Why Your Christian Friends and Family Members Are So Easily Fooled by Conspiracy Theories

In sixth grade, I participated in a debate in which I attempted to convince my fellow classmates that we never landed on the moon. It was the first time I used the Internet to research, and my partner and I found a treasure trove of information. We couldn't believe it. It was so obvious. The…

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 Bible

A few weeks ago, an older acquaintance shared a post on Facebook that read, "God is not going to rewrite the Bible for your generation. His Word remains the same forever and always!" I understand the sentiment. I was raised in a "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it" culture of evangelical…

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…

Making Your Life Count For God (and Other Christian Anxieties)

Tens of thousands of college students from around the country sat on the edges of their seats. From a circular stage centered in the massive arena, the speaker spoke into a wireless microphone, an atmospheric instrumental track underscoring his somber delivery. "Would you leave behind your families, jobs, friends, colleges, and familiar surroundings if God…

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…

How to Talk About Jesus Without Being Weird (or a Jerk)

About a year ago, I was helping out at an event and one of the servers asked me if I was religious. Earlier in the night, it had come up that I write stuff about the Bible. She was gay, and I suspected she was posing a somewhat loaded question. "I don't think so," I…

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…