I tried to pray my sexuality away

File this one under TMI. It’s super intimate and not something I yell at strangers, but it’s just us here so I’ll let you in on a secret:

My faith gave me issues.

As a developing adolescent I routinely heard sexual expression outside of marriage was anathema. Masturbation was an affront to my Creator; only within marriage were my sexual feelings legitimate.

So I prayed. I asked the Source of all living things to kill this part of me, to castrate me in the pursuit of holiness. I created an internal liturgy and recited it for years: remove this from me. Temptation was strong, but I believed God was stronger and could bring me to marriage spotless, untouched. Then marriage would solve all of my problems and, more importantly, validate this deeply meaningful portion of my personhood. Read more “I tried to pray my sexuality away”

Share this:

A Rule For Every Preacher

Preacher

Whenever you preach, preachers, for the love of God –

Represent the opposition fairly.

Standing in front of an assembled congregation and making claims about God, the world, and what God has to say to this world will inevitably place certain ideas, practices, and people on the opposite side from your propositions.  Depending upon Read more “A Rule For Every Preacher”

Share this:

When your faith is up and down like a roller coaster, but trying harder doesn’t cut it

“I’ve been struggling with doubt.  Maybe not doubt, but I just don’t feel God’s presence like I did before.”

You might have said these words.  And if you haven’t said them, at least you’ve heard them.  And if you haven’t heard them, dear Christian, open the door, go outside, and talk to someone about faith.

The ups-and-downs are a part of it.

Rollercoaster
(Photo credit: Olfert)

Read more “When your faith is up and down like a roller coaster, but trying harder doesn’t cut it”

Share this:

3 [Untrue] Christian Stories – Know A Parable When You See One

There’s nothing wrong with stretching the Truth. We stretch taffy, and that just makes it more delicious.
– Stephen Colbert

English: A slab of Sparkle Cherry Laffy Taffy,...

You’ve seen the stories; the one about the little girl whose atheist parents kill each other while she hides behind the couch with Jesus, or the atheistic professor bested by one of his religious pupils, or the teen car accident victim with a plastic Jesus lodged in her heart…  Read more “3 [Untrue] Christian Stories – Know A Parable When You See One”

Share this:

The Art of Listening and Giving Damns

The average person receives very little high-quality listening from other people, probably less than five or ten minutes a week.
William Miller and Kathleen Jackson

"The Edison Phonograph". 1905 promot...

Listening is high art.

Sure, all of us are compulsive hearers – what with all of the televisions, talking heads, and fancy record players – but few of us listen and few are ever really listened to. Apparently we’re losing the skills, or maybe the attention span, required by this cognitively demanding process. So if you care about others, or at least want to resemble a decent human being, learn how to listen.

Here are some practical steps to get you there: Read more “The Art of Listening and Giving Damns”

Share this:

God Uses Means: Or, How to Avoid Complete Cynicism

Dust

There was a moment in worship at Winter Camp last week when all I could think about was change. I was thinking about how I could change myself, how I would change the camp experience if I could, how the Christian Church itself should change… Read more “God Uses Means: Or, How to Avoid Complete Cynicism”

Share this: