What does a United Methodist Pastor know about Citizenship?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Discipleship, General Rant, Society at Large, Theological Thinking | 0 comments

What does a United Methodist pastor know about citizenship? Not as much as I’d like. Here’s what I do know. God instructed his people to pray for the welfare of the city in which they live, even if they are captive, even if it is no longer “their city.” (Jeremiah 29:4-7) Over and over again, God’s people are told to pray for their nation. But what is a nation? Our nation is made up of states, but those are lines on...

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One Nation Under God

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Christian Beliefs, Discipleship, General Rant, Main, Society at Large, Theological Thinking, US Politics | 0 comments

I’m not a politician. But I keep up with public policy because policy is all about how we treat each other. For me, theology is the guideline for how we should treat each other. But in modern life, that’s not usually how people make decisions, even if they are religious. Secular life has taught us that the determination for our actions is most often given to us by market factors. Am I going to make money doing this? Is this going to...

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Bound

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Christian Beliefs, Discipleship, Main, Society at Large, Theological Thinking | 0 comments

In past posts, I’ve noted that the heart of sin is selfishness, while the heart of Christian discipleship (and that of many other world religions in their purest form) is selflessness. Selfishness is often thought of as retaining for oneself things that would be best shared with others. What can be more selfish than removing the free will of another person? What can be more violent than reducing another person’s liberty to the modes...

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Still Rock and Roll to Me

Posted by on Sep 6, 2014 in Discipleship, Leading the Church, Main, Pop Culture | 0 comments

Gene Simmons, famous for his theatrical rock shows with his band, Kiss, has declared “rock music is finally dead.” What he’s actually saying, when the interview is more carefully read, is that the rock music industry is dead. “It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance.” He’s not talking about rock and roll. He’s talking about the the institution of the recording industry....

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Creating Covenant Accountability

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Discipleship, Leading the Church, Leading the Local Congregation, Main | 0 comments

The hardest thing about creating covenant accountability is the decision to be accountable in the first place. This year, I’ve renewed my participation in a covenant discipleship group. I also continue to be in covenant with a group of leaders here at the church. My pastor, Dr. Richard Clark, is participating in covenant with my Bishop, Bill McAllily. In the next few weeks, the SPRC and I will hammer out our covenant for work together as...

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Book Review: A Jew Named Jesus by Rebekah Simon-Peter

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Book Review, Discipleship, Main, Theological Thinking | 0 comments

It wasn’t a shock to see “A Jew Named Jesus” as a book title. After all, I’ve been a pastor for several years. I’m also seminary-trained and I understand the history of the Bible.  But for this pastor, who has never been immersed in Jewish culture, this book was a phenomenally eye-opening experience. Rebekah Simon-Peter offers a distinct flavor that has been missing from Christian culture and provides an entry...

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