Thank God for good teachers….


This post is for all of you, teachers…

First of all, how do you do it? I mean, how do you put up with our kids each and every day? Sure, they’re amazing kids. In small numbers and doses. But combined into large clumps, even the best of kids can become headache-inducing. Perhaps a better question is how do you put up with us, the parents—the sometimes overbearing, overprotecting, over-informed Huffington-Post-reading—parents? Seriously, how do you do it? Because most of us couldn’t do it. Hell, sometimes being around that many kids/parents for field trips makes me want to find the nearest corner so I can curl up and rock.

Of course, let’s be honest: some of you don’t actually do it all that well, either. Some of you have personalities better fit for the DMV. And a few of you are far too passive aggressive for anybody’s good, let alone, the good of small children.

Still, most of you border on being saints. And this post is for you, all of you who are good, hardworking, caring teachers who probably won’t have time to read this until tonight or tomorrow morning or next week.

Because I want to say thank you.

Thank you for making the choice to teach.

Thank you for instilling our children with information regarding words, spelling, history, math, science, hygiene, safety, and other topics.

Thank you for putting up with our kids. Sure, most of them become well-behaved and even human-like when in your classroom. But we know that’s not always. We know that, for every time you mention to us about our kid’s behavior, there are likely numerous occasions or events that you don’t bring up.

Thank you for enduring our many questions, our need for details, our desire to know everything, our forgetfulness, our impatience, and our occasional lack of interest.

Thank you for tolerating the bureaucracy of our education system. We know it’s not always easy. We know that amid the politics and opinions that swarm from all sides, you are having to sustain lots of red tape, make do with the lack of funds, and jump through a vast number of governmental hoops, all the while teaching young people. Thank you for trying making the most of it. Thank you for attempting to make the system better. Thank you for not taking your frustrations out on our kids.

Thank you for making boring topics exciting and interesting and applicable. Thank for being creative, for believing in our kids enough to make learning fun and hands-on.

Thank you for sacrificing better pay, better raises, better benefits for the “thrill” of educating young minds.

Thank you for seeing the unique gifts in each of our kids. Thank you for challenging our kids to explore and discover new gifts, new talents, and new interests. Thank you for giving our kids reality checks on occasion, for saying to them what we sometimes cannot say or we have said but far too many times to be influential.

Thank you for all of the long hours that you put in to grading papers, planning lessons, organizing events, and rallying the attention spans of kids and parents.

Thank you for all of the gentle reminders of how we the parents can become involved, stay involved, and help our children succeed.

Thank you for putting up with us, our cynicism, our opinions, our neediness.

Thank you for loving our kids. We know you don’t/can’t love every single child. But you love a lot of them. And your investment doesn’t go unnoticed.

Thank you for being a teacher. Thank you for taking the narrow career path. Thank you for putting up with all of the committees, conventions, tax cuts, propagandas, and the long line of seemingly ungrateful parents. Thank you for believing in the power of learning and for helping our kids discover that too…

We might not always say this: But we appreciate you. We value you. We think you’re incredibly gifted. We thank God for you. And we—most of us anyway—know how important your roles are in our children’s lives. We know how difficult your jobs can be at times. We know that putting up with us AND the administration can’t always be easy.

So thank you. Thank you for doing what you do and for being who you are. But most of all, thank you for believing in our kids.

Is there anything Christian about this? Yes, sadly, there is…

In fact, there’s a lot that’s Christian about this sign. Now none of this has anything with Jesus–even John 3:16 loses its “gospel” when juxtaposed with these other “values.”

Still, this is how a multitude of people see a large portion of American Christianity, as Jesus-promoting, gun toting, beard-loving people who can’t stand the sight of gay people but never say the word “shit.”

Which is really shitty.

I’m reminded of this post that I wrote in January.

And honestly, there’s little that we can do to combat this type of faith-based messaging. A Christian jackass must discover his own jackassery.

None of us are perfect. I know. People think I forget that all the time. I realize that we can all be jackasses at times. But we don’t have to advertise it. We don’t have to wear our intolerance like a badge.

The image was found at Christian Nightmares.

Sometimes Southern Baptists can be bullies…

Well, The Daily Beast is still letting me write for them! Here’s my latest…

According to Dr. R. Albert Mohler, America’s evangelicals are at a major crossroads—another one. It could be true, I suppose. When it comes to knowing when and where Christians are gathering at big cultural interchanges, Mohler’s pretty much an expert. As the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky—the educational Mecca for the almighty SBC—and one of most influential Christian bloggers on the Internet, Mohler has become an authoritative mouthpiece for some of the most conservative segments of American evangelicalism. On Tuesday, Mohler utilized his voice to inform his audience that “[Evangelicals] face an inevitable moment of decision, a decision that cannot be avoided… There will be no place to hide, and there will be no way to remain silent. To be silent will answer the question.”So, what pray tell is this crucial unavoidable question that all evangelicals must answer? The same exact question that evangelicals have been answering over and over again with exclamation points and all caps for as long as any of us can remember: “The question of homosexuality.” More specifically, Mohler wants to know “whether evangelicals will remain true to the teachings of Scripture and the unbroken teaching of the Christian church for over two thousand years on the morality of same-sex acts and the institution of marriage.”

Mohler went on to say that how evangelicals answer this question will showcase not only what we know and understand about the Bible, it could have a long-lasting impact on the gospel itself.

Which, of course, he’s right. How we answer this question does have its consequence. We know this because we’ve suffered the effects of how evangelicals like Mohler have answered the question for years. Heck, Mohler can’t seem to stop answering the question.

As we know, the answers evangelicals give cause division, push people away from churches, promote the gospels of arrogance and callousness, and castrates the body of Christ, rendering us useless but for punch lines.


The Virgin Mary’s cousin lives in Pennsylvania (Meanwhile, David Platt thinks the woman is full of *it*?)

Meet Mary Elizabeth Webb! The Pennsylvania woman says she’s the Virgin Mary’s cousin 65 times removed. That’s right. She’s related to Jesus’s mom. How does she know? She found out using!

But Mary’s not really surprised by the news. She’s known for years, through a number of conversations with her dead brother as well as her dead mom and dad, that something was very special about her. Which is why she decided to write a book about heaven.

Meanwhile, no doubt sparked by the recent release of the movie “Heaven is For Real,” this video of David Platt raging a biblical hailstorm against people who take short vacations to Heaven is “>making the rounds.

While I tend to agree with the basic premise of Platt’s point–that God would offer free tours of Heaven is crazy and farfetched–here, the pastor becomes a bit rigid, melodramatic, and elitist in his rebuttal. Again, I don’t believe that Colton Burpo visited Heaven. But I’ll admit that I could be wrong.

But according to Platt, Platt is NOT wrong. Platt is right. Platt knows his Bible. So Platt knows God. And Platt thinks that Burpo kid (and most likely Mary from Pennsylvania) is full of shit.

The first video was found at Christian Nightmares.

For we know not what we do? (a prayer of confession for Easter)

God, forgive us when we hate rather than love, when we hate and call it love, when we love and it feels like hate… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when our patriotism lacks purity, when our politics lack goodness, when our worldview is devoid of grace… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we sanctify capitalism and sacrifice the poor, when we justify enterprise and sacrifice the environment, when we erect our values, ideas, and schemes and sacrifice our humanity… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we use our faith to create fear, when we use our doctrines to cast ultimatums, when we use our spiritual ideals as litmus tests against people and groups who do not agree with us… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we suffocate the living, breathing words of God with sexism, intolerance, inequality, racism, certainty, ignorance, intellectualism, pride… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we pursue violence rather than peace, when we seek to divide rather than commune, when we choose to troll rather than pray… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we let jealousy become an excuse for sarcasm, when we use mercy as a way to shame and devalue others, when we Instagram our pride using “humility” as a filter… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we put you against science, when we put you at odds with social justice, when we position you in our corners fighting all of our causes… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we worship scripture instead of Christ, when we bow down to the beliefs and ideas of pastors and gurus instead of the teachings of Christ, when we ignore the Beatitudes in our sermonizing the Book of Romans, when we fail to remember the two greatest commandments in our efforts to get others to remember the great ten… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we turn the Easter season into a show, when we make the resurrection story into a gimmick for church growth, when we transform hope into a sellable brand, a catchy tagline, a three-minute pop song… for we know not what we do?

God, forgive us when we use Christ’s story as way to shout “Crucify him!” one more time… for we know not what we do.

Ten Thousand Kids in 2 Days

Ten Thousand Kids.

Those are the words that kept ringing inside my brain as I tried to listen to Rich Stearns talk about what happened last week at World Vision.

Ten thousand kids.

Ten thousand brown, black, tan, or white faces…

Ten thousand souls…

And in only 2 days.

As Stearns chatted with a handful of bloggers about why the board made the decision it made and then reversed that decision two days later, those words—TEN THOUSAND KIDS! TEN THOUSAND KIDS!—blinked like a neon sign in my head.

And that was the two-day cost of their decision, a decision to hire married gay folk, a decision that was decided on last fall and leaked to Christianity Today last week. That was the cost.

Last Monday, the day of the announcement, World Vision’s call center received 7000 calls and a loss of 2000 child sponsorships. That’s just in 12 hours on Monday! The following day those numbers swelled. And then on Wednesday, within minutes of World Vision announcing that it was reversing its decision, the calls stopped and, according to Stearns, “the bleeding stopped.”

Rumor is it stopped almost like magic. Almost as soon as the press release hit, the cancellations stopped, the angry phone calls stopped.

It took several days to count the total loss of sponsorships, a number that eventually rose to “just about 10,000 children,” according to Stearns. A handful of people did call back, hoping to start up their sponsorships again. But the majority did not.

And that breaks my heart.

It should break all of our hearts, regardless of whether you praised World Vision’s initial decision or panned it as “godless.”

Even still, those three words should break us friends. Because it’s a number that represents 10,000 needy children, flesh and blood of various races and nationalities, little ones who are precious in God’s sight.

And yet, a large number of so-called born again Christians treated their relationships with their kids like they were little more than subscriptions to HBO. Sure, some people probably stopped sponsoring their kid and began sponsoring another kid through a different organization. But that’s not any better. A child sponsorship is not a product that can be returned and exchanged for a different brand. There’s nothing “moral” about using a kid as a bargaining chip to punish a Christian organization for making a decision that you don’t agree with. There’s nothing honoring about using children to force an organization’s hand. There’s nothing “pro life” about that. There’s nothing remotely “Christlike” about that. It’s downright disgusting, manipulative, and sad. If I was a Pentecostal, I might even call it demonic.

Not only do a lot of Christians wage war against flesh and blood, they’re willing to use child sponsorship as their weapons… like little ransom notes…

May God have mercy…

May light shine on all of us…

May we wake up from our intolerant slumber…

If you’re interested in sponsoring a child through World Vision, you can do that here.