sometimes, the drowning is a baptism (of sorts).

sometimes, the drowning is a baptism (of sorts).

I suppose, rather unexpectedly, this is what being baptized is supposed to feel like. An experience where what you think you knew about yourself, about the world, about where you come from, about how these sorts of things should work, and about what holds all of us together is drowned (sometimes against your will) in the river outside town. No matter the circumstances or who did the plunging, what manages to float to the surface on the other side of whatever hell you went through in the process of becoming who you are is probably worth holding on to. 

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a statement on The Nashville Statement

a statement on The Nashville Statement

The word courage or “counter-cultural witness” is typically reserved for those willing to die themselves rather than a term for those using oppressed minority groups as a bullet shield for their own existential anxieties about losing political power in a changing world.

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we shape our Trumps, and then our Trumps shape us.

we shape our Trumps, and then our Trumps shape us.

When we persist in believing, across the partisan spectrum, that our God sides with the vengeful, wealthy, and punitive in his pursuit of power and control, it shapes our own, God-ordained incarnations of vindictive wrath in the pursuit of power for generation after generation after generation (no matter one’s particular generational predilection for church-going and the free-market, or avocado toast and the New York Times).

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stop calling people "the future of the Church"

stop calling people "the future of the Church"

Perhaps my own lack of fit involves a divine call to something other than providing hospice care for the final days of people who mostly believe the answers to the questions I (and those like me) have about the limping, partisan, anxious, and much-hotter-than-it-should-be-world they’ve left us, is to condescendingly allow me the privilege of directing the flow of ever-dwindling numbers of Buicks into the church parking lot. 

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white noise: an homage to Christian think-pieces

white noise: an homage to Christian think-pieces

Until White American Middle Class churches, denominations, parishioners, pastors, and priests start to interact with our actual communities from a place of generous, non-coercive, non-anxious interest in who they are, what gives them life, what sucks life out of them, and how they make sense of existence in 2017, we will continue to be little more than an aging, tone-deaf, and dangerously self-unaware cover band playing "the hits" for audiences that seem smaller and older than we remember. 

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how to survive the death of God.

how to survive the death of God.

the resurrection has become the only thing terribly interesting at all about the Christian faith. Namely, because the first time it happened not one person who knew Jesus personally expected it, not one person who knew Jesus personally planned for it, not one person who knew Jesus personally had any idea what to do with it, and not one person who knew Jesus personally would have chosen it for him or for themselves.

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blessed are the blessed.

blessed are the blessed.

What fills the nooks and crannies of my 32 year old heart is the prevailing understanding that if I have enough money I never have to explain myself, my choices, my renovations, my weekend plans, my preferences, my car(s), my beliefs, my politics, and my son’s exhausting extra-curricular calendar to anyone, ever.

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on how to be cynical.

on how to be cynical.

Optimism that silences dissent and releases the pressure of our convictions and beliefs about the way the world should work in favor of a religiously motivated abdication of personal and collective responsibility is laying waste to our churches, our faith, our world, and our God. 

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Ash Wednesday: or how (not) to be Baptist in Trump's America: Baptist News Global

Ash Wednesday: or how (not) to be Baptist in Trump's America: Baptist News Global

For those of us who grew up Baptist in the Southeast, this disavowed dichotomy between our faith and our political life isn’t a recent aberration brought starkly into view by Donald Trump. Instead, it’s the manifestation of a longstanding unwillingness to unite these two parts of our souls out of both the practice of let’s-all-get-along Caucasian Southern politeness, and the misguided application of the inherently Baptist belief in the separation of church and state. Which is why, in times like these, Baptist pastors remain warmly vague and intentionally circumspect in their sermons, while fuming indignantly about their congregations’ politics behind closed doors.

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the work is the work.

the work is the work.

Maybe the point of awareness isn’t the realization that we should be somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else, but that when we finally wake up from the sometimes paralyzing dreams of other, far wiser, braver, and decidedly more eloquent souls, we uncover the ability to dream our own dreams about the place our feet actually meet the floor in the morning. 

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unburdening.

unburdening.

Wherever we find ourselves sociologically or geographically, most of us are just trying to make it, and the point of faith in the Jesus-style is that it asks us to band together by throwing off unhelpful and rather weighty beliefs we may have about God, the Bible, the Remington Bolt Action Shotgun, and whether or not two-dudes can get married in our state, in order to free up a bit of bandwidth to say yes to the Incarnation and Resurrection awaiting all of us arguing with one another about the direction of our country and the place of our religion in it

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sermoning.

sermoning.

This marks the inaugural voyage of a new series I'm doing where each Monday I greet you with an Internet sermon. Creatively, I’m calling them “Monday Sermons,” and please do feel free to tithe on the way out.

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