Eugene Peterson and the Age of Shibboleths

I don’t know when it happened, but I’ve become a walking, talking shibboleth. A shibboleth is a word or custom that signifies who is in the ingroup and who is in the outgroup.  Think of it as an old fashioned version of virtue signaling. Now, I didn’t personally become a shibboleth, but the fact that I am gay and in a same sex marriage does make me shibboleth in our neverending culture wars.  How one views same sex marriage either makes your virtuous or a sinner. This past week, the pastor and author Eugene Peterson was interviewed this past week … Continue reading Eugene Peterson and the Age of Shibboleths

God Mend Thy Every Flaw

One of the ironic things about me is that two of my favorite holidays are civil and not religious: Independence Day and Thanksgiving.  In the circles that I run in, those two holidays are also the most fraught because of America’s ….complex history when it comes to the treatment of African Americans and Native Americans. As an African American, I get that.  I can’t see America without its darker sides, because to do so would erase my own history. An article from Reuters talks about how persons of color can see the 4th of Julybout how persons of color can … Continue reading God Mend Thy Every Flaw

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

Sermon: Trouble In Lake Wobegon

“Trouble in Lake Wobegone” Luke 10:25-37 and Romans 14:1-18 Seventh  Sunday After Pentecost July 10, 2016 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN Listen to the Sermon.   It could have been me. That is what I thought early Thursday morning, as I groggily woke and checked Facebook.  There were some news reports of a police shooting near St. Paul.  As I became more conscious I started to realize this was big news.  It was another member of the police shooting a black man. It was then I saw a post from Daniel my husband. It was frieghtening post.  He was already … Continue reading Sermon: Trouble In Lake Wobegon

An Anxious Time

I’ve been wanting to write something about some problems my own denomination is facing, but I’ve never been able to focus on that.  I think the reason is that my brain is stuffed with anxiety about several issues.  One thing you have to understand about me is that anxiety has long been a part of my daily life.  Past experiences have made me feel anxious about the world around me.  At some moment, when I least expect it, something will happen that will throw me into the unknown.  Most likely than not it is the news that my job has … Continue reading An Anxious Time

When Does Grace End?

Social media is abuzz in the recent trial that convicted former Stanford student Brock Turner of the rape of a young woman.  What has everyone talking is the fact that the judge gave Turner a six month sentence and he might get out sooner for good behavior. To pour more gasoline on the fire, Turner’s father wrote a letter urging for leniency for what he considered “20 minutes of action.” Facebook is aflame.  Memes are going around with the young Turner’s photo calling him a rapist, others put him side by side with a poor white man who received a … Continue reading When Does Grace End?

Repost: Grace and Race

A post from 2013. I sure loves me some Maria Dixon. Dixon is a Methodist and decided to share he thoughts about the whole Paula Deen affair and decided to take Progressive Christians to task for their selective grace: When it comes to discussing race, progressives have little tolerance for intolerance–past or present. We throw labels around as easily as the Pharisees threw stones at adulterous women. How dare someone not have OUR enlightened view on the world! How dare they not have been born with the innate view of justice, righteousness, and soul that we have! So when Paula … Continue reading Repost: Grace and Race

It’s Been a Privilege

There is one word that has been batted around lately that I would like to see being used less.  That word is “privilege.” Actually, what I want to see used less is a more specific application of privilege.  It has been used in issues dealing with race to talk about the invisible ways that whites tend to be privileged because of their race.  It is important to talk about privilege and devise ways to lessen it in our lives. But lately, I’ve started to see people abuse the word.  Instead of talking about privilege as a way to help us … Continue reading It’s Been a Privilege

Yet More Thoughts on “Hate the Sin…”

My post last night bothered me a bit, partially because I don’t think I did a good job of explaining myself.  Chalk it up to lateness of the hour and dealing with a cat that was trying to use my laptop as warming pad.  So, I wanted to offer another post to share some thought on “Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner” and why there is a good reason to chuck it  and a good reason to keep it. On using it selectively Most people who object to the phrasing say it is used for only certain sins (ie: sexual … Continue reading Yet More Thoughts on “Hate the Sin…”

More Thoughts on “Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner”

A recent online conversation has led me back to the old debate about the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner.”* As I said back in 2012, I’ve never had the reaction that other mainline/progressive Christians seem to have about it. Blogger Ben Godsen shares why he feels we need to kick this phrase to the curb: See here’s the thing, you can’t “love a sinner” without getting to know the person. But you can hate the sin without ever knowing the person. So if we don’t really know a person but we do think you know about their sin, … Continue reading More Thoughts on “Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner”