Confusing the World with our Fluent Christianese

Last night, I was having a conversation with my neighbor, and all of a sudden, I panicked. I couldn’t understand him, and I didn’t have the guts to tell him that he wasn’t making any sense.  I politely smiled and pretended I was following him, but I was lost and wanted to wrap up things without me looking stupid.  The problem was, we were speaking Spanish; and he didn’t realize it, but he was talking over my head.

God is so Much Nicer than Santa

Let’s play a game. I’ll describe someone, and you tell me who I’m talking about. 1. He’s an old man with a long, white beard. 2. He sees everything you do. 3. He keeps a list of your deeds, good and bad. 4. He lives in a far-off, magical kingdom you couldn’t find if you tried. 5. He never allows himself to be seen; and 6. All the movies about him are fairly lame.

Why I Quit Sunday Services (and Then Came Back)

I vividly remember the last church service I attended before I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I was sitting with a couple thousand strangers in a megachurch when the thought crossed my mind: Why am I here? I could watch this on the internet. And after the service ended, I walked into the church’s multi-acre parking lot and drove away, never to return to church services again (or so I thought). 

Three Things to Remember Next Time You Fall Into Sin

I’ve had close friendships with countless Christians in my lifetime, and if there’s one thing we’ve all got in common, it’s that we’ve all got some bad habit, some addictive sin, some hangup that we just can’t seem to overcome. People struggle with all kinds of things — rage, overeating, jealousy, passive-aggressive behavior, and porn addiction, to name a few.

The Reason it’s So Hard to Receive the Love of Jesus

Although my three-year-old daughter, Renee, is improving, for the better part of her life, she has antagonized her four-year-old sister, Daniela, quite a lot.  She will do things like walk up to her sister and gratuitously punch her or sneak up and pull a pillow out from under her sister’s head just for fun.

The Reason I Don’t Want to Pray for People Who Get on My Nerves

The other day, my wife and I were driving down a two-lane road in the country when we got stuck behind a big ol’ Mack truck that was stuck behind a slowly-moving tractor.  We figured we would be in for a long wait – we did not anticipate, however, that we were about to watch a truck driver nearly kill somebody.

Seven Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Leave a Church

In 2007, my fiancé and I almost left the church I had been a part of for two years. I was happy there, but we had just gotten engaged, and we figured we might be better off if we just started over at a new church. In retrospect, we weren’t very thoughtful about the whole thing at all – actually, we were pretty much just feeling our way through the decision, which is what I think a lot of people do when they leave churches, and naturally so. Emotions are oftentimes the clearest things in our minds when we’re making these decisions.

So You Got Robbed at Church – Now What?

On Sunday, I was taking my daughters downstairs to their Sunday School class when I passed a couple of women on their way up to the sanctuary.  One of the two women was looking down; the other was holding her arm and whispering into her ear. It seemed odd to me, but I was most concerned that the visitors feel comfortable; and I just assumed that the woman looking down had a disability or something.  She didn’t.