Best of EE 2014

The False, Glittering Promise of Christian ConferencesBut as my Post-Conference Crash sets in, I can’t help but wonder if I’ve swallowed a false promise. I mean, I didn’t really KNOW the people I fell in love with. I only FELT like I did because THE MUSIC. Everyone agreeing that the Holy Spirit was really MOVING. That this was SPECIAL. And the weeping. Oh, The Weeping For the Poor African Orphans....

When God Was My Drug This is what surrender looks like: a glass of water and two white pills in the palm of my hand. I stare at them, these little pills that keep me sane. I’ve gone three days without them. My mind is a howling, jagged whirlwind. I slug down the pills and bang the cup down on the counter. I’m still upset about this–that I need these pills, that I can’t just CONTROL my anxiety through prayer alone.

Is Mark Driscoll's church a cult? People have told me that I need to “be careful” about labeling churches as cults. I absolutely disagree. If a group ACTS like a cult and OPERATES like a cult and HURTS people like a cult–then let’s call it what is is: a cult. There’s a huge reason for this: calling a cult a cult is empowering for the victims inside it. 

Give Us This Day Our Daily Meds

Top Ten Signs of an Abusive Church

Take Down That Post: it's not an "extramarital relationship," it's rape A predator’s weapon of choice is words. Why would a Christian publication give him that kind of power again—while he's in jail, no less? Here’s the deal: once you rape a child, you don’t EVER get to win sympathy points in public—even via a repentant confession. True confession and amends-making is done privately with the victims. True repentance isn’t about page views.

I am Martha. I slay dragons. St. Martha is not remembered for her human mistakes but rather for her mettle, grit and courage. Yes, she had her very human moments of Bossing Her Sister. But that wasn’t what defined her. The Church honors this bold, brave woman who spoke her mind to Jesus. Martha went on to do great things. She kicked some dragon-tail. Oh, yes she did!

It's Back-To-School for Room Moms of the New Motherhood Order What baffles me about the New Motherhood is how quickly we’ve invented brand new ways of shaming women. Society now tells mothers that they must be 100% present for their children AND 100% committed to keeping the ROMANCE ALIVE in their marriages. They must stay OFF their iPhones AND use their iPhones for taking lots of pictures for scrapbooks. AND VOLUNTEER. Oh, also? Mothers must stay smokin’ hot 24/7. Until they're at least 53.

I love you therefore I hit you...er, SPANK you Too many Christians believe violence against children is love. We call it “spanking” instead of “hitting.” We call it “discipline” instead of violence. But violence by any other name is still violence. And here's the scientific fact: spanking damages a child's brain.

This is a story about mental illness Mental illness is just not something we Christians talked about when I was growing up. We talked about weak faith, doubt and disobedience. Today, we still mostly talk about trusting Jesus, writing gratitude journals and praying more as a way to “increase joy.” But we rarely think of mental illness as a real illness. If we did, we wouldn’t advise our depressed friends to just go for a walk and count their blessings.

If The Waters Can Redeem Me Last night I walked out under a cloudless, dark sky. I let moonlight fall over me. I breathed. I’d poured out words on paper, all my longing and pain and heartache bound up in black and white. I held those words tightly and then…it was time—the moon was full, she was tugging at my pain, urging me to release it. I tore the paper and I loosed my pain.