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The Laughing Jesus

I’ve been reading The Gospel of Judas. It’s one of the different narratives about Jesus that the early church disliked and discarded. Irenaeus, who lived in the 2’nd century, mentions the book in his long diatribe against false teachings, but it had never been found until showing up in the hands of an Egyptian antiquities […]

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Blessed Are Those Who Do Not Mourn

A story is told about Chuang Tzu, the Taoist philosopher.  His wife had died, after forty years of marriage, and a friend named Huizi came to offer condolences.  Walking into the house, he found Chuang Tzu playing drums on a wooden bowl and singing.  “What are you doing?” Huizi exclaimed.  “People will think you don’t […]

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Faith Isn’t Rocket Science

Religion isn’t a scientific endeavor.  Religious beliefs don’t require proof or logic, and religious people can believe all kinds of things that conflict with common-sense reality.  Thirty-nine members of the Heaven’s Gate group killed themselves, thinking their souls would be taken aboard a spaceship flying in the wake of the Hale-Bopp comet.  Once on board, […]

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The Story of The Good Samaritan

One day, a lawyer asked Jesus a question about the law.  Being a Pharisee, who believed in a resurrection, he wanted to know the legal requirements for admission to heaven.  “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Rather than answering, Jesus asked the lawyer for his opinion, and the legal scholar quoted verses from […]

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A Christmas Disclaimer

Truth in advertising, and the desire for a more informed seasonal experience, requires the following qualification be added to all claims or representations regarding Christmas:  Jesus wasn’t born on December 25.  In reality, we have no idea when that event occurred.  There’s nothing wrong with December 25.  If you want to celebrate the birth of […]

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Vampire World

I was reading outside this summer when a hornet labored by and landed on a table.  Beneath its belly, the hornet was clutching a small, green caterpillar as long as it was, which is why it could barely fly.  After sitting for a moment, apparently exhausted, the little black vampire began digging its mandibles into […]

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Earthquakes and Motorcycles

Hundreds of Turks died last week in an earthquake measured at 7.2 on the Richter scale.  Buildings collapsed and caught fire.  Workers desperately dug through the rubble to save lives, including a two week old baby.  The future for tens of thousands of people was permanently altered, one way or another, in the blink of […]

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The Sins of Widow Muzzy

One of the churches I served, in the days when I was a pastor, still possessed its original membership book.  The small, tattered ledger dated to the late 1700’s, when the congregation was founded by Methodist circuit riders.  Names were listed, with dates for admission or termination, and a few words of explanation.  As you […]

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Jesus Didn’t Work At Goldman-Sachs

In 2008, at the height of the banking crisis, Lloyd Blankfein attended a meeting with government officials about the insurance giant AIG.  As chairman of Goldman-Sachs, he presided over the purchase of insurance on investments the bank knew would go bad.  Along with other banks who did the same thing, they drove AIG, the world’s […]

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