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Author: John Pavlovitz

Empty Hearts, Closed Minds, Shut Doors: United Methodists face church split over LGBTQ ban

The United Methodist Church is currently in the midst of potentially Denomination-splitting discussions over the Church’s official stance on LGBTQ inclusion. As someone who has served in the UMC for 17 years, nearly a decade of those in one of the 100 largest churches in the country, it’s about time. This should be a pass-fail deal breaker for people who claim to love LGBTQ human beings. Traveling this country and engaging thousands of Christians every month, I encounter local faith communities, both inside and outside the United Methodist Church — who claim to be LGBTQ-affirming or LGBTQ-inclusive, but who...

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Defining Creation: How saving the planet is a pro-life issue

To the Evangelical community, I want to talk to you about Life. No, not the word you’ve weaponized as ammunition in your incessant, hollow holy culture war; the one you use to justify your political alignment with an amoral monster; not the word you wield like a legislative hammer against women’s autonomy over their own bodies. I’m talking about Life, in its most expansive, most elemental definition. Life, as describing the glorious entirety of all creation. Life, as the interdependent community of every being, every creature, every atom, every bit of matter. I’m talking about Life as the interconnected...

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Our Real State of the Union: Ordinary people standing against the most inhumane behavior

We all know the real State of the Union. We know the version we’ll hear from one person — and we know the truth. We know, because we are here on the ground in the trenches of our daily lives here; in communities we love, living alongside people we know, building the America that actually is. And yes, we know well the horrors of these days; the human rights violations and the daily gaslighting and the abject cruelty of those holding power. We know their peerless corruption and their limitless enmity, and we know how sickening it all is...

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Fox News Orphans: Families start New Year divided from moral incompatibility

I had just finished a speaking event a couple of months ago, and was meeting with people who had stayed after to say hello, have a copy of my book signed, or share some thoughts about the evening. After saying goodbye to the man I was been talking to, I lifted my head and my eyes locked with a middle-aged woman who had been standing behind him. Her wide smile dissolved almost immediately, and tears welled up in her eyes as she leaned in to speak. “I am a Fox News orphan,” she blurted out as she grabbed my...

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Losing Faith: Christians may need to abandon their religion to save their souls

You have probably seen the ubiquitous meme floating around, or at one point or another you’ve posted or expressed the thought contained in it: I CAN’T ADULT TODAY. It’s the idea that whatever it is that is required of proper responsible grown-up human beings, one is simply not presently capable of it. I have been a Christian for most of my forty-nine years, a pastor in the local church for twenty-two of them. And on far too many mornings recently, I’ve woken up, checked Twitter or watched the news or walked away from family conversations or church gatherings, and...

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Grieving for a Nation: How support of cruelty reflects the values of a spiteful public

I really don’t care about him. I know you think I do, but my sadness really has nothing to do with him. I know who he is — and more accurately, I know what he is. I know that he is just a mirror. He has simply revealed clearly the disfigured ugliness of the place I call home and the people I live here alongside — and that is the thing I grieve over. And this is not the mourning over a singular loss, it is a daily grieving. I grieve when I see elementary school teachers dressed up...

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