My Flawed Views on Abortion

chalkboardI was ordained four years after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Several months following my United Methodist-approved call to “preach the good news,” I sat in a sparse room with a woman who had been assaulted. It was just the two of us. I do not recall her words. I do not recall my responses. I do not recall what I prayed.

The silence I remember.

The knowing that I knew nothing, I remember.

Gazing through the decades, I am fairly confident we never talked about abortions. And yet abortion may have been one of the grim topics she would be forced to consider. How could she heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually? How often would the police question her and make her relive the terror? Among her family and friends, who should she tell or not tell about the horror? The questions—the what ifs, the why mes, the now whats—must have been awful for her.

Does any abortion ever occur in a good circumstance? Continue reading →

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The Unknown

unknown godAccording to the seventeenth chapter of Acts, Paul stood at Athens’ Areopagus and challenged the Greeks about worshipping an “unknown God.” In a city and an era where many gods were worshipped, Paul had stumbled onto a local altar with words claiming allegiance to that “unknown” deity.

I’m impressed by Paul’s first-century speech in Acts. With rousing philosophical arguments, he out-Greeked the Greeks. Paul’s blunt exhortation about worshipping the one true God of his faith versus the many false Gods of their culture was faithful and persuasive.

The God Paul proclaimed was not unknown! God was real, and could never be understood by creating shrines of gold or silver. In a smattering of verses, the author of Acts had Paul recount creation, alluding to Adam and Eden, and declaring a confidence in a God that has “fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness . . .” The past was obvious. The future was set. All things were known.

How dare anyone worship an unknown God!

And yet I do. Continue reading →

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Speak the Name?

nameJesus!

I’ve joked about Joseph and Mary’s son. But in a good way.

I’ve mentioned Jesus’ name publicly and privately. I have used his name in prayers, speeches, and intimate conversations. As a preacher, I’ve quoted words from the Bible that I believe he said. I’ve also quoted Gospel verses attributed to Jesus, likely crafted decades after the resurrection, that a writer/follower thought Jesus should have or could have said . . . but did not. (Now I’ve irked those who take the Bible literally . . .)

Of course, I’ve uttered and muttered his name. I’m a Christian clergy, ordained in word, order, and sacrament, Jesus is #3 on my list for the reason for my lifelong journey as a born again and again and again person of faith. And a person of foolishness. And I might as well add as a person of big sins and little mistakes, ah-ha moments of clarity, and the pre-retirement daily trudge through dreary meetings or filing denominational paperwork. Continue reading →

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