How many controversial topics can one list regarding faith and values right now? It’s enough to make one want to crawl in a cave until the presidential election is over.
The national health insurance plan has created another controversy with the Obama administration’s proposed rules mandating that charitable religious agencies (hospitals, colleges, etc.) provide preventative women’s health options (contraceptives, morning-after pills). Religious people with strong opinions are angry, indignant and inflexible. (Take the Quik Quiz by going to Creede Hinshaw's column.)
The National Prayer Breakfast was held this month for 3,500 guests with President Barack Obama speaking.
Every election cycle produces heated rhetoric but some in our country think partisan bashing, hate-filled comments and bitterness have reached new lows. One political veteran observes that Congress hasn’t been this divided since the 1850s, a period marked by such inability to find common ground that we eventually made war on ourselves.
I write in praise of asking questions. (Who asked the first question in the Bible? Click on Creede's column and take the quiz to find out.)
Have you considered reading through the Bible this year?
What if your surname became so common — due to your behavior — that it became a verb?
Do you pray for those who in serve in our government? At the dawn of what will prove to be a long year of focusing on government at every level, one of the most important things the ordinary citizen can do is to pray steadfastly and consistently for our leaders and those who seek to be leaders.
We keep on resolving to do some things annually because well, we need to keep on doing those things annually! Though it is always in vogue to make snide remarks about those who keep on making new year’s resolutions without ever keeping them you won’t hear me joining that chorus.
The Christmas story is replete with angels, those mysterious celestial beings known to Christians, Jews and Muslims.
‘Tis the season when the Christian world remembers a star that shone brightly over a manger at Bethlehem, pointing the way for wise men from the east to pay homage to the newborn Jesus (Matthew 2).
Tony Perrottet recounts his hike to the floor of Maui’s Haleakala crater, a dormant Hawaiian volcano (“Into the Volcano,” Smithsonian, December 2011) where “... the silence is absolute.
A friend handed me a grocery bag full of accusations, suspicion and indignation last week.
Earlier this week in Christ Church in Savannah et al. v. Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia the Georgia Supreme Court ruled decisively in favor of the Episcopal Church USA, perhaps bringing a long legal battle over the ownership of an historic Savannah church property to an imminent conclusion.
I heard a familiar comment recently that always sticks in my craw.
How would you like the federal government to help decide which men and women in your faith community are worthy to be ordained or have their ordination rescinded?
What happens when the British protest version of Occupy Wall Street pitch their tents outside one of the wealthiest churches in London?
Listening to Martin Luther’s famous hymn “Ein Feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress),” I remember the courageous, larger-than-life priest and theologian who nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, on All Hallows’ Eve, Oct. 31, 1517.
The news out of Egypt this week concerning Muslim-Christian relationships is not good.
Word came this past Wednesday of the death of civil rights pioneer the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
Last week, returning to Savannah from Saint Simons Island on “back road” U.S. 17, I enjoyed the moss draped scenery, the small towns, the marsh and the feel of rural Georgia.
Former commissioner of Major League Baseball Fay Vincent recently served up a curve ball in a Wall Street Journal op ed piece (Sept. 16, 2011, page A11) titled “Soak the Rich?
According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released Aug. 9, almost 2.2 billion people live in nations where restrictions on religion have substantially increased, according to the Lauren Markoe of the Religion News Service.
Eugene Nida died this week in Brussels, Belgium, age 96. Though unknown to many, The Rev. Nida was a groundbreaking leader in the field of biblical translation.
Creede Hinshaw talks about tax relief for the clergy.
The Rev. Creede Hinshaw talks about the uncertainty of death.
It's been a whipsaw week for the stock market, and not just Wall Street.
I've been preaching at Tattnall County Camp Meeting this week, just down the road from Manassas, Ga.,
My wife and I spent a few days in the North Georgia mountains last week and enjoyed the rare opportunity of sitting in a pew together at a Sunday morning worship service. Pastors have few occasions to sing from the same hymnal with a spouse.
It used to be that when encountering a boring sermon there was little recourse except to sleep, daydream or doodle.
The New York Times carried a poignant story (Jan. 19) entitled "Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq." Written by John Leland and Duraid Adnan it described a town of 10,000 people in the Anbar Province of Iraq, where Muslim and Christian once lived next door to each other and Sunni and Shiite Muslim coexisted.-- Creede Hinshaw, religion columnist
Church dropouts are the most resistant persons to return to the fold. Somewhere along the way something happened, somebody was wounded, a cherished image of the church was pierced, thus making a once-active churchgoer now impervious to invitations to return.
Last Sunday as I greeted worshipers on the steps of the church after worship (always one of the most pleasant moments of each week), I admired the Sunday morning artwork of a 5-year-old girl who had been in church that day. One hand holding onto her mother, her other hand clutched a piece of paper on which she had vividly colored one of the Bible stories.
Thursday was Epiphany, the day set aside by many in the Christian Church as the traditional day of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.
Hardly a day passes without an appeal for a financial contribution showing up in my mailbox or coming over the telephone.
Thankful Americans will nostalgically return to Plymouth, Mass., this week, remembering our hardy and grateful European and Native American ancestors who sat around wooden tables sagging with the bounty of the land.
I received a handwritten note last week from a reader that I've not met. Such notes are rare these days, and if you are like me, you open them first thing.
I've thought all week about the importance of lifelines. Ever since the 33 Chilean miners were rescued, I have been thinking about how they were saved. Those fortunate men are alive because the mining company, the Chilean government and some creative drilling companies were determined to find them.
Last week I cited a study revealing that church attendance is declining across the board in United States churches.
One single nickel.Would it make a difference how you chose to check out at the grocery if you had to pay a nickel surcharge for each plastic bag?
I enjoy reading the travel section of the New York Times. Frequently they run a feature called "Thirty-Six Hours in ...", where they take readers across the country and suggest highlights of certain cities. The column even refers the readers to airlines and places to stay.
Are religious organizations experiencing a sharp decrease in contributions due to the economic climate? Anecdotal evidence might support such a conclusion. Some congregations are reducing staff; the Crystal Cathedral (California) reported a 27 percent drop in revenue in 2009 and some surveys indicate lower levels of support on the part of many Americans.
The recent announcement that the J. Craig Ventner Institute has created an artificial cell seems to be of truly monumental proportion in human history. Dr. Ventner and his colleague, Hamilton Smith, have become the biological equivalent of Wilbur and Orville Wright in the race to create synthetic, artificial life.Others are eagerly working to build on their success.
It is amazing the things that we can choose to argue about or outlaw. This week in France Nicholas Sarkozy's center-right government will propose a controversial nationwide law making it illegal for women to wear the head covering, the burqa in public.
It's not easy to get along with neighbors.Sometimes living in a neighborhood can make one pine for the days when a Davy Crockett or a Daniel Boone set out for the wilderness to escape whatever passed for civilization back in those days.
As I led worship last Sunday morning in a beautiful 140-year-old sanctuary with stained-glass windows, flanked by palm trees and facing an historic square, I couldn't help but think about the Haitian church. In and around the environs of Port au Prince church buildings have completely vanished.
Novelist Arthur C. Clarke's 1953 short story called "The Nine Billion Names of God" describes a Tibetan monastery where the monks are convinced that when they finally collect and transcribe all 9 billion of God's names, the world would come to an end.
WHAT COUNTS AS A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL HOLIDAY?The Wall Street Journal reports (Sept. 15) that schools around the nation are studying how to approach the religious holidays of their students.