He and another Revolution Church staff member, Marc Brown, wrote an article for CNN, "What the Hell Happened to Christianity?"
Here is how they begin the article:
What the hell happened? Where did we go wrong? How was Christianity co-opted by a political party? Why are Christians supporting laws that force others to live by their standards? The answers to these questions are integral to the survival of Christianity.So far, so good. Then they write:
I listened to one his sermons, "Repentance is Not a Four Letter Word." He is evangelical but with the emphasis on grace and unconditional love. Here is an article about him on CNN's Showbiz TV that talks about the amends he made with his parents, his preaching in an Atlanta bar, and his decision to be gay-affirming (and his loss of support from the Christian right for that decision).
So when did the focus of Christianity shift from the unconditional love and acceptance preached by Christ to the hate and condemnation spewed forth by certain groups today? Some say it was during the rise of Conservative Christianity in the early 1980s with political action groups like the Moral Majority. Others say it goes way back to the 300s, when Rome's Christian Emperor Constantine initiated a set of laws limiting the rights of Roman non-Christians. Regardless of the origin, one thing is crystal clear: It's not what Jesus stood for.
His parables and lessons were focused on love and forgiveness, a message of "come as you are, not as you should be." The bulk of his time was spent preaching about helping the poor and those who are unable to help themselves. At the very least, Christians should be counted on to lend a helping hand to the poor and others in need.
His preaching style lacks polish. He has a self-deprecating "Who me? Preach?" attitude. These are pluses. I sense that he is thoughtful, sincere and quite intelligent. When he speaks from the heart, he communicates grace most eloquently:
"It's accepting that love of God--I just can't say that enough because I want you to understand that God loves you just the way you are and that's never gonna change. To me that's the greatest news of all."
I think he will make an important contribution as a minister.