Safe Space is Sacred Space

I’ve been doing “church” a long, long time. I’m so privileged, humbled and blessed to report that after being everywhere on the map, in terms of “church practice” I’ve found something of real, living “sanctuary” in my present church home, Vineyard Community Church – Cincinnati, OH. I know Ronnie also enjoys the same (as he writes of here) at his home “sanctuary”, A Simple Faith Church, in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

I praise God for these “safe places”, where broken, wounded, but genuine believers are practicing love, acceptance, and it’s inevitable handmaiden, the special presence of Jesus, the very epitome of love. In such cherished but unfortunately rare spots, people from every spectrum of life’s oft-tragic story are being richly bathed in the communication of the Father’s great heart of undying, unconditional, inexpressible, unsearchable love.

Ronnie McBrayer

safespaceWhile I am no died in the wool traditionalist, not by a long shot, I sometimes have a bit of a problem with the words we now use to describe the places we gather together as the church. They are called “worship centers” or “multi-purpose buildings” or “auditoriums.” This is unfortunate. I much prefer the word used by our grandparents: Sanctuary.

Anywhere the church gathers, in a storefront, a gymnasium, an auditorium, or a thousand-year-old cathedral, that place should be a sanctuary. It should be a safe place, a place where people are welcomed into a better way to live and made to feel at home.

This welcome is far more substantial than saying “hello,” shaking hands, or sharing coffee and doughnuts in the fellowship hall (another questionable description of a church building). Maybe English Bible translator and martyr William Tyndale got closer to the mark when with his “plowboy”…

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Break the Kettles

“To forgive is to give up all hope for a better past.”

Ronnie McBrayer

kettlesOne of the more indispensable words of instruction I have ever received came from Dr. Fred Luskin who was head of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project. He said, “To forgive is to give up all hope for a better past.” According to Luskin, what keeps people frozen solid with the regrets and shame of yesteryear is the lingering optimism that they might go back and change it.

Forget that, Dr. Luskin says – not the past – but the prospects of adjusting anything that is now in the rearview mirror. The Apostle Paul said something similar in the New Testament. He made peace with his past and his past self (the self is the hardest person in the world with whom to make peace) with this formula: “Forgetting the past and I press on toward what is ahead.”

Can we really forget the past? No. Painful memories, bad choices we…

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Learning to Trust

“God has given me a little that I might learn to trust Him more”

Ronnie McBrayer

favela“God has given me little that I might learn to trust Him more.” Those are the words of Marta Torres. Marta is not a pious, Latina saint from yesteryear. She is an impoverished, middle-aged mother of two from El Salvador. Yet, if holiness is measured by maintaining faith within great difficulty, Marta is indeed a saint. I first met Marta while standing on a street in the city of San Salvador next to her house. To be fair, the street was more of a sidewalk and her home more like the corrugated tin clubhouse I built with my friends when we were children. I learned that she had built her house when she was a child as well – almost 40 years earlier – and she still lived in it.

It was the late 1970s. Marta was a child living on the streets, having been abandoned by her parents in the…

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Muslim Caller Can’t Answer A Christian

Only when and if the paradigm shift occurs in Islam, from anger and dominance to love and good will, will there ever be a chance at satisfying, productive polemical dialogue.

Until they apply “Islam” (submit) TO THEIR OWN HEARTS FIRST instead of to those who they assume do not “submit”, their melagomaniacal rage will remain their blinders, and the bloody sword will abide in their hand.

Until that moment, the exchanges will be heated and passionate but unproductive.

Let us not hold our breath till such a day arrives. I hear suffocation is a terrible way to die.

The Bias of Current Social Sciences, Natural Law and the Decline of Culture

Are the Social Sciences Unbiased?

The myth of neutrality and objectivity in the Social Sciences.   True objectivity would only generate immense validation of Natural Law, biblical ethics in culture, and they just cannot allow that of co

urse.  So biased with a passion they must stay – or capitulate the the moral supremacy of the guiding principles, and universal transcendent moral values in biblical ethics.