Homosexual. Transgender. LGBTQ. Human sexuality is a religious question that is tearing church groups apart. I believe it is such a divisive question today because most Christian adults have made up their minds whether or not their understanding of Christianity allows for homosexual (or other nontraditional) relationships and practices. We have no room for discussion, no room for truly hearing the perspectives or stories of those with whom we disagree. If others disagree with us, we assume they are speaking out of hatred. Everybody believes they are standing for the truth. No one is willing to change their minds.

This week, the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released a document called the “Nashville Statement,” named after the city where they were meeting when they wrote it. This statement was signed by many famous Christian leaders and distributed all over social media. It immediately produced negative feedback among other Christian groups, some of which responded with statements of their own (see the “Denver Statement” for an example). I encourage you to take a few minutes to read both of the statements I’ve linked here. Continue reading

Charlotte. Tulsa. New York. Ferguson. Cleveland. Baltimore. North Charleston.

What these cities mean to you depends on a lot of factors. What they all have in common is a similar headline: “[Insert Name] Killed By [Insert Name].” If you’re like me, you live a very safe distance away from all these places which have experienced turmoil in recent days. Midland County, Michigan, has been far removed from scenes of police shootings and race-related protests. So it’s easy for people like me to form our own opinions without having to engage with actual people, on all sides of these issues, who are suffering. Continue reading

Sometimes we pray and expect God to answer our prayers. Sometimes we pray and hope God will hear us. Sometimes we don’t even know how to pray.

Fifty people died in a shooting rampage in Orlando early yesterday morning. The twenty-year-old son of Pastor Bill Greiner, the senior pastor of our sister church Eagle Ridge Church of God in Midland, died in a car collision last week, early on Sunday morning. And ten years ago last week, I wrote a blog post in which I tried to process the shooting deaths of seven people across the alley from our apartment in Indianapolis, which came just a month after the deaths of five people from our college in another auto collision.

How do we make sense of the tragedies in our lives? Where is God in all this mess?

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