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February 04, 2006




This reminds me of Clarence Jordan, a baptist pastor in the 50s and 60s who retold much of the new testament in Jim Crow Georgia. My two favorite sections are his retelling of this parable, with the Pastor of First Baptist driving by, the worship leader driving by humming a hymn, and a black man picking him up.

The most moving part of the it is what the black man says:

"I see you have been beaten, I know all about that. I see you have been robbed, I know all about that too."

My other fave is when Jesus walks into First Baptist in Atlanta and throws the finance commitee out of the church.

Well done and please continue, we need to reclaim the shock many parables had.



Thanks for the word brother. I agree, it is sometimes to easy for us to try and domestic the 'living word' instead of deal with the fact that we must change.



Jeremy Alder

"Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old" (Matt 13: 52).

Good word, Mike. It was really great to meet you and Cliff in New Haven last week. I am excited about what God is doing and will do through Trinity House. Hope we get to hang out again soon.


Brother -- it was good to hear from you. Thanks for the "word," I hope to see you agian soon. Until then, we can stay in electronic touch.




In the church today homosexuals have taken the place of the "sinners and tax collectors" of Jesus' time. And as I recall, Jesus was a friend to the sinners and tax collectors. I think if a non-Christian read your blog, he or she would know there are Christians who are carrying on Jesus' mission of inviting in those people many in the religious establishment would cross the street to avoid.


Thank you.




How dare you equate Biblical truth with equivalent modern day examples! You are SO out of the running for the Reactionary Evangelical Blowhard of the Year Award.


can i get a witness...preach on, brother.


it is so unbelievable how you continue to judge those who are conservative and or go to a big church. it sounds like you have so much hate inside and by putting conservative christians in a box and saying they are all the same seems to give you a rush. how are you helping non believers enter the kingdom of God? it is sad to think if an unbeliever would read your writings and take away from it that pastors are evil and have no heart and the church doesnt care about anyone but themselves. how wrong is that.


Brother Mylo my friend (I know you think I am using that word facetiously -- but I mean it sincerely), I had a feeling that this post would warrant a comment from you.  Before I answer your questions, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for taking the time to comment.  I really do appreciate your comments, because they help me to sharpen my thinking on these issues, which is important to me.  I know that we will probably just end up 'agreeing to disagree' on these issues, but it is still a good thing for fellow believers to be in conversation -- iron sharpens iron and all that.

Let's see, for my reply I think I will start with your last question (although you probably meant it rhetorically) and work backwards.  You wrote, " it is sad to think if an unbeliever would read your writings and take away from it that pastors are evil and have no heart and the church doesn't care about anyone but themselves, how wrong is that?"  I would begin by asking you the same question, "How wrong is it?" or in this case "How wrong am I?"

This idea that churches (notice little 'c' meaning the buildings/associations around town, NOT the spiritual one) are "only interested in themselves" is not something that I invented.  Why are there so many unchurched/non-churched people today? Hear is a hint, it is not because "they don't believe in God" or "they don't want to have Jesus as Lord of their life" or "because they are pinko-communist-homo/feminests."  But you don't have to take my word for it, check out a recent Barna (that's right conservative evangelical publication being quoted) survey that will help me illustrate my point:

The article pointed out that only 3 out of ten 20-something-BELIEVERS attend church, but it is not because they have lost their faith...

[I quote]While young adults are re-thinking their allegiance to the Christian faith, those in their 20s have certainly not discarded all traces of spirituality and faith. Instead, personal faith is but one of multiple sources of input which young people combine to create their own definition of personal fulfillment and meaning. More than 8 out of 10 twenty-somethings (80%) said that their religious faith is very important in their life and nearly 6 out of 10 (57%) claimed to have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life.

The study also showed that young adults are only slightly less likely than older adults to pray, which reflects their appetite for personal spiritual experience. Three-quarters of young adults in their 20s (75%) said they had prayed to God in the past week.

So if believers won't go to church what makes you think a non-believer will? The american church, on the whole is becoming irrelevant in many ways.  Most unchurched people (that I talk to and consider friends) see the hypocrisy written on the walls (or sometimes parked in the parking-lot).  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to walk onto the three million dollar campus of a local church, and see that they do not really believe all that stuff Jesus said about "rich people, a camel, and the eye of a needle."  It also doesn't take a rocket scientist to walk in the parking lot of that same church and see all the bumper stickers that say "marriage=one man and one woman," or "God made adam and eve not adam and steve" to know that they don't believe all that stuff Jesus said about love.

I promise you, my little blog is not causing people to sleep in on Sunday mornings, many churches are doing a good job of that without my help.  (Just in case I'm wrong though, you will be happy to know that only about 8.5 people read my blog and you are one of them so that should minimize the damage I'm doing.)

As for your question on the kingdom.  You wrote, "how are you helping nonbelievers enter the kingdom of God?"  In order to properly answer that question, we have to first define our terms.  If by the term 'kingdom of God,' you mean church or heaven, then I'm really not doing anything.  In fact I don't really care to try to get people to join a church or to get into heaven.  (How is that for inflammatory?  I will post more on the issues of heaven and hell, but if you want to know where I am at, I agree with Brian McLaren's thinking in A New Kind of Christian.)  In fact I think (and this thought is not unique to me) that american christianity has a very small view of the kingdom of God.

Inherent in the american evangelistic model is the assertion that eternal reward/damnation is the ONLY reason to base a decision to follow Christ, but that is not the message of the Gospel according to even a cursory reading of scripture. By minimizing the kingdom to just heaven, you have effectively nullified any requirement to change the way we live today. The end result is what we have today in many parts of american christendom, a country club of self-identified christians that “worship a homeless guy on Sunday and then ignore one on Monday.” (I plan on working with the issues of christian love more in depth on a future post.)

On the last issue (first part of you comment), I would say anger yes, hate no.  I know that critique can sometimes come across as harsh, but believe me I do not hate those that I critique (love the sinner - hate the sin maybe?)

Well, brother, that’s all for now. I’m sure I will hear from you again.


Casey Burns

angry mike hits a homerun...




very well said. what do you think about this?

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