Clergy Confessional (82) We Are Complicit

The first scripture for this coming Sunday is from Isaiah 1. The people are told to “cease evil, learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Earlier, we hear that God is tired of our festivals and our solemn assemblies. God can no longer bear our shallowness…

Clergy Confessional (81) Stop Saying Dumb Stuff

A friend posted something on Facebook that really touched me, because it is an aspect of our culture that has always bothered me, and seems to be getting worse. Her comments focused on some of the things people say about her daughter, who has dyslexia. I have been thinking about this for a long time,…

Clergy Confessional (81) Abortion

Let me start by saying I do not like abortion, and I don’t know anyone who does. There is nobody that is “pro-abortion”. I personally thought of my children as people as soon as I knew I would be a father. I saw their pictures, heard their heartbeats, fell in love with them – and…

Clergy Confessional (76) Taking God’s Name in Vain

I grew up believing that the 3rd Commandment was about bad language – profanity combined with God or Jesus. It may be – I wasn’t there when it was given – but I think there is something more to this than that. Some versions use the word “misuse”. I think this is more accurate. But…

Clergy Confessional (62) Real Evangelism

I hear it all the time – the word evangelism is “scary” or “tainted” or even “not our thing”. And yet, when I talk to some of the long-term members at the congregation I serve, they will tell me that they came to Calvary because someone invited them. And when I say, “But that’s evangelism”,…

Clergy Confessional (16) – Can we talk?

It can be difficult to tell the truth in church – or, to be honest, to religious people. We are just like non-church folks – believing in God is not a guarantee of perfect love. In fact, being religious often leads to bigger problems. So let’s be honest – we can be frustrating people to…

Clergy Confessional (11)

https://www.facebook.com/AWMFaith/videos/1811883935757875/ This is the kind of nonsense that makes me crazy (as a Christian and an American). This video is offensive in a number of ways: 1 – The idea that we need to put Jesus back (because we have had a black, secret Muslim president for 8 years?) in the White House assumes that…

Clergy Confessional (10)

In 1995 I was serving as the part-time chaplain at Albright College, and was hired (at what was probably minimum wage) to be the Head Coach of the wrestling program. I was also the assistant coach, water boy, and everything else (except for the trainer – we had great student trainers!). The local paper caught…

Clergy Confessional (9)

I admit it – when it comes to how I dress, I tend to be pretty conservative. I think we should stay well covered up, and be especially concerned about how children are dressed. I come to this topic for a number of reasons. Reason 1 – I attended a wonderful concert last week –…

Clergy Confessional (8)

It happened again – somebody on Facebook who does not know what I do for a living apologized for using profanity. It isn’t that I mind the apology – I think it is very sweet that someone would be concerned enough about my delicate constitution to feel guilty about using bad language. But really, my…