David Potter 12-08-2017

God of wholeness,
come and fill our hearts and minds,
and our bodies
with deep abiding love.

the Web Editors 12-08-2017

1. The Problem With “Silence Breakers” as TIME’s Person of the Year

I decided to search for two words on the article’s web page: “patriarchy” or “misogyny.” Zero results.

2. WATCH: Tracee Ellis Ross’ Children’s Book for Handsy Men

“It’s kinda like a children’s book … for men ... that is going to make this really simple.” Actress Tracee Ellis Ross reads her funny-but-oh-so-direct new book, The Handsy Man, on Jimmy Kimmel.

Stephen Mattson 12-08-2017

But Jesus said, if you would be perfect, go, and stop pretending racism doesn’t exist, stop supporting political leaders who lie and manipulate, stop being co-opted by political agendas, and stop slandering people who are different from you.

Judge Roy Moore participates in the Mid-Alabama Republican Club's Veterans Day Program in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, U.S., November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry/File Photo

President Trump and the Republican National Committee, on the other hand, are supporting an accused child molester for the U.S. Senate. It is as if the Catholic bishops were promoting a child abuser for bishop.

Juliet Vedral 12-07-2017

Image via 'Darkest Hour'/Facebook

The Darkest Hour raises uncomfortable questions about the nature of war and what justifies military action. We see the sacrifice of 4,000 British soldiers at Calais in order to rescue the 300,000 British Expeditionary Forces at Dunkirk. It is an agonizing moment, a devastating sacrifice. In May of 1940, none of those leaders and soldiers had any idea that those casualties were not a complete waste of human life, that were it not for Britain’s refusal to surrender and agree to terms with Hitler that world events could have taken an even darker turn.

Jim Wallis 12-07-2017

These are the times in which we now live. The turbulence of this year has left many of us feeling buffeted by constant storms in politics, society, and nature. Amid this daily chaos, fear, and pain, one thing is clear: The role of faith leaders across society is more important than ever. Our call and our ministry requires us to stay radically rooted.

Jon Huckins 12-06-2017

Palestinians watch President Trump's Jerusalem decision in Jerusalem's Old City Dec. 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
 

Peacemaking isn’t a passive withdrawal from conflict — it’s an intentional movement toward it with tools to understand, heal, and transform. It’s time for Christians across the U.S. to engage in this conflict in a helpful, curious way. I know there is a lot of confusion and complexity around this and, for the sake of my friends (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) in the region, as well as our collective wellbeing, I feel compelled to offer a few brief observations on today’s announcement by President Donald Trump on the U.S. embassy and the status of Jerusalem as the capitol.

Kaitlin Curtice 12-06-2017

This Christmas season, we need to remember that Jesus was not white. And in solidarity with that truth, we need to make space in our Advent season for the church to openly lament that American Christianity has often stood on the side of the oppressor and not on the side of the oppressed.

Martin E. Marty 12-05-2017

Image via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

If you were of age in 1993, you don’t need to be reminded who the Branch Davidians were and what the Federal Bureau of Investigation did to them on April 19th of that year.

For newcomers to the scene, these “Davidians” were well-known for their extremist activities in Waco, Texas. They were a typical “cult” during a decade in which intense and isolated religious groups were a threat to their neighbors, the relatives of their members, and the public at large. In that April incident, the FBI, urged by public opinion, set out to discipline them and prevent them from creating public disturbances. Yet, create a disturbance they did.

Katie Dubielak 12-05-2017

As a woman who attended Catholic school for 16 years of her life, Lady Bird is possibly the most relatable movie of the year. Lady Bird could have added the subtitle “inspired by true events” and I would have asked myself which person from my hometown sold the rights to their life story to Greta Gerwig.

Jean Neely 12-05-2017

This has been a devastatingly difficult year for many of us, to say the least — even for those of us whose homes and families haven’t been directly hit by any of the ongoing wars, natural disasters, or the reckless actions of the current president. Around this time last year, many in our country were insisting we needed to withhold judgment and give #45 a chance. While some church leaders led us in lament after the election, too many in our churches urged us to “wait and see.” More than 10 months in now, we’ve had time enough to witness more grievous offenses than we thought were possible from anyone in that office within such a brief period.

Ed Spivey Jr. 12-05-2017

Senator Chuck Grassley speaking at the Night of the Rising Stars in Des Moines, Iowa in 2011. Gage Skidmore / Flickr.com

When Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) accused the non-rich of squandering their money on “booze or women or movies,” my progressive friends quickly denounced him, as they should. Sen. Grassley is clearly suffering from the senility of a political dogma long past its freshness date. But me, I kept my mouth shut.

Joe Kay 12-04-2017

Let’s use this Advent — the season that starts with one woman’s courageous voice — to pay closer attention to all the female voices in our world. Let’s honor them and hear God still speaking to all of us through them.

Abby Olcese 12-04-2017

Image via Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Facebook

Mildred rents the three billboards down the road from her house to cover with messages shaming the local police chief, Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) in hopes of galvanizing the department into action. She merely irritates the sympathetic Willoughby, but infuriates Dixon (Sam Rockwell), a dim officer with racist and homophobic tendencies and an anger management problem. As tensions escalate and anger begets violence (which begets more violence), Mildred and Dixon are each forced to address the deeper issues inside them that fuel their actions.

the Web Editors 12-01-2017

1. Christians Arrested Reading Scripture in Senate Office Building
Powerful video of 12 Christian leaders arrested in the Hart Senate Building while reading from the #2000verses in the Bible on poverty and justice, speaking out against the GOP Tax Bill.

2. Great Injustice Calls for Great Action
“… this milestone bill will determine social outcomes for many years to come. Its passage will create a complete shift in the social safety net as we have known it, and it will signal a change that government will no longer care for the needs of the poor — the criteria that the biblical prophets demand of all those who rule.”

David Mislin 11-29-2017

Further complicating matters, the Supreme Court has changed its position over time. Its evolving interpretations show how religious freedom debates create shifting categories of winners and losers.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks at news conference announcing the passage of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Nov. 16, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

This week, the U.S. Senate is set to vote on the Republican tax bill, following the House vote on a similar bill earlier this month. The proposed plan in the Senate is very complicated and it is being rushed through the political process with little time to consider it and draw public attention to it. But this milestone bill will determine social outcomes for many years to come. Its passage will create a complete shift in the social safety net as we have known it, and it will signal a change that government will no longer care for the needs of the poor — the criteria that the biblical prophets demand of all those who rule.

Abby Olcese 11-28-2017

Image via "Coco'/Facebook. 

'Coco' functions beautifully as a unifying reminder of the ways family and legacy influence us.

Joe Kay 11-27-2017

God’s kingdom is a place of unlimited love and unending compassion. It’s a place where everyone is welcomed — especially the marginalized — and nobody is treated like an outcast.

A devotee prays at the tomb of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Pakistan. Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Many Muslims and non-Muslims around the globe celebrate Sufi saints and gather together for worship in their shrines. Such practices, however, do not conform to the Islamic ideologies of intolerant revivalist groups such as Islamic State. On the contrary, IS finds these practices threatening. Here’s why.

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