Showing posts from May, 2014

Don't Celebrate Memorial Day

I never celebrated Memorial Day growing up. That's not to say that I grew up in an unpatriotic home. To the contrary, my homeschooling mother had me and my sister pledge our allegiance to the flag every morning before the class day began. My family wasn't averse to traditional holiday celebrations either: we had a picnic every 4th of July and went camping every Labor Day. Honestly, I don't think anyone in my family could say why we never celebrated it. And I think that's the point. Most people just don't know what to do with it. None of us do. Many of us don't even know what Memorial Day is about. It's not a celebration of our freedom in America. That's the 4th of July. And it's not a time to thank our servicemen and women. That's Veterans' Day. Memorial Day is a time set aside to remember fallen soldiers. Which means it is not a time to celebrate; it is a time to mourn. Some will say, "Of course, it's a time to celebrate

Raising Kids Right is Wrong

My sister and I are exceptional people. No really, my mother was often told when we were little that she didn't deserve us. We were good kids: quiet, compliant, everything a parent hopes for. My own daughter , on the other hand, has not been so easy. At four-months-old, she's yet to sleep through the night, she refuses to take a bottle, and she screams every time we try to change her into something that isn't soaked with sour milk. You might say we must not be raising her right. And I'd have to say, that's a weird thing to tell someone. It's like that awkward moment when the parents of an extremely docile and respectful child are congratulated: "You guys really raised her right!" Did they? Because it sounds like they're talking about a trained monkey, not a child. Maybe they're trying to draw from Proverbs 22:6 which says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he won't depart from it." The only

In Praise of Nontraditional Families

Having a traditional family used to matter a lot to me. My father was the worship pastor at my church and my mother was the choir pianist. They only had two kids, me and my sister, so they were able to secure the American dream of having one of each kind. And we were a happy foursome--content to exist apart from the rocky reality of life. We were the dream team, and I thought my world could never change. Then I turned 15. I remember being sat down on my parents' bed and told that they were separating. Three awkward years later, they were divorced. The life I knew, the life that meant everything to me, was over . That was ten years ago. And just last month, we were all together helping my mom pack up the house she was selling to my dad. Yes, all of us: me, my wife, my daughter, my sister, her husband, their son, both grandmothers, an aunt and uncle, my mom, my dad, and my stepmom. That's right, my stepmom is part of my  family now. My perfectly normal, not atypical, nont

What Gay Marriage Obsession is Really About

Evangelicalism is unrepentantly obsessed with gay marriage. Every few months there's some new "scandal" headlined by names like Richard Stearns or Dan Haseltine  that draws the rabid inquisitionists out of the woodwork. My wife and I were pondering this the other day--why is this issue such a hot button? Neither of us could accept the easy answer, that the militant gay agenda requires an equivalent response. Instead, we think the equally militant, anti-gay agenda stems from two less reasonable obsessions. The first is pretty obvious: sex. Evangelicals value their sexual ethics almost as much as their flawless hermeneutics. To be clear, I'm not dismissing the pursuit of a sexually holy life. I'm proud that I was a virgin when I got married at 23. That doesn't make me a better person, but it does uncomplicate my life quite a bit. And I think it's that distinction that's missing from evangelicalism. Sexual purity does not make a person more valu