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When Inclusion is Exclusion : Radical Ecclesiology

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  The church is the church is the church. Right? Ecclesiology is the study of what the church is. At our present hour, one cannot study the church without hearing the word ‘inclusion.’ In books, sermons and articles people consistently write and speak about a need for greater inclusion. For many Christians, being inclusive has […]

The Call: A Reflection.

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I was in the library at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary when I got the call. Though I had known he was sick, death was in his voice and he needed me. Time after time, my Southern Baptist mentor called and chatted with me about all sorts of subjects. I had heard the call before, […]

The Lynching of Sureshbhai Patel

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  The video is horrific. Madison, Alabama police officer Eric Parker slammed Sureshbhai Patel into the ground hard enough to paralyze him. There was a time when lynchings were carried out by mobs. Now, we have created a much more formal process of carrying out violence against oppressed and marginalized people.  Badges and uniforms are […]

Jesus is Dead and So Are We: Eric Garner is Our Only Hope for Resurrection

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On July 17, 2014, Jesus was standing on a corner. Officers confronted Jesus. After a brief conversation, Jesus was placed into a chokehold and slammed to the ground. The last words of Jesus were, “I can’t breathe.” I don’t believe that Eric Garner lived his life as Jesus. I don’t believe any of us do. […]

When Southern Baptists Get Saved

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  Salvation was always such an important part of my upbringing.  We were constantly begged, pushed, prodded and manipulated to go down the aisle.  If I got saved once, I got saved a hundred times.  When the preacher started talking about hell and the rhetorical fires started tickling my toes, I especially felt the tug […]

God is Our Passive Enemy: Reacting Fairly and Honestly to a Day Like Today

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    Christians have a bad tendency to rush to offer excuses for God in the wake of tragedy.  In the last 24 hours, John Middleton was executed in Missouri with a lingering legitimate claim of innocence, four cousins were killed while playing soccer on a beach outside of Gaza City, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 […]

The United States Flag at the Front of the Church is Blasphemous

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  A United States soldier processed the flag of the United States of America in to our sanctuary as we stood at attention singing “God Bless America.”  The veterans in our midst were honored as we sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”  The “Battle Hymn of the Republic” proceeded the pastor’s fiery sermon on the coming […]

Our Enemies Cometh and in them Lay Our Salvation

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  I have my fair share of enemies these days.  I have found that the longer I work as both an activist and a pastor the more enemies I have.  I hear lies.  I experience violence.  I interact with evil.  In these experiences, I have discovered something surprising…my salvation.   The scriptures tell us to […]

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