UPDATE: Sean Hannity wrong on fellow pastor

UPDATE: Religion Dispatches and others have found the video of Wallace Charles Smith and his comments:

This speech is not a sermon in a church, but at Eastern University’s Windows on the World.  Windows on the World is a speaker series that features ideas, thoughts, and feelings of popular speakers. In the academic environment, Smith offered his thoughts that racism was not solved by the election of Obama.

Original post:

Wallace Charles Smith (a fellow American Baptist Churches pastor, my former seminary president, and fellow American Baptist Home Mission Society board director) was thrown into Sean Hannity’s cross hairs this week after President Obama attended Smith’s church on Easter. The Washington Post Reports:

The Rev. Wallace Charles Smith said the church has received more than 100 threats since Fox News channel’s Sean Hannity aired a tape Monday of a speech Smith gave in January 2010 at Eastern University in Saint Davids, Pa.

Shiloh Baptist Church in the District said it has received threatening phone calls and e-mails after an Easter visit from President Obama and a conservative television commentator’s subsequent playing of a videotape in which the pastor said that those espousing racial prejudice do so “under the protective cover of talk radio.”

What did Sean Hannity say that started all of this? It’s not what he said, but what he edited:

[Read more...]

Prayer for Good Friday

Prayer for Good Friday

O Christ, your life was no triumph, you carried a cross; may we walk along the same road as you.

O Christ, by your suffering you learned faithfulness; you became a source of eternal salvation for the whole human race.

O Christ, when threatened you did not retaliate; enable us to forgive to the very end.

O Christ, you see the pain of those who are exiled and abandoned; take their suffering upon yourself.

O Christ, when lies and worries try to separate us from you, your Holy Spirit is always with us.

O Christ, you are the happiness of those who follow you: enable us to live by your trust.

O Christ, our life is hidden with you in God; that is a joy that touches the depths of the soul.

Strengthen us, Eternal God, and we will wait in silence and peace until the light of the Resurrection rises upon us. Amen.

Prayer from Taize

Prayer for Maundy Thursday

Prayer for Maundy Thursday

Loving Provider,
you gather me in this upper room with your son,
to be fed by your love.
At that supper, Jesus told us to “love one another”
and I know that is the heart of his gift,
his sacrifice for me.
I ask that I might find the source of my own heart,
the meaning for my own life, in that Eucharist.
Guide me to the fullness of your love and life.
Amen.

Is Hell Dead?

Is Hell dead? Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins has generated a lot of chatter, fear, and public comments around the idea that Hell doesn’t exist. Time Magazine picked up the story and it landed on the front cover. Many believe his book is heretical and goes against traditional Christian theology on issues like heaven, hell, and salvation.  Bell is pretty clear about his theology, which he explained to his church.

This week, The Barna Group, a religious researching outfit, released a study on people’s understanding of heaven and hell.  Since about 75% of this country identifies themselves as “Christian” you would think there would be a strong unifying understanding about what Christians believe about how one “gets” to heaven.

The study found some surprising beliefs of this “Christian nation”: [Read more...]

What makes Holy Week so… Holy?

This past Palm Sunday kicked off a week, to most Christians, that represents an important time in the life of the Church: Holy Week.  The week before Easter is a special time in which Christians remember the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Is this week holier than all others?  Well, yes and no.

Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and an executive editor of Christianity Today,  helps us understand this week in light of its “holiness”:

[Read more...]

Shane Claiborne, please pay your taxes

Since the government didn’t shut down, all of us are required to send in our tax returns by April 18 (or file an extension). As much as I don’t really like paying more and more tax (who does?) every year I pray that I don’t own more. Usually, I over pay in fear of under paying, so I usually get a refund.

Recently, I came across Shane Claiborne‘s “Letter to the IRS“.  For those of you you do not know Shane, he is a fellow Eastern University alum, one of founders of The Simple Way in Philadelphia, a best-selling author, non-violent activist, and speaks on a variety of issues within Christianity.

For Shane, he believes in non-violent protest against injustice. So is the case with taxes. Shane wrote the IRS:

 

[Read more...]

Donald Trump: I am a Christian

As the 2012 presidential race heats up, many would-be candidates are launching and engaging in some serious presidential talk.  Mitt Romney just announced that he formed an exploratory committee. Fox News contributor, Mike Huckabee is making the rounds and giving his thoughts on traditional presidential debate topics.  Now, millionaire and reality TV show host, Donald Trump is testing the presidential waters.

Recently, Donald Trump sat down with Christian Broadcasting Network’s (CBN) David Brody and brought up something that he rarely talks about: his religion.

In this exclusive interview, Trump talks about his relationship with God, the church, the bible, being a Presbyterian, and his commitment to attending church.

Trump said: [Read more...]

Dude Lives Off Beer During Lent

For most of us, giving something up for Lent is tough.  Chocolate, sweets, or even Facebook are popular choices for the Lenten discipline. Some give up alcohol but one man is adding alcohol to Lent. Not only that, but he is only drinking beer for Lent!

CNN’s Belief Blog recently reported that J. Wilson, a 38 year-old author of the blog brewvana, gave up food and is only drinking beer (and water)   The practice was also observed by Bavarian monks  hundreds of years ago.

Wilson is  newspaper editor and beer enthusiast. His motto of his blog is, “An ideal condition of harmony, beer and joy.”  He proclaims himself a non-denominational Christian who avoids denominational labels. His decision to drink only beer was a seriously one and required a lot of preparation: [Read more...]

Millennials value Parenting more than Marriage

A recent Pew Poll and study among 18-25 year-old adults found that parenting is more important than marriage. The majority of Millennials, (generally those born between 1982 and 1995) about 52%, said being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life. About 30% said the same about having a successful marriage. This Pew Poll points out that there is a 22 percentage point gap in the way Millennials value parenthood over marriage.

Sometimes called “Generation Y”, Millennials differed from their Generation X counterparts:

When this same question was posed to 18- to 29-year-olds in 1997, the gap was just 7 percentage points. Back then, 42% of the members of what is known as Generation X said being a good parent was one of the most important things in life, while 35% said the same about having a successful marriage.

What does this mean?

[Read more...]

Contest WINNERS!

This past week I’ve been running a contest to give away two great books, Russell Rathbun’s book nuChristian and Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus.

It’s noon! The winners are:

Christine SmithnuChristian

D Brown - In the Name of Jesus

Andrew Twiton - In the Name of Jesus

Contest winners: You’ll get an email or DM from me shortly.

Thanks for everyone who entered and look out for another giveaway!