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…

Clergy Confessional (57) God First – Again

I am fanatical about the Christian Year and following the Lectionary. Yes – sometimes the joining of 3 scriptures doesn’t work well and, yes, much of the Old Testament is left out. Still, I love the movement through the year of the holy seasons – the roller coaster ride helps me to feel the emotions…

Clergy Confessional (56) God First

As we look forward to the 242nd birthday of America, I find myself thinking about this experiment of democracy. I love history, and I read the Constitution regularly (lots of discussion about it, so I think it is good to be aware of what it says). I am in no way an expert on these…

Clergy Confessional (55) Getting Along

I have friends of many persuasions – religions, politics, races, genders, sexual orientations (probably more)- who have been in my life at different times and in different places. They often disagree with one another on Facebook, and these disagreements can be healthy – or not. There are a couple of people who, if they met…

Clergy Confessional (54) Telling the Truth

For years I have been saying that one of the church’s biggest problems is that we are not honest. We – all denominations – allow clergy to do some pretty bad stuff, and all we do is move them or allow them to resign quietly. We are not alone in this – the #MeToo movement…

Clergy Confessional (53) CINO

In a recent Facebook conversation with some very smart people, there was a comment about so-called Christians (like Franklin Graham, to name one) who seem to be behaving in ways that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus. It isn’t that they are thinking differently (I admit to doing that all the time), or that…

Clergy Confessional (52) Theocracy

I have always considered myself a free-thinker who is open to new ideas, and I appreciate that trait in others. I don’t accept ideas or statements on face value (much to the dismay of those around me, at times) and I like to know why people believe what they do. I – like you –…

Clergy Confessional (51) – Cheap Grace

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my heroes, and before he died at the hands of the Nazis at the age of 39, we was a prolific author and respected theologian. His best work (at least, according to me) is a book called “The Cost of Discipleship”. There is a much quoted passage that was not…

Clergy Confessional (50) 2nd Chances

This past Sunday I was part of a team in charge of a program about 2nd chances. We had speakers who had been incarcerated, as well as people who were immigrants. The stories were so meaningful and inspiring, and yet, so sad. For most of our speakers, they were on their 4th, 5th and beyond…