UMC: A New Way

Posted: May 23, 2016 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized


On the heels of General Conference 2016, there are many, various, and legitimate concerns and hopes regarding the Bishops’ establishment of a commission to study human sexuality in ways that take us beyond the current impasse, while at the same time preserving the unity of the denomination. I write today as one grateful for the leadership of our bishops and the process they have set in motion. But the question that connects all of us is this: what will it take to make this process a genuinely new way?

In the days following General Conference there will be numerous suggestions made about this, both within the Council of Bishops itself and outside it. I offer today some of my own thoughts about the question, looking at it from two vantage points.

First, there is a crucial non-negotiable: no one must sit on the commission whose past or current behavior says…

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Anybody Here Seen My Old Friend?

Posted: April 18, 2016 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized

Jim Harnish

A Night to Remember 

The news reports say that it was 48 years ago yesterday, but it lingers in my memory as if it were last year.

I was a junior in college, running for Student Body President.  It was a tight race.  We were holding a rally to build support in the college gym. Someone came up with the idea of noise-makers made from Coke cans filled with gravel.  The music was loud, the crowd was energized and I was about to speak when someone came back stage and told us that Martin Luther King, Jr., had just been shot.  I’m embarrassed to say that the rally went on as if nothing had happened. I won the election, but I still feel ashamed by what we did that night.

By contrast, in Indianapolis the assassination led to one of the most amazing speeches in American political history.

A Word from…

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rock-bottom cropBy Matt Horan

Recovering addicts can usually tell the story of their “rock bottom.”  It got bad enough that they realized that their life was unmanageable.  They were out of answers, and out of excuses.  They were ready to cry out for help.  With the addiction’s foot on the addict’s neck, all that was left was to beg for mercy.

There’s a once well-known concept in Christian theology that has largely gone out of style.  The concept is called “repentance.”  The idea is somewhat congruent with the “rock bottom” moment–when someone realizes that their best efforts to find fulfillment are falling woefully short.  In repentance, one admits that their path was the wrong one, and that God has something far better for us, found in following the path set before us by Jesus Christ.

So what does it take to hit rock bottom?  What does it take to awaken us to the futility of our best efforts?

For example, what if there was a poll taken that said you were less popular than Ghengis Khan, head lice, and cockroaches?  Read the rest of this entry »

Thank you, Jesus, for Lord President Trump

Posted: February 24, 2016 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized
Thank you Jesus for Trump

My quote from that sign might not be exactly right.  I found the colors and context a little confusing.  And then a woman gave Trump a baby.

By Matt Horan

Hey CNN, you seem baffled by the voting habits of “evangelicals.”  Can I toss you a theory?

The coveted “evangelical” demographic is angry at the decline of Christianity in America.  It feels much better to blame Muslims and Democrats than to repent of the sins that have chased people away and fall on our faces and confess our sins and beg God’s forgiveness and become a church that serves its neighbor.

So rather than becoming communities of extraordinary hospitality, generosity, and grace; we have sold our soul to the Republican Party as a strategy to beat down the external forces that are surely at fault for our demise.  And now, since we haven’t gotten to watch the beat down we paid for, we’re blaming the Republican Party as well.  Who can we find to punch the people who are to blame for our unhappiness in the face?  The church of Jesus Christ is buying its soul back at a loss, and is looking for a new buyer.

There is this guy running for president who says he’s never asked God to forgive him. He does enjoy making great deals, and likes to make other people pay for stuff.  So, even though the church will probably end up paying him to let us sell him our soul, who better than him for the church of Jesus Christ, who doesn’t want to ask God to forgive us either?