some of the best stuff i've written

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When We Criticize the Church

We were sold a package deal. Truth and lies, hope and despair, real and fake – all tied up in a neat package with a bow and sold to us with the label of “Christianity”. The men in the suits…

House of Cards

The Day I Stopped Believing in God

By then, I was already having doubts. Sitting across the table from new friends who didn’t see any reason to believe in God, I had tried to explain to them why I did and why it mattered. But this was…

Church Pews

Why I Can't Say Love the Sinner / Hate the Sin Anymore

I thought we just needed to try harder. Maybe we needed to focus more on loving the sinner, and less on protesting his sin. But I’m done. I can’t look my gay brother in the eye anymore and say “I love…

On Growing Up in Bill Gothard's Homeschool Cult

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!” they say. I hear it over and over again. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. There was some good and some bad. Just take what good you can and leave…

What Nobody Ever Told Me About Jesus

I’ve been wearing my heart on my sleeve around here, all torn up. It’s no secret that there’s been a lot of anger, swirling confusion, throbbing frustration. I’ve metaphorically stomped around the house slamming doors, yelling till my throat was…

God is Dead

God is dead, and we killed Him. With politics and religion, with rage and fear, with wood and nails and fists we tore apart the body of the God and left Him to hang alone covered in blood and spit and shame.

We Had Hoped

Silence. Then suddenly, a breath. Cold air rushing into empty lungs. Grave clothes abandoned on a stone slab. An explosion of earth-shaking light. Hardened soldiers’ knees buckling. Trumpet blasts and angels singing and sunrise. Silence. Then the creaking of a…

I'm Tired of Owning

i’m tired of owning things boxes taped up and torn open again and taped up again but never really unpacked i’m tired of clothing and toys and furniture and all the trappings of should and supposed to and someday i’m…

A Prayer Into the Void

If this hole really is “God-shaped”… God must be vast indeed. If God can begin to touch (what feels like) the infinite depth of this chasm, God must be an infinite universe.

Dear God, I Have a Few Complaints

Dear God, I have a few complaints. Don’t get me wrong – I like You. I believe in You. Generally speaking, I think You’re doing a decent job at this whole “being the God of the universe” gig. But still, there…

After Three Beers

I want to be the person that I am after three beers. After three beers, I am unafraid. I dance without thinking about how I look, without trying to remember what my feet should be doing. After three beers, I…

Why I Love Blackjack

I lost a hundred dollars in Vegas last month. “I have no interest in gambling,” I’d said. “But I’ll play a few hands just for the experience.” Riding shotgun across the Utah desert bound for Sin City, I Googled “how to…

Why I Hate the Bible

I hate the Bible. These words shock me as I form them on my lips, form them with my fingers. They are harsh, ugly. My own mind rebels against this unwelcome sentiment. I try to swallow it. I cannot. You are…

Dear Christianity, I Have a Few Questions

Dear Christianity, We’ve been together a while now. My whole life, to be exact.  I know we’ve had our hard times, our breakups and makeups and are-we-going-to-make-it stretches, but you’re still my religion. So I have a few questions for…

The Prodigal (A Theologically Correct Parable)

Jesus loved using stories to mess with people’s theology.  One of my favorite stories from Jesus is the one we’ve come to know as “the parable of the Prodigal Son”. However, Jesus’ telling of it left out a few important theological points,…

I'm Tired of Talking about Bill Gothard & the Duggars

I’m so very tired. I just got home from a four-day camping trip — four days of sunshine and rain and afternoon naps and black coffee — and when I opened my computer for the first time last night, the notifications…

Confessions of a Reluctant Christian

“Tell me your story,” he said. Where should I start? “Start at the beginning.” So I did. I think I was about eight years in when he stopped me. “Wait, you’re still a Christian, after all that? You realize that’s…

Until You Bless Me

“Do y’all do blessings and shit?” I asked it shyly, unsure of the proper etiquette (even though the sign in front of the white tent advertised all manner of blessings available). I hoped the casual and shit would mask how badly…

The Truth About Waking Up

I read your message last night, the one you sent a week or two ago. You told me about how my faith and hope are helping you hold on to faith and hope even when you want to give up. You…

Confessions of the Older Brother

I’ll break every rule I so carefully kept all these years, and blow all I’ve saved on riotous living. Maybe by throwing away everything, I’ll finally find the love I’ve been trying to earn all along.

A Love Letter to Bloggers

I’m grateful for a place to put my words — barely edited and a little bit undercooked. And I’m so very grateful that you’re doing the same thing.

Rend the Heavens (A Psalm for Advent)

This is my tired advent prayer. Fuck this shit indeed. Amen. Which, being translated, means: How long oh Lord?