FAITH: Could value be found in creating a Religious Intensity Poll?
Such a poll would cover certain months of each church year, say from the First Sunday in Advent to Pentecost Sunday, roughly a seven-month season (December–June). Churches could be placed in various “leagues” according to congregation size so that smaller churches would not compete against mega-churches.
FAITH: Decisions that seem foolhardy to outsiders are the stuff of Christian witness
Christians are not the only courageous people, but my faith background leads me to recognize two examples of people who have risked themselves for others.
FAITH: Ranking the elements of worship in terms of meaning
This is a hopelessly subjective question. One week the anthem might top the list, the next week the sermon. One week the praise band or the pipe organ might be the most inspiring element and one week it could be the morning prayer or a hymn that the congregation sings with particular fervor.
FAITH: Few things have changed in the political realm since the period leading up to World War I
The negotiating table, whether it be in Iran, Ukraine, Israel, North Korea or Afghanistan, is still populated with leaders pontificating nobly while scheming desperately.
FAITH: Few political candidates endorse kindness strategy
Our daily behavior produces monumental, long term results. The choice is between whether by our behavior we want to build a better world or a more hostile place.
FAITH: Occasional change can help us appreciate different aspects of the Trinity.
Overlook that you’ll be in a congregation of strangers. In Christ all are brothers and sisters. Just go. You’ll be glad you did.
FAITH: News this week shows importance of the Bill of Rights
As long as the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments to the Constitution) has been ratified, we’ve argued over their meaning. This week, in our nation and in Georgia, we’ve seen new chapters written for what it means to be a person of faith (and a gun owner).
FAITH: Books on men of the cloth are numerous
One book I have not read is South Georgia native and United Methodist pastor G. Lee Ramsey’s “Preachers and Misfits, Prophets and Thieves: The Minister in Southern Fiction.” It’s on my list and I wish I had written it.
FAITH: "The Deserted Village" should be required reading for all
One only has to read a few lines of Goldsmith to envision the empty storefronts of most small south Georgia towns: the boarded and shuttered dress shops, drug stores and movie theaters; the rotting farm houses; semi-collapsed barns, and rusting implements. This demonic process is still working its curse and few can resist the onslaught.
FAITH: One pastor moves in, another moves out on the same day
‘Moving day’ for South Georgia United Methodists is next Wednesday.
FAITH: Role pastors play not unlike that of Pope Francis
The next time you read a story about Pope Francis dealing with conflict and reconciliation, substitute the name of your pastor.
FAITH: The idea that we make God in our does not fairly describe biblical faith
Faith is not about aligning God with one’s pre-conceived notions of life and religion. Faith is about aligning self with God.
FAITH: No place for denigrating other faiths in prayer
These are ceremonial prayers and were already fairly innocuous even when they were not prayed in Jesus’ name.
FAITH: Congregations use various methods to try to pack the pews
When it comes to "pew retention" at church, the duty should be shared by every member.
FAITH: There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the faith development of children
Certainly it is important for a congregation to help youth find and articulate faith, but such treasure often grows by slow accretion, consisting of things as ordinary as seeing adults sing hymns of faith together or bow their heads to pray.