Praying and Seeking Counsel

Do you see a man hasty in his words? 
There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 29:20) I sure don’t want to be a fool. That’s why I’ve been taking premium time to pray, seek counsel, and reflect on what happened a week ago. Last Friday was enough to remind me I’m called to a difficult mission field. A whole lot of people are now angry and disappointed with some prominent occupants of my field of ministry, namely, five justices of the Supreme Court.

Learning from the #EmanuelNine of Charleston

When I first read that a “Pastor Pinckney” had died in the killing spree at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, I ran immediately for the guest book at our ministry house on Capitol Hill. I knew that several months before we had hosted an African-American minister from the south by the same name—even with its peculiar spelling. The thought that it may have been him sickened me that much more.

Defense Against Scandal and Victimization, or, My Odd Experience with Speaker Hastert

Revelations and allegations against Washington personalities have lately made for scandalous headlines, as they should. Investigations of a former speaker of the House and former member of Congress should be taken seriously. Still, they are only investigations at this stage. I hope we still hold to a fundamental legal concept in this country that the accused is “innocent until proven guilty.” Simply comparing our history to that of most of the rest of the world should be enough to convince us of the importance of this principle.

My Prediction: What the Court Is About to Do on Same-Sex Marriage

If you read me at all, you know I rarely prognosticate about Supreme Court decisions. First, the justices and their staff members are exceedingly good at keeping confidentiality and leaks virtually never happen. Second, in a technical sense, the justices can change their decisions at any point up to the day the opinions are announced from the bench—and, in an even more technical sense—afterwards, until those opinions are formally published in the federal record.

As the Political Atmosphere Heats Up, Christians Need to Keep our Cool

While global warming remains controversial among conservatives, something we can probably all agree on is a phenomenon I call, “Washington Warming.” The hot season has come a little early this time around, but as presidential campaigns get underway, the political atmosphere heats up; as it does, Christians need to keep our cool. Allow me to explain . . .

More about people with guns–the right kind of people!

You know by now I’ve been wary of the growing infatuation with guns in our society. My concern is for those that may face moral and ethical temptations to use them for the wrong reasons. The Christian has a much higher standard to answer to than the Second Amendment ( as important as it is), state gun laws (as good as they may be), and sloganeering by secular political and advocacy groups (as clever as they may be). So, I’ve issued a caution to Christians when it comes to equipping ourselves for deadly conflict.

Hanging with the Glitterati While Walking the Red Carpet

This past weekend was surrealistic for me. You may have heard I literally walked a red carpet at one of the best-known film events in the world, the Tribeca Film Festival. I never thought I’d walk a red carpet. “Celebrity” was not in my life-plan.

The Secret Life of . . . Rob Schenck?

Maybe you saw the adventure comedy-drama The Secret Life of Walter Mitty staring Ben Stiller. It’s the fun story of a very ordinary guy that works for Life Magazine and goes on an unlikely, action-packed, thrill-seeking quest to find a lost film negative he thinks will make the perfect cover photo for the last printed issue of the beloved journal. I watched the movie two weeks ago to kill some time on my 10-hour flight to Istanbul, Turkey for my first visit to that country. How apropos, really, because this trip was my own secret adventure.

In Washington: Loving the unlovely

It’s not easy being a missionary to a place so many people hate. Washington, DC (or at least what I call “Official Washington”) contains one of most unpopular, disliked, and ridiculed population groups in America: Congress. Just about as many Americans hold the current president in contempt, too. And, depending on what they’re doing, federal judges also get lots of raspberries.

What I Did and Didn’t Say Last Week on Gun Violence

Predictably, both sides of the gun issue jumped to conclusions about my statement last week on gun violence in America. I spoke in the context of the National Memorial for the Pre-born and the annual March of Life. My statement was in the form of an Op-Ed essay, published in USA Today, and in my opening remarks at the Memorial service.

Peace and Good Will. Really???

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:13-14

Our Mission Landscape Has Changed

As a result of the 2014 elections, the landscape of our Faith and Action mission field will undergo tectonic changes. To begin with, the majority party in Congress sets the cultural tone of Capitol Hill. That has a significant affect on everything we do. The tone makes an impact on how we engage the people here, what access we have to them, and how we are received by them.

Can’t help but remember . . .

Each year as the anniversary of the September 11th attacks of 2001 comes around, I experience flashbacks.

Talking Christians and Guns in Branson

Maybe it’s because my roots are in New York, where everyone just blurts out streams of consciousness. There is very little self-censoring or circumspection among the sons and daughters of immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Puerto Rico, Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. What you see is what you get—or, in this case—what you hear. We’re all loud and unvarnished. Jews from New York are especially so.

It’s all about location, location, location . . .

Looking out the front door of our ministry center last week, a visitor who grew up in Washington, DC, and knows a lot about this town said, “Wow. You’re really right here where it all happens!”