Clergy Confessional (71) Being Thankful

One of the things that makes me bristle is when people say how blessed they are. It isn’t that I don’t feel blessed – I absolutely do! My concern comes when being blessed is equated with “the good life”, and the idea that God has given you or me a good life because God prefers…

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 (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 (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…