Clergy Confessional (47) Life is Short

Most of us can agree that the title of this blog – Life is Short – is a truism of major importance. I came to this conclusion at an early age, and have kept it in mind for decades. You never when your end will come – you never know if you will see someone…

Clergy Confessional (46) It is Our Fault

Yesterday, America experience another mass murder, this time in a high school in Broward County, Florida. Once again, the American people are left wondering why. Those on the far left who oppose all guns are, once again, calling for their removal. Those on the far right, who want everyone to carry a gun, are citing…

Clergy Confessional (45) Is This the Golden Age?

I have recently become acquainted with the music of Jason Isbell. He used to be in the group, “Drive-By Truckers”, and his music is called Americana – it is a mixture of country, folk, southern rock – and he is really good. I would describe him as his generation’s John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen. He…

Clergy Confessional (44) When Church Isn’t Church

I had a month of my sabbatical in January, and I got a lot done. It is the practice of some churches to give the pastor a 3 month sabbatical every 7th year, much like in the academic world. I have had very few sabbaticals – when I was a Methodist, we didn’t even have…

Clergy Confessional (43) – Christless Christianity

It has been 10 years since Michael Horton’s wonderful book, “Christ-less Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church”, was first published. I believe his assessment of much of what passes for Christianity around the world is absolutely true – and these Christians have a concept of the faith that is not anywhere near what…

Clergy Confessional (42) It’s a God-Thing

I have always been curious about the way in which we Christians can justify our belief systems. What I mean is this: we know what Scripture says, but we pick and choose what we pay attention to. For example, I know very well what Jesus says about divorce – don’t do it, unless someone is…

Clergy Confessional (41) – Just Stop Already!

As a Christian and a pastor, this is one of the best times of the year – for church stuff. But the rest of it? Maybe it is the steady drip-drip-drip of useless “celebration”, but secular Christmas – an oxymoronic pair of words if there ever was one – has become more stale and tired…

Clergy Confessional (39) Why are Social Issues seen as political?

I have been accused of occasionally being political in my sermons, and I may have, at times, been guilty of that. Of course, so was Jesus, but that seems to be missed by my accusers. What does it mean to be “political” in this context? I struggle with this every day – so here is…

Clergy Confessional (38) The Best and the Worst of Christian Behavior

As a nation we are still reeling from the horrific attack on a Baptist Church in Texas. Another attack rooted in Domestic Violence (54% of all mass shootings are, by the way), by another deranged gunman that took lives senselessly. The pastor of the church, whose daughter was murdered in the attack, led worship last…