Sermon: That’s Me In the Corner

Galatians 1:13-17; 2:15-21 and Luke 18:9-14 Sixth Sunday of Easter Losing My Religion Sermon Series May 21, 2016 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN Click here to listen to the audio. It’s been about two years since our congregation voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation, meaning that we openly welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered persons into the life of our church.  I think that’s a good thing, but over the years even long before our vote, I’ve been wondering about the quality of the pro-inclusion argument.  Whenever I’ve seen people argue in favor of LGBT inclusion, the main … Continue reading Sermon: That’s Me In the Corner

The Politics of the “Other”

The Lord is for me—I won’t be afraid.     What can anyone do to me? -Psalm 118:6 In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, I’ve been watching with some disgust the number of governors who have said they won’t take in Syrian refugees.  The chances that one a refugee could actually be a terrorist is pretty low.   I was ashamed to be (at least nominally) a Republican at this moment.  But as I was upset at how these governors are going against common human morality, I remembered something: Dubai Ports World. For those that don’t remember, about a decade … Continue reading The Politics of the “Other”

What Does It Mean To Be Prophetic, Part Four

About a week ago, the church I am pastor at voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation, meaning it openly welcomes LGBT persons into the life of the church.  I think it was a big step for the church.  It might help people who were thinking of visiting the church to take a second look. But while I think it was a good thing and while I think it helped stressed God’s love for all, I don’t think it was a prophetic move. Do I think we were trying to witness to the world our intent to be like … Continue reading What Does It Mean To Be Prophetic, Part Four

What Are We Being Inclusive For?

There has been something that has been bothering me for a while.  Usually when people start talking about gay ordination or same-sex marriage, someone on the pro side will say something to the effect: “Jesus was inclusive,” or “Jesus welcomed everybody.” Now, I’m all for welcoming people into our churches in the way that Jesus did.  I’ve been fighting for LGBT inclusion in the church for years.  But when someone says something like the sentences above, I get a weird feeling, like something isn’t right. Recently, after reading a blog post, I finally understood what was bothering me.  In the … Continue reading What Are We Being Inclusive For?

This Matters.

As Jesus and his disciples traveled along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Human One[a] has no place to lay his head.” 59 Then Jesus said to someone else, “Follow me.” He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you go and spread the news of God’s kingdom.” 61 Someone else said to Jesus, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say good-bye … Continue reading This Matters.

Is Discipleship Quibron or Dimetapp?

When I was a kid, I remember having to take two different liquid medicines for my asthma.  One was called Quibron.  It. Was. Nasty. Quibron had to be the most foul thing I have ever tasted.  It was hard to keep it down as Mom tried to dispense it.  I can remember one scene from my childhood where Mom kept giving me a dose of Quibron and I would keep spitting it out.  I wasn’t trying to be mean, it was just a reaction to how gross this medicine was. Then there was Dimetapp.  This medicine is used mostly as … Continue reading Is Discipleship Quibron or Dimetapp?

We Call Ourselves Disciples

My wife Jan and I have been members of First Christian Church of St. Paul for nearly 20 years.  We love the congregational focus.  We particularly embrace the dedication to the principles of wholeness and inclusiveness of the Disciples of Christ, that welcome everyone to the Communion Table with no exceptions.  We have recently rededicated ourselves to mission based activities.  Our work with food banks, homeless shelters, and job programs is very important to us.  If we are making sandwiches for the homeless, staffing a homeless shelter, packing food for the hungry, or just raising money for local support organizations, … Continue reading We Call Ourselves Disciples

Why Being Nice to The Gays Won’t Save Your Church*

This past week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) meeting in Detroit, approved pastors being able to marry same sex partners in states where same sex marriage is legal.  According to Presbyterian polity, it still has to get the approval of the majority of presbyteries (there are 172) before it becomes the law. Judging Facebook and Twitter there were a lot of comments about how good this is and I agree with them.  But will this action, coupled with the approval of non celibate gays to become ordained a few years ago save the Presbyterian Church?  Will it save any church? I … Continue reading Why Being Nice to The Gays Won’t Save Your Church*