Happy Easter Church, Get Well Soon!


Most states are under “stay at home” orders and Hawai‘i has implemented a curfew to prevent church gatherings over the Easter holiday. Just as Governor Asa Hutchinson defended his decision NOT to implement “stay at home orders” in the state of Arkansas, tornadoes tore through his state.

It is as if God has spoken.
Is He is completely fed up?
With the lies and hypocrisy.
I know I am.

When the church is closed for the most important Christian celebration of the year, it might be prudent to observe the resurrection with some deep reflection. Jesus reprimanded the religious leaders of his own time for prioritizing policy over compassion for his people, he warned: “See, your house is left to you, desolate” (Matt. 23:28) And the New Testament links their unfair practices with the future destruction of the temple.

The evangelical Easter services I typically attend are plagued by a shallow sermon that intentionally frames people as sinners who are in need of a savior and scares them into accepting the church’s portrayal of Him with the threat of eternal damnation, depicted as the fictional hell designed in Dante’s Inferno. This simple message can spread like a virus to passive parishioners, eager to answer an altar call that absolves them of any real commitment aside from the few short seconds that are required to regurgitate a statement of faith. While I do not doubt the sincerity of the ministers or their converts, I have to call attention to this deceitful proselytizing strategy that offers people security about where they are and where they are going but does not enlighten a spiritual awakening within them.

But what if we approached Christianity under the same precepts that inform coronavirus “Facts Not Fear”? Of course, coronavirus facts change every day in order to keep up with new research and new data, but so does a lot of what we know about Christianity, yet pastors and parishioners are oftentimes unwilling or unable to address the inconsistencies of the Bible or its creeds that would lead to a proper diagnosis or prognosis for the modern church, therefore the church is sick, depleted and lacking the proper prescription to recover and be restored. At this point, I wonder if God will even find us worthy of a ventilator.

It is interesting, however, the way COVID19 has mandated a new respect for the environment, socialized health care and community that forces us to follow Jesus’ greatest commandment of loving one another. Ironically, churches who violate stay at home orders are charged with selfishness. I suspect that if it survives, the church will have to accept a call to action and honor its obligation to care for the needy just as Jesus did. For many of us, this may be a time of sickness or even death but it can also redirect us to a place of introspection and provide a path for rebirth.
I pray that God would give us the strength to accept the challenges ahead.
Please stay tuned for a new podcast that seeks to taker a deeper look at Christian Essentials.

Kealiiokamalu Church

Aug 28, 2019

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Aloha Eloah,

Today was an exciting day on LaneSki’s Search for Church.

I planned everything out and was set on attending Harbor Northshore, but I ended getting there late and it was kind of hard to find parking. Actually, I tried to parallel park twice in a spot that I knew my car should fit into, drove around the neighborhood a few times wondering if I should park in front of the houses and eventually just decided that it was not meant to be so  I headed home.  I passed by New Hope Haleiwa and considered checking that out, but again, I was too late so I veered off the road into Kealiiokamalu Church because I saw someone there and the doors opened. They were just about to start the service which begins at 10am, so I went in. I have always wanted to check out this church, but never made it, so it was funny I ended up there today.

The outside of this church looks very old, but the inside is really quaint, quiet and serene. Funny, even though it’s by the road, you hear the birds echo and feel the cool breeze. Lili‘uokalani Protestant (also in Haleiwa) was like that too. When I used to attend that church, I always thought the Hawaiians must have been really akamai (smart) about the way they designed the church because of the way the wind moved so eloquently through the structure. This church has a similar feel. The plaque on the inside says HOOLAA IA 1939 which marks the year of its inception.

Kahu (pastor) Blane administered a very traditional form of Hawaiian service which calls for a series of formally prepared hymns and prayers in Hawaiian that are followed by a spirit- inspired selection of scripture. Today the passage was from Luke 7 when Jesus meets with John’s (the Baptist) disciples and asks them “What did you come to see”? This passage was a surprise to me because it is one that I treasure, and have done a lot of research on, actually, I  even wrote a term paper on it. It cross-references other literature of the time and therefore is full of deeper meanings. The congregation took turns reading it in Hawaiian and then in English before the kahu lead us in a discussion. The various interpretations mirrored the conclusion of last weeks Easter service which basically challenged the congregation not to be like the unbelievers, however, it was not fueled by the fear of condemnation, but rather more of an encouraging word to trust and have faith. I found it amazing that at the end of the discussion Kahu Blane uttered the word ho‘omanawanui which he translated as be patient, in the sense that things will come around. His final word had nothing much to do with his sermon but did kind of sum up my hours of research on the passage in Luke and ultimately spoke directly to my issues with the current state of the church.


It’s funny where the spirit will take you, if you are willing to follow the wind.

If you want to attend Kealiiokamalu, it is certainly worthwhile. The service starts at 10am on Sunday and there are different styles of services each Sunday of the week. Kahu knows a lot of history about Hawaiian church history and speaks Hawaiian so I learned a lot from him today. He suggested Daryl Iona’s thesis on Hawaiian church history for anyone who is interested. It should be able through the University of Hawai‘i library system.

LaneSki’s Search for Church


under water view of Lane Davey,surfing Ehukai Beach,11.22.05

April 28th, 2019

Aloha Eloah,

It’s funny how so many sermons drive me nuts, but somehow the spirit sends me a message amongst the madness. Last week, I was caught by the pastorʻs conclusion about the migration of Kolea birds who would return home within the upcoming week. When he petitioned if any of us were being called home this season, he had no idea how much this idea has plagued me throughout the past two and a half years. Itʻs as if each and every day of the Trump presidency has convinced me that my home at the church was nothing more than an illusion. I wish I could say it burned down or was destroyed because then there would always be the chance that it could be rebuilt, but it just never was. . .

Surely, my real spiritual home can be found at the various surf breaks that I frequent each morning. I worship the son as it shines on my face (יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ) with puffs of Peleʻs glow while the ocean below embraces me. The sea spray sings as it slings back and forth while I glide from side to side, attempting to harmonize with the tides of majestic waves. And there is no better fellowship than the diverse group of friends who come from all faiths, ethnicities, and walks of life to share the moment with me.

Yet, at the same time, I felt like I was being called home that Easter morning. I donʻt know where that home is or what it looks like and it might just be that I will learn to appreciate my surf home, because. . . well, it’s pretty good. But I donʻt think God would want me to study the Bible for ten years and not use my knowledge to help others so they can find a home that wonʻt end up leaving them stranded in illusion.

Welcome to LaneSkiʻs “Search For Church”


[May] Adonai bless you, and guard you –

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
(Yevhārēkh-khā Adhōnāy veyishmerēkhā …)

[May] Adonai make His face shine unto you, and be gracious to you –

יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
(“Yāʾēr Adhōnāy pānāw ēlekhā viḥunnékkā …)

[May] Adonai lift up His face unto you, and give to you peace –

יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם
(“Yissā Adhōnāy pānāw ēlekhā viyāsēm lekhā shālōm.“)
Numbers 6:24–26:


“Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”

April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday


Aloha Eloah (Dear God),

I miss the days when we used to have the big Easter Sonrise celebrations at Waimea Bay which were usually a collaboration of several churches here on O‘ahuʻs Northshore. Each pastor would give a short sermon followed by music and hula in between. Those were the days when you knew everybody at church because the Northshore was a close-knit community. It seemed like there were always waves on Easter because I donʻt remember sitting through a service without witnessing some small sets at Pinballs. At the same time, it was never good enough to make you feel like you were missing out on the surf.

Today, I attended a sunrise service at Ali‘i Beach Park which is actually where they used to hold the event before the inception of the Waimea celebration. Easter arrived really late this year so the sun rose well before the service which started at 7:30. I actually had two hours to surf before the service began, but unfortunately, the waves were flat.

The evangelical pastor engaged in the typical performance of cutting and pasting passages of random scriptures to affirm the message that Christ died to redeem our sins through his resurrection on the cross. As he explained Jesusʻ various vocabulary selections of Greek affections (eros, phileo, agape), I questioned, “Didnʻt Jesus speak Hebrew?” Then he clarified that neither doing good deeds nor having good intentions would prepare us for the path to eternal life. This could only be achieved through the public proclamation of pronouncing Jesus as LORD and savior.

But what did Jesus say when he was probed with this same specific question?

“And behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.”  (Matt. 19:16-22) Mark 10:17-22 & Luke 18:18-23, (NIV)

Personally, I do not know any Christians who subscribe to this synoptic requirement for eternal life and perhaps its because the gospel of John offers up an alternative. When Jesus discusses this same issue with Nicodemus he says that:

”Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:16)

This is followed by the famous selection in John 3:16

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (NIV)

The discrepancy between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) on this matter compared to the gospel of John is likely because of its later compilation or redaction which occurred 20-30 years after the Synoptics according to most scholars. When this discussion takes place in the Synoptics, it is constructed within a whole different context which was likely either just before, during or just after the temple destruction that Jesus himself predicted in 70CE. Followers of Jesus in this apocalyptic context would need to prove their complete commitment to the messianic movement which really only had one of two outcomes; they would have died in their resistance to the Romans or defeated them to reign once again as an independent Israel in Jerusalem. Thirty years later, the Jesus community that is compiling the gospel of John has likely relocated from Jerusalem where their temple has been burned to the ground and the majority of survivors sold as slaves to the Romans. It is from within this setting that Jesus becomes a substitute for the temple and a symbol of rebirth and hope for the next generation of disciples who dare to to believe.


The Church of the Holy Cross in Kahuku

Aloha Eloah,

The Church of the Holy Cross, Kahuku, Hawai‘i

The Church of the Holy Cross Mala‘ekahana in Kahuku Hawai‘i on the island of Oahu

Today I visited The Church of the Holy Cross, a cute little​ Episcopal​ ​church in Kahuku on the right hand side of the road just after Kahuku village before Mala‘ekahana. It was a small, but welcoming group at the church which was kind of laid back and fun. They sang some old hymns and also some Hawaiian hymns. The pastor gave a short sermon and the congregation responded with how the words and scriptures spoke to them. Some asked questions. They put some flowers on the altar earlier that morning and just before the sermon they popped open. I said, they needed the sun, which ironically paralleled one of the lines in the opening hymn. I enjoyed the service there and the little church that has been there since the late fifties or early sixties according to one of the members.


Ps. 93:4

Aloha Eloah,
I really enjoyed revisting Psalm 93 which we read aloud together in church today. This scripture that slide across the surface of the ocean underneath my board and my body served as the foundation for a type of faith that made me feel secure on some of the biggest and best Pipe days I have ever seen and I am so thankful for that. I will never forget the days that I had the instinct to go in immediately and as I walked up the beach I witnessed the set of the day that cleaned up the whole line up. These types of senarios occured on a regular basis before the life guards showed up and I always knew it had something to do with you LORD, but I guess in hindsight I should also credit the countless hours I spent surfing out there in order to fine tune those instincts. I give you the credit for that too, however, espeically as becomes more and more of a struggle to even get to the waves at Pipe today due to the endless traffic, crowds and surfing contest. Thanks for letting me see your power and dwell within the spirit of Pipeline. I hope you will allow me to keep going even into my old age.

Psalm 93: Some commentary
Revelation and inspiration has the power to be reinterpreted throughout the ages, however, this psalm has significant meaning to Israel and the establishment of their God YHWH. When YHWH is referenced as mighty waters, thunderous waves or sea creatures like Leviathan, it had special meaning in its original context because YHWH had to prove himself more powerful than the Anicent Near East storm gods of the time such as Tiamot, Marduk and Baal. I have to admit that I am a fan of Tiamot; a female goddes of the salt water who seemed to be the most high god in a earlier time period so I have to wonder if she might be holding me up within this scripture too. Some scholars suggest that the first Genesis creation myth in chapter 1 verse 2 actually refers to Tiamot through the Hebrew word tehom (deep). “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” It is always interesting that the further we go back in time, the more likely we are to find females possesing the highest positions in the heavenly realms and priestly orders. Pele would be another example of this not to mention YHWHʻs former wife Asherah who was also a fertility goddess of the sea, hence the Asherah poles that are descrated in later books of the monarchial period represent Asherah and the elimination of YHWHʻs wife as the Israelites adopted radical monotheism. The Ancient Near East religions that influenced Israel are evident in this psalm through YHWHʻs soverignty over the other storm gods and sea creatures which is symbolized by the establishment of his house, an important motif in the Baal story and other myths. It is likely that this psalm, or atleast sections of of predate Israelite religion, but also recycle the tradition as it is still read in the synagogue today to celebrate Shabbat. Some Christians are afraid to discover the origins and secrets of ancient scripture because it challenges their contemporary doctrines, but I find it pretty powerful that the myths and psalms of Mesopotamia, Ugarit and Egypt, went on to influence Israel and later Christianity in such an impressionable way that they made it on the bottom of my surfboard still today to instil faith, strength and security in the great and powerful seas of Paumalū Hawai‘i.

Coming​ to terms with Trump Christianity

IMG_6694Aloha Eloah,

When I first began attending evangelical churches in the late eighties, I really appreciated them welcoming me into their services which they labeled non – denominational. Once they became their own brand, however, it was not one that I could subscribe to. Since I left the church several years ago, I have always hoped for reformation, reconciliation and restoration, but today, I just pray that you would allow me to accept that it never was the moral or spiritual pinnacle that I had once envisioned it to be.

Kavanaugh is yet another CONFIRMATION since Trumpʻs election on November 8, 2016 that evangelical Christians are willing to sacrifice everything to overturn Roe V. Wade. It fills my heart with sadness to witness their continued support for Trump as he aborts the values of honesty, kindness, loving thy neighbor, the sanctity of marriage and just about everything I was taught growing up in the church.

What I have to keep reminding myself is that whether it be Trumpʻs entitlement to grab womenʻs private parts or Kavanaughʻs iluminatti of sexual predators, they parallel fundamentalist Christian teachings which confirm that women are created by God to serve and submit to men in silence. Ironically , their adherence to such values is based upon the teaching and preaching of St. Paul who along with Jesus and even Muhammad for that matter broke new ground for women in their own time which was part of what made these religions so provocative in the first place.

What I have to keep reminding myself is that the lie, lie, lie, deny, deny, deny agenda is something we are also taught in church and it is something I succumbed myself to for most of my young life and that is why it has been so effective for Trump. In fact, I have spent almost ten years in graduate school unraveling all the lies and denials that I was brainwashed with, as I am sure I will continue to do for the rest of my life and this is just part of the process. Unfortunately, neither my two masterʻs degrees in bibilcal studies nor my knowledge of five biblical languages would qualify me to go back and preach or teach in those churches that raised me because they still forbid women from obtaining such positions of authority and more importantly a voice.

At the end of the day, I still have my faith in Elohim(Gods) and ‬‬messiah (מָשִׁיחַ) who come (ἐρχόμενος) as supernatural forces to interject in our lives and instigate justice on earth through our love for one another. It is not the type of faith that I was taught in church which begins and ends with the recitation of doctrinal statements or adheres to a strict and literal interpretation of ancient scribes, but it is the constant sadhna (daily ritual practice) to love my neighbor with my words, actions and deeds. I miss having a community of believers to confide in, but I am thankful for the various surfer friends and ohana who God always puts in my path to support me or pray for me when I am in need and I guess I am blessed to experience some version of the real church through them.