TV Interview of Doubter’s Parish Author, Martin Thielen
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2w ago
Why Some Doubt Traditional Beliefs Interview by Ben Hall, Issues of Faith, Channel 5 Nashville, TN With Martin Thielen NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Martin Thielen, retired parish pastor, joins this edition of Issues of Faith to explore the concept of doubt, and why it’s a normal phenomenon in modern religion. This interview was originally published on News Channel 5 Issues of Faith and can also be accessed here. AUTHOR’S NOTE To share this post, please click the appropriate icon at the bottom of the page. If you would like to communicate with me, feel free to send an email and I’ll res ..read more
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The Antidote to Mean Christianity
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
1M ago
The Antidote to Mean Christianity By Martin Thielen April 2, 2024 A Doubter’s Parish reader recently wrote, “How did Christianity become so mean? How did we get from Jesus’s message of love to relentless condemnations against gays, transgendered persons, women preachers, immigrants, scientists, educators, journalists, and public-school librarians?” She said, “When I look at American Christianity in 2024, I feel like I’m watching the 2004 film Mean Girls.” She vividly concluded, “If Jesus came to America and looked at the meanness in his church, he would puke.” This woman joins a multitud ..read more
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Providing an Alternative to Toxic Religion
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
Providing an Alternative to Toxic Religion By Martin Thielen June 6, 2023 This article was originally published by Baptist News Global. It’s no secret that the United Methodist Church is fracturing, primarily over LGBTQ issues. Thousands of UMC churches have already disaffiliated from the denomination. Large numbers of others are considering doing so before the end of 2023. And many more will likely join the exodus in 2024 after General Conference (the highest legislative body of the UMC) lays out final “divorce” guidelines for splitting up. Most of the disaffiliating churches are join ..read more
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How the Religious Right Gets It Wrong and What to Do About It
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
How the Religious Right Gets It Wrong and What to Do about It By Martin Thielen February 1, 2024 Photo by Tyler Merbler, part of a group of photos uploaded to Flickr on Jan. 6, 2021. When I was fifteen, I made a profession of faith at a religious right church in Oklahoma. The next Sunday I put on a white robe, waded into the baptismal pool of the sanctuary, and got plunged into the sacred waters of baptism. That afternoon at a special family luncheon, my relatives celebrated my newfound faith, baptism, and church membership (where all of them were lifelong members). When he offered grace ..read more
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Can Christianity Be Deinstitutionalized?
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
Can Christianity Be Deinstitutionalized? By Martin Thielen January 2, 2024 My all-time favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption  starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. This classic prison film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker falsely convicted of the double murder of his wife and her lover. A profound movie on many levels, The Shawshank Redemption  broaches significant subjects including the priority of friendship and the power of hope. And it concludes with a fantastic prison break! “He’s Just Institutionalized” In one memorable scene, a senior adult inmate n ..read more
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A Christmas Truce
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
A Christmas Truce By Martin Thielen December 5, 2023 Scene from Joyeux Noël, a 2005 war drama film based on the Christmas truce of December 1914, depicted through the eyes of French, British, and German soldiers. It was written and directed by Christian Carion, and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards. (This story is an excerpt from my novel, An Inconvenient Loss of Faith) During his early years of ministry, Paul loved Christmas. He enjoyed decorating the sanctuary. He took joy in the children’s programs. He sang the carols with gusto. He especially reve ..read more
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Do You Think I Am Still a Christian?
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
“Do You Think I Am Still a Christian?” By Martin Thielen November 1, 2023 A scene from “The Chosen” My work with Doubter’s Parish puts me in correspondence with large numbers of people. Many of them ask interesting questions about God, Jesus, faith, theology, and church. For example, a few months ago a reader who no longer believes in traditional Christianity asked me, “Do you think I am still a Christian?”  That question captured my imagination and sparked questions of my own. So, with the permission of the person who asked the question, I’d like to share his story. “Jason” (not his ..read more
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Why Retired Clergy Lose Faith and Leave Church
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
Why Retired Clergy Lose Faith and Leave Church By Martin Thielen “Be merciful to those who doubt.” — Jude 22 NIV October 3, 2023 I belong to a support group of seven retired mainline clergypersons. Six of the seven no longer affirm historic, creedal, orthodox, traditional theology. The same six members of the group no longer actively participate in a congregation. If you do the math, that means 86 percent of my retired clergy group have, to a large degree, lost traditional faith and left institutional religion. For a long time, I assumed this dynamic in my support group was an anomaly ..read more
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Creating a Good Life
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
Creating a Good Life By Martin Thielen September 5, 2023 I recently purchased a book called The Good Life. Prominently displayed on the front cover are the words, “Create a More Meaningful and Satisfying Life.” According to Amazon, The Good Life is selling well, which doesn’t surprise me. It represents the universal human desire to live a good life. In this brief article I’d like to tell you about my own efforts to create one. Identify the Essentials A few months ago, before it left Netflix, I watched the classic 1991 film City Slickers. In one scene, an old cowboy named Curly and a ..read more
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Growing Our Souls Through Struggle
Doubter's Parish
by Martin Thielen
2M ago
Growing Our Souls Through Struggle By Martin Thielen May 2, 2023 The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares – by Ko Moon Young Last year my wife and I discovered Korean dramas (called K-dramas). Our first K-drama, Navillera, tells the moving story of a seventy-year-old retired mailman who decides to pursue his lifelong dream of learning ballet. Next we watched the delightful love story, Crash Landing on You. It begins with a successful South Korean businesswoman paragliding in Seoul. A massive storm arises and blows her off course. She ends up crash-landing in the North Korean portion of the DMZ, wher ..read more
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