Christianity

Jennifer Butler 10-16-2017

Image via RNS/Flickr Creative Commons/Dushan Wegner

Yet this administration’s guidelines would allow businesses and government employees to pick and choose who they will serve. As a pastor, I have to ask: What religion champions spitting in people’s faces rather than turning the other cheek? How is God’s love shown through public humiliation, hate, or depriving LGBT people of a job or services?

Image via RNS/Fredrick Nzwili

"They want their supporters to believe this is a divine call, which is not. I think they are manipulating their supporters," said the Rev. Wilybard Lagho, the Mombasa Roman Catholic archdiocese vicar general.

Adam Ericksen 10-10-2017

Image via Shutterstock.com/Evan El-Amin

Mike Pence is following President Trump, but he is utterly failing at following Jesus.

Mike Pence’s actions during the football game had nothing to do with the love and justice Jesus calls his followers to strive for.

Keith Madsen 10-05-2017

One day after celebrating the Feast of St. Fransis of Assisi, we are reminded that we need to hear the call Francis heard to repair Christ’s church. God has blessed the world today with some great leaders. Pope Francis has shown he truly understands the legacy of his namesake. He has chosen a simpler, less ostentatious lifestyle than previous Popes, and he has spoken out strongly for the poor and for peace. He is pointing the Church, Catholic and non-Catholic, in the right direction. But he can’t do it on his own. St. Francis didn’t. There were strong leaders in this era as well as their devoted followers. That’s what we need now. Reforming the American Church of today will take people who are willing to speak up for justice, both human and environmental. It will take people who will value a loving, dynamic fellowship over a stifled, silent one, afraid to “make waves”. It will take people ready to joyously and lovingly embody the values of Christ, as did Francis of Assisi.

Image via RNS/Fredrick Nzwili

Starting in the suburb of Ruiru, about 19 miles north of Nairobi, the train for the past five years has informally hosted a growing number of self-styled pastors and a makeshift, moving congregation eager to hear the gospel.

At least two coaches turn into “churches” each day, with Christians singing, dancing, and clapping as they prepare for a short sermon during the one-hour journey.

Hannah Reynolds 9-26-2017


A man looks at the damages to his house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja,Puerto Rico September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
 

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico remains flooded and without power. The aftermath of the storm continues to unfold as the damage builds upon itself, forcing hundreds from their homes. Without electricity, cell service, or reliable communications, the situation on the ground is difficult to imagine for Americans living on the mainland.

Patrick Hubbard 9-19-2017

Image via mother! trailer 

mother! is a disturbing portrait of God that says nothing good about God's followers. Immediately after watching the visitors kill her child, mother hears Him say that these people must be forgiven — that they didn’t mean to do it, that they only want to be close to Him. The Christian theory of redemption is supposedly one of forgiveness and sacrifice, predicated on Christ’s death and resurrection, but the death of this child doesn’t read at all triumphant. From the mother's point of view, the visitors were never supposed to be in the house in the first place — if they hadn’t intruded on her life, they wouldn’t need forgiveness for killing her child.

It’s my prayer that the loudest voice in the room will become the voice of sanity. That the voice is a collective voice that can only come from a gathering of people humbled before God’s love and not from a Facebook post gone viral. This is the greatest hope we have, that we are not alone and we can face each other with dignity and respect. This way of thinking shifts the focus of our faith from internal to external, from institutional to missional. To borrow from Dr. King, none of us know what will happen to us, but we’ve been to the mountaintop and seen what’s around the bend. It is costly grace that will lead us home, into the very heart of God in which we all dwell together. Cheap grace will divide us as the lure of acceptance without repentance turns us inward to only forgive and to sanction what is most familiar while rejecting those whom are cast outside our circle of care. 

Image via RNS/Sally Morrow

Almost every Christian denomination in the U.S. shows signs of growing diversity as white Christians, once the majority in most mainline Protestant and Catholic denominations, give way to younger members, who tend to be of different races, according to a study released Sept. 6 by the Public Religion Research Institute.

And American evangelicals — once seemingly immune to the decline experienced by their Catholic and mainline Protestant neighbors — are losing numbers and losing them quickly.

Samuel Son 8-24-2017

White supremacy has been a staple in much of the American and European Church. This marriage of racism to the gospel is proudly displayed on a mantle when people say America was founded on Christian principles. The so-called return to Christian values means a return to a time when white supremacy was uncontested philosophy and policy.

David Potter 7-27-2017

In recognizing the challenges of working for social justice, spiritually-rooted social action provides something of substance to the people in movements. From this place of rootedness, social movements can set intentions that point towards sustainability.

Jazmine Steele 7-12-2017

America as a largely Christian nation is under scrutiny for its values and integrity. It’s an interesting time to be a person committed to faith in action. How does Christian faith inspire a response to these chaotic times? 

Kaitlin Curtice 6-27-2017

One of the defining marks over time between denominations in the Christian world is how we interpret the Bible — the words and teachings of Jesus — and how we decipher his stories and actions. Today we’re examining Jesus’ life with a megaphone, and it seems like everyone has joined the conversation, not over a cup of a hot coffee or a meal, but at our keyboards and in our pulpits and Bible studies. We’ve gone from a faithful religion to a political and social religion, in which the teachings of Jesus are used by us to prop up whatever we are claiming in our latest argument.

Chris Curia 6-13-2017

Image via Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com

Trump’s trip, then, is the epitome of this unique, sales-based approach that characterized his campaign and administration — a move toward achieving personal, political, and even religious victory, simultaneously. But to what end? The only clear motivation to which I can point is the uncannily vague promise to “Make America Great Again.”

Layton E. Williams 6-08-2017

The long history between the church and LGBTQ people is one fraught with tension, pain, and, sometimes, violence. Those who believe that homosexuality is a sin often point to several well-known Scripture passages from the Old and New Testaments. Most of the Christian debate about human sexuality has centered on interpretation and emphasis of these passages.

In his book God and the Gay Christian , Christian LGBTQ activist Matthew Vines challenges LGBTQ-condemning interpretations of these Scriptures — sometimes referred to as “clobber passages.” But these clobber-texts aren’t the only Scriptures that can guide faithful Christians as we seek a godly understanding of sexual and gender identity.

Kermit Hovey 5-26-2017

Image via Rob Crandall / Shutterstock

On Capitol Hill, we find Democrats acknowledge climate change, affirm the need for action, and sometimes even express frustration and discouragement that there has not been more action. It is as if they need more hope. On the other hand, we find Republicans continue to minimize climate change as a problem or maximize the unworkable unaffordability of a solution. Yet sometimes, off camera and behind the scenes, we encounter Republicans who fear calling for climate action due to the risk of being “primary-ed” or knocked out of an election in a primary. It is as if they need more courage.

 

Samuel Son 5-25-2017

Image via Mikhail Markovskiy / Shutterstock

But the strong affirmation of Christ’s absence kept the early church from centralizing around Jerusalem. Without the body of Jesus to create a memorial, no land or language could monopolize claim to sacredness. Ascension, in one sense, is an abdication of worldly authority. It is the empowerment of everyone, no matter their land and language.

Pope Francis speaks to reporters as he flies back to Rome following the visit at the Holy Shrine of Fatima in Portugal May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tiziana Fabi/Pool

The pope's meeting with Trump could be potentially awkward given their diametrically opposed positions on immigration, refugees and climate change, which he told reporters on the plane "are well known".

Rev. Meredith Dodd 5-16-2017

This past year, the depression I had suffered twenty years ago returned with a vengeance. I made plans to end my life. Friends begged me to seek help. And I did – eventually. But one of the primary reasons I delayed getting help was because I am a pastor. I agonized over the contradiction of my life. As a pastor, I was expected to have all the answers. As a person with untreated depression, I felt like I had nothing but questions. And I worried that acknowledging I have a mental illness would irreparably damage my relationship with the church

Image via RNS/Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

President Trump will deliver an “inspiring yet direct” speech on the need to confront radical ideologies during his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia.

The speech will come during an afternoon lunch with leaders of more than 50 countries with mostly Muslim populations, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster announced on May 16.

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