Clergy Confessional (26) The Walmarting of the Church

“The Walmart Effect” is a term used to describe how “big box” stores, with their ability to undercut local shops and businesses, are able to close down whole towns by opening on a main highway. This happens with many different kinds of establishments – Bass Pro and Target, for example – and it is having…

Clergy Confessional (25) Some of My Best Friends are…

I heard that a lot growing up – Some of my best friends are… – usually having to do with African Americans. Along with “He’s one of the good ones” or “I have no problem with them as long as they leave me alone.” Words matter, and statements like these shine a light on who…

Clergy Confessional (24) When Moral Becomes Political

I recently saw a quote (unattributed) that went something like this, “Sermons become political when they disagree with our personal agenda.” To say that sermons should never be political is a foolish statement – if that is your opinion, you probably never read the Bible. The prophets and Jesus were constantly challenging the governments and…

Clergy Confessional (23) Releasing the Bitterness is not so easy

Hateful and bitter rhetoric has become such a part of our day that we often don’t see it for what it really is. I always chastise myself for looking at comments in articles, because I am continually disappointed by what I see. Name calling, profanity, threats – all part of our daily existence. I recently…

Clergy Confessional (22) The Slippery Slope of Hate

We have seen this before – bad things happen, a group gets singled out, their rights get restricted, eventually they are demonized, cast out or put into prisons or concentration camps or reservations. Pharaoh did it to the Jews, America did it to the Native Americans, Hitler did it to Gypsies, Homosexuals, Jews, and anyone…

Clergy Confessional (21) Putting Jesus Back Into the Church

I am so tired of the ridiculous memes I see asking me to share and say amen about putting prayer back into the schools. Enough already! Prayer never left! What this really means is that there are people who want to allow Christian prayer (but no other) in schools so that we can go back…

Clergy Confessional (20) – Truth and Fact

Recently, a number of southern cities have been removing statues and monuments that pay tribute to some of their “heroes” of the Civil War. It is reminiscent of the tearing down of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. As it came down, many voices proclaimed victory over his tyranny. We are still fighting that…

Clergy Confessional (18) Real Holiness

I hear a lot of complaining – and real concerns – about how things aren’t the way they used to be. In some ways, this is sad, but in most ways, I see it as a very good thing. For example, women can vote -that is a great thing. Marriage is more about people’s rights…