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Church

Christianity, Church

A Letter to My Long Lost Christian Friend

To my long lost Christian friend, You and I grew up together, wedged between the rows of plastic seats at the back of church in our floral dresses and bare feet. We’d scribble over colouring in pages of Noah and his animals, Jonah and the whale, Mary and baby Jesus. At Children’s Church we’d make paddle pop stick boxes for our mothers and leather pressed tea coasters for our fathers….

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Christianity, Church, Family

I Grew up in the Church and Then I Grew out of It

Imagine this: a room full of people chanting the same prayer that has been chanted for decades in hundreds of other rooms just like this one. There’s a girl sitting in the back. She’s about 14. She’s wearing a dress from Jay Jays and she has straightened hair. The year is 2011. The sound of these voices are alien to her; they sound like possessed zombies or something. She doesn’t…

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Christianity, Church

A Call For Reformation In The Anglican Church

In the name of those who want to hold the warm hand of a same-sex lover. In the name of the women who feel called to preach the Bible to their communities. In the name of left wing voters who maintain their faith in Jesus but struggle with conservative culture. In the name of sexually active congregational members suffering the burden of shame from the teachings of purity culture. In…

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Christianity, Church

Church Isn’t The Only Place You Can Find Love and Acceptance

You can hear the worship music from the carpark half a kilometre away. Overly excited greeters welcome me at the door, palming service booklets and pens into my hand. The conference auditorium seats over a thousand guests and they’re clapping enthusiastically as the host jumps up on stage with a huge grin on his face. He welcomes the room with a cheer and kicks off the first worship song. The…

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Abuse, Christianity, Church

5 Things Churches Get Wrong About Mental Illness

I have a number of religious and exvangelical friends who have expressed concern about the way that their church discusses mental illness*. Let’s take this recent tweet posted in August from Desiring God, a highly regarded ministry with international acclaim, as an example: Firstly, this implies that people facing depression aren’t already faithful. Secondly, if these six “quick and easy” steps work in a matter of hours, it’s not depression, it’s…

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Christianity, Church

When You’re No Longer “Equally Yoked”

“Don’t marry someone unless you’re equally yoked.” This is something we were frequently reminded of during our later years of youth group and into Bible Study, largely thanks to 2 Corinthians 6:14: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? Essentially, don’t marry someone (or even bother dating) unless you’re at the same spiritual level- that…

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