Courtney Ray

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

A record number of senior level U.S. State Department career staff are leaving. Additionally, nearly 1,000 employees in that department signed a memo through the department dissent channel.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Our Love Affair with the RCC

Go to any traditional Daniel and Revelation seminar, and you will hear about our Protestant departure from Babylon, (generally referring to the Roman Catholic Church). We make a significant effort to make sure attendees recognize how complete and distinct our ecclesiastical break was. The RCC’s theology caused Martin Luther’s departure, but we made ours even more complete by rejecting Catholic practices like infant baptism and, of course, the ever large, looming, adoption of Sunday as Sabbath.

Is God in Control? Yes, and Also ...

I rarely critique colleagues' sermons. And this evaluation will be de-identified. I hope it is instructional for us all, including any tempted to answer their friends’ frustrations with “God is in control”.

Adventist Farm

There are a bunch of stories and novels that many people were first introduced to in their middle school or high school reading lists: The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, Lord of the Flies. One such novel that is emblazoned in my adolescent memory is Animal Farm by George Orwell.

The Love Connection

Threadbare, worn, and obviously too small, I still have the t-shirt I was given as a toddler. Though the words are faded now, childhood pictures testify that it said “Anything boys can do, girls can do better!” It's a cute shirt that was gifted to me with intentionality. I am the youngest and only sister to three brothers. It was a jovial but pointed way to ensure that I grew up understanding my value. I never felt intimidated by boys. I spoke up in classes. My brothers always included me in play. They made sure that I knew I was smart, capable, and worthy of respect.

Wrong Is Wrong! ... Right?

I don't follow celebs like most people I know. I've lived in New York and Southern California, and I can recall meeting a celeb on the street exactly two times.

One Big Tent or Many Little Camps?

Our church has had some major disagreements. We've disagreed on the bounds of academic freedom, had vigorous debates on the role of women, had protracted discourses about race relations, and fervent volleys regarding homosexuality. There have been heated and passionate pleas among all those involved in these conversations. People quote texts and cite personal experience. People get upset, some cry, or even leave. Some become persuaded, some have changes of heart, some become champions for positions they previously disdained.

Why I Sympathize with Brexiters

To be clear, this is not an endorsement of one position over another. This isn't even a statement of what I might have voted. There are many things, such as location of my hypothetical residence and my perception of how I'd be affected, that I would have to consider. As it is, in reality, I don't live in the UK and I am not a UK citizen. Be that as it may, I can sympathize with those who voted in favor of Brexit.

Just being "Christian" isn't good enough

Last month I spoke on a panel of psychotherapists at a workshop about mental health, hosted by one of the nearby Adventist churches. It was a worthy topic that was perfect for Mental Health Awareness Month. As the program drew near the close, someone asked "how do you find a good psychotherapist?" The psychiatrist, the clinical counselor, and I, all offered suggestions. Then a sister from the audience came to the microphone.

Faith or Fractions

I couldn’t be the only one investing in the relationship. But I did try hard. I called and she would cut the conversation short. I’d ask her to hang out and she was always too busy. I would offer to come over and it was always “a bad time”. Fine.  I could take a hint. That was the end of our friendship. After I moved away, I found other friends. Over time she had truly faded from my regular thoughts. But one day I got a call from a vaguely familiar number. “Can we talk?” To say I was surprised would be an understatement! But I obliged her.

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