In my circle of influence I hear comments that indicate an internal questioning. We all know that major change is upon us, yet we wonder where the change is leading? I happen to think millions of spiritual leaders are floundering for direction right now. I think Jesus’ vision for where the human spirit *must go, and how the human spirit *must grow, was made known during his earthly ministry.
Humanity’s spiritual waters are being stirred in mighty ways right now. The commotion is carrying people to very different places of understanding. There is no right or wrong place to be at the moment. We simply are where we are. Everything is in a state of flux because spiritual waters are being stirred. Thus, the traditional model of the church resembles a woman in travail. She is struggling to understand the times. Why are her efforts not yielding sweeter fruit?Read more
To Christian citizens in the United States of America:
Can we talk? I’m concerned about where we are headed in our nation, if we don’t. Our nation is deeply divided. It seems that the motto, “E Pluribus Unum” no longer applies to life on Main Street. “Out of many – One!” has turned into “Out of many – Two!” and never the two shall meet.
I am excited. Something huge is happening within the church and I am part of it! Unfortunately, for many people the wounds, caused by the present model of the church, are oozing. The mere mention of the word, church, is like pouring salt on open sores. It’s often said, “Words have power!” Yet in truth, words are powerless. If certain words hurt us, it is due to the associations we glue to them. Sadly, for many, the word, church, is glued to the deepest injuries ever encountered.
Since the late 1800’s, most biblical scholars have favored a mythological view of Genesis 1. In spite of their attempts to promote this view of the Creation account, many Christians hold fast to a literal reading of the text. God created the heavens and earth in six, literal 24-hour days. These two opposing interpretations have caused a host of problems, especially in American culture. But, what if we are missing the point with this text? Suppose both interpretations are inadequate. Is this possible?
“Traffic Go! Traffic Stop! All Must Heed the Traffic Cop! When I’m grown, I shall be, just as fine a cop as he!”
These were the words of my very first piano piece when I was five years old. Thinking back on this early memory, a traffic cop is the perfect analogy for how the spirit of God might be guiding, and directing Christians, who are navigating through this important intersection, in the life of the church.
Every person is a designer of his or her own “soulprint.” A soulprint is an identifying theological perspective, which is unique to each individual. When we truly own our own theology, differing viewpoints shouldn’t threaten us. That which we own, cannot be stolen from us. However, the soulprint we have chosen for ourselves, should never be forced upon other souls, just as we wouldn’t want another person’s soulprint, forced on us.
Over the past 2,000 years, Christians have been celebrating a Trinitarian perspective of God, Jesus, and the Spirit of God. In the beginning of the Christian tradition, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, along with the coming of God’s Spirit, was enough to celebrate. However, as time passed people formed differing opinions about God, Jesus, and Spirit. They argued over whose interpretations of the Bible were right, and judged certain interpretations to be wrong-headed—heretical!
Most bridal departments are well staffed with consultants. These women politely prevent the general public, who might have dirty hands, from aimlessly browsing through the wedding gowns. Instead, the gowns are carefully selected for the bride-to-be, by the consultants. I was young and naive when my parents took me to several of these upscale bridal shops. They wanted to help me select the perfect dress for my wedding day. What should have been a fun-filled experience, accompanied by laughter and giddiness, turned out to be just plain deflating!
In her book, “Christianity after Religion,” author Diana Butler Bass briefly discusses the First Great Awakening, launched in 1730, followed by a Second and Third Great Awakening. Bass mentions the 1960’s as the beginning of a Fourth Awakening in North American religion. Following her brief discussion on these four awakenings, Bass writes: