Christina Colón 11-15-2017

Image via "Heroin(e)" trailer/Netflix.

In many ways, drug court functions like church. The men and women sit side-by-side in pews. They welcome newcomers. They hold each other accountable. And though there is no set time for a “passing of the peace,” when they cheer on those who have remained sober, it looks like a place of forgiveness.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks at the Values Voter Summit of the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, U.S. October 13, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/File Photo

There are many little-known details in early Christian storytelling about the relationship between Mary and Joseph. Early Christians believed that Mary and Joseph did not have sex — but there is much more that is worth learning from that relationship. Listen up, Jim Ziegler.

Jamie D. Aten 11-14-2017

Image via Rick Wilking/Reuters.

I’ve dedicated my career to helping churches prepare for disasters, including mass shootings. And I believe that responding to the Texas church mass shooting with an arms race does more to protect fear than it does to protect our churches. Here are three suggestions I want to offer the U.S. church now.

Patrick Hubbard 11-13-2017

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

We should choose representatives who are guided by principles that spur them towards benevolence and empathy with those whom their decisions affect. We expect our politicians to be moral people, both publicly and privately, because their decisions affect how we engage in society. , Their private lives inform their public decision-making. Imagine Roy Moore deciding laws affecting sexual assault policies on college campuses, domestic abuse, or virtually anything to do with the safety of women in America. He has acted selfishly and disturbingly in the past, and we have no real assurance that he sees the harm in a 34-year-old man having a relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Mark Silk 11-13-2017

Image via Reuters/Bob Ealum/File Photo

If our supposedly secular culture leaps at revelations of hypocrisy, that’s because the concept is deeply embedded in the Abrahamic tradition. The early Hebrew prophets like Amos and Isaiah were all about denouncing demonstrations of piety and religious observance as worth nothing in the absence of righteous behavior.

Abby Olcese 11-13-2017

Image via The Square Trailer

But help is something Christian, and everyone around him, has trouble giving to those who really need it. The Square is full of characters asking for help from unwilling people, including homeless people, charity workers, and women being attacked. Even Christian, an attractive upper-class white guy, can’t get help when his wallet and phone are stolen on the street.

the Web Editors 11-13-2017

"I will probably be back next week and the week after that forever and ever,” Strong concludes, “because this isn't just a scandal. It didn't just start this week. It's just actual reality for half of the population.”

Juliet Vedral 11-10-2017

Image via No Greater Love

In "No Greater Love," a retired U.S. Army chaplain interviews the soldiers from his unit, documenting their service, sacrifice, and suffering.

Jarrod McKenna 11-10-2017

Delroy Bergsma and Jarrod McKenna’s aerial sit-in above the Foreign Minister’s office. Photo: Molly Schmidt
 

No food. No water. No sanitation. No safe place to go. No future.

This is the reality for the refugees in detention on Manus Island off the coast of Australia, where a U.N. human rights committee says international law is being violated.


Brandy Jones prays in front of 26 crosses erected near the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
 

Our thoughts and prayers are fleeting breath.

If we just dream of what could be

And do not build community,

And do not seek to change our ways,

Our dreams of change are false displays.

Differences in the body of Christ over ethical and theological issues have been with the church since its inception. The letters of the New Testament and ministry of its first leaders were focused on how we live together in the face of inevitable tensions. Our call is to display an outpouring of humility, a commitment to the well-being of other brothers and sisters, and a self-giving love that builds a community truly shaped by the Spirit and acting as a corporate body infused with the love of Jesus.

Abby Olcese 11-10-2017

Image via the Murder on the Orient Express movie trailer 

Kenneth Branagh’s new big-screen adaptation of Christie’s novel is a diverting, gorgeous-looking film that struggles a little at showing the humbling effect that dilemma has on the great detective. However, it does a good job of portraying the pain at the center of this story, and how it metastasizes in its characters.

Da'Shawn Mosley 11-10-2017

Left: Jon Stewart reacts to Ackerman's question at the University of Chicago in 2016, via YouTube. Right: Louis C.K., image via Photo Works / Shutterstock.com

On 2016, David Axelrod, the chief strategist of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, interviewed Jon Stewart at the University of Chicago, my college campus, for his CNN podcast The Axe Files. I was in an audience of students eager to see the former host of The Daily Show return to the public eye, and I’d wanted to ask him a question during the Q&A portion. I didn’t get to, but I am confident that even if I had, my question would not have been as important as Dan Ackerman’s.

Image via RNS

It is, of course, bringing up memories and exposing old wounds that we thought may have been healed throughout the process of time. It’s thrust several members back into that June 17, 2015, time when everything was kind of just moving very rapidly and having a lot of people experience the sheer raw emotions of having their church violated and having their ministerial staff and loved ones murdered within the sacred walls of the church.

the Web Editors 11-08-2017

She called for the end of "the boyfriend loophole," referring to the 20-year-old Lautenberg Act that barred individuals who are married, in a domestic partnership, or have children to own guns. Outside of that realm, domestic abusers are still allowed to own guns. 

the Web Editors 11-08-2017

Image via Jim Forest / Milwaukee Journal / Flickr

"We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it."

Lindsey Paris-Lopez 11-07-2017

Image via Reuters/Jonathan Bachman.

This is the hope of the life that never fades away, the life that extinguishes division and death. It is the life to which love has called us, which we must live out in daily acts of mercy and reconciliation. Rejecting the gun is the least we can do. There is no room in this life for instruments of death.

Jim Wallis 11-07-2017

Crosses are seen near a vigil in memory of the victims killed in the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, Nov. 6, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

When interviewed about the shooting, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who was endorsed by the NRA — said, “at least we have the opportunity to have concealed carry,” adding that “there’s always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out.”

It’s a position pushed frequently by the NRA. It’s the perspective NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre promoted after the Newtown, famously saying, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” suggesting that elementary school teachers should be armed. And now, pastors? Greeters? Sunday school teachers?

the Web Editors 11-07-2017

Image via FDR Presidential Library & Museum / Flickr

"Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down."

 

Matthew Gindin 11-06-2017

Image via Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

@JesusofNaz316 has a funny-sad-outraged quality. He sometimes uses the platform for irony or jokes, but more frequently for protest — sometimes against general injustice, but more often against the hypocrisy of Christians. His account, which has more than 16,000 followers, has been active since 2010. He is followed by progressive clergy like Diana Butler Bass and Rachel Held Evens and rabbis Danya Ruttenberg and Jonah Geffen, along with theologians and pastors from across denominations. 

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