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Tag: faith

Biblical Literalism is the Disaster

Biblical Literalism is the Disaster

September came hard as massive hurricanes slammed into our nation’s Gulf coast. Like many, I found myself completely distracted and immersed in the round-the-clock news coverage of the damage. When it comes to bearing witness to destruction, we seem unable to look away. While the information does soothe our need to know and connect with important people and places in our lives, too much information can damage our emotional balance. We must turn and turn again to the present of…

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Near death, explained

Near death, explained

Wow. That’s all I could say. As a pastor, I would occasionally visit with people who reported Near Death Experiences (NDE) on an operating room table, a hospital bed, during a car accident or heart attack. Without the necessary and pretty impossible to get research, I wasn’t sure what to think about these very similar but unusual events in people’s lives. All I could say was Wow. This article, published April, 2012, in the online magazine Salon, is written by…

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Holy Saturday reflection 2014

Holy Saturday reflection 2014

I contribute to a regular newspaper column every couple of months for the local paper, and have done so since 1997. That’s well over 100 different Spiritual Reflections on faith, the world, church and us.  This round, my column is being published on Holy Saturday. Because I agree that the newspaper has first shot at publication, I can’t print the whole thing here. But I am going to print out my last two paragraphs because, well, I want to. The…

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Sunday Morning Church Rant

Sunday Morning Church Rant

I didn’t go to church today because I couldn’t face another stripped-down summer liturgy. Bleh.  Recycled sermons, vacationing preachers, substitute organists, empty pews, last moment lectors, absent acolytes, no choir, no coffee hour. The church on vacation isn’t pretty.  But that’s not our only problem. We have a problem of relevance. We are trying WAY too hard to find it. When church leaders chase the latest opinion polls, and change their main Sunday liturgies to meet the “market,” those who…

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So What

So What

For all the talk in America now and forever about how spiritually diverse we are as a nation, it seems that many people have been lying to the researchers. Or just maybe have been trying to spare their mother’s feelings and no longer feel they should. Here are the surprising statistics I found as I was thumbing through my latest The Lutheran magazine (3/2012, p. 8):   44% told the Baylor University (Waco, TX) Religion Survey that they spend no…

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Post Rapture: Why We’re Still Here

Post Rapture: Why We’re Still Here

           Did you find yourself just a little distracted Saturday night, May 21st around 6:00pm? If you were, you weren’t alone. It was hard to ignore the latest, confident predictions by fundamentalist Christian preacher and Family Radio Network owner Harold Camping about the end of the world. Never mind that he had predicted the same “rapture” of the few faithful, the destruction of the world and the suffering of millions left behind before. And had been wrong, of course. His…

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My Take: Who owns Jesus? Who owns yoga? – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

My Take: Who owns Jesus? Who owns yoga? – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

Yes, if purity of faith is what you’re looking for, eventually you will be very – VERY – disappointed. Even the scandalous, unique aspects of faith eventually become part of culture. “All religions are mash-ups,” writes Stephen Prothero, religion scholar at Boston University.My Take: Who owns Jesus? Who owns yoga? – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

Go To the Limits of Your Longing

Go To the Limits of Your Longing

God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me. Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call…

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