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#6 / Jonestown Theology: Lenten Explorations in the Valley of Death

Wikimedia / Nancy Wong

God is never lost. In the midst of great evil, God is there. I have long wondered how Jonestown fits into such ideas. In the 1970s, Rev. Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple founded the settlement in the jungles of Guyana. After a few years of communal living, Jones led his followers to commit a […]

#3 / Jonestown Theology: Lenten Explorations in the Valley of Death

Wikimedia / Nancy Wong

God is never lost. In the midst of great evil, God is there. I have long wondered how Jonestown fits into such ideas. In the 1970s, Rev. Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple founded the settlement in the jungles of Guyana. After a few years of communal living, Jones led his followers to commit a […]

The Suicide of Salvation

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  The group sat down close to me. I knew one of them was an evangelical. The cheese gave it away. Needing to get work done, I tried to ignore them. I was successful for a while. Then, I heard a question that has always haunted me. “Do you want to get saved?” Wanting to […]

The Absence of God

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The air was unusually cold for November. My nose was running and my eyes were watering. Nevertheless, I wanted to kiss her goodbye. I knocked on the back window. I could see her sitting in her chair. Slowly, she moved toward the sliding glass door. Eventually, we got it open. I gave her a hug […]

Shame & Suicide: The Scandal of Southern Baptist Theology

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  “He’s not in heaven…and you won’t be either if you kill yourself.” I will never forget the cruelness of the language. The suicide rocked our Southern Baptist church. We descended deeper into judgment…the only fuel of fundamentalism. Secretly, I think most people thought shame was the antidote for suicide. I was ten. Even then, […]

“I Forgive You” : Words from the Dallas Mother Emanuel AME Church Vigil

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  *Living Faith Covenant Church on 6/19/15   Many years ago, I received a phone call that no one would ever want to receive. My father informed me that my uncle had committed suicide. His next request was unfathomable. I need you to go and tell your grandparents before they find out from someone else. […]

Back to the Future: A Call for Queerness

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  *Delivered at Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado on June 7, 2015   There was a time when all was well. We call it “Eden.” Do you remember? We have spent all of human existence yearning to go back there…back to the future. There are times when we know we are […]

Suicidal Theology

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  “You have to get married. I have to get married. If I don’t get married this time then I will never get married. You have to get married. I have to get married. Stop. This isn’t the person I want to be with. It doesn’t matter. Do you love me? I have chosen her […]

Don’t You Dare Turn Your Head: The Self-Immolation of The Rev. Charles Moore

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The fiery passion of 79-year-old retired United Methodist pastor The Rev. Charles Moore is raging in my soul right now.  On June 23 around 5:30pm, Moore exited his vehicle in Grand Saline, Texas, doused his body with gasoline and set himself on fire.  After rescue efforts by bystanders, Moore was taken by helicopter to Parkland […]

The Tragedy of Mark Mayfield and The Call of Love

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  For followers of God, politics and religion have always been very closely connected.  We are a people determined to see the hand of God move in the land of the living.  We start to go astray when we remake God into a Republican or Democrat.  We forget that we were made for so much […]

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