Judging // DiscerningReading Time: 9 minutes
It seems to me that it has become increasingly difficult to speak into many issues or situations that the church faces today; not because the Bible is silent, not because the church doesn’t have or hasn’t held a historical position on a matter, and not because we, as Christians, don’t know what we ought to be doing. Rather, we are feeling pressed into silence, in many instances, simply on the basis of one little verse…
What The Church Is (And What She Isn’t)Reading Time: 6 minutes
I really love talking about church.
Not, as in, my church or your church.
Not, as in, what flavour of church, in a denominational sort of way.
And not, as in, which kind of church; mega church, home church, missional church, or cell-group church (and, oh boy, I wish whoever had come up with that last descriptor had really given it a bit more thought…).
I love talking about church, as in, The Church. The bride of the lamb,…
Loving The ChurchReading Time: 5 minutes
“You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour.” | James 3:18, MSG
It can be hard to love the church. Frankly, at times, she can seem like a big, fat disappointment.
Infighting. Divisions. The failure of leaders and the apathy of congregants. The assimilation to culture. A preoccupation with…
Ruth: The Inconsequential OutsiderReading Time: 4 minutes
The Weft And Warp Of Scripture
The word of God is like a vast tapestry, its main theme interwoven with many sub-plots and side stories that run like golden threads through an intricate design. Each of these threads complements the complete telling of God’s story and narrates again and again to us the way in which God views our world and us, the people who inhabit it.
The story of Ruth, a seemingly inconsequential outsider, is one…
Forgiveness Is A Tough GigReading Time: 7 minutes
“He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” | George Herbert
They say, ‘write about what you know’. Well, here’s what I know: forgiveness is hard.
Like, really hard.
Forgiveness coexists in the same universe as injustice, loss, and the pain of deep physical, emotional or spiritual wounds. The need for forgiveness only exists because of the destructive impact sin has in our world and all the terrible ways in which humans…
Dual CitizensReading Time: 7 minutes
I was born and raised in New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud and a ratio of nearly six sheep for every one person. I often remember as a child watching the sun in summer sink below the horizon late at night, and, in winter, layering up as warmly as possible through the short, dark, freezing days of relentless rain and oftentimes snow.
My husband and I moved from New Zealand in 2008, the…
Beyond The PaleReading Time: 9 minutes
I recently wrote about my separation from the religious community I grew up in and the overwhelming response to my article was both encouraging and thought-provoking.
Many people wrote to me, both publicly and privately, to let me know that the article had deeply resonated with them. They expressed that they, too, have had many questions over the years, wrestling with inconsistencies while attempting to find their place in a system they secretly suspected they didn’t…
Women Must Keep Silent?Reading Time: 6 minutes
You may be aware that there are a few verses that, as traditionally interpreted, seem to completely contradict Paul’s recurring message of ‘freedom and oneness in Christ’, particularly in relation to women’s contribution to and participation in church ministry. The verses in question are found in 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, 1 Timothy 2:11-12, and 1 Corinthians 11:1-16.
1 Corinthians 14 is the only passage that (seems to) explicitly forbid women ‘speaking in church’ (and which is…
Yesterday, Today, TomorrowReading Time: 6 minutes
I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel bad for not knowing then what I know now.
Bad, as in, I wish I’d known better, I wish I had known more, I wish I had known sooner or responded better or chosen differently.
But here’s the thing. We only wish this because of what we know now. Which is to say, in all the time that’s passed from then until now, we’ve learned something, we’ve grown, we’ve become more equipped, less reactive, we can make better choices only because of what we’ve…