I was with a group of folk from another congregation recently, introducing them to NEXT Church and talking about my involvement as co-chair. We got to talking about generational differences when it comes to membership in an institution, particularly a church.
The musical The Book of Mormon portrays two naïve Mormon missionaries in Uganda proclaiming that “in 1978, God changed his mind about black people.” The joke isn’t mere whimsy; the LDS Church is widely perceived as racist. The irony is that had the church followed its initial trajectory, by now it likely would have become the most racially integrated and progressive church in America.
A new WaPo/Pew poll finds that 56 percent of Americans thing it’s acceptable for the National Security Agency to secretly access millions of Americans’ phone records. Sixty-two percent favor investigating terrorist threats “even if that intrudes on personal privacy.”
Recently, I was lucky to sit in on a meeting with a church’s governing board, their interim pastor and a church consultant. The congregation had planned to seek a settled, full time pastor. But when they began their search process, they were forced to examine their dwindling financial resources. It appeared they were going to have to make some tough choices
I spent part of a recent week reading a book about preaching. It had an impressive sounding title that included the words “the glory of preaching.” I bought it on the recommendation of someone from my grad school days who had spent ten minutes or so listening to me going on and on about my what an unobvious choice I was for the vocation of “pastor.”
“The story of Naboth is old in time but daily in practice,” said Ambrose of Milan. “Who of the wealthy does not strive to drive off the poor person from his little acre and turn out the needy from the boundaries of his ancestral field?”
Our world was and is ruled by those who control militaries and cartels, banks and corporations—the heirs of King Ahab’s insatiable desire and unrestrained power.