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    Did God Really Say?

    I attended grad school in San Francisco in the 90’s. Each week a group of Christian students, faculty, and staff would gather in one of the small classrooms on the top floor for our CMDS meeting. This room had a floor-to-ceiling view of the Golden Gate Bridge where I can still picture the cars driving Northbound towards Sausalito. I adored the cute rainbow-painted tunnel arcs where the bridge merged with Marin County. My beloved friend’s uncle had painted those rainbows there many years prior. Every week I sat at the back of the room next to the window, gazing at the orange bridge stretched over hundreds of boats below. Some…

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    Why Kids Leave the Church After High School

    The Youth Transition Network has released the results of research about why 70% of students in high school youth groups have left the church within a year after high school graduation. One big reason is the unrealistic expectations that our young people sense from parents and church authority figures. When asked, “What does it mean to be a good Christian,” students responded with a long list of do’s and don’ts, always and nevers: No sex No secular music No fun No profanity No bad attitudes Be perfect Be a virgin Be wholly devoted to God Be righteous Be a role model Don’t doubt Have all the spiritual answers Always be…

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    Free to Forgive

    Every Sunday millions of Christians pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4). It’s easy to say that without thinking about whether we have really forgiven all those who have offended or wronged us.   Forgiveness is extremely difficult to grant others because it costs us so much. When we forgive someone, we accept the loss or the hurt without demanding any reimbursement, revenge, or satisfaction of any kind. Forgiveness means we suffer so that the offending party can be restored to fellowship with us.   To forgive means we hold no grudges and nurse no resentments. To forgive means to yield…

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    The Unbiblical-ness of “Biblical” Dating

    Valentine’s Day makes me giddy, not because I expect a bouquet, but because I relish demonstrations of affection. My heart is gladdened every time I see a couple cuddling in a corner booth or read of Mr. Darcy fumbling for words with Lizzy Bennett.  I am a romantic. But, understanding and admitting that has been hard. Validating my desire for romantic love (a presumably feminine trait) without dismantling my dreams of leading (a presumably masculine one) has been hard as hell. Sadly, Christian culture increased my agony. Rather than helping, family-centric churches and marriage-centric families lectured me on “biblical dating.” Perhaps you’ve been schooled, too… Always kiss the person to…

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    The Tapeworm Gallery: Shop Talk

               Can you believe women today with all their tattoos? Women at work have them. And here you thought only females in prison had tats. I heard your coworker Kaylie has several large ones. Good thing you told her the man upstairs does not approve of defilement of one’s body that way. Even bubbly Jessica who also attends your church has a little dolphin on her wrist. #nominalchristian.                 This is why you don’t like your daughters leaving the house outside of school attendance. If you could afford to home school them you would…and you wouldn’t have to deal with the office heathens. Your girls…

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    What’s Wrong with Occasional S’mores and Brownies?

    Last week, I read where the US Forest Service wants us to make our s’mores with fruit and marshmallow crème rather than chocolate and roasted marshmallows when we go camping. Half the fun of making s’mores is roasting the marshmallows over a campfire! And, isn’t chocolate a vegetable? This week, I read where the children in Vermont could no longer have brownies served to them at school – not even one every once in awhile, just for fun! Are we so obsessed with 24/7 healthy foods that no one can have a treat even once in awhile without feeling guilt and shame over doing so! I am all for eating…

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    Do you expect captives of the enemy to act like they are free?

    Would the non-Christians you know label you as "judgmental"? How do we walk in the tension between maintaining our principles and standards while wooing people to Jesus? How did Jesus do that? These are critical questions that we must wrestle with if we want to be Christ-followers in our post-Christian world.          In a series of interviews with sixteen to twenty-nine-year-old outsiders, 87 percent of them labeled Christians as judgmental (UnChristian, What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity And Why It Matters, Baker Books). They described most Christians as people who looked down their noses at anyone different from them. They said that most Christians they knew reflected a…

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    The Ten Opportunities

    We know them as the Ten Commandments, Decalog, or Law of Moses, those ancient decrees of a covenant that even some Christians consider obsolete (Deuteronomy 4:13. Exodus 20:3-17)(2). However, Jesus did not say that He came to do away with the Ten Commandments or Law but rather to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17-19. Luke 16:16,17). That is, Jesus did give us new commandments; however, He never abolished the old ones (John 13:34,35. Romans 3:30,31  Psalms 119:152). Rather He raised them from a matter of external physical compliance to a matter of internal spiritual compliance that included the thoughts and intents of our spiritual hearts (Matthew 5:27,28). Furthermore, He did what the…