Religious Freedom on Our National Day of Prayer

Religious-FreedomOur President in today’s Executive Order is trying to make it easier for churches and pastors to publicly support one candidate over another and push their congregants to do so, without fear of losing their tax-exempt status. This is probably a bad idea. It makes coercion and turning religion into merely a subset of political parties too easy, and it’s pretty easy already. Many say Evangelical Christianity has already sold its soul and become a mere subset of the GOP. I find it hard to argue otherwise.

I speak as somebody who talks relatively freely about politics and whose congregants usually know where he stands, for better and sometimes for worse. But we won’t be having any voter pamphlets at Genesis anytime soon. Continue reading

Shrewd for Christ’s Sake

hqdefaultLet me tell you a peculiar story of Jesus, that very few long to hear. It might be my favorite of all.

It’s called the parable of “The Dishonest Manager” and it’s found in Luke 16:1-9. Look in your version, some anxious translators call him “shrewd” for propriety’s sake; seems a little softer. Many claim the story continues through verse 13, but it doesn’t. This is just scrambling to try to lessen the blow by including other, more conventional (but unrelated) teachings on money. It should stand alone. Continue reading

Israel: Re-Thinking Our Un-Thoughtful Support

Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House in 2010President Obama said an astonishing thing last week: that we need to “reconsider” our support of Israel given our commitment to peace in the region and protecting the human rights of all; non-Jewish Palestinians included.  His comment rightly made news and wrongly brought about criticism from the right-wing here. It’s the most constructive thing an American president has said about the never-ending conflict in years. Continue reading