By Charles Redfern, first published on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-redfern/. Imagine my shock when I saw how my childhood’s domesticated Palm Sunday steered me into a domesticated Holy Week with a domesticated Jesus and a domesticated faith. It was a coloring-book Palm Sunday, a Palm Sunday of the early ’60s suburban, mainline church — before the assassinations and Vietnam and […]
Tag Archives: evangelical
February 13, 2013
It’s time I come clean. I’m an evangelical with a secret. A covert “real me” peaks from the shadows and longs to leap into the sunlight. World events compel me to throw caution to the wind and blare my confession: I’m a wanna-be Catholic. There. I feel better. Many are issuing calls for reforms […]
October 22, 2011
Lisa Sharon Harper discusses the historic meaning of “evangelical.” Some of this will sound familiar — conversion to Christ within the context of a Bible-centered faith — but some will not. Social action was key to such teachers as Charles Finney. Given her description, one must ask: Are some so-called “evangelical leaders” truly evangelical?
July 18, 2011
Run – do not walk, but run with blistering, heart-attack speed – to the mall’s Rock-em Sock-’em Religious Magazine Store and pick up the latest copy of Christianity Today. There’s hope. Gobs of it. Sanity is making a come-back even amid the shrill cry of the shrinking religious right (“I’m melting!”).
First is the cover story profiling the new Focus on the Family boss. Read the tag line: “Why Jim Daly doesn’t care whether you know who he is or whom he supports for president.” Say whuh? The organization is returning to its original purpose and calling: Nurturing godly families and helping children. No one says Focus employees will be wearing Che Guevara T-shirts (although the old formal dress code has dropped to “business casual”), but at least they won’t implicitly christen the GOP as “God’s Own Party.” Daly’s own compelling personal saga of alcoholic parents and foster-care abuse gives him empathy for the downtrodden.
May 22, 2011
This weekend was the weekend of the un-moment, the weekend of the non-event event, the weekend in which television hosts and writers frazzled themselves over a looming non-incident everyone knew would not occur – and, when it did not happen, bloggers blogged about how a predominantly silent clique should think twice before it fanned the flames of panic again. Never have so many talk-headed so much for so long about something they all knew was nothing.
I speak, of course, of Harold Camping’s prediction that the so-called “rapture” would sweep born-again Christians off the Earth and into the sky on May 21. I write this on May 22 – and I’m totally non-surprised to be here a day after my un-disappointment. What’s more, I preached at my church of mostly born-again Christians this morning. Almost all were there (a few had the sniffles; a couple temporary heathens played hooky; no one was in the clouds). We all knew Brother Camping was the equivalent of the bearded doom-and-gloom guy with the sandwich board in LA’s Griffith Park – or the poor soul who bundled up in winter clothing in August and marched the city streets where I once lived, screaming, “REEEEEPENT! THE LAWD IS COM-ING!” We’re aware of Acts 1:7: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority,” and, like many evangelical Christians, we doubt all this talk of the “pre-tribulation rapture.” We think Left Behind should be left behind.
September 14, 2010
I’m still floored by yesterday’s discovery. It’s as if I unearthed a thirst-quenching pool in a dune-filled desert. I actually stumbled across depth, insight and acumen. Really. No kidding. Thinkers are thinking after all. There is wisdom beyond the rants of talking heads — and the people in the street (or at their laptops, at least) deserve to know. Today’s mission is to bring their thoughts to the foreground. Call this a “brain-power round up.”
July 31, 2010
Try prying the lid off the mind of the enlightened and open-minded. Discover their pitch-black darkness while they spray clichés like squid’s ink.
July 15, 2010
Alan Simpson sees the acid running in our culture’s veins: “No one forgives anyone for anything anymore. People get angry just for disagreeing with them.” He tossed in AA wisdom during a Newsweek interview in April: “If you can’t forgive a person, it’s like letting them live in your head rent-free.”
July 2, 2010
Puritans are now viewed as grim, witch-burning anti-intellectuals ready to leap from the bushes and pin scarlet letters on innocent hikers. So you can imagine my plight: I want to look past their foibles. I want to celebrate their heritage on this July 4th and see their contributions, fully aware of the skeletons rattling in their closets.
June 21, 2010
So there are two ants on an ant hill, see, and both ants feel the ground tremble and boom. They notice this gargantuan creature – this sky-high behemoth – walking toward them. One ant says to the other ant: “Human: better run.” The other ant replies: “No worries. Humans would never hurt us because I’ve constructed a psychological/sociological grid – a theoretical model, if you will – of a human being.