Last night, a facebook “friend” went on a tirade over a post in which I critiqued our culture. It was an obscene tirade. It was a stupid – and I am sure – a drunken tirade. Later, I was openly accused of being a supporter of pedophilia and rape by the same person. All this over … More Thou Shalt Be a Hater: The New Cultural Commandment
The country vs. city, white vs. black, millennials vs. the rest of the voting population, those who believed we were better off vs. those who felt things have gotten worse, struggling middle class vs. the rest…these are a few of the battle lines drawn between the two parties in the system vying for our attention. … More Why the Nation is Divided 50/50: National Identities and Political Factions
In full disclosure, I am white Christian, and therefore would appear to be part of the power structure of conservatism, but I did not vote for Trump, and my own history shows me to be somewhat of a rebel to the system. If you don’t understand how Evangelical Christianity fell into what appears to be … More How Could the White Christians Do This to Us?
For me, one of the largest lessons of this election has to do with the ears of America. In a general sense, they are closed. This is not something I did not know, but I have been mildly surprised by the severity of this self-imposed deafness. Before the election of Donald Trump, the left spent … More A President Born from the Sewage of Reality TV: no one was listening
I am catching up on things I did not have time to do this October, even as I close up the last little loose ends of a busy, busy month. The things that happen in October embody some of the dreams I have for the rest of the world. A growing group of my friends and … More A Jew and a Gentile walk into a Cigar Shop…
I gave a primer on ministering in festival settings, more specifically in Salem, MA in October with a touch of information on the changing face of Neo-Paganism as it is expressed currently. Lauren Hallee recorded it onto Facebook Live. Thanks Lauren! And so I thought I’d share it with the wider world of Phillowers (those are Phil … More Lessons on Ministering in Salem, MA in October – video
I am coming to the 10th anniversary of being splattered onto the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The article was entitled, “Befriending Witches Still a Problem in Salem, Mass.” Those were difficult days, and the next four years would be filled with even greater difficulty, but looking back, I can say, I would not … More Befriending Witches Still a Problem: Looking Back, Looking Forward
“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Growing up and becoming serious about life may be the step just before death. Certainly, it is the death of much of life’s vibrancy. Watching children play, watching them express wonder in … More Our Clown Fears: Wildness, Weirdness, and Wrongness are NOT the Same Thing
I have been in Salem, MA pastoring The Gathering since June 1999. Over the years, we have been at the center of creating events, and helping Christian ministers to act like regular people when they come to the city of Salem in October, and now the monthlong outreach has expanded to over a dozen events, … More Announcing the Big Transition: from Salem to the World
This recent article in the Religion News Service outlines the recent findings by a study from the Public Religion Research Institute. The study suggests that most of those who have been leaving churches in recent years have done so because they simply stopped believing. My experience is an inversion on these statistics. I go to … More I know – I go where those who “stopped believing” go
A week away. We put up the stage. We get ready for the first weekend of October in Salem, Massachusetts. It’s not anything you’ve ever seen before, if you’ve not been here. Costume witches, real witches. bullhorn street preachers, live music on the streets, crowds of tourists, barking vendors, and families here for the Halloween … More Deep Fun: where the Gospel meets festival culture
Before I moved to Salem, MA, I was working on a theory: That Witches are just regular people with an alternative spirituality. So, I took a class in Folk-Religion at Fuller Seminary, and did some anthropological work on American Neo-Pagans. Guess what I discovered?! Yup, that’s right. I discovered the rather non-sensational fact that Witches … More Witches Are Real People Too!
Churches and Halloween have had a tenuous relationship since the 70’s, but that is changing, and churches realize that this is a perfect day to engage our culture, and be creative. Help spread the word that Christians can be smart, not only in the workplace, but in the festival play place too. Here you will … More Churches and Halloween
Burning Man is happening in just a few days. Apparently, those in charge cannot imagine the event without me. I have passed on my tickets, but they keep sending me verification that my ticket will be waiting for me a Will Call when I get there. Oh my, don’t tempt me Burning Man peeps! In … More Burning Man is Just Days (and 2,945 miles) Away
This issue keeps popping up. First, I told a story of interaction with former friends from my former denomination, after reaching out to see if they were up for reconciliation. The response was somewhat remarkable, and required some follow up. Then, a few people questioned whether I was speaking out my pain through bitterness or … More From Victimization to the Seat of Power: responding to betrayal from church leaders