Was it courage that led him to speak truth to power in his denomination, or was he just worn out by trying so hard and long to maintain pretenses? If it was just weariness, I still admire Ryan Bell for succumbing to it, because he paid a stiff price for doing what he did.
I can't help but think that Christians (myself included) have monumentally misplaced our anger. I fear we are so focused on defending the Bible that we have lost sight of Christ.
When we draw lines in the sand to separate us from other believers and from the poor we purport to serve, we are like two people on the side of a swimming pool fighting over doctrine while a child goes under for the third time.
The evidence for the existence of anything like modern day monogamous gay unions in that time is sketchy at best. I love my Bible as much as any evangelical and I think there's a great case to be made that the Bible is simply silent regarding same-sex covenantal unions.
It's not against the law to worship a free market, compassionless, capitalist society or to pretend that charity is a reasonable substitute for social services. But it is backwards. And it's wrong to worship this fantasy and try to persuade others that it's tantamount to the Christian God written about in the Bible.
Since its founding, our nation's leaders have tried to balance the freedom to practice any religion with the fact that this country has strong Christian traditions. But the country has grown increasingly polarized by the politicization of Christian (and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish) teachings on social issues.
Can a Vatican-appointed commission bring about real change and be trusted to give a non-biased and honest report about the scale and severity of the abuse and offer real solutions that will be accepted by the Church?
As many of us are saddened by the ending of this show and devastated on how it ended, know that the human life experience is not one of fairy tales and people living happily ever after, but one of peaks and valleys.
I believe the church is in need of new wineskins. As the past few years have hinted at, and last week made crystal clear, evangelicalism is an old wineskin that is long past its expiration date. It was a new wineskin once and served the church well for a time, but it has become dry, brittle and broken.
"Look at me, growing up as a Christian who claimed to supposedly have the truth, look how much I've had to unlearn even within my own tradition. I just needed to take a step back and realize I'm not as smart as I thought I was."
he culture wars might be heating up in these parts as the Oregon Family Council and allies mobilize for a ballot measure exempting Christian business owners from providing services for same-sex weddings.
Freak Show owner Chris Christ, left, and Father Michael Juran talk at the IISA Trade Show last month. This video is brought to you by HoldtheMayoMe...
Let me tell you a secret known to scholars since 1853: The story of Noah as it is told in Genesis 6-9 is actually stolen, or to be politically correct, inspired by an older story that was very popular in the Near-East, the Gone With the Wind of the ancient world.
In Fairhope, Alabama, I grew up in a family of six where giving up something for Lent was an expectation, not a choice. A few days before Ash Wednesday, the dinner conversation revolved around one question: 'What you are giving up for Lent?'
The makers of the film assure us that they have tried to stay true to the values of a story that is a "cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide." I think the filmmakers have stayed true to those values. The problem is these values are morally repugnant.
Reading through a list of bizarre and unique holidays is fascinating for any month. Looking at this list during Lent can provide new perspective. We know "April Fools Day" unfolds as March gives way to April.