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Showing posts from 2015

The Scream

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1 Kings 17:8-24 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,  9 "Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you."  10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink."  11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand."  12 But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die."  13 Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son.  14 For thus says the LORD the G…

When the Morning Stars Sang Together

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​When the Morning Stars Sang Together
 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Job 38:1-8 “Que bonitos ojos tienes.  Que bonitos ojos tienes” said the Nicaraguan woman while holding my hands and staring deep into my eyes.  There we stood, me staring into her dark brown eyes, she staring into mine, holding hands, and wondering at each other’s humanity.  “How beautiful are your eyes.”  What a strange and wonderful thing to hear from a stranger, a person I just met.  You see, I had travelled 3000 miles that summer between my …

Religious Freedom and the Bible

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The recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality has renewed discussions of religious liberty, and the relationship between belief, conscience, and government in the lives of many Christian believers. David Gushee, a significant Christian Ethicist (and my former youth minister), claims that the ruling is tantamount to a "mutual conscience-shocking" event.  As we look across the divide caused by decades of culture wars, we are finding we cannot agree on the most basic issues of morality. Gushee coins the term "fruitless loop" to describe the never ceasing rounds of argumentation and recrimination that result. He predicts divisions in families, friendships, and communities. I suspect he is right. He also calls for more dialogue as the only reasonable way forward. I also agree.

To that end, I'd like to share a little of my own reflection on the discussion of moral conscience and religious liberty that has been in the news lately. I understand that so…

Marriage Equality and the Bible

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This past week has been a tremendous one in American history. We saw the Supreme Court uphold the Affordable Care Act. We witnessed perhaps the finest display of presidential oratory, certainly of my lifetime, in Obama's eulogy for Clementa Pinckney. We also saw the Supreme Court uphold marriage equality, providing the right for gays and lesbians to marry all across the land.  We have also seen calls for the removal of that hideous symbol of hatred, the confederate battle flag, from monuments and depictions all across the South. Sadly too we have seen a racist backlash, with nonsensical rallies by hate groups, the burning of at least six African American churches, as well as many right wing evangelicals coming out of the woodwork to challenge the Supreme Court's findings on marriage equality.

It is this latter issue that I'd like to engage here. Some of you are familiar with my stance on homosexuality and the Bible from my blog on the now defunct Amendment One that passed…

Slaying Giants

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Slaying Giants The Goliath of Racism in Light of the Shootings in Charleston, S.C. I Samuel 17:31-49 (NRSV)31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, "Let no one's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." 33 Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth." 34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God." 37 David said, &q…

Friendship and Fear: Seeking God in a Season of Anxiety

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“The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them.” Psalm 25:14 (NRSV)


Interview with Bishop Angaelos
Huffpo article

Bishop Angaelos is a friend of God.  This past week, perhaps coincidentally at the beginning of the Lenten season, a gruesome video circulated on the internet from a terrorist group that calls itself the “Islamic State.”  I have not watched the video and refuse to.  Apparently it shows the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya.  The Copts are an ancient Egyptian Christian community that can date its roots back to the earliest history of Christianity.  They have generally not involved themselves with the conflicts in the middle East, were not involved in the medieval crusades, but have been a persistent and quiet Christian presence in a troubled part of the world.  Until recent years, Coptics were known in the US mostly among biblical scholars and church historians, because of the ancient manuscripts and other ant…