I have a confession: I don’t really know what I believe. About God. About faith. About what happens after we die. I’ve been having what some might call a ‘crisis of faith’ for years, but I’ve been feeling the weight of these questions especially heavy for several weeks, and I wonder if opening up about them here might help me get closer to the answers. Or, perhaps it might help someone else who has questions feel a little less alone.
Recently, I’ve become more and more aware of the differences that exist among those of us who identify as Believers. Some of us are instantly recognizable by the length of our hair, or the types of clothes we wear. Some of us believe in the Holy Trinity while some assert that Oneness is a more appropriate conceptualization of God’s nature. We have different ideas about modesty, salvation, miracles, tongues, music, politics, morality, hair, yoga – you name it, there are people who have differing opinions about it. As these differences become more evident with the advent of social media, it seems as though there’s been an increasing focus on what distinguishes us from other believers. Rulebooks are being updated to include all the things that one must do to be a true Believer (as described by the authors of such works). I think that it might be helpful, though, to identify some things that you don’t have to do in order to be part of the Body of Christ. So, I’ve compiled this short list: Continue reading →
No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. – Robin Williams
Like so many of us, I was devastated to hear about the death of Robin Williams yesterday, August 11. As I struggle with my emotions, I feel an overwhelming compulsion to address church leaders.
Pastors, preachers, teachers, and leaders, I implore you: Please don’t reduce the loss of Robin Williams to a talking point about Hollywood ‘not having the answers’ or ‘not having anything to offer’ this weekend. Continue reading →
Recently, I wrote a paper about adolescent suicide as an assignment for a counseling class. While researching this topic, I came across some startling statistics that I feel like I need to share. First, did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States? In adolescents (15-24), suicide is the third leading cause of death! That means that, after accidents and murder, suicide kills more of our young people than any other factor. This blows my mind! Still crazier, this rate skyrockets for adolescents in the LGBT community, with suicide being the number one cause of death. In fact, LGBT youths are “two or three times more likely to commit suicide” than there straight peers, typically as a result of “the debilitating effects of growing up in a homophobic society”. Some research suggests that upwards of 50% of LGBT adolescents attempt suicide. I think it obviously points to a larger societal issue when nearly half of any one demographic attempts suicide. Continue reading →
A few months ago a personal hero, Jamie Tworkowski (from To Write Love On Her Arms), wrote a blog post entitled, “People Need Other People”. His post helped to clarify an idea I’ve been mulling over for a long time. The idea of dependency, of belonging. This idea: it’s terrifying and it’s sketchy and it’s beautiful. I stole his title. Continue reading →
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
-Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)
If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago to play a word association game and then presented me with the word “grace”, my response would probably have included words like delicate, gentle, beautiful, tender, and maybe even soft. In my head, grace had become this really clean concept that involves all these beautiful ideas like love and hope and reconciliation.
It’s not. I mean, it does involve love, hope, and reconciliation. But, it’s not clean. The reality is this: Grace is dirty. Continue reading →
I’ve been struggling lately to identify the ‘right’ way to deal with people who choose to live life differently than me – especially when it relates to my Christian faith. So, let’s talk. Continue reading →