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Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity

Church Archives

It’s a Secret, but Many Christians Do Distrust God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 We all approach life from a certain world view. And while the dictators of politically correct doctrine decry bias as a bad thing, it’s really just a realistic thing. No matter […]

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Abusive Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Any time we are in an abusive or controlling relationship, it takes effort to emerge from it, our independence and self-worth repaired and brought back to health and normalcy. Information that we […]

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Not a Leader? Good! God Can Talk to You

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“The man answered, ‘Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.” (John 9:30) A well-meaning Christian once loaned me a book by a highly promoted Christian woman leader. (I make a point of […]

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Modern Day Apostles

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and […]

Does God Care If We Are “Excellent”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (Hosea 6:4) It’s difficult keeping up with the latest buzz words of contemporary […]

Do We Treat Fellow Christians Like Servants?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” (Ephesians 6:9) We like to […]

The Christians Who Choose to Leave “Church”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.” Hebrews 13:13 If you’ve ever done anything in contrast to the status quo, you’ve no doubt been shot with criticism by those who remain in the […]

Are We Making Asses of Ourselves?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. (Psalm 32:9) I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “The Perfect Will of […]

“Foreigners” Are God’s Children, Too

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” (Ruth 1:16-17) As a Christian […]

Contemporary Corporate Christianity

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land […]

When Our Strength Is Our God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“They sweep past like the wind and go on — guilty men, whose own strength is their god.” (Habakkuk 1:11) The society in which I live, the United States, is one which extols wit, cunning, business acumen, financial savvy, confidence, and strength. […]

Three Things God Wants Us to DO

posted by Carolyn Henderson

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Those of us who attended church in the 1980s […]

Does It Bother You, That People Lie to Us?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong?” (Habakkuk 1:3) For many years, like many people, I was contentedly asleep, focusing the majority of my time on minor, day to day things, allowing those things to swallow up an […]

Why Do We Follow These Leaders?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30) Jesus did […]

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8) Whenever I tell an appalling church story, I am sure to be scolded. “Not all churches are like this!” is the general response. “You shouldn’t be so harsh […]

Where Does All the Tithe Money Go?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts 4:32) If you attend conventional church for any time at all, you will […]

Walking in the Dark

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, a friend sent me this Bible verse from Isaiah 50:10: “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? “Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of […]

When Powerful People Repent — Is It Real?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The other day, I read an intriguing post by a Famous Face. Like many Famous Faces, when he speaks, hordes of people — far too many of the Christian persuasion, incidentally — listen. But the general message of this man, like much of what […]

Corporate Christianity: 5 Ways to Stop Thinking Like Office Workers

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Family, teamwork, community — for years these words have circulated through our corporate business culture as a means of convincing people that the workplace is warm, caring, fuzzy, and cuddly. What’s intriguing is that the same words are employed within Christian […]

It’s Comforting to Be Wrong

posted by Carolyn Henderson

It is an never-ending source of comfort to be me that I am so frequently wrong. Never-ending, because on a daily basis I manage to miss the mark more than once, whether I’m talking about the weather or making a […]

You Don’t Belong to Any Church: You Belong to God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

You don’t have to be a student of political science to recognize that there is no perfect, man-made governing system. Even democracy — which is not what we live under in the United States — works better on paper, or […]

Psychotic Cats and God’s Love

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I am writing this with a psychotic cat sleeping on my lap. I recognize that, to people who don’t like cats (and even to many who do), ALL cats are psychotic, but this one is a rescue kitty, chosen by one […]

Finding the True God When We’re Worshiping the Wrong One

posted by Carolyn Henderson

There is a tiresome joke among Christians about patience that goes like this: “I don’t want to pray for patience, because by golly, God will send me all sorts of circumstances to try it!” Ha Ha. What’s not so funny […]

Three New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The problem with New Year’s resolutions isn’t that they’re easy to make and difficult to keep — which is true on both counts — it’s that we feel like such failures when we fall, and give up, mid-February, on the […]

“If I Leave Church, Will I Lose My Friends?”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

For many people, the one thing that stands between their leaving a church situation that is not working for them, or staying within and being unhappy, is friendship. Understandably, wherever we spend our time is where we make friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and […]

Are You in the Process of Leaving Church?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Leaving church — whether a specific fellowship or the industrial model altogether — is not a decision people make lightly. Nor is it one that others take well, and if you are in the process of dropping out of a […]

The Inadequacy of Corporate Prayer

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Although it’s been years since I’ve been in a regular church situation, I can still conjure up the feelings of dread I felt at “prayer time,” sitting around a circle (we’re told it’s “intimate”) and sharing details about our lives. The worst part was […]

Why Do We Follow Celebrity Christians?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I have spent a goodly portion of my life working past, and through, an impatient, calloused, uncaring, indifferent, and unlikable God, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only spiritual seeker with this issue. The Querulous God is regularly taught […]

Why Standing up for Yourself — at Church — Is So Important

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Just how obedient are Christians expected to be — and who expects them to be this way? In recent posts, I’ve been discussing Christian submission toward leadership (Must We Obey Church Authorities? and Is It So Bad to Be a Lone Wolf […]

Must We Obey Church Authorities?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Obedience, subservience to authority, submission, docility, accountability — these concepts are so prominent, and so interwoven within many Christian circles, that you’d think they were the foundation upon which Christ taught. In other words, a good Christian does what he or she […]

Stay Alert — Burnt Toast Is the Least of Our Concerns

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We are the infelicitous owners of a truly dreadful toaster. It has one setting — burnt and black — no matter where we turn the dial, and lately it has decided that it only wants to toast one side of the bread. Those […]

Is It So Bad to Be a Lone-Wolf Christian?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Self-defense is a good thing to know — many women wish we possessed enough simple martial arts skill that we could tumble an assailant to the ground, whimpering. But physically defending ourselves isn’t the only arena of importance, and even if we can’t find, or afford, […]

We Don’t Need Celebrity Christian Permission to Stand up for Ourselves

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t tend to keep up on “Christian News,” because it pretty much looks like the standard misinformation and disinformation that the rest of the media world puts forth, only with the words “Jesus” and “God” thrown in enough to […]

Questioning Convention: It’s Part of Growth

posted by Carolyn Henderson

One of the problems of formal, prescriptive Bible studies is that, frequently, they mooooooooooove soooooooooooo slooooooooooowly through the Scriptures, focusing on one or two verses at a time and haranguing the poor words until they collapse, exhausted, and pant out, […]

Silly Little Rules

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In a recent conversation with a five-year-old, it came out that using a pen, in kindergarten, is a prohibited activity. Violation of this particular law results in the punishment of putting one’s head down on the desk. What strikes me most about […]

What If You’re Too Timid to Be “Bold for Christ”?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I became a Christian at 19. For the first 25 years, I diligently attended church services, which means that I came into regular contact with Christians comfortable in that setting, and for the last eight years, I have been transitioning […]

Free Yourself from Bible Study Myths

posted by Carolyn Henderson

“Why won’t you attend Bible study?” a man asked me once. “Do you hate studying the Bible?” Seriously, when you get a question framed like that, it’s best to just talk about the weather. The person asking will never understand […]

Looking for Your Ministry? 5 Ways to Find It

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Many Christians, especially in church settings, focus — obsess — about finding their ministry, and they pore through 1 Corinthians 12 searching for suggestions: “Do I have faith? or a message of wisdom? I’m pretty sure I don’t have the ability […]

The Purposeless, Driven Life

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Christians come in all shapes, sizes, and maturity levels, and the more honest we are, the more fun we are to be with, even if what we’re saying or working through is painful. The other day, someone told me: “I’m so […]

Christian Misfits: “You Have a Beautiful Face”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I’m sure that most of you, at some time, have found yourself in public in a somewhat disheveled state. “Nobody I know will see me,” you tell yourself. And, of course, that’s when too many people you know do, indeed […]

Is God Calling You?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our church days, when I sat in an interlocking chair, stared ahead at the big white screen, and sang words that flashed by, I used to wonder, vaguely, if God was calling me to do something, and I wasn’t hearing. […]

Is Singing in Church the Only Way to Worship?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you’re a Christian, and you’ve attended church, then you probably recognize the term: “Worship Service.” This is the time, just after the announcements and immediately before the sermon, when the congregation corporately sings — from the hymnal or off the PowerPoint […]

“Jesus Loves You!” — Enough, Already

posted by Carolyn Henderson

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being told, at every store I enter or order from online, that I am receiving the lowest prices — ever! The statement is made so much and so sweepingly, that […]

When Mighty Church Leaders Fall, Do They Crush the People Underneath?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our younger years, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I bicycled through small-town America, and for housing, we often asked a local church if we could camp in their basement. Encountering everything from open-armed hospitality to outright hostility, we ultimately found […]

Longing for Success

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you want people to read an article you write, or watch a video you post, just make sure that the title has the word, “Success” in it. (I know. I just did that. Did it work?) Fortunately, I am […]

How Long Will We Let Other Christians Call Us Dogs?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Those of you who have lived with, or through, a fifteen-year-old girl know that adolescents of this age generally fight self-esteem issues. Call it hormones, peer pressure, society, or fat days, 15-year-old girls need a lot of love and reassurance […]

What Is Backsliding, and Are You Doing It?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Too many of us are acquainted with the word, “backsliding,” which, in its purest form, means to lose one’s resolve to follow a chosen path. A recovering alcoholic who re-enters the bar circuit is an example — surrounding oneself by temptation, and resuming behavior […]

Are You Qualified to Study the Bible?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

We live in a time and place of people fascinated by degrees, credentials, and man-made accolades, to the point that, when unimaginative employers look for people to fill the cubicles, they are more concerned with a person’s university background than […]

Should You Question Authority?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Should you question authority? You bet. Generally I avoid words like “should,” “ought,” and “must,” because they are frequently misused to manipulate people into doing things that they don’t want to do, as in, “You should go to Sunday School.” […]

Business Advice from a Homemaker

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Recently, I spent an hour on the phone with a scam artist who was pushing an extremely expensive, vastly overrated SEO service onto an unsuspecting client of mine. A 30-second Internet search brought up four top stories about the questionable ethics of […]

Once You’re Awake — Now What?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The other day, I found myself in the middle of a church picnic. It was totally unintentional, and I’ll tell you the story someday, but the upshot is, I was chatting with a safe woman from the group, when I tossed out […]

Are You Awake?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

  The Bible talks a lot about being awake, and all Christians like to think that they are so: “Oh, yes — I’m awake all right to the evils of the world around me!” Quite honestly, as much as we would like […]

Thriving on Spiritual Abuse

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Years ago in my little town, there was a restaurant that was known not for the quality of its food (above average), the ambiance of its surroundings (cheap chic), or the professionalism of its staff (non-existent). It was famous, and wildly […]

I Was Born in Babylon

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The 6th century, B.C., was a tumultuous one for the Hebrew people. Always beset and troubled by enemies, the Jewish state, barely holding out in the territory of Judah and its capitol city, Jerusalem, was finally and fully conquered by […]

“My Church Is Being Stolen!”

posted by Carolyn Henderson

If you belong to a warm, embracing, encouraging and fun church congregation, today’s post is not for you. All I can advise is this: keep it that way, and you do this by limiting the size and power of leadership/management. When these people control as opposed to […]

Worthless in the World’s Eyes

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Tradition is great stuff. If you attend church, you know that once a year you’ll read Luke Chapter 2 — the birth of Jesus, and given the amount of actual Bible reading that too many Christians do throughout the rest […]

What Kind of People Leave Church?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Years ago, when we still attended weekly church services, a longtime acquaintance (that’s generally what we are in church situations — we’re rarely given time to freely mingle and get to know one another as friends) left. If you attend […]

Four Lies Creeping into Today’s Christian Church

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Apostasy is nothing new in Christianity. Two thousand years ago Jesus warned that false prophets “come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7: 15) Given that we, the people of God, are frequently referred to as […]

Previous Posts

It’s a Secret, but Many Christians Do Distrust God
"Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 We all approach life from a certain world view. And while the dictators of politically correct doctrine decry bias as a bad thing, it's really just a realistic ...

posted 10:39:06am Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Abusive Christianity
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1) Any time we are in an abusive or controlling relationship, it takes effort to emerge from it, our independence and self-worth repaired and brought ...

posted 12:07:53pm Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Are You Ashamed of Your Job Title?
"Jesus turned and saw her. 'Take heart, daughter,' he said, 'your faith has healed you.'" (Matthew 9:18) How we define ourselves matters. All too frequently, we squeeze ourselves into little boxes, ones set before us by a corporate society ...

posted 11:49:00am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Not a Leader? Good! God Can Talk to You
"The man answered, 'Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes." (John 9:30) A well-meaning Christian once loaned me a book by a highly promoted Christian woman leader. (I make a point of gender ...

posted 9:26:19am Apr. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Modern Day Apostles
"These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and ...

posted 12:36:31pm Apr. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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