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Creede Hinshaw

Stories by Creede

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CREEDE HINSHAW: When traveling, find a place to worship

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Freedoms of America should be appreciated

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).

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CREEDE HINSHAW: National Cathedral service similar to back home in some ways

FAITH: The Washington cathedral is where many presidents start their time in office

The Cathedral, a congregation in the Episcopal Church USA, is an anomaly of sorts: the United States has no national church and separates politics and faith, yet most Americans recognize the important role of religion in both private and public life.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Minister offers summer reading picks

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Oliver Goldsmith's poem may provide some answers

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Moving Day brings unique challenges for Methodist ministers

FAITH: One pastor moves in, another moves out on the same day

‘Moving day’ for South Georgia United Methodists is next Wednesday.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Diplomatic role played by your pastor

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Aligned with God ... or vice versa

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Tradition of ceremonial prayer on legal solid ground

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: New law limits freedom of speech for state employees

FAITH: Advice should be available for those who are most needy

This suppressive new law is called the Georgia Health Care Freedom Act, an Orwellian subterfuge that would make Vladimir Putin proud: criminalizing speech and calling it freedom.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Numerous factors impact church attendance

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Children get more out of church than you might think

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.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Misguided missionaries mar Masters

FAITH: Why be abrasive when witnessing to the love of God?

Because I was meeting a friend at the gate, I was subjected to this self-righteous verbal assault for 10 minutes, a man with a portable headset loudspeaker ensuring that nobody missed a single syllable. I was never so glad to see my friend finally appear.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Kuyper provides great example of building bridges

FAITH: Buidling bridges doesn’t mean blurring our differences

Our nation is polarized these days in terms of race, class and religion. I read recently that counties with a Whole Foods grocery store vote overwhelmingly Democrat while counties with a Cracker Barrel vote overwhelmingly Republican.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Archbishop gets unwanted publicity for $2.2 million home

FAITH: Ministers can offer a different perspective on church-owned housing

What kind of home is appropriate for a pastor? The answer depends on the socio-economic level of that congregation, the neighborhood where the church is located, the symbolic message the church wants to convey the community and its members and even the kind of pastor who may be attracted to congregation with a home in a certain school zone or ZIP code.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Reason and logic play second fiddle in the South

FAITH: Southern phyche says conversion is heart rather than head

What role does rationality play in the embrace of religion?

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Crimea called the cradle of Russian Christianity

FAITH COLUMN: Putin aligns takeover of Crimea with religious sentiments

We Western Christians often oversimplify events that are in reality far more complex than we grasp.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Praying Satan out of the banking business

FAITH COLUMN: Should prayers include issues such as currency value and financial policy?

An African archbishop’s prayer for his nation’s currency value and order that Satan release his old on the central bank call to question whether issues such as money and the economy should be included in prayers.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Can love get a majority vote?

FAITH: Failing to understand others’ religious motivations leads to marginalizing

There is little wiggle room in the church any more and those who seek consensus are often portrayed as soft-headed and soft-hearted.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Fight mirrors controversy in Western church

FAITH: House Bill would allow business owners – citing religious justifications - to legally deny employment to gay and lesbian people and evict such persons from hotels or restaurants.

A similarly worded bill has just been passed in Arizona where Gov. Brewer must decide whether to antagonize much of the business community by signing it into law.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Why is government trying to dictate church policy?

FAITH: Legislation on guns in churches not state’s responsibility

I hate the idea of guns in church. But because I hate even more the idea of government in church I’ve changed my mind on this one.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Church struggles with temptation to use power

FAITH COLUMN: Prayer was focal point of angry debate

The church will always struggle with the temptation to use power to define the parameters of holiness and reach consensus on the nature of God. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us, all sinners.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Perspective changes from pulpit to pew

FAITH: Definition of distractions may differ

Most distractions the wise pastor learns to ignore, hoping to lead by example: a siren screaming, a ring tone chirping, an entire family obliviously walking down the center aisle during the reading of the scripture, a sanctuary too hot or cold, drooping flowers, precariously tilted candles, even frightened birds flying through the sanctuary. Eventually the calm pastor gets the upper hand.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Egyptian Coptic Christians endorse new constitution

FAITH COLUMN: The public stance on the constitution has made many Copts uncomfortable

Coptic Christians comprise about 10 percent of the Egyptian population and have endured ostracism and violence over the centuries.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Subtle factors determine which church you choose

FAITH COLUMN: Hundreds of factors guide where a person eventually decides to worship

Each person has unique criteria for determining which house of worship is the most comfortable fit.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Many doors open to the house of worship

FAITH COLUMN: There are many motivations for giving church another try

God uses many motivating factors to encourage people to engage in worship.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Pope Francis draws criticism for remarks about capitalism

FAITH COLUMN: Touching on money matters is usually touchy with congregations

Pope Francis isn’t the first religious leader to say tough things about capitalism and he won’t be the last.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Christ is the source of joy at Christmastime

FAITH COLUMN: Sin thickets are easy to get trapped in

Everyone has sins and flaws from which they need to be rescued, which brings out the joy of what Christmas is all about.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Herod figure a reminder that not everyone welcomes Jesus

FAITH COLUMN: A new nativity figure is a reminder of the realities of the world

The more powerful an individuals thinks to be, the more insecure and anxious that person can become.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Grandchild's baptism an uplifting experience

FAITH COLUMN: A child raised in the church has a better chance to become a fulfilled, whole person

Christian denominations have many differences, but giving children the opportunity to thrive and follow God should be universal.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Faith is expressed in a myriad of ways

FAITH COLUMN: The biggest challenge we have is to acknowledge that God is larger than we are

The death of a proponent of the prosperity gospel leads to reflection on how Christians deal with those whose beliefs are different.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Affordable Health Care Act draws another challenge

FAITH COLUMN: A private business contends portions of federal health reform violate its freedom of religion

If for-profit corporations are “people” in the eyes of the law, will the next step be to permit discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation and disability by corporations and companies who use the Bible as their reason?

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Most gravitate to certain books of the Bible

FAITH COLUMN: Bible study is challenging and not always easy on the listener

I drove past a church whose name included the word “Bible,” a not uncommon adjective selected by congregations to identify themselves as serious believers. What does this appellation really mean, though? Isn’t every church supposed to be a Bible church?

CREEDE HINSHAW: Use this checklist before heading to church worship service

FAITH COLUMN: You will be surprised at how quickly the service of worship flies without a watch

Paying attention to this list will improve worship exponentially. What would be on your worship checklist to bring or to leave at the house?

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Stewardship Sunday not popular with congregations

FAITH COLUMN: The annual challenge for giving has value to congregations

It is up to each religious organization to make its best case for voluntary giving.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Give thanks for unassuming, faithful souls

FAITH COLUMN: Some try very hard in the latter days of their life to change their image

The ideal of the Christian life is to be unassuming in behavior, meek in spirit and gentle of heart, seeking not to be remembered at all.

HINSHAW: Coverage misses the mark on baptism

Prince George, 3 months old and in line to become King of England and head of the Anglican Church, was baptized this week in London, England.

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HINSHAW: Expectations should be high for clergy

Faith column

He is accused of a triple murder. He may have attended the funeral of his victims and offered condolences to the family. He owns a pawn shop. Sold a pawn shop to his victims. Buys and sells gold on the side. Lives in Kentucky. He is a Baptist pastor.

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HINSHAW: Study on Jews parallels trends in American Protestant church

Faith column

Christianity, barely breathing in Western Europe and struggling to remain vital in parts of this nation, is growing explosively in Africa.

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HINSHAW: Quebec politicians target symbols of faith

Faith column

A Quebec political party proposes to ban the wearing of religious symbols by government employees.

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HINSHAW: Churches often decline to oppose damaging legislation

The Rev. Creede Hinshaw talks about the lack of action on the part of congregations to oppose legislation that negatively impacts the poor.

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HINSHAW: Money can cause us to do things out of character

Faith column

The power of money – coinage, gold, silver, etc., is almost universally seductive, at least in modern society.

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HINSHAW: A life of love in evidence at funeral

Faith column

An Easter Sunday-sized congregation gathered for her funeral last Saturday at the Wynnton United Methodist Church in Columbus. I drove 100 miles to attend. Dodie MacElhannon was a servant of the Lord who loved the church, God’s world and God’s people. That’s why I had to sit in a folding chair on the back wall of the sanctuary, the only seats left available.

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HINSHAW: Preacher man lives in the real world

Faith column

I took my weed trimmer to a shop to determine whether it was worth fixing. It was the kind of shop that is vanishing in our nation: a place where the customer can walk into the back and talk to the repairmen.

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HINSHAW: What would your billboard say?

Faith column

I took a little trip down I-75 to Florida last week, giving me the opportunity to reflect on the tackiness, ugliness and downright tawdriness of the billboards lining both sides of the highway. If there were ever a candidate for highway beautification, it would be this despoiled corridor, especially the stretches around Valdosta, Perry and much of Florida.

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HINSHAW: Christians making difference in public schools

Faith column

This week I want to reflect on a success story between the evangelical church and the public school system in Portland, Oregon. Samuel G. Freedman of the New York Times told the story in an Aug. 10 article headlined “Help From Evangelicals (Without Evangelizing) Meets the Needs of an Oregon Public School.”

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Tax dollars going to support private schools

Faith column

Let’s think about school funding today, a subject that seldom makes its way into a column about religion and ethics. There is simply not enough money to go around in Georgia’s public schools. A few years ago we cut our Pre-K program (one of the best investments we can make in our children) by $54 million, reduced the K-12 budget by $110 million and slashed the higher education budget by $174 million. That’s lamentable, you say, but what is a state to do?

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Pope urges return to a humble mission

Faith column

Pope Francis has made the news with regularity, having recently completed his first visit to South America since being named the new pontiff.

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Some days, it’s also blessed to reseive

Almost every religion grapples with the meaning of giving and receiving, generosity and greed. How do these things add up for the believer?

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Life includes sorting out the good and bad stuff

Faith column

Reports from eastern Oregon indicate that a farmer there found a strain of genetically modified wheat growing in his field this season, a puzzling discovery since Monsanto, which had tested that strain of wheat for 12 years, never put it on the market. Nobody can figure out how the wheat got there.