I don’t advocate consulting the Scriptures for an accurate understanding of matters of sexuality for the same reason I wouldn’t want a medical text from the same time period guiding a surgeon taking a scalpel to me.
My Dear Brother in the Faith has hit another one dead on the button…this is a fantastic article and it summarizes soo much better than I can what my very own thoughts and feelings are regarding Barack Obama.
Full disclosure…I was a full on opponent of Obama in 2008. He has been incredible…and I cannot in fairness say that he surprised me. All I can truly say is he was/is himself…it is I who have changed…Hopefully I have grown and shrunk both, for both are necessary.
What John says…big time.
I love this…just…
See…we did this, told beautiful and magnificent stories of Santa. In fact, I wrote an origin tale about Santa Claus that even involves the Baby. I tromped around on rooftops, and I walked on the carpet in ashes to leave boot prints…
…and the coup de gras? I told the kids that some parents understood that Santa had such a big job that they wanted to help share the burden of reaching all children to give gifts so they themselves took on the mantle of the jolly fat man…and in essence did indeed become Santa Claus.
I loved those days…every magical miracle moment. I stayed up all night long setting up race tracks and laying out Polly Pockets.
My dear friend and brother John writes about this so well, so eloquently…please head over and enjoy.
I want to make beautiful ripples.
Me too, John, faithful friend and brother in our Precious Lord…me too. Constance, be sure to stop over at John’s house and read…and would you also just tell him Hi, and give him a pat on the back, a hug…and tell him this:
Charissa says hi and loves him very much.
Reblogging my brother John’s latest post. I have done a lot of thinking on this topic, and per usual, I found John’s thinking to be cogent and tender.
Words are really funny things.
If we misuse them long enough, our familiarity can begin to fool us and we gradually go a bit blind. Over time, we can come to think (with great confidence) that we’re using them correctly; that we’re speaking pure, unbiased truth whenever we brandish them, simply because they sound right to our now-adjusted ears.
Christians aren’t exempt from this phenomenon.
If you spend time with us religious folk, you’ll inevitably stumble upon one of our all-time favorite buzzwords: Culture. It’s everywhere we are.
On any given day you can find endless social media chatter among Evangelical Christians debating “culture”, and the “culture wars”, and lots and lots of talk of us, “fighting the culture”. There’s recently been a great deal of similar discussion surrounding the promotional push for a new book by popular pastor David Platt, whose forthcoming Counter Culture, seeks to once again position Christianity (as represented by The Church) as the sole solution…
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“History teaches us that whenever entrenched and systematic discrimination, bigotry, and hatred have been overcome, it’s only happened when those within the ranks of the oppressors, have found the courage to speak difficult, direct truth into their own. It’s happened as those on the inside, risked alienation and isolation from their very tribe, in order to defend the powerless, bullied, outnumbered outsiders.
This is such a time, Church.
It has to be, because LGBT people are dying from the wounds our religion has inflicted; not just figuratively, metaphorically, poetically dying, mind you; but brutal, real, bloody, final, no-longer-living, kinda dying—and it’s a flat-out sin.”
Constance, I am reblogging my blog-brother John’s article on what you can do if you are the parent of a child who comes out as gay…and you are a christian. As always it is a great piece of thought and writing. John is speaking to parents…but I would like to ask you to do something more: why not consider things from John’s point of view regardless of whether you have kids coming out as gay? There is a lot of wisdom and practical common sense in his words, and I think you would benefit. And it is a certainty that any LGTBQ people in your life will be the better off if you were to take John’s advice.
Thanks, John, as always, and much love from Jane and I…
You have a gay child.
I know that it may be nearly impossible to say or understand or even believe, but you do.
Christian Mom and Dad, remember everything you did before your child was born; all the advice you solicited, the books you read, the preparations you made, the prayers you prayed, the beautiful dreams you composed in your head for how their lives would unfold?
I’m pretty sure this wasn’t on your radar. I know this wasn’t what you signed-up for.
Right now your mind is probably a swirling, dizzying storm of questions, fears, worry, doubt, anger, grief, and disbelief, and it probably feels like you’re drowning right now; so over your head as a parent that you’re desperately gasping for some precious breaths of air.
Let me try to throw you a lifeline.
I’m not going to preach to you, or tell you what to do, and I certainly can’t…
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Constance, it is time for the obligatory reblog of my brother John P…please enjoy this post which says so well the things on my heart. This is the man we were honored to meet along with a passel of other very fine people.
The Portland Convention Center became such sacred space for me this weekend.
As a pastor, walking into Christian conferences and into large rooms with people singing songs of praise to God is nothing new. In fact if I’m honest, over the years I’ve become somewhat jaded and apathetic and tired by gatherings that have so often felt like showy bits of religious entertainment, with Jesus being used simply to push product and manipulate people and build buildings.
This time was different. This was no show. This was The Church, as true and raw and desperate for God as I’ve ever experienced it.
The massive conference room was filled with 1,500 people, most of them LGBT Christians, along with their children…
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Jane and I had the absolute wonderful honor to get together with John and Jennifer Pavlovitz and some people they knew via their blog and Facebook. They were out here from the East Coast for the Gay Christian Network Conference. John had posted on Facebook that they were holding an informal 2 hour meeting in Portland, and as we are only an hour or so away, we just knew we had to go.
The event was set up by a lovely woman named Diane, and we met Bridgit, Jessica, Terri, Steve, Gordon, and Ken. We had never met any of these people before, and yet somehow we all felt as if we knew each other for years.
It was a foreshadowing of eternity.
It might also be a foreshadowing of another sort, a blogger convocation that I have my lil pea brain churning away over, but that is months if not years away yet.
I cannot tell you how edifying it was to us. We are in a season where people are falling out of our lives faster than the speed of terminal velocity…being transgender is worse than being a leper, I guess. Constance, not to worry…it isn’t contagious…though the hatred that swirls around it sure seems to be. In its own way, the season of abandonment is a good one, because I have always had this deep question that has haunted me: am I loved because of what I do, the gifts I have and the things I contribute? Or am I loved just because I am me and I am alive, regardless of what I do or say or write or think?
I know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt that the people who are friends now, few as they may be, are here because they really love us, and not just what we do.
Well, the other part about this meeting that was amazing is that it foreshadows the time coming, when Mama begins to add people back into our lives, and I know She will because They are good. And these people will be people who see us.
Last night was such a time…we saw…and we were seen…and love waxed thick and comfortingly delicious! Words fail me, because it wasn’t some grandiose profound thing! It was just a bunch of ordinary dorky human beings who love an extraordinary and Lovely God, and in that meeting with us all and Them, we were beautified and overshadowed with grace, glory and gladness.
I wrote a poem for my new friend Terri…you can see it a couple of posts back right here. All the imagery and conversation has direct integration into the evening together.
Constance, do yourself a huge favor and head over to John’s blog and prowl around. He is all heart with a mind awake and a ready laugh so freely infusing the tears of the world.
I guess the best thing I could say about him is that he is safe and I trust him.
To John, Jennifer, Diane, Terri, Ken, Gordon, Steve, Jessica, and Bridgit: if you find your way here, Hiiiiiii! BIIIIGGG Charissa smiles and huggz!! I love you all and we just met! If I see you before, it won’t be soon enough, and if I don’t see you again here in this vale, well then I will see you on That Glad and Glorious Day Eternal Bright and Fair!
Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
PS: we ate at a place called Killer Burger. Jane and I split a hamburger with peanut butter, bacon, pickles! YUMMMMMM
So…it seems that this reblog button is getting used an awful lot with John’s posts…well, that is just how good his writing is, how clear his thinking is.
He puts so well what takes me a million words to say half as well. Check out his scintillating expose about “choice” and sexuality.
One slight difference I might point out, and I do believe it to be purely semantic in nature: Since I distinguish between “sexuality” and “sexual orientation”, I would say that I do consider sexuality a choice, whereas sexual orientation is not a choice. What I am trying to say with that distinction is that every human has a choice in what they do and say as sexual beings…whether to act on desire or abstain, who to be sexual with and why, what meaning is assigned to sexual activity and how this affects the overall being…all that is to me what comprises “sexuality”. But sexual orientation, being which gender one is generally attracted to by nature, well this is not something chosen. It is something assigned at birth and reinforced by culture. Another way to look at this: sexual orientation is like the weather everyday: it simply is what it is and there is nothing we can do to change that. But sexuality is like how we choose to encounter that weather: whether we carry an umbrella or a fan, dress in flip flops or galoshes, carry sunscreen or hand warmers. One could choose to dress in a way completely inconsistent with the weather and still function.
As I said, most likely a semantics issue and of very minor notice…check out John’s Post. In fact, Constance, just follow his blog and save that poor “reblog button” which is getting worn out!
Thinking sustained over time, doesn’t always equal Truth; sometimes it just equals tradition.
Just because many religious people get something wrong over and over and over again, doesn’t eventually one day make it right.
In fact, when it comes to things that we come to believe corporately as a people, sometimes history and tradition and religion are the enemy of progress. We become intellectually lazy; wrong but comfortable in that wrong-ness and unwilling to dig deeper.
Ever since Christians have been talking about homosexuality, many have been trying to begin with an assumption that is simply incorrect and dangerous; that it’s something that all gay people choose.
Here’s part of a conversation between myself and a blog reader; a straight Christian man who was repeatedly, rather matter-of-factly, and quite judgmentally telling gay people that their sexual orientation was simply a choice; a willful decision, (and because of that…
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I am busy today…cooking, visiting with my baby and her father, watching the parades and a little of the football games. So I most likely will not have a lot of time to think of some post regarding Thanksgiving. Certainly in the midst of much loss, I do find my heart Thankful…though I am mystified as to why.
Well, John says it better than I could have or would have. He writes this with his heart blood and underlines it with his faith. Read and contemplate the core of thankfulness and the pulsing heart of this day.
Thank you John…I am thankful for you,
This is a time when even the most calloused and cranky of us steps back, takes stock of life, inventories the beautiful people and the sweet stuff we’re surrounded by, and gives thanks.
These gratitude lists are usually filled with things that most people would consider blessings. They’re made of friends and promotions and gifts and favor and celebration and recovery and success.
Maybe your year hasn’t felt that filled with such things, though.
In fact, you my have had a downright terrible year, or a really painful season, and maybe right now you’re bitter and exhausted and worried and grieving, and the blessing storehouse is feeling rather empty. Maybe giving thanks is a very tough sell right now.
Let me suggest an alternative.
“This has been the worst year of my life.”
I recently found myself saying this phrase out loud to a group of friends, when caught off guard and asked what I…
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Constance, as you have figured out by now, I deeply respect, admire and trust this person John Pavlovitz, even though we have never met. His words are strong evidence of his integrity, and I suspect that an examination of the fruits of his life would reveal far more that come from Mama than the fields of the carnal being.
Please…read. Think. Act. Support.
Thanks, Brother John…and that is a title I do not use lightly or reflexively.
In deepest gratitude with much respect,
Constance…I just have to reblog this. YEs, reblogging John again!
Well…he gets it, and he isn’t afraid to speak…and best of all he speaks with straight grace that shows tempered strength.
So grateful for the support he gives us…show him a bit of love, encourage him…and it would be a cool thing to take a thing or 3 from his example.
I believe he genuinely loves Jesus. As such, he and I are family. Sometimes brothers have to say honest, hard words to one another.
I bet if we were to speak face to face, I’d find him charming, personable, and quite endearing. I imagine we’d have great conversations about our love for God and family.
That’s part of the problem.
With nice guys like Kirk, it’s especially difficult to realize when they’re doing damage, and I believe that in subtle but real ways, he is.
This week he released this video in advance of a book release called Saving Christmas. On the surface, the content seems perfectly benign, life-affirming, and downright heartwarming; a call to reclaim the “joy of the Lord” during the Christmas season and let it be a beacon for others.
If that was all it said, that would be wonderful.
The problem with the video is…
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