Effing with the Ineffable: Why we shouldn’t teach the Bible to our Children

Noah’s Ark, King David, the Ten Commandments, the Garden of Eden. All staples of a healthy Sunday School curriculum. We teach these stories to our kids from an early age, hoping to instill in them a love for God’s Word and a trust in God through joy and hardship that will stay with them all their lives. But are we doing more harm than good? When we first learned these stories ourselves, we did so at the most basic, literal level. We were taught that God spoke directly to Noah, Moses, Adam and Abraham, just as you and I would speak to each other, in a way that *He* doesn’t speak anymore. Everything happened exactly as the stories claim they did, in the most literally and historically accurate

The Spirit Within

Growing up in the organized church, we were told that the Holy Spirit came to reside within us once we accepted Christ. We were also told that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we have no need that any man should teach us. Yet when it comes to really emphasizing what that means and how to hear the Spirit within, the church has largely dropped the ball. We do not seem to hear a lot of teaching of what it means for the Spirit to live within us. We are not told how to listen for the Spirit and what are we actually supposed to be listening for. Jesus said that his sheep hear his voice, yet most of us were taught that his voice is really the words written in the bible or spoken by the past

Encountering Anger

From Thich Nhat Hanh: "When someone says or does something that makes us angry, we suffer. We tend to say or do something back to make the other suffer, with the hope that we will suffer less. We think, "I want to punish you, I want to make you suffer because you have made me suffer. And when I see you suffer a lot, I will feel better." Many of us are inclined to believe in such a childish practice. The fact is that when you make the other suffer, they will try to find relief by making you suffer more. The result is an escalation of suffering on both sides. Both of you need compassion and help. Neither of you needs punishment." - Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames This is good advice. We c

One Size Does Not Fit All

It was a Friday afternoon almost twenty years ago, sitting in the office of a minister of the apostolic Church. I’d gotten to a stage in my life where I felt as if I was barely hanging on, standing on the crumpled edge, staring into what felt like a dark abyss. Most of us become perfect candidates for awakening - not in the prime of our lives; not when our ordered worlds are going well; not when life or living feels good; not even when we have a purpose for getting up every morning. It takes some sort of tragedy, a divorce, losing a job, losing someone we loved or a significant health scare. It takes any or many of these events to get our attention. Not a fleeting momentary attention, but th

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