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Matthew Bode

Entries by Matthew Bode

Condoms and the Cross

(2) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 11:06 AM

Is it possible to righteously use these two words in the same sentence? Condoms and the cross -- the former labeled by the church a sign of human depravity and immorality, our fall from grace and God's disappointment in our loss of purity. The second is the most venerable physical...

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Guns, Fear, Faith

(5) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 12:57 PM

My first scare with a gun caught me completely off guard. A person in my community took a head first dive into a deep depression, finding solace in nothing but a bottle. The depression had become so severe that someone close to him came to me for support and to...

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The National Party Conventions Meet Poverty

(17) Comments | Posted August 29, 2012 | 9:00 AM

I brought the church van to her house in our neighborhood. She and her five children needed to get out of the house in the middle of the afternoon while her boyfriend was out looking for some drugs. The 100-year-old wood frame house was falling apart. The front door was...

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Of Rolexes and False Prophets

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 1:35 PM

On occasion, on a day of exceptional clarity and humility, it is possible to see one's own holy judgment. It happens when I catch myself in a lie and again when I refuse to forgive someone who betrays me. But most recently it happened when a very slight, but very...

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Gay Christian Money

(10) Comments | Posted May 11, 2012 | 2:17 PM

Perhaps the only symbol more recognized by Christians than the cross is the dollar sign. Purists are filled with angst when we mention such realities, but those of us on the ground understand that without money, good things are much harder to accomplish. Without money we are not able to...

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Teaching Power in Detroit

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2012 | 3:17 PM

The conversation starts something like this - Me: I think you would be great to lead this project. Response: Oh, Pastor, I just couldn't possibly do that.

Sometimes the above response is merely an act of humility. Yet it may also be a natural response to deny one's own...

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Street-Level Religious Freedom

(52) Comments | Posted March 9, 2012 | 3:21 PM

As the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS continues through March 11, thousands of Detroiters are living with HIV. Rates are high, but we do not know how high since reporting is still relatively inaccurate due to several economic, cultural and social factors. The ministries of Spirit...

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Spiritual LGBT Life in the Big City

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 5:20 PM

Not one month into my tenure as pastor at Spirit of Hope in Detroit, the first guest in our community kitchen came out to me with his positive HIV status that was threatening to develop into AIDS. It counts as one of the most humbling moments of my life. A...

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Faith Groups Are A Detroit Lifeline

(8) Comments | Posted February 17, 2012 | 4:48 PM

Every now and then I get the strangest looks walking into a group of hip, relatively new Detroiters working on development plans for the city or our church neighborhood. The looks come because I am wearing my clerical collar. Even when without the uniform, my presence is often questioned with...

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