It is said that when making polite small talk, one does not discuss religion, sex or politics. But that becomes more than a bit difficult when you work for a church whose keen interest in all three of these topics has been widely discussed of late.
A good many people here still have an intrinsic trust in others in this age when we are quick to doubt, find fault or simply don't trust as easily as did our ancestors. Why is it so hard for us to believe that people will do the right thing when given the opportunity?
Each person will have to come to terms with their own fears in their own way. The most helpful first step is to have the intention to live without fear and then to seek every path that will help in realizing that intention.
Like most new church planting pastors, when someone chooses to leave, no matter the reason, my heart and soul aches: I question my pastoral abilities, grieve the loss of relationships and always have an urge to do something to get them back.
As G-d stands watching our reaction, we are forced to create an initiative that I dare say, can take on a new day if we are willing and open. As a first step in destroying the silence, I invite you all to belong to a new community and a new higher consciousness.
We must seek those quiet spaces in our life that are safe for vulnerable explorations of meaning. These spaces are not found inside physical institutions or places where demagoguery slays reflective, rational and factually grounded discourse.
The devout understandably want to view their faith as inevitable -- as existing beyond chance, contingency and debate. Close examination of key passages in the Bible underscores, by contrast, that the book they worship is far from reliable.
How we live and what we do for the common good is much more important than how we vote. Political affiliation with candidates, parties, and structures is waning -- especially among young people -- and that's good news.
The story of Jesus is vastly more beautiful without the baggage of killing and bloodshed. It is time for a new reading of the redemption story. It is time the church allow the old story of Jesus to die.
Although there is considerable disagreement about whether education kills religious faith, people's chances of identifying as religious believers declines with scientific education and education in rational thinking.
There seems to be a belief that "faith" is the rejection of the world as it is; a retreat in to fantasy and wishful thinking. As Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, "Faith means not wanting to know what is true."
A study has just come out that argues that analytical thinking weakens religious belief, while at the same time, intuitive thinking may strengthen religious feelings. So what does this mean for religion today?