Whose bar is low?

Jul 2, 2018 by

John Pow­ell (A Voice from the Center, June 4) described a Doonesbury comic strip by Garry Tru­deau depicting a pastor giving an announcement about what evangelicals currently view as sin: “The list of...

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Powell: Setting a low bar

Jun 4, 2018 by

A recent Doonesbury comic strip by Garry Trudeau featured a pastor giving an announcement from the board of elders to a congregation about what evangelicals currently view as sin. The list of behavior that...

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Forgiveness for the third and fourth generations

Mar 29, 2018 by

A few years ago I learned that a Native American coffee shop was opening near my church. A native business other than a casino got my attention. I found this place to be one of the friendliest social gathering...

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Yoder-Short: Stories rely on empathy

Mar 12, 2018 by

Have you ever wondered about her story, that woman caught in adultery? We know nothing about her situation. Contrast this with the Samaritan woman, where we know about her five husbands and her latest live-in...

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Undone via confession

Feb 2, 2018 by

Once a week or so, I join a few Anglican clergy for morning prayers. Like many who grew up in a “low church” tradition with its relentless demands (real or perceived) for extemporaneity in prayer and...

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Dwell with us

Dec 21, 2017 by

“I think that the Christian doctrine of redemption — this idea that we need to be ‘redeemed’ from something — is just wrong. And it’s done all kinds of harm.” The comment came in the...

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We’re outraged because we want to be worshiped

Nov 20, 2017 by

A morning tour through news headlines, social media, and personal correspondence has unsurprisingly delivered a steady stream of commentary on the pitiful parade of powerful men behaving badly. Politicians,...

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Unoriginal sin

Oct 16, 2017 by

As far as sins go, a rich older dude using his power and influence to sexually prey upon young women is about as unoriginal as they come. As long as men and power imbalances and women have been in existence...

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Too much justified sin

Aug 14, 2017 by

As I read MWR, I become frustrated by writers striving to justify sin as they follow the culture down the perilous pitch of pride. Where is repentance? Where is surrender? Are we more distraught about icebergs...

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Waiting for liberation

Dec 5, 2016 by

Jesus was born into a community of second-class citizens waiting for a liberator. Those who experienced the first Advent endured the weight of oppression — the Roman Empire’s occupation of Judea. Those of...

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5 common errors when Christians disagree

Sep 19, 2016 by

Note: This is a full-out, “chip-on-my-shoulder” rant. I tried to soften the blog post by using personal pronouns and not giving specific controversial examples, but I can’t deny that I’m annoyed and...

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World’s infiltration

Sep 12, 2016 by

Has the world infiltrated the mainline Mennonite church? The church should be a place for anyone to go to for the redemption of our souls, not to justify our sins. It is grief beyond measure to witness the...

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Hate the sin

Aug 15, 2016 by

John Longhurst (North of the 49th, July 18) tells of his friend James Toews’ desire for the church to “move past the statement to ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’.” Toews goes on to say, “Jesus...

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Bible: Gospel of liberation from idols

Jul 4, 2016 by

Romans 3 famously contains a dense theological argument. Paul discusses the need for and provision of salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul has a simple purpose: That his readers, Jewish and Gentile Christians...

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The importance of excluding people from the church

Apr 1, 2016 by

Jesus and the apostles were not just focusing on how to include as many as possible in the church through evangelism, but also on how to exclude unbelievers, heretics and sinners who refuse to repent. If we...

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Sin problems and skin problems

Oct 21, 2015 by

“Racism is a sin problem, not a skin problem.” Have you heard this statement? I recently saw it on Mike Huckabee’s extraordinarily problematic Twitter timeline last week during the democratic...

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Let’s talk about sin

Oct 1, 2015 by

I have all but ousted the word “sin” from my Christian lexicon, referring instead to the more palatable sounding, “brokenness,” or the human “problem.” As a bilingual, cross-cultural worker, and a...

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Sacred cows and holy kisses

Jun 15, 2015 by

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. — Isaiah 6:1-5 Greet one another with a holy kiss. — Romans 16:12-16 What on earth is a “holy kiss?” Is it a kiss on...

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Opinion: Biblical and better way

Oct 27, 2014 by and

Theologically conservative Christians are widely perceived as hostile to gays. And it is largely our own fault. Many of us have actually been homophobic. Most of us tolerated gay bashers. We did not deal...

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Let’s talk about sin

Sep 29, 2014 by

More than 60 years ago, Howard Ham­mer and his revival tent came to Kalona, Iowa. Some still remember how riled up people got. They tossed cigarettes and jewelry into a barrel. According to one account, a...

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Truth may divide

Apr 28, 2014 by

Turning the sin of homosexuality into just another harmless human practice will not alter it in God’s eyes. If we love those who have made this lifestyle choice, we will lovingly admonish them to forsake...

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