They’re Cults

Let’s look at the differences and similarities between cults and evangelicalism. I’ll start with two definitions from Merriam-Webster: Cult: a system or religion of veneration and/or devotion directed toward a particular figure or object held together by a dominant, often charismatic, individual or by the worship of an idol or some other object. Evangelical: teaching … Read more

Meet the Very Jewish Jesus

In Sunday school, I learned about a white Jesus who never existed. In seminary, I learned about the “Christian Jesus.” Early in my ministry, I promoted this fictitious Jesus. In 1990, I heard about the Jesus Seminar, run by Westar Institute, which involved over two hundred scholars from many different fields (e.g., Old and New … Read more

Pau!

Pau is a fun Hawaiian word meaning “something is done or finished.” It’s one of those words that is overused but incredibly useful. I’d like to use it here to describe my present relationship with the institutional church. I have been an Episcopalian for my entire 92 years, even for 3 years in college when … Read more

New Insights

I first saw Sarah McCammon on 60 Minutes on March 24, 2024. She was promoting her book, The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church. I was hoping for some insights into evangelicals. Sarah delivered. My first finding: The Evangelicals are more of a cult than a religion. One of their primary missions … Read more

Jesus Christ Superstar

Annie and I went to see the fiftieth anniversary of the professional stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar on January 20, 2024. The show was outstanding. The whole time I was tapping my foot and singing along with the music, which brought back many warm memories. In 1970, a concert version of this production was … Read more

What Makes a Strong Democracy

I have no idea why the book By All Means Available was even on my Kindle. I didn’t know the author or the title, which didn’t attract me. The only aspect that might have interested me was that the author was in the special forces. As a former Marine, I still seem to be intrigued … Read more

What’s So Good about Good Friday?

Thursday was probably a good day for Jesus until late in the evening. He celebrated Passover dinner with his twelve best friends, and then they went out to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Good turned to bad when his “friend” Judas, the betrayer, arrived with soldiers, who arrested Jesus on the grounds of sedition … Read more

I’m an A-theist

The church is full of A-theists. The problem is most of them won’t admit it. Let’s start with some definitions. Theist: a person who believes in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe. Atheist: a person who disbelieves in gods. A-theist*: a person who is against … Read more

How? And Why?

He is a narcissist, pathological liar, misogynist, racist, cheater (on his wives, taxes, business associates, and employees for starters), vengeful and crude person, opportunist, wannabe dictator, conspiracist, insurrectionist (he even led one against his own country), and phony with ninety-one felony counts. Oh yes, he was the forty-fifth president of the United States and the … Read more

Put Ash Wednesday in the Ash Can

When I was a child, Ash Wednesday was a big deal. It was always preceded by the church’s annual Shrove (meaning “indulge”) Tuesday Pancake Supper. In New Orleans, it’s called Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras with parades and lots of loose lascivious living. Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2024) starts the Lenten season, a penitential time … Read more