Slayed in the Spirit: The Rise and Legacy of Christian Supernaturalism

On December 14, 2019, two-year-old Olive Heiligenthal passed away in her sleep. Olive's mother, Kalley Heiligenthal, is a worship leader at Bethel Church, a charismatic megachurch based in Redding, California. Following an impassioned worship service the next morning, Heiligenthal took to Instagram and called on the "global church to stand with us in belief that…

Life in Technicolor: Gay Christians and the Future of Grace

According to a 2013 Pew Research Survey, 73% of LGBTQ Americans believe evangelical churches are unfriendly toward their communities. And, to be honest, who can blame them? In 2004, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 60% to 31%. By 2019, the margin has flipped - 31% of Americans oppose same-sex marriage, while 61% support…

Life in Technicolor: Gay Christians and the Church

Born in East Texas and raised as a Southern Baptist, I'd only heard one side of the story. If you had come out to me as gay, I would've told you that while God loves and accepts you, He doesn't want you to be in a same-sex relationship. Love the sinner, hate the sin, you…

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin? Why We Should Retire Our Favorite Christian Phrase

"Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" is one of those phrases that feels so baked into modern Christianity is almost shocking to discover it never appears anywhere in the Bible. At a fundamental level, there's nothing wrong about "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin." It seeks to be a more gracious counterpoint to the accusation…

Prone To Wander: The Allure of Deconversion Testimonies

On July 26, 2019, Joshua Harris, former megachurch pastor and author of the infamous purity culture bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced to his Instagram followers that he was no longer a Christian. "By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian," Harris wrote. "I don't view this moment…

The High Cost of Consumer Christianity

For the past four decades, the local and institutionalized church has positioned itself as a place to be entertained, discover your purpose, and "plug in" to community. And it's a strategy that's been wildly successful. Until now. Echoing national trends of a growing distrust of "large institutions," a 2017 Gallup poll found that only 41% of…

Unveiled: Women, Misogyny, the Bible and Church

The Talmud - a vast collection of ancient Jewish laws and traditions - said it's better to "burn the Torah [the first five books of the Bible] than it was to teach it to a woman." Saint Clement, considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, said, "Every woman ought to be overcome with…

The Lost Voices: Stories from the DeChurched

We need to start listening. Too often, we dismiss those leaving the Church as outliers, or unfaithful prodigals. We rarely take the time to listen to their grievances, or if we do we simply chalk up their exodus to moral failure, lackluster devotion, or compromised allegiance. But maybe some of it is our fault. Maybe…

The Future of Religion, or Why Church Needs to Change

The religious landscape of the United States is undergoing a massive cultural shift. In September 2017, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released the "single largest survey of American religious and denominational identity ever conducted." According to the study, in America: 43% self-identify as "white and Christian," compared to 81% in 1976. 24% self-identify as…