The power of fear and the fear of power

Oct 9, 2019 by

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (John 4:18a). “…you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). In my experience as pastor I’ve often been...

[read more]

The Bible leans more socialist than you think

Jun 5, 2019 by

When it comes to wealth, God clearly favors equality. I find it interesting how much attention the Bible gives to the issue of equity and justice with regard to how wealth is to be distributed. In the first...

[read more]

Meyer, Mennonites and the prosperity gospel

Jan 25, 2019 by

“I’m glad for what I learned about prosperity, but it got out of balance. I’m glad for what I’ve learned about faith, but it got out of balance.” — Televangelist Joyce Meyer, in a recent Instagram...

[read more]

Our troubling Mennonite inferiority complex

Nov 16, 2018 by

“Many American Christians simply assume that the state has no business dictating church beliefs or practices, that a church should be a gathered body of believers rather than a net that that scoops up...

[read more]

Our hymns shape our church

Aug 27, 2018 by

“Out of the fullness of the heart, the language of each mortal springs. If you would truly know a man, just listen to the songs he sings.” — Amish hymn writer John Paul Raber, Songs from Within...

[read more]

Our hypocrisy on ‘social action’

Jul 19, 2018 by

Mennonite Central Committee and other relief and service organizations are often criticized for being too focused on physically bettering people’s lives and not enough on evangelizing them. Some of the...

[read more]

We need cities of refuge, not border walls

Jun 20, 2018 by

There was one picture in the Bible story book we had at home that struck special fear in me as a child. It showed the sheer terror in the face of a man fleeing for his life to a city of refuge, his avenger in...

[read more]

Four obstacles to raising relief funds

May 29, 2018 by

As a part of an initiative last year to increase funds raised at our Virginia Relief Sale for Mennonite Central Committee, some of us came up with a plan to solicit cash donations in addition to the money...

[read more]

Questioning our lay/ordained divide

Apr 30, 2018 by

While most of us agree that healthy congregations need to use all of the varied and multiple gifts of its members, Mennonites have generally adopted the Protestant practice of elevating pastors to a special...

[read more]

Who are the slaves serving us?

Apr 9, 2018 by

Since by definition slaves have virtually no control over their living conditions or their compensation, is slavery a thing of the past? Unfortunately, there are still an untold number of sex slaves and...

[read more]

Machines don’t harvest crops — farmers do

Mar 5, 2018 by

A tongue-in-cheek parable in the midst of a national debate over gun control: Every year, an increasing number of grain and other crops fall prey to ruthless decapitation and violent forms of plant destruction...

[read more]

Two nuclear buttons — a modern-day parable

Jan 16, 2018 by

The John and Jane Doe family and the Ilsa and Ivan Doesky family lived at opposite ends of a fine apartment building in Solarville. Being quite well to do, they were the envy of many of their neighbors in the...

[read more]

Our trickle-down congregational economics

Dec 7, 2017 by

A proposed congregational mission statement: To be good news for the poor, to heal the broken, to proclaim release for prisoners, to restore sight to the blind, to advocate for the oppressed, and to celebrate...

[read more]

Fighting gun violence like cancer

Nov 7, 2017 by

What if this amendment had become a part of our Constitution? “A well regulated tobacco industry, being necessary to the prosperity of a free State, the right of the people to grow and use nicotine...

[read more]

An urgent case for some ‘hilarious’ giving

Aug 30, 2017 by

All of us are shocked by the terrible effects of Hurricane Harvey on Houston and surrounding areas. And this represents only a fraction of the ongoing suffering experienced by millions in northern Africa and...

[read more]

Mennonite editor charged with sedition

Aug 14, 2017 by

In the middle of World War I, on June 15, 1917, the highly controversial Espionage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The Act provided for a penalty of up to 20...

[read more]

Mennonite girls from everywhere can cook

Jul 14, 2017 by

I am disappointed that your cookbook includes recipes for things like tacos. To me, that’s not Mennonite food. — anonymous comment on Mennonite Girls Can Cook Herald Press recently published a...

[read more]

Our ‘I come to the garden alone’ theology

Jun 15, 2017 by

The past century has seen a rise in popular gospel songs like “In the Garden,” sometimes known by its first line, “I Come to the Garden Alone.” Written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles, it...

[read more]

Nationalism, civil religion and greed-based economics

Mar 30, 2017 by

Among the ways the last book of our Bible is truly revelatory is in its portrayal of violence and harm as perpetrated by evil systems rather than simply by individual evildoers. It does so through a collage of...

[read more]

Supporting life during Lent

Mar 6, 2017 by

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? — 1 John 3:17 (NLT) I’ve always found it hard to...

[read more]