The Day I Told my Mom to Get a Divorce

Divorce in dictionaryI’m not exactly sure how the story I’m about to tell relates to the rest of this blog. I don’t think it is terribly spiritual. But as a dear friend of mine pointed out recently in a (very powerful, very moving) devotional, our stories have the ability to encourage people’s faith in profound, unseen ways. So maybe that’s why I feel compelled to share this. Maybe, just maybe, someone needs to hear it. Continue reading

God Doesn’t Know Any Racists

Some people aren’t going to like what I’m about to say. Because it goes straight to the heart of a very pernicious attitude that is only expressed in certain company. An attitude the Church doesn’t like to address because it would be “too uncomfortable” for the well-dressed membership and the leaders who may be entertaining it in their own minds.

I’m talking about racism. Continue reading

Persecution of Their Own Making

Persecution photo persecution.jpgNormally, I don’t get terribly riled when people express viewpoints different from my own. I believe that truth is sometimes expressed in multiple dimensions and that most people have something reasonable to say. But once in a while, even these panties get into a twist. And it happened just the other day – in the comments section of my post on Matt Walsh. This is what one commenter wrote:

“So as a Christian should you just be nice and quiet when the culture of abortion and homosexuality is basically force fed to you? I don’t think Jesus would agree. In today’s culture those who actually support Christian values are attacked much like the days of Jesus. Matt has the courage to engage the battle.”

Let me explain how this simple statement took me from zero to rage dump. Inherent in this comment is the belief that Christians in America are facing persecution from gays and abortionists. Being steeped in evangelical culture, I hear this sentiment expressed all the time. CEO of Mozilla resigns due to protests over his support of Prop 8? Persecution! Reality TV shows starring Christians get canceled when said Christians make anti-gay remarks? Persecution! Christian teens are told to stop bullying their LGBT classmates? Persecution!

I wish I were joking.

Let me just state for the record, I am seriously the wrong person to choose for a Christians-in-America-are-persecuted rant. As an employee of an international church-building organization, I get to hear every single day about the very real persecution of Christians that is happening in other parts of the world: Continue reading

When the Gospel Goes Overseas

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For nearly two years now, I have been writing to expose heretical doctrines and practices within the modern American church. Some may wonder why I bother. After all, what difference does it make if someone believes in Complementarianism, or American Exceptionalism, or the Prosperity Doctrine? Aren’t we all loved and accepted by Jesus in spite of our theological shortcomings?

Well, yes. But with a population that’s 78 percent Christian, over a quarter of whom are evangelical, the U.S. happens to be a major exporter of Christian thought and practice. In this case, accurate scriptural instruction becomes absolutely critical, especially when you consider that other cultures don’t view or respond to Church doctrines – or even the gospel itself – in the same way Americans do.

It would surprise many Western Christians to learn exactly how our brand of Christianity is viewed overseas and just how destructive extra-biblical teachings have been to these cultures. Having spent the past 14 months working for an international church-growth organization and reading many perspectives from indigenous believers, I’ve come to see my own faith and religious upbringing in a new light. It’s time to get real and peek past the curtain and finally admit that, yes, what we teach and observe in our own churches does, in fact, matter. A whole heaping lot. Continue reading

When God says, “Wait”

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I’m about through month 9 of my dark night of the soul, and I have to say it’s getting interesting. I still can’t pray very often. I try to get up, and my broken legs put me back facedown into the dirt. One thing God keeps making very clear to me is that I’m exhausted through-and-through and really need to enter His rest.

This is really not the time I would have picked for rest. My son is a month away from starting preschool. I’m transitioning to a new position at work while trying to keep up with all of the responsibilities of my old position. My husband is applying to start college this semester while still working full-time. For the past couple of weeks, for these and other reasons, I’ve meandered through my days feeling like a dish rag.

Not a good time to be a dish rag. Continue reading