We millennials have been advertised to our entire lives, and we can tell when somebody is just trying to sell us something. I think church is the last place I want to go to be sold another product.— Rachel Held Evans
The most delicious Rachel Held Evans quotes you will be delighted to read
Contrary to popular belief, we (millennials) can't be won back with hipper worship bands, fancy coffee shops, or pastors who wear skinny jeans.
The truth is, a man can choose to objectify a woman whether she’s wearing a bikini or a burqa. We don’t stop lust by covering up the female form; we stop lust by teaching men to treat women as human beings worthy of respect.
One of the most destructive mistakes we Christians make is to prioritize shared beliefs over shared relationship, which is deeply ironic considering we worship a God who would rather die than lose relationship with us.
But the gospel doesn't need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out.
It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, "Welcome! There's bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk." This isn't a kingdom for the worthy; it's a kingdom for the hungry.
Faith isn't about having everything figured out ahead of time;
faith is about following the quiet voice of God without having everything figured out ahead of time.
What makes the Gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out, but who it lets in.
I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.
We're (millennials) looking for a truer Christianity, a more authentic Christianity.
Whenever we show others the goodness of God, whenever we follow our Teacher by imitating His posture of humble and ready service, our actions are sacred and ministerial. To be called into the priesthood, as all of us are, is to be called to a life of presence, of kindness.
Church attendance may be dipping, but God can survive the Internet age.
After all, He knows a thing or two about resurrection.
We could not become like God, so God became like us.
God showed us how to heal instead of kill, how to mend instead of destroy, how to love instead of hate, how to live instead of long for more. When we nailed God to a tree, God forgave. And when we buried God in the ground. God got up.
No step taken in faith is wasted, not by a God who makes all things new.
Ours is indeed a culture that tends to assign value to a woman based on her sex appeal rather than her character, and that’s something we must work to change.
Perhaps we could push beyond these legalistic gender roles if we spent less time worrying about “acting like men” and “acting like women,” and more time acting like Jesus.
But if the world is watching, we might as well tell the truth.
And the truth is, the church doesn't offer a cure. It doesn't offer a quick fix. The church offers death and resurrection. The church offers the messy, inconvenient, gut-wrenching, never-ending work of healing and reconciliation.
Perhaps the most radical thing we followers of Jesus can do in the information age is treat each other like humans-not heroes, not villains, not avatars, not statuses, not Republicans, not Democrats, not Calvinists, not Emergents-just humans. This wouldn't mean we would stop disagreeing, but I think it would mean we would disagree well.
The woman described in Proverbs 31 is not some ideal that exists out there;
she is present in each one of us when we do even the smallest things with valor
Church is a moment in time when the kingdom of God draws near, when a meal, a story, a song, an apology, and even a failure id made holy by the presence of Jesus among us and within us.
Evangelicalism is like my religious mother tongue.
I revert to it whenever I’m angry or excited or surrounded by other people who understand what I’m saying. And it’s the language in which I most often hear God’s voice on the rare occasion that it rises above the noise.
I'm a Christian because Christianity names and addresses sin.
It acknowledges the reality that the evil we observe in the world is also present within ourselves. It tells the truth about the human condition - that we're not okay.
Sometimes you have to be forced away from your work to realize youve made too much of it, to remember it doesnt define you.
Imagine if every church became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Image if every church became a place where we told one another the truth. We might just create sanctuary.
It is a tragic and agonizing irony that instructions once delivered for the purpose of avoiding needless offense are now invoked in ways that needlessly offend, that words once meant to help draw people to the gospel now repel them.
I don't know why Christians keep fighting over which is better-singleness or marriage-when it seems rather obvious, both from Scripture and from Church history, that both can glorify God.
We all long for someone to tell us who we are.
The great struggle of the Christian life is to take God's name for us, to believe we are beloved and to believe that is enough.
No coffee shops or fog machines required [for church].
When [Jesus] wanted fully to explain what his forthcoming death was all about He didn't give a theory. He didn't even give them a set of Scriptural texts. He gave them a meal.
My friend Adele describes fundamentalism as holding so tightly to your beliefs that your fingernails leave imprints on the palm of your hand... I think she's right. I was a fundamentalist not because of the beliefs I held but because of how I held them: with a death grip. It would take God himself to finally pry them out of my hands. (p.17-18)
Like all who search for truth out of fear, I desperately wanted someone else to tell me exactly what to do.
We are not spared death, but the power of death has been defeated.
The grip of sin has been loosed. We are invited to share the victory, to follow the path of God back to life.
Isaiah 55 provides an entirely different framework for thinking about God's justice, because it suggests that we have it backward - the mystery lies not in God's unfathomable wrath but in his unfathomable mercy. God's ways are higher than our ways because his capacity to love is infinitely greater than our own. Despite all that we do to alienate ourselves from God, all that we do to insult and disobey, God abundantly pardons again and again.
I can't be a Christian on my own. I need a community. I need the church.
God's ways are higher than our ways not because he is less compassionate than we are but because he is more compassionate than we can ever imagine.
I think maybe God was trying to tell me that gentleness begins with strength, quietness with security. A great tree is both moved and unmoved, for it changes with the seasons, but its roots keep it anchored in the ground. Mastering a gentle and quiet spirit didn’t mean changing my personality, just regaining control of it, growing strong enough to hold back and secure enough to soften.
This is what God's kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry, because they said yes. And there's always room for more.
We turned an anthem into an assignment, a poem into a job description.
If same-sex relationships are really sinful, then why do they so often produce good fruit-loving families, open homes, self-sacrifice, commitment, faithfulness, joy? And if conservative Christians are really right in their response to same-sex relationships, then why does that response often produce bad fruit-secrets, shame, depression, loneliness, broken families, and fear?
When the people of God abandoned the covenant of love and fidelity, drawn as we are by the appeal of shallow, empty pleasures, God removed every possible obstruction to the covenant by being faithful for us, by becoming like us and subjecting Himself to the very worst within us, loving us all the way to the cross and all the way out of the grave.
The church is the last place we want to be sold another product, the last place we want to be entertained.
Millennials aren't looking for a hipper Christianity.
We're looking for a truer Christianity, a more authentic Christianity. Like every generation before ours and every generation after, we're looking for Jesus-the same Jesus who can be found in the strange places he's always been found: in bread, in wine, in baptism, in the Word, in suffering, in community, and among the least of these.
In an age of information overload ... the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the Bread of Life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.
What each of us longs for the most is to be both fully known and fully loved.
Miraculously, God feels the same way about us. God, too, wants to be fully known and fully loved. God wants this so much that He has promised to knock down every obstacle in the way, enduring even His own death, to be with us, to consummate this love.
What I love about the ministry of Jesus is that he identified the poor as blessed and the rich as needy...and then he went and ministered to them both. This, I think, is the difference between charity and justice. Justice means moving beyond the dichotomy between those who need and those who supply and confronting the frightening and beautiful reality that we desperately need one another.
You can't get too far into the Gospels without noticing that Jesus made a pretty lousy apologist.
Scripture doesn't speak of people who found God. Scripture speaks of people who walked with God.
What a comfort to know that God is a poet.
As a Christian, my highest calling is not motherhood; my highest calling is to follow Christ.
The Holy Trinity doesn't need our permission to carry on in their endlessly resourceful work of making all things new. That we are invited to catch even a glimpse of the splendor is grace. All of it, every breath and every second is grace.
I have come to regard with some suspicion those who claim that the Bible never troubles them. I can only assume this means they haven’t actually read it.