A pet topic of mine is the tendency of some Christians to fixate on belief and its boundaries. You can't just state why you think belief in x, y, and z is important to Christian faith and life; you have to claim that those who believe x and y but not so much z are not real Christians. You can't just disagree with someone with a different view from yours; you have to stage an inquisition.
It frustrates me to see this all-belief-all-the-time orientation used to frame things as us real Christians vs. them fake ones. When people take a similar approach in drawing themselves outside the circle, it just makes me sad.
Most spiritual leaders have wrestled with faith. Most of your pastors and most of the people that you look up to have questioned their faith and doubted God. It’s just that when we do it, we call it fancy, poetic things, like, “The dark night of the soul.”
These days, it may seem like a miracle that people still believe in miracles.
But even as more people appear to be turning away from organized religion, a new study finds that the number of Americans who believe in religious miracles increased 22 percent in the past two decades, with 55 percent now certain of this supernatural phenomenon.
It was the spring of 1988. We had rounded the corner of the liturgical year again, and although I'd preached Easter sermons many times, I was feeling relieved that I was not preaching the Easter service that year. Senior minister Thomas Allsop would preach to the throngs of parishioners and visitors at historic Beechgrove Church of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Do people join a church because they share its members' beliefs? This has become the putative
ideal, the only pure motivation for church affiliation. But I have seldom heard it voiced at our new members' class.