Clergy Confession (69) Embarrassed by Wealth

In the church, we are embarrassed by money. It is, for many in the Mainline Church, a dirty subject only to be dealt with at Stewardship time.¬† The reason some churches thrive is that their members are expected to give generously. We easily forget, however, that Jesus taught about money more than heaven or hell,…

Clergy Confessional (68) Stop Blaming God

I am a practicing Christian – and by practicing, I mean that I am literally working at being a follower of Jesus every day, and I try to get better at as I grow older. Sometimes I hit the mark – sometimes I don’t. I – like any person of faith – am a work…

Clergy Confessional (67) – Admit what you are

Bill Cosby is trying to get a judge to recuse himself from sentencing him, and Mr. Cosby’s wife is saying that Bill didn’t get a fair trial. Some members of the Catholic hierarchy are running scared because of the role they played in the systemic rape of children, trying to hide behind the church for…

Clergy Confessional (66) – Meant to Thrive, not just Survive

You have heard me – and many others – write about how the times for the church are changing dramatically. This is true, but I believe this change has been going on for at least 40 years. One paper I read years ago claimed that this has been happening since the 1930’s! The research showed…

Clergy Confessional (65) When Churches Close

I heard today that two more UCC congregations in the county in which my congregation is located have voted to close. It is a tragic thing to watch – the members and clergy of these congregations served God and their communities in incredibly faithful ways. Most of our congregations¬† – include my own – could…

Clergy Confessional (64) When the Clergy Commit Evil

The report about the rape of children by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania is out, and it is disturbing and horrific. Over 300 priests are on the list, and thousands of children were affected by their evil actions. As horrible as this is, I think the numbers are impossible to estimate, and there are probably dozens…

Clergy Confessional (60) When the Bible Lets Us Down

Don’t get me wrong – I love the Bible. I read it every day, preach from it every week, learn from it all the time, and promote it to everyone I meet. I think the Bible is the inspired word(s) of God – not without errors – not perfect – but truly inspired. If we…

Clergy Confessional (59) Judge Not?

I think that one of the most confusing – as well as difficult – teachings of Jesus is that of whether or not we should or can judge others. I doubt I can shed any light on this, but I am willing to try, even if I go down in flames. In Matthew 7 &…

Clergy Confessional (58) Faith Based Hate

The Church has come under fire in the last couple of decades for a lot of reasons, but I think most of the criticisms have been based on self-inflicted behavior. Priests raping children, TV evangelists ripping off gullible people, the fight over equal rights for LGBT people, attempts to keep women from serving as clergy…