If we are being honest with ourselves, we must admit that our national histories, our ethnic histories, our religious histories, our family histories, our personal histories, all take precedence over the Bible.
Certain Christians seem compelled to speak for God in disorienting moments like these, and the results are frequently terrible. The rest of the church has a responsibility to get angry and repudiate such statements.
Beyond the desire to be happy, beyond the looming financial crisis, beyond the threat of the fiscal cliff, there is in each of us an insatiable appetite for security, a longing for safety, a grasping for certainty. Where does this desire get fed?
You and I agree on the fact that faith can play an important role in people's lives. Where we disagree is in your assertion that to not believe in God is to put society on a path toward the kind of senseless murder we saw on Friday.
Pulling into the filling station on my way to Newtown in the early afternoon last Friday, the woman at the gas pump next to me asked: "How do we make sense of all of this?" She was a young mother, with tears in her eyes, on her way to our local elementary school to collect her children.
The long slow decline of religion in America has produced much hand wringing among Christians. Oddly enough, the very religion that bears Jesus' name has often built the biggest barriers to him and the life he promised.
When I first turned my life over to God and accepted Jesus into my life, I thought was faced with a hefty learning curve. I felt like I had a mountain of change to make before I could actually be a good Christian role model for our daughters.
There I was, making our end-of-year donations to charities and development organizations, when I heard the voice of John the Baptist, sardonic and insistent: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
Strangely, those who most want us to "remain" a Christian nation are those most opposed to the principles of Jesus: Welcome strangers. Love your neighbor. Feed the hungry. Care for the battered and sick, those with disabilities, the outcast, the imprisoned and the oppressed.
We might not always agree on the meaning of Jesus' participation in Jewish festivals, but we can agree that Jesus honored these traditions of his people. For Christians, this model should invite an appreciation for Jewish tradition.
In an announcement that many sources are calling "vaguely opportunistic," a large consortium of retail organizations have claimed to be in the possession of ten never-before-seen inspirational messages from Jesus Christ.
Early in the 20th century, the Church embraced motion pictures, radio, then television and now the Internet and social media. But in the vast majority of cases, we're not using those platforms to engage the greater culture, we're living inside a bubble.
Sometimes our zeal for sharing something that's important to us blinds us to the havoc we can be wreaking in the process. We're so intent on the end result we seek that we'll say or do a lot of things we shouldn't to get what we desire.
Will we let such resolutions go the way of so many of our new-calendar-year's resolutions? Or will we take seriously the liturgical cycle that provides us with the Gospel model for making and sticking with what we set out to do as recommitted Christians in our age?