The Pope and Annulments

So the news is that the pope wants to make changes in the system for annulments.  The Roman Catholic Church is debating what it means. The rest of the Christian world can’t understand why Rome has the system.  It is one of the human additions to Christianity that the papacy added–tribunals and judges, investigations and…

The Pope’s Visit

Some folks said they wanted to talk to me about the pope’s visit at some point.  Other friends are showing a strange fascination with it.  A few think it is a sure sign of the end of time. Well, I’m not too worried.  He’s a famous person, and a religious leader, and people listen to…

“Jesus or Religion”?

Jesus or religion–it’s assumed by so many today that the two are very different.  It’s popular to emphasize a personal relationship with Jesus as in opposition to religion.   It’s as if religion is this external stuff,  objective, cold, dry, and Jesus is warmth and life.  Well, that’s hardly a critique unique to today’s postmodernism.…

The Last of the Jedi

There are days when I feel I am one of the last of the Jedi, as a military chaplain.  America is dying; it is being corrupted from within, and twisted, like Rome of old.  Passions are inflamed by demagogues, and the masses are kept blissfully ignorant through bread and circuses. We chaplains once had moral…

Pastors and Chaplains

Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism. He’s written an article, “Ten Signs a Pastor is Becoming a Chaplain.” I think…

Is Marriage a Religious Doctrine?

Since when is marriage, defined as a union of man and wife, a religious dogma, such that recognition of it is imposition of a religious belief? That’s the argument that some people are making in the wake of Kim Davis’ act of civil disobedience.  They argue that her stance represents an “establishment”of Christianity, and that the…

Thoreau and the “Higher Law”

“I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it. Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but…

Theodore Parker and the “Higher Law”

I did my MA thesis on the Boston Unitarian pastor and abolitionist, Theodore Parker. He was an avid proponent of “civil disobedience,” the idea that men must disobey human laws that conflict with the “Higher Law” of God. Opposing the law requiring the return of fugitive slaves to their masters, he said those who passed…