Category Archives: homosexuality

Three Things Tuesday – Emergents Retreating?, Christian Women Oppressed and the PCUSA 219th GA

#1 – Has What Emerged Retreated?


I ran across an interesting series that Kester Brewin wrote about participants of the Emergent Movement in the UK returning to the institutional church and organizations.  He addresses this topic to some degree in his book  Other: Loving Self, God and Neighbour in a World of Fractures (which I have now ordered and am looking forward to reading).  The series (and the comments) covered a lot of interesting topics including how spiritual maturation takes place (part 2), how institutions can become damaging and what can be done to counteract that (part 3), some  info about Vaux (a community of artists and city-lovers who sought to explore the Christian faith through the media that came naturally to their hands) and Temporary Autonomous Zones (part 4).  Jonny Baker and Andrew Jones both post responses to the series.  Of course the authors are all from Europe which is some years ahead of the US regarding emerging/emergent Christianity, but there are still many similarities.  What do you think?  Is a retreat taking place?  Is it maturation?  Has the institutional church changed?

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#2 – Happy Christian Women…Really??? and Drinking The Company Kool-Aid

Pam Hogeweide and Kathy Escobar have written posts in response to a recent Barna survey of Christian women requested by Jim Henderson of Off The Map for his latest writing project about how the modern American church treats women.  I believe that this is a very important issue and am disappointed that no woman is authoring the book with Jim on this project (Pam addresses this in her post) but do appreciate that Jim is at least asking women (here) to let him know if their experience matches the survey results from Barna (mine don’t and I let him know).  Check it out and let your voice be heard.

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#3 – Good News and Bad News

The good news is that the PCUSA General Assembly voted in favor of lifting the ban of non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy.  The bad news is that they voted to not even hear or discuss the issue of same sex marriage and so it is tabled for two more years.

Soul Force held a demonstration at the proceedings and some were arrested because they refused to leave.  There seemed to be some differing opinions (check out Shuck and Jive post and comments) about Soul Force being there but I appreciated them being there to represent the voice of the oppressed and excluded.

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Three Things Tuesday

JENNIFER KNAPP

Jennifer Knapp, Christian music artist, recently came out publicly about being gay and in a long term same sex relationship.  Check out her facebook page and you will find that another coming out has occurred as you read all the argumentative and condemning messages that so many Christians are posting there.  There are Christians coming out as allies who aren’t so hateful (check out this post by Chad Holtz) but they seem to be in the minority.

FYI – I am straight, married, with two sons and Christian (although I prefer to use the label “follower of Christ” since the label “Christian” has so much negative baggage) and I have seriously studied scripture and found that there is not clear evidence (when you look at original language and historical context) that loving, monogamous same sex relationships are wrong.  Without sufficient evidence I believe that it is unjust to condemn and oppress people in loving, monogamous same sex relationships.  If Christians who believe these relationships are wrong continue to refuse to admit that their interpretation is only one interpretation and that there is a possibility that they are wrong they (imo) continue to look ungenerous, unkind, stubborn, unreasonable and lose credibility all the way around.

And one more thing … if they are right why is it that they are so obsessed with this particular sin and how do they justify trying to bully and intimidate others into agreeing with them and do they really think they are going to change someone’s mind by winning their argument and why aren’t they more concerned with being kind, loving, generous, compassionate, merciful, patient and humble.  I could understand them getting a little riled up if they were actually standing up for some individual that was being mistreated or hurt but I don’t understand their passion about this issue and the way they treat others over it.  It really seems that they care the most about convincing everyone they are right and forcing everyone to agree with them.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention …  Knapp’s new album, Letting Go, will be released May 11.  Check it out here. If you preorder from her site you get Evolving EP free.  I already received mine and am loving it.

Perspectives on Arizona’s Immigration Law

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently signed into law the highly controversial senate bill 1070 which is considered to be the harshest anti-illegal immigrant law in the country.  The bill makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally, empowers Arizona police to verify immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion, enacts harsher penalties on employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants, and makes it a crime to transport, harbor, or shield illegal immigrants.

As you might have guessed there are two opposing Christian views of the bill.  I thought Emily Patterson-Jackson wrote a well balanced post covering the two views.  Check out her post here.

TransFORM

I’m headed to Washington, DC this week for the TransFORM: East Coast Gathering.  I’m really excited about the guest speakers who will be there and the crazy part is the conference is completely free.  Everyone working on this conference is donating their time and energies for free because they believe in the ideas that this conference supports.  I think that is amazing and beautiful.  I’m also really excited about the attendees – I know so many of them through facebook and twitter and now I will get to meet them face to face – in person.   Check out the info on the conference here.   Some of the main sessions will be live on the Ustream Channel online.

Three Things Tuesday

Here are three things that I wanted to share with you this week:

Homebrewed Christianity is running a new series by a fellow named Michael Camp.  The series is called “I Survived The Christian Right” The first post of the series is about legalism and the second is about Bible abuse.  I could relate to a lot of what he had to say and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

Cindy McCain, the wife of former Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, has posed to demonstrate her support of marriage equality.  (If you aren’t familiar with the NOH8 campaign you can check them out here.)

Cindy joins her daughter, Meghan, in posing for the NOH8 campaign.

Cindy’s husband, John, is still against legalizing same sex marriage (and against doing away with DADT).

I don’t know if it makes a difference but I am glad that there are some Republicans finally “coming out” with their support of marriage equality.

Stay on the lookout for a new podcast that will be up and running in the near future:

HCX – HardCore Xianity.  A podcast for the outcast & apostate. An outcast is someone who has been rejected by society or a social group. An apostate is a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.

The HCX team is made up of Adele Sakler,  Drew Tatusko,  Meridith White-Zeager and Ryan Kemp-Pappan

You can follow them on twitter @hcxianity and on facebook.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words – SBC kicks out gay friendly church

437384421_0e216c1a1eLove Loud: Actions Speak Louder Than Words is the Southern Baptist Convention’s theme this year.

I find the theme ironic in light of their recent decision to expel Broadway Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas from the SBC due to the fact that Broadway (in their opinion) did not put enough effort into opposing homosexuality.

Back in 2007 Broadway Baptist was preparing to celebrate its 125th birthday and part of that celebration was to include a church pictorial directory that would include yearbook style photos of its members and families.  A problem arose when some gay couples (I think it was three gay couples) asked to have their pictures included.  It quickly became a divisive struggle as the church began to disagree as to whether allowing the gay couples’ photos to appear in the directory would be an endorsement of homosexuality.  After much debate and a vote, it was decided that no family photos would be used – instead group photos would be taken and published in the directory.  The issue led to a lot of conflict within the church and eventually to a motion before the SBC to disassociate from Broadway.

There was no evidence that the church endorsed or affirmed homosexuality but the SBC eventually decided that there was a lack of active opposition (like asking gay persons to resign from their volunteer positions and offering some sort of restorative ministry for gays) and voted to oust Broadway Baptist after a 127 year relationship with them.

I remember when I first heard about the directory issue at Broadway – I was disappointed that it was an issue, after all, they weren’t worried about including pictures of gossips, gluttons, adulterers, thieves, liars, drug users, unwed mothers, divorced people or even straight people who didn’t think homosexual relationships were sinful – they were only concerned about including pictures of gay couples, and I was disappointed that they ended up with the “no family photos” decision.  I thought it was a poor attempt in demonstrating the love of Jesus.  But now that they have been ousted by the SBC I feel a little better about their “small step for gaykind”.  I still think it is sort of lame that Christians can shock the world so easily by displaying a little tolerance – I really think we should be shocking the world with an extravagant and generous love – but I think the attention this church has received over this issue is going to help in the long run.  So, as sad as I am that there are still so many who think God’s mission is to keep openly gay people from serving in the Kingdom of God and from being recognized members of the body of Christ, I am hopeful because of those who are slowly standing up against that kind of mindset and I am thankful that Broadway Baptist did not take formal congregational action to condemn homosexuality (as some conservatives wanted to see happen).  Click here to read “Disfellowship and Dismay”, an excellent column from the interim pastor of Broadway Baptist.

No matter what the SBC says – I think their actions are loud and clear!