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Showing posts from April, 2017

When Culture is Right and the Church is Wrong

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Support for marriage equality grew considerably after the turn of the century. According to a recent Pew study, 57% of Americans opposed it in 2001 and only 35% favored it. But in 2016, those numbers flipped with 55% of Americans favoring it and only 37% opposing it.
Though opposing marriage equality was the historic position of the church, Christians appear to be following culture as another Pew study shows 54% of them favored it in 2014. Among them, 70% of Catholics and 66% of mainline Protestants favored it with evangelicals lagging behind at 36%.
While the majority of all Trinitarian Christian sects now support marriage equality, evangelicals remain the only stubbornly opposed segment. And a big part of their opposition is found in the concept of cultural capitulation.
Apart from a hermeneutic that views most didactic texts in Scripture as universal, the reason most evangelicals refuse to even entertain favorable arguments for marriage equality is because they believe that congru…

Don't Buy Christian Easter Candy

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Last Easter, a man in a bunny costume got berated by a woman who lived in her car. Christine Weick stormed into the parking lot of a Tennessee church and rebuked the fluffy impostor for wearing a "pagan costume" saying, "Shame on you! Shame on this pastor!"

Her camera-person, Angela Cummings, also refused to be silent and chanted in the background, "Hugh Hefner, Playboy bunny! Hugh Hefner, Playboy bunny!" I imagine she said this for a reason, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it was.

Christians get defensive around Christmas and Easter because they reserve those holidays to celebrate Jesus' birth and resurrection. Bunnies may be cute and egg hunts fun, but they're ultimately just distractions to the "real meaning" of those seasons.

At the same time, Christians won't complain about chocolate crosses and jelly bean prayer tins. To the contrary, such confectioned contrivances are willingly gobbled down as pious protest…

Avoiding Women Won't Prevent Adultery

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Last week, Vice President Mike Pence made news for his dining habits. According to a resurfaced 2002 interview, Pence said that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife. In evangelical circles, this is commonly known as the Billy Graham Rule because of Graham's commitment to avoid, "the appearance of compromise or suspicion."

While recognizing Graham's reasons and the unfortunate frequency of extramarital scandals among pastors, writer Laura Turner says that the Billy Graham Rule, "locates the fault of male infidelity in the bodies of women." She leaves room for maintaining high profile reputations such as Graham's, but she condemns the blanket application of it.

Like Laura, I don't doubt that Billy Graham had genuine, legitimate reasons for his rule, and I also agree that the public eye requires a completely different expression of wisdom than the average person can appreciate. But in my experience, most adherents to the Billy Graham R…