Monthly Archives: January 2012

Are we glorifying heterosexuality?

Some thoughts on the Debate – 2 – The Glorification of Heterosexuality

Kristin pointed this post out to me this morning and at first I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but after a cup of coffee and coming through to the other side of the sleep fog, I thought this was a rather compelling argument by Peter Ould (blogger for An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy) and ultimately Jonathan Mills (author of Love, Covenant, and Meaning). In the Glorification of Heterosexuality Peter (and Jonathan) suggest that allowing sexual desire and attraction to be the leading reason for heterosexual marriage is making even the most conservative of conservative Christians a hypocrite in the fight against legalized gay marriage.

I was a little skeptical at first, the idea of marriage as a contract without romance (as I know it) doesn’t sound all of that appealing, and to call the contract a more biblical approach to marriage… well you’re beginning to tread on some very thin ice, however, I’m not too proud to admit that I may have a flawed, or perhaps limited, understanding of romance, and if you give the blog post a second, it starts to make some sense.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts here my original reaction to my parents saying that God brought them together, and I how I felt it was a bit cold, I felt they had been robbed of romance, however as I got older and got to watch their relationship mature I realized that not only was  romance there, it was something much deeper than what I was seeing declared romantic in the world around me. There was a richness and intimacy in their relationship that was missing from the stories I read, the movies I watched, and even in the relationships I experienced.

Interestingly enough, and in favor of both Peter and Jonathan’s argument, my parent’s marriage wasn’t the product of sexual desire or attraction, it was a union they felt led to by God, something that was not only His will for them, but that was for both of their betterment.

I encourage you to give it a read, if nothing else, it’s challenging to think about.

Questions, comments, concerns?

 

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The only way out is through…

This is my last week in DFW.

I’ve learned a lot being here for the past two years. I know that’s what people always say when they leave a place (well most people, I think) but it’s true. I’ve learned a lot about friendship, a lot about what it means to trust God, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve been wanting to post a kind of picture tribute to my time here in Dallas, but as I’ve been going through the pictures I realized that a lot of the big things I’ve experienced while living here haven’t necessarily been things that have gone on here. For instance, in August-September 2010 I drove back and forth from here to Austin a LOT because it was while my mom was in the hospital. Every one of those trips represents 2 and a half hour long conversations with God that kept me sane during that time, it marks a time that had a profound impact on the person I am today and I had that time because I lived up here.

Anyway, all of that to say, these pictures that I’m going to post, while they may not all be of me in Dallas, they are times that were made significant, special, or precious by having lived here (in kind of random order)

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The Next Christians

I can’t give Gabe LyonsThe Next Christians  a full review yet because I haven’t finished it, but what I can say with confidence is that the review will be good. =)

Check out this video (it says it better than I can) and then go get the book!

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Provoked and not Offended: Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

There have been a LOT of reactions to this video, which, I have to admit is why I even paid attention to it in the first place. It seemed like an easy read to me, one more person wounded by the church who wanted a plantform from which to air their frustration, but giving it credibility by saying they still loved Jesus.

Then I started seeing the reactions and none of them were good. Now, this might be a weakness of mine, but whenever I see the church, across denominations, get offended by something, it piques my interest. So I watched the video and I have to say, not only was I pleasantly surprised by the content, I was not surprised at all by the reactions I saw from my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I can empathize with the reactions, I understand the instinct to feel defensive, but I think to a degree it misses the point. I don’t believe that this video points it’s finger at any one institution, or denomination, I think it questions the individual. Haven’t we all heard the message that there’s a difference in religion and being religious? I think this video is meant to point out the difference in the two.

I also understand some of the uncomfortable phrases people have picked out of Jefferson’s poem, but I’d like to quote the one that stood out the most to me and leave this post and the video open for discussion.

“…If grace is water, then the Church should be an ocean.”

Remembering that we are the church, do our responses to this video reflect grace? Are we being provoked by this video, or offended?

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“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm…”

I just read Marks of Christ or of culture on World Magazine’s website and I thought it was interesting.  I had honestly forgotten that some Christians still have issues with tattoos, it is so much the cultural norm at this point.

I really liked the tattoo pictured in World’s post… but I’m biased for two reasons, the first being that I love The Chronicles of Narnia and the story of Eustace becoming the dragons is one of the most moving parts in those books, and second, because I have a tattoo.

When I got my tattoo I never stopped to wonder whether or not it was biblical to even get a tattoo, if I’m being honest. The world posts mentions that some Christians today are reasoning that tattoos can be great witnessing tools, but when I got mine I didn’t think of it as that either.

I went through a really dark period when I was 27, I was in a relationship that wasn’t healthy (to say the least) and I was really struggling with issues of self-worth and questions about my faith. In the middle of it all I had quite an epic dream. Let me mention here that I am a very lucid dreamer, I always have been. I can remember dreams that I had when I was a very little girl and I’ve always believed that God has used my dreams to speak to me. Think it’s weird if you want. =)

So, I had this very epic detailed dream left me with the words “obscurum absum planto via pro lux lucis” floating around my head. When they were still stuck there in the morning I told a friend about them, who said they sounded like latin to him, he had another friend translate them… transliterated the words said,  “the absence of darkness lights the road.” This was very significant to me at the time, I had been praying for answers, the whole time ignoring the things that it was obvious needed to be removed from my life.

Later I had those words tattooed around a cross on the back of my neck. In the dream the words became visible on my skin and so I wanted to put them on my skin and to remember.  I chose the back of my neck because most of the time it’s covered by my hair, because the tattoo isn’t for show, it isn’t to fit in. It’s to remember, and it’s the only tattoo I have.

Kristin has a tattoo as well. She got it after my Mom’s death, her tattoo also bears deep significance to her and has nothing to do with fitting in.

Perhaps tattoos are a witnessing tool… not by having them, but by letting the tattoos others have say something to us about who they are.

Any thoughts?

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Counter Culture

In a world that’s telling you from every angle what to do, what to think, where to go, and what to say, do you know who you are?

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Better go and get your armor…

 

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

I feel like we are all entering a great time of change…

My own life is changing, but I think it’s something more than that, something more than just me. I think it’s something big.

I believe the time has come for the Body Of Christ to reunite and join the real war that is being waged around us. For so long we’ve used our labels as our battle cries; gay, straight, ex-gay, pro-life, pro-choice, democrat, republican, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Church of Christ, Mormon… etc. These labels have divided us, turned us against one another,  and we’ve forgotten who the true enemy is, the enemy of freedom.

It’s time to put aside the labels and remember how to fight, because when Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me” it was all the battle cry we needed and the battle presses in and around us with every passing moment.

Life is the battle and each one of us, every man, woman, and child, fights for our life from the moment we take our first breath until the moment we take our last. We all struggle, we all are wounded, we all have moments of great heroism and bravery, and we all suffer moments of defeat. This battle goes on every second of our existence whether or not we acknowledge it, whether or not we see it for what it is.

Instead of battling each other, The Body of Christ should be rallying around the wounded, rescuing the captured, fighting alongside those on the front lines, but where are we? WHERE ARE WE?

We send money and missionaries into foreign countries with aid to meet the needs of the sick, the hungry, the broken. We join them in their fight to survive the battle of life without questions, without condemnation, and with the hope that they will see Christ in us and become our brothers and sisters, but are we doing this for those who fight beside us everyday?

Do we reach out to the gay community with love, with friendship, with acceptance (yes, I said ACCEPTANCE), so that they may know the one who has loved us, died for us, and accepted us exactly as we are? No. We don’t fight beside them… we reject them, we want them to clean themselves up before we love them, we refuse to trust that Jesus loving them through us is enough and that whatever needs changing He will take care of in His time.

Do we offer the homeless shelter, food, money, whatever it is they are asking for and pray that whatever their need that through our kindness that they will see the love of our Great Father and that He will bring them into His house? No. We pass them by and we give ourselves the excuse of not wanting to enable them, fearing they would spend our gift on some kind of addiction or sin.

Do we care for the wounds of the sexually broken? How about the abusers and users? Do love the scarred hearts of mothers who’ve aborted their children? Do we pray for healing for the tormented souls of those who molest, rape, and murder? No. We watch their trials on television and mock them. We point our fingers and feel better about our own sin. We post status updates about just how terrible we think their actions are.We hate them and call it righteous indignation. We do not fight beside these, we abandon them on the battle field, we leave them for dead.

In all of these things we are wrong.

Our Heavenly Father is the great Master Of Arms and He has armed us, His Chosen and said, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

It’s time for us to change, it’s time for us to remember who the real enemy is, it’s time for The Body Of Christ to fight for the ones who struggle beside us and not against them.

In the last chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. Each time Peter answers yes, and following each yes, Jesus says, “Feed my lambs.” “Take care of my sheep.” “Feed my sheep…”

It’s so simple.  If we love Him, we must take care of what is His, we must fight for those who He died to save, we must feed His sheep and take care of His lambs. This isn’t just a command for those we are comfortable with, for the people we agree with, for the ones we can relate to. We are called by His blood, it’s His banner over us and nothing, not trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword can separate us from Him and He calls us more than conquerors.

It’s time for revolution. Are you ready?

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