Showing posts from October, 2021

Why I Don't Wear a Clerical Robe

A spiritual value I really try to apply and live by is the value of simplicity. I live rather simply. I dress simply. I eat pretty simply. I try to keep it simple.  That said, wearing a clerical robe on Sundays to me doesn’t match how I usually approach life. And of all hours, the Worship hour when we stand before and sit with God demands simplicity and humility. In this vein of thought, there is a Protestant Reformer that I especially admire who sadly is not as known as Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin. His name is Andreas Karlstadt . In addition to implementing the removal of all symbols from the sanctuary, he also rejected the wearing of clerical vestments and eventually even of academic gowns which is the style Protestant clergy still use. He wore simple, peasant garb, believing that we are all priests and pastors, and we are all equally created in God’s image. Lastly, I prefer the Johnny Cash approach. The Man in Black, another hero of mine, influences my clerical garb – wearing bl

Jesus on Wealth

W e live in a culture that values wealth. I think this is abundantly clear. We highlight our rag to riches stories. We place wealthy people on pedestals and see them as people to emulate. We elect into power mostly wealthy people. We measure the state of our country and other countries by measures of economic wealth. The same can be said about the religious culture Jesus confronted… It said in many ways in society, blessed are the rich. That is why Jesus presented and still presents a problem for many. Jesus did not see material wealth as an inherent positive. In fact, he saw it as just the opposite. Material wealth for Jesus served as a detriment when it came to what Jesus was all about – God’s Commonwealth, which most biblical translations translate as the kingdom of God. God’s Commonwealth is the translation suggested by renowned theologian John Cobb. This is Cobb’s rationale for translating Kingdom of God as Commonwealth of God. The Greek phrase that we translate as “king

Where’d All the Young Folks Go?

  13   People were bringing children to Jesus so that he would bless them. But the disciples scolded them.   14   When Jesus saw this, he grew angry and said to them,  “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children.   15   I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.”   16   Then he hugged the children and blessed them. In the short vignette from the gospel of Mark chapter 10, the disciples of Jesus want to hinder children from coming to Jesus. They want to turn them away. Why, you ask. Well, you need to consider that we live in a different day and age, a day and age where children are treated special, lovingly, and exalted. This is a very kid-centric time we live in, in most ways anyway, and rightly so. But in Jesus’ times, kids were not seen as special or exalted. For families struggling to get by and survive, children were expensive, first of all. And infant mortality