I think of the Big "C" Church as the institution with the rules, regulations, denominations, culture, and the overall organization that may turn people off from the idea of an organized religion such as Christianity.
So powerful was the Christian belief in belief, that in some eras, heresy - incorrect belief - could get you burned at the stake. But now, according to Harvard professor and theologian Harvey Cox, the age-old Christian belief in belief is becoming a thing of the past: the Age of Belief is over.
I'm a long way from saying I've achieved this, but I'm far enough into it that I'm skeptical of the idea of achieving anything. If I give up all my lists and checkmarks, then where am I? Maybe I'm just where I'm supposed to BE.
I love to read. My son does not. I realize that no amount of coercion can make him love what I love. Coming to love something is a process of discovery. A genuine desire rises within us and we notice it; listen to it; try it; like it; pursue it until it becomes our own.
A year punctuated with tragedies around racial inequalities culminated in a burst of hateful violence during a Wednesday evening Bible study at the Mother Emanuel church. And as these nine faithful souls have been laid to rest, I have been struck by a refrain that many of my friends have been voicing.
It's a sad and shameful truth that 50 years after the bloodshed in Selma -- 50 years after our prized Voting Rights Act -- African Americans have fewer, not more, voting protections today. This is a moral struggle. Once again, we must put on our marching shoes.
If you are like me -- if you're not particularly holding your breath for the long lost novel by Harper Lee, and could care less about E. L. James, then you might enjoy one or more of these faith-based books that are on my summer reading list. A word of warning: each one will make you think.
By now, you may have heard about the lesbian couple in Oregon who were politely turned down when they asked a bakery owned by a Christian couple to make them a wedding cake.
Recently, New York Times columnist David Brooks lamented that conservative Christians are losing the culture war. Brooks suggested that conservative Christians shift focus and "nurture stable families." But Brooks is wrong; the culture war isn't over. Conservatives are stuck in a war they can't win.
In Wael Shawky's trilogy it's historicism, not history, that is being culled, a deliberate seeing in the past the makings of the present or more recent past.
There are no divine projects without human ones, and while we can point to tradition or even sacred holy writ, Jesus seems to be warning to beware if you begin to think that in a holy book alone you have life, without also listening to the human cries behind that holy book.
There are many reasons why the storyline about hell does not work for me. Not anymore, anyway. There was a time I tried to believe in it, afraid I might just end up there if I did not.
Last June 21st, I reluctantly accompanied my friend Sarah to Times Square Summer Solstice for Yoga, appropriately titled: "Mind Over Madness." Every year, thousands of people descend upon two Broadway plazas throughout the day for their chance at a free yoga mat and one of a dozen outdoor classes.
We have not abandoned our Christian roots. We are simply slowly abandoning a general sense of religious culture as the norm, and this is a good thing.
Talking to a friend recently who was experiencing some serious doubt about her belief in God, I found myself saying, "Everyone has to give up the old God and find the real one."
I'd appreciate some help here. There are sins I know I shouldn't do before marriage. And sins I shouldn't do during marriage. And sins for being single. And gay. And sins for being married and gay.