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Posted inReligion

The Broken System and the Nature of Power.

Reading Time: 10 minutes A social system becomes broken when it starts causing harm to people both in and out of its group, and when it fails to deliver what its leaders and designers have promised it can do. But “broken” doesn’t imply a loss of power. To the contrary, a broken system’s leaders might have even more power than those in a healthy one because a broken system relies upon a shrewd understanding and brutal deployment of unwarranted power among its leaders. That’s the kind of power we’ll be talking about today.

Posted inReligion

The Ashley Madison Hack Was a Factor in a Seminary Professor’s Suicide.

Reading Time: 6 minutes Last month, a Professor of Communications at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary took his own life. A few days ago, his family revealed the shocking news that in his suicide note, John Gibson had noted that his name was on the Ashley Madison client list that had been released by “hacktivists” only six days earlier. Depressed and wracked with fear and remorse, he took his life rather than face his “loving” tribe once the news got out. John Gibson paid the ultimate price for his culture’s impossible demands and misplaced priorities.

Posted inReligion

A Tale of Two Megachurches.

Reading Time: 12 minutes One of the reasons I tend to be so optimistic about America’s future is that we are slowly coming to our senses about some of the religious overreach that’s been going on recently. I know that–especially given the dismal outcome of the last election–that it can sometimes feel overwhelming, but I don’t think that my optimism is at all out of place. Here are two examples of why I think that.

Posted inReligion

No, Virginia, Jesus Doesn’t Magically Change People

Reading Time: 8 minutes It’s time again for another episode of “Christians Behaving Badly.” I’ve seen some additional–and dramatic– stories of Christians who did not actually experience the 180 turnarounds that Christians like to say people experience with Jesus. I’m bringing this up because Christians like to pretend otherwise, and it’s time we really confronted this myth and busted […]

Posted inReligion

How Christian Leaders Fleece Their Sheep

Reading Time: 7 minutes It always makes me boggle when I hear Christians comparing themselves to sheep. It’s like they have no idea why shepherds keep sheep: for their fleece, their milk, and their meat. There’s a fundamental disconnect there between fantasy and reality, but the disconnect is hardly new. And that disconnect richly serves the interests of the people benefiting from all that fleece.

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