Pastor Note #100: Evangelical Fear and the Turn Toward “Coercive Christianism”: An Essay  Part 1 of 3

Evangelical Fear and the Turn Toward “Coercive Christianism”: An Essay  Part 1 of 3 Can Christianity in America survive without a strongman-protector?  Is the plight of Christianity in American such that it can only be preserved by the guardianship of a strongman-protector in government, particularly one who is not encumbered by scruples stemming from such … Continue reading Pastor Note #100: Evangelical Fear and the Turn Toward “Coercive Christianism”: An Essay  Part 1 of 3

Pastor Note #99: Following Jesus in a Time of Pandemic, Poisonous Politics, and Social Unrest

In a recent e-mail to a friend, I described some of the challenges of church ministry in this time of pandemic, political divisiveness, and social unrest.  I told him, “During the past six months, pastoring a church feels like jumping out of an airplane and trying to sew your parachute as you fall.”  That experience … Continue reading Pastor Note #99: Following Jesus in a Time of Pandemic, Poisonous Politics, and Social Unrest

Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race

A Sermon Preached on June 7, 2020 These are very challenging times for our society.  We all like church to be a place of comfort, peace, and ease.  But sometimes it just can’t be like that.  Sometimes we have to wrestle with hard and uncomfortable things.  And that’s what we’re going to do today. If … Continue reading Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race

Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Medical experts widely agree that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is spread by minute droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of the mouth and nose of someone who is infected by the virus.  Those droplets contain the virus.  The viruses in those droplets find their way into the eyes, nose, or mouth of … Continue reading Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Pastor Note #96: Why I Wear a Mask, My Badge of Love

For me it is quite simple.  I wear a mask because I don’t want to make anyone else sick.  I wear a mask to protect the people around me. The Covid-19 virus, like most other respiratory viruses, is spread mostly by tiny droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of our mouths and noses … Continue reading Pastor Note #96: Why I Wear a Mask, My Badge of Love

Pastor Note #95: A Declaration of Easter

A Declaration of Easter At Christmas we sing a song with these words: No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found. The resurrection of Jesus is the first expression of the fulfillment … Continue reading Pastor Note #95: A Declaration of Easter

Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Safety is a high priority for Americans.  And you might well be asking me right now, “What’s wrong with that?”  Well, I would say, “Nothing . . . . And everything.”  It depends on what sort of safety we’re insisting on. The right view of safety aims to avoid needless harm.  The wrong view of … Continue reading Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal

Religious liberty, if it is pure and principled, is a beautiful and precious thing.  It can also become a desperately dangerous concept if allowed to become conditional, qualified, or contingent in any way.  And that’s where this gets very tricky right away.  Everybody who wants to live in a humane and civilized society agrees that … Continue reading Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal