My 10 Best Faith Posts of 2016
Faith is important to me, and each week I try to do at least one post on the subject. Here are the 10 best faith posts I wrote in 2016.
Christianity can be a strange bird sometimes. It seems there are times when we see the most kindness coming from the faithful believers, yet there are times when they seem able to muster the least kindness in the room. My view of Christianity seems to fall more toward the progressive end of spectrum, but out of a desire to figure out what God really wants out of us rather than what old church interpretations claim they want. Ideally, the two would always be the same, but it doesn’t always seem that this is the case.
There are a few progressive-themed posts in this year’s top 10.
I attended my first real “contemporary” church service more than a decade ago. I was immediately struck by the more relaxed atmosphere married to a fierce desire to return our focus on God. But there was a cloud associated with that silver lining.
A North Carolina pastor named John Pavlovitz gained national attention over a post about what he’d do if he learned he had gay children. His response prompted a series of blog posts that fortunately continue today. This post was in response to his posting a brilliant illustration of the way some Christians treat others.
Should women be allowed to be leaders in church? It’s an age-old question that continues to divide people. But there’s a critical moment in the Bible that seems to remove any doubt about the important role women can play…and you hear it every Easter Sunday.
For a while now, I’ve argued against pastors telling people who they should vote for. But I realized this year it isn’t about the pastors pushing their way into the secrecy of the voting process, but rather about their reasons for choosing the candidates they push upon us.
Every year, unfortunately, I seem to run across posts from churches warning parents not to let their children “worship Satan” by participating in Halloween. Enough is enough!
In this post, I tried to define the notion of Progressive Christianity, at least as I see it and in terms of what it means to me. Clearly, the biggest stumbling block to people of faith when it comes to even considering Progressive Christianity is its willingness to question the traditional teachings of the church.
If you take a step back and listen to contemporary worship songs these days, there seems to be something missing: a dose of reality. It’s not that their claims about God are a problem; it’s their claims (or lack of them) about the struggles of living a Christ-focused life. Bono of U2 fame had something to say about this trend.
Christians have to make a decision when they detect that something is off about their place of worship. That change isn’t always comfortable. It isn’t always pretty. And, most tragic of all, it can cost those Christians friends and community inside the church they step away from. That’s the most disturbing part, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn what can sometimes be a painful lesson.
“We believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.” That line is a staple on church websites across the nation. But do the statistics about Christians actually reading the Bible agree with the implications of such a statement?
10. “Should Fat Worship Leaders Be Banned?”
Does God only speak through skinny, beautiful people? That might be how a directive from one church could be interpreted. The church’s document reportedly explained that the worship team is the first thing visitors see and that the church would not have a second chance to make a first impression. This was my take on those remarks.
I hope you enjoyed these posts or that you will enjoy them if you missed them the first time around!