I’ve thought it for some time and even mentioned a few. I believe addiction is the silent killer of the affluent. Now, before you yell at me about how addiction crosses every social, economic, physical, spiritual, emotional, etc. line, I want to say that I am aware of that fact. My thought is specifically around a silence that I believe the affluent, those with resources and knowhow, are able to maintain when it comes to addiction. A recent report out of Princeton from Ms. Case and Mr. Deaton highlights the increasing death rate for middle-aged white Americans and suggests that the increase is a result of prescription drug overdoses, suicide, and liver disease. Mr. Zumbrun from The Wall Street Journal wrote a piece related to this study highlighting the economic insecurity that may be causing individuals to fall into the trap of addiction.
One of my favorite things to read about is the time Jesus was walking through the streets surrounded by a huge crowd of people and turns to his disciples and asks, “Who touched me?” Ha! Seems like a ridiculous thing to ask considering the crowd. His disciples thought so too, “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” (Luke 8:40-48 and Mark 5:21-34) One of the keys to meaningful
evangelism relationships for today can be found in this exchange.
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled today in favor of making marriage equality, particularly for same sex couples, the law of the land. For many individuals, this decision gives great cause for celebration. For others, it raises feelings of anger, frustration…and fear. The Church should be a champion for equality under the law, whether we agree with the law or not. This does not have to be seen as a compromise of orthodoxy, tradition, or scripture, for the Church and Empire have seen things differently for some time.
How the Church responds and reacts to this decision matters, on whichever side of the issue one may be and I believe the only reasonable way for the Church to respond is with love and grace. May it be so.
Trying to understand the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) that was recently signed into law here in Indiana may not be as simple as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but most would agree the confusion surrounding the intent of the law has generated not only strong reaction but strong emotions nationwide. I find it interesting that this is all taking place during the Church’s Holy Week.
Masks. We all wear them. We wear them to cover up blemishes, brokenness, shame, guilt, etc. We wear them throughout the week and if you go to church, especially on Sundays. You know the look, “I’ve got this all together and am quite successfully managing all of the various emotional, spiritual, social, and relational balls that are currently in the air all around me at this moment thank-you-very-much.” Oh the masks we wear.
I’ve always dreamt about being fluent in Spanish. Unfortunately, I’m not. Not even close. I know enough to survive but that’s about it. My M.Div. work forced me to spend time with Greek and Hebrew. Those are different things altogether. So basically I’m left with my native tongue of English and the struggles that come along with it.
There are millions of conversations happening, and have been for a number of years now, that a ridiculous number of churches are failing to engage in. These conversations are happening each and every day in and outside churches and yet the voice of so many churches is nowhere to be seen or heard. Facebook has over a BILLION active monthly users! Twitter has 284 MILLION active monthly users! Instagram has over 200 MILLION active monthly users!
Churches, where are you?
If you have spent much time around a church or people who go to church or heard various “evangelicals” in the news then you’ve probably heard the go-to phrase, “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.” I think I actually hate this phrase and here’s why…
I had the chance to attend the first ever New Room Conference put on by Seedbed this past week in Franklin, TN. Disclaimer: I write for Seedbed and did my M.Div. work at Asbury Theological Seminary so I recognize the bias I may have. With that being said, the very reason I write for Seedbed and found the New Room Conference to be so meaningful are the ways in which Wesleyan theology is embraced and articulated. It is not so much that the information is entirely new or those who shared are new to the Wesleyan movement, the newness comes through an awakening of understanding what it means to be a Wesleyan Christian. If you weren’t able to attend this year, be sure to put September 16-18, 2015 on your calendar and enjoy some of the takeaways I had from the conference.