All posts filed under: Christianity

Being Threatened by Jesus

Originally posted on The Millennial Pastor:
Luke 13:31-35 King Herod was not a well liked King. He was a puppet King for the Romans… who probably didn’t really care about who was King over the backwater province of the empire, Judea. The people of Israel didn’t care for Herod, knowing that he was all about power. But like most people in power, Herod made the right allegiances. With Rome and with the religious authorities. So when the Pharisees come to Jesus with a Message, he knows they too are puppet authorities, doing the puppet King’s dirty work in order to hold on to their own power and privilege. Today, on the second Sunday of Lent we continue with Jesus who can’t help but be confronted by people who think they have power. Last week it was the Devil tempting Jesus to misuse the power of incarnation, the power that comes along with being God, and being God in flesh. The Devil’s temptations set the stage for the recurring theme that Luke’s gospel holds up for…

This Religion is Too Small

I feel like my spiritual journey can best be described like Goldilocks. A girl wanders through the metaphorical woods and tries out all these different religions. I’m still trying to find the one that is “just right.” I grew up Christian. I was never inundated with religion at home, but I went to a nice little Methodist church all through my formative years. I was active in the youth group and went on several mission trips. I stopped going to church when the pastor changed. The new pastor was a bit too preachy and conservative for my taste. I tried to find another church I liked, but I couldn’t. So for the next two years or so, I clung to the ideas of Christianity without a community. I could best be described as a progressive liberal Christian back then. I have a scientific mind and was working on an anthropology degree. I have been an evolutionist since my early teens, and I’ve always supported people’s right to live the life they want. As I started …

Why Advent Sucks this Year – Why We Need Advent

Originally posted on The Millennial Pastor:
Advent is normally my favourite season of the church year. I don’t think that is uncommon for pastors. Christmas and Easter are of course the big celebrations, but Advent and Lent have a certain depth and richness, that allow Christmas and Easter to be what they are. Advent and Lent add the flavour to the meal. For me, the richness of Advent is found in the images – the way of Lord, valleys filled up, mountains made low, crooked made straight, broods of vipers, winnowing forks and chaff, angels and virgins, and promises and hints of Messiah. Advent’s beauty is in the blending of hints and promises of Messiah together with real life. With the messiness of people looking for something better. The people in the desert going to John the Baptist, looking for something different than what they knew. The hypocrisy of religious and political leaders, which is a true as death and taxes. A  teen girl dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and the reality of impossible life…

There’s Nothing Christian About Blocking Non-Christian Refugees to the US

Originally posted on Millennial:
Millennial co-founder Christopher Hale has a new article at Time. He writes: In light of the terrorist attacks on Paris Friday, some, including Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, have called on President Barack Obama to focus on accepting Christian refugees from Syria. But there’s nothing Christian about only prioritizing Christian refugees into the U.S. In fact, such an idea flies in the face of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself was an immigrant child in a strange land. When Mary and Joseph were looking for a place for Mary to give birth to Jesus, Bethlehem’s innkeepers denied the Holy Family a hotel for the night. After Jesus’s birth, Mary and Joseph fled with their refugee child to Egypt to avoid King Herod’s despotic rule. They did this even though their Judaism was a visible minority in the North African land full of indigenous and polytheistic beliefs. If ancient Egypt can make room for refugees of religious minorities, why can’t the U.S. do so today? You can read…

Stuff Happened: A Christian Response to Mass Shootings

Originally posted on Doing Wells:
Trending Topic: #StuffHappens & #IamaChristian Will it ever stop? When I heard of the Oregon shooting, I shook my head. “It happened again.” It seems like a mass shooting of some kind happens every week. Over the summer we had Charleston, Chattanooga, and Louisiana. That’s not counting the unjust deaths of cops at the hands of African-Americans and the unjust deaths of African-Americans at the hands of cops. And that’s not counting the shootings that happen all the time in places like Chicago or Detroit that never make the news—there’s simply not enough time to report on every unfortunate death at the hand of a small cylinder of metal known as a bullet. I don’t blame the President for being frustrated. We all would be if we have to play the Comforter-in-Chief for a nation that loses so many to gun violence. So many more in the past couple years. Here he is, in front of a camera yet again, having to address another shooting. This time around, he completely…

Man’s Obsession with Playing God

Originally posted on A Mindful Millennial:
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5 Since the moment of temptation in the Garden of Eden, man has inherently desired to be like God. It has become extremely obvious now more than ever. This past week, the California legislature approved of an assisted-suicide bill. It is now waiting to be signed by the governor. If Gov. Brown signs it, patients will be able to take a pill to end their lives. Last year, assisted suicide became a hot topic when Brittany Maynard went public with her decision to end her life through assisted suicide at 29 years old.  Another woman who was terminally ill with cancer, Kara Tippetts, wrote this response to Brittany.  As you likely know, Brittany went through with her decision on November 1st. Kara died on March 22nd, five months after writing her open letter to Brittany. In her response, Kara wrote, “The doctor that prescribed you that…

Finding Forever Friends

Originally posted on A Mindful Millennial:
(Have I mentioned I like alliterations?) Check out any contemporary Christian website, bookstore, or the latest trendy discipleship app, and you’re sure to find a plethora of resources on dating, courtship, singleness, and marriage. In a bookstore, you’ll find shelves, or perhaps a whole wall, full of such materials. Online, you can find article after article with titles like “How to Thrive Through Singleness,” “Weighing the Pros and Cons of Dating and Courtship,” “Ten Tips for Finding God’s Match for You,” “How to Have a Healthy God-Centered Marriage.” (Okay, I made up those titles, but you see what I’m saying). The resources that are available for treading the waters of romantic relationships go on and on and on and on and…you get the picture. Now, try to think about the last time you saw a whole section at a Christian bookstore that was dedicated solely to friendships. Yeah, I can’t think of a time when I saw that, either. This seems backwards, doesn’t it?  Some of the most beautiful passages…

Good Stories and the Great Story

Originally posted on A Mindful Millennial:
There are many well-known and oft used arguments for the existence of God. There’s the moral argument, which summed up, states that the existence of morals implies a moral law maker. There’s the cosmological argument (and additionally, the kalam cosmological argument) which, simply put, states that there must be an “un-caused” cause (i.e. God) for the universe. There’s also the teleological and ontological arguments, all of which can be read about quite thoroughly in books such as Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview and others like it. These are great arguments and I am a big fan of them all. However, one of my favorite evidences for the truth of the Christian faith (and consequently, God), is the idea that we’re innately drawn to stories that reflect the Great Story – God’s story – as seen in His Word. This idea extends beyond the epic tales of Tolkien and Lewis. In everyday books, movies, and TV shows, themes of forgiveness and redemption captivate us. We love seeing the transformation of a…