wants Americans to treat him the way North Koreans obey their dictator, illustrate the critical need for our churches to stand publicly for a radically different version of the faith and for a very different direction for our country.

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Monetizing the Earth

The kind of despair that prompted ancient religious communities to write warnings of an Apocalypse that comes from the judgment of God is out of place in our modern era but it doesn’t mean that we cannot face an Apocalypse of our own making – an Apocalypse born of a breakdown of public conscience, a shift from the ethics of democracy to the violent oppression of a financially driven oligarchy that monetizes the earth and devalues human life.

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Jeff Sessions’ Outrageous Bible Interpretation

Dear Readers: The recent statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, defending the horrific separation of children from refugee parents on the basis of his tortured reading of Romans chapter 13, as well as Donald Trump’s recent statement …

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American Christian Nationalism

The level of insanity and chaos is so widespread out there, and getting worse I felt I needed to address a pressing issue.

The issue is: the notion that the U.S of A. is a Christian nation, or was a Christian nation, or should be, a Christian nation, is pure propaganda; not to mention unconstitutional. As Christians, we should stop trying to pretend otherwise. Unfortunately, White Christian Nationalism is rearing its ugly head, mostly due to white Christian evangelicals. Some background history.

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Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

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LOVE Has Died. LOVE Is Risen. LOVE Will Come Again, and Again, and Again! – Pluralism Sunday

Pluralism challenges us to move beyond all four of these responses to the other. As Pete puts it, “… in a genuine encounter with the other, at first I see you as weird and monstrous.

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Social change comes about when a prophet or a small prophetic community advocates for a change to the status quo. Ethics is never subject to majority vote but is, instead, sponsored by tiny minorities who are willing to speak truth to power. Therefore, progressive churches will never be mega churches and very few large churches will ever offer substantive challenge to popular society. Those who are willing to do the work of a prophet must be willing to pay the price of being ignored, derided, even fought, but if your cause is right, time is on your side.

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How the Christian Left is ‘Reclaiming Jesus’

Last week, a group of Progressive Christian leaders (including “Royal Wedding” homilist, Bishop Michael Curry, and Fr. Richard Rohr) lead a candlelight vigil and protest in front of the White House, expressing their concerns about the moral state of our nation.

Watch as Rev. Salvatore Sapienza, pastor of Douglas Congregational United Church of Christ, talks about how the Christian Left is “Reclaiming Jesus.”

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When Great Trees Fall

The length of life does not determine its meaning. If there is an afterlife, nothing can be known about it, but the life we know with certainty calls us to live with integrity and nobility. Maya Angelou’s poem, “When Great Trees Fall,” movingly describes how we are affected by the death of those who have inspired us and shaped our lives. Remembering them is, perhaps, their real hope of an afterlife.

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The Last Temptation of Evangelicals

It is true that most people don’t change much but change is possible. Former soldiers in Lebanon’s civil war are now peace advocates in Syria. Former right-wing evangelicals are now reconsidering what it means for them to finally have their “dream president,” and wondering if they should not dream bigger. The legacy of the strangle hold that evangelical Christianity has had on the American government has been painfully revealed in the poorly thought out move of our embassy to Jerusalem, resulting in a protest that left 58 Palestinian protestors dead. It is time for the Christian faith to change, to become more aware of other faiths, other people, and of greater compassion.

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What If…

What if Jesus is our mirror, so we are like him, eternally and unconditionally beloved sons and daughters of God. What if we cannot be separated from God, because we are already embraced and enfolded in God, and God is already in us? What if that’s what baptism is really about? Not a sectarian, conditional, invisible bar code for access to the love of God, but the outward visible reminder that we are all, already, One with God and each other? All: all races, all colors, all genders, all creeds/none, all religions/spiritualities/none.

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Integral Church: A Handbook for New Spiritual Communities

This handbook is perfect for clergy, healers, therapists, interfaith ministers, as well as those interested in developing their own spiritual practice or starting their own home church, study group or community using integral frameworks.

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It’s about LOVE not creeds!

A sermon for Easter 5B – 1 John 4:7-21

This sermon was preached in 2015 upon my return from Belfast. I went off script for this one. So, the manuscript does not adequately reflect what was actually preached. I went off on a tangent using Robin Meyers’ observation that our historical creeds reduce Jesus life to a comma!

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Even Eunuchs and Foreigners are Welcome!

Easter 5B – Acts 8:26-40

What follows is a sermon I preached on the 5th Sunday of Easter 2003. In the 18 years since I preached this sermon, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada has come a long way. The debate about the full inclusion of LGBTQ folk in the full life of the church has been resolved and we can truly say: “All are welcome!” But rule changes don’t always change practices. Sadly, there are still places in our church were not everyone is welcome. So, I offer this sermon to cybersapce as both a reminder of where we have been and how far we need to travel. Shalom.

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I’m Not With Stupid Anymore

Fascism, A Warning, Madeline Albright’s new book, asks us to seriously consider how many familiar elements of the growth of fascism in 20th century Europe are now evident in 21st century America. This is a sobering matter that demands that spiritual people to take it seriously. Bonhoeffer wrote in his letters from prison that stupidity made it possible for fascism to rise in Germany but isn’t it really complacency? And though Russia meddle in the American election in 2016, they did not hack our voting machines, they just appealed to our fear and racism and that was enough to alter the course of an election and of history. It is time for us to decide that we are “not with stupid anymore.”

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Apostle to the Apostles: Mary’s Story

So here, let me honour Mary the Apostle to the Apostles with this my imaginary account of Mary’s story. Remember the power of our imaginations to breathe life into what appears to all the world to be dead.

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The Ghost Community (the one everyone talks about, but no one has ever seen)

The author of Acts describes (in the form of early church propaganda) an almost utopian beginning of the church. Of course, Luke was not there, and his musings are more imagination than history, but he gives voice to a vision that many of us have shared: the good community where everyone shares their belongings, and everyone has what they need. Like ghosts, everyone talks about an egalitarian society but few of us have ever seen it work for more than a flash in history. Still, we know that our present economic system is doomed to failure and something much more fair must emerge.

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Musing of a Progressive Christian Layman: Women in Church Leadership

  How can any 21st century woman believe that only men must lead in the home and church and that a woman’s role is to submit to male leadership? How can a woman attend a church that …

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