Esta es una entrada muy aleatoria, pero yo he estado viendo que yo tengo algunos visitantes españoles en los días recientes, ¡así yo solamente quería decir bienvenidos a vosotros muy rápidamente! En la universidad, yo tengo una especialidad en la lingüística, pero tengo una especialidad secundaria en español también, así me encanta ver que muchas personas de alrededor el mundo están leyendo este blog. Eso es una locura para mí, especialmente cuando yo veo que Google Translate está refiriendo a personas a mi blog. Por eso, yo quería reconocer todos de los visitantes de países hispanohablantes, pero especialmente España, porque yo puedo ver que yo tengo una buena cantidad de lectores de allí.
Así, bienvenidos a mi blog, y me encanta que vosotros estáis leyendo, y ¡por favor os sintáis libres para mandarme un mensaje si queréis hablar conmigo! Jesucristo os ama, y vosotros no sois solos.
This is important.
This is one of those places where you need to ask yourself whether your theology is getting in the way of loving people. I really doubt that anyone can feel so strongly in their conscience against any sin that they can refuse to be loving toward people. That’s exactly what our Example did not do. He knew the Scriptures perfectly. He was the One who wrote them. But did He reject people or turn them away because they were too sinful or too dirty? No, Jesus engaged with those people. He associated Himself with those people. He ate with those people. He died on a cross alongside two of those people. He forgave one of those people while He was at His last breaths. Jesus loved and welcomed the people that needed to be loved. Why aren’t we doing the same thing?
So, is your theology getting in the way of loving people?
Dear Christians In Indiana (and those elsewhere, who might read this),
I’ve seen what’s been going on there lately. Actually, I’ve been watching you all along and I really need to let you know something, just in case you misunderstand:
This isn’t what I had planned.
This wasn’t the Church I set the table for.
It wasn’t the dream I had for you, when I spoke in those parables about the Kingdom; about my Kingdom.
It was all supposed to be so very different.
It was supposed to be a pervasive, beautiful, relentless “yeast in the dough” that permeated the planet; an unstoppable virus of compassion and mercy spread person-to-person, not needing government or law or force.
It was supposed to be that smallest, seemingly most insignificant of seeds, exploding steadily and gloriously with the realized potential of my sacred presence, becoming a place of safety and shelter for all people.
Wow, it’s been almost a week since I’ve been around here. That’s kinda crazy. Spring break feels like it was barely yesterday when I first put this up publicly and watched God do some crazy things. But life seems to have gotten ahead of me a little bit. As short-ish update: I’ve been sick this whole entire past week (story of my life), so getting by with school and getting healthy again have been my priorities. However, I’ve definitely been keeping track of how many days it’s been since I last wrote anything, and hopefully, I’ll be able to be around about once or twice a week with a new post, God-willing and life-providing in the future.
Anyway, something that I neglected to think about when I initially put this blog out there was the fact that I had already been writing for two months before anyone saw any of it. Thus, I’m sure people have inferred from reading the newest posts what this blog is about and sort of what my stances are, but I thought that a nice little reintroduction post was in order before I get on with talking about some more things. And I promise I will! I definitely have some questions from followers and readers that I’ve been meaning to answer in posts; I just need to wrap my head fully around them and make sure that I’m saying what God wants me to say about those things. So be on the look out for those after this post. Continue reading “a reintroduction: the who, what, when, where, and why”→
Though I honestly don’t necessarily agree with the tone of this article or have a strong opinion either way on whether churches should or should not be affirming in this way, because I don’t think that this is a dogmatic issue, I do fully agree with the fact that perhaps churches should start looking for ways to support a celibate vocation rather than simply finding a way around it.
Personally, I believe that there are many ways that Christians could go about addressing their homosexuality or same-sex attractions in a way that is right with God. I’m not advocating moral relativism, but I do think that God calls people to different things, whether that is celibacy, a celibate same-sex relationship, or whatever else He may call you to.
Main point: I am still fully supportive of lifelong celibacy as a legitimate calling from God, and I do wish that the church in general had more ministries and more support systems for people who have been called to that life. It’s tragic for me to see the church advocating celibacy while doing nothing to practically help people who are struggling with trying to figure out how to live that life.
Last week, City Church, a large evangelical church in San Francisco released this letter from its pastor and elders reflecting a shift in their position on same-sex sexual relationships. While they are not the first, nor will they be the last church to do so, their shift is particularly noteworthy because of the church’s original roots in the Presbyterian Church in America, a very conservative evangelical denomination, where it was planted in the model of Tim Keller’s Redeemer Church in New York City. All of this hits a bit close to home for me as an elder in a city church in the PCA.
What I found especially noteworthy were two points made in the letter justifying the shift—one biblical and one pastoral. The elders at City Church write,
For so long this has been a “case closed” kind of issue for evangelicals. But in recent years, multiple respected evangelical scholars and…
“It’s a tragic thing, when rather than prayerfully examining their own mistreatment of any group of people, a Christian would more quickly seek to undermine the integrity and motivation of someone supporting that group.”
This post is so good, just like all of his posts, but this one especially resonates with me today. Give it a read. Give any of John’s posts a read. It’ll all be worth your time.
“John, are you a homosexual? A simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ will suffice?”
– Ralph, (a Christian blog reader)
I’m not so sure a yes or no answer will suffice.
I’m actually quite sure that it won’t.
This is such sad and unfortunate response, though I wish I could say that it was a rare one.
I will often get a (sometimes quite colorful) variation on this theme, from professed religious folk on my blog comments, especially when an impasse is reached and they find that I will not likely be moved from my position: “Dude, you must be a fag!” (You know—sweet, loving, Jesus kind of stuff, like that).
Apparently to some Christians, the only logical explanation for a person of faith speaking on behalf of the “homosexual” community, is that they themselves must also be so: a sort of, covert queer self-preservation.
This post will conclude what is, in my mind, a three part series on what I believe about and what God has been teaching me about celibacy and relationships in regards to LGBT Christians. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m done talking about those things. I just feel like all three of these posts are intricately tied together, which is why I’ll link to them here as well in case you haven’t read them.
So take a look at those two posts if you haven’t read them yet. Hopefully you’ll see that they all sort of flow together.
Finally, one last thing before I get started on this post. Don’t forget that at the bottom of every page on this blog there’s a button you can press to subscribe via email. That way, you’ll get an email every time I post something new. So go and do that if you care to follow along with what I’m writing. I always love to connect with new people, share thoughts, and see what they have to say. Continue reading “making sense of the seemingly insensible (on same-sex relationships)”→
I’ve referenced and posted links to some stuff that Julie Rodgers has spoken about or written about before, but I just think that everyone should read this. It’s such a real, honest, not-angry explanation of part of what it’s like to be one of us.
I sincerely appreciate her and everything that she’s done to advocate for LGBT people. That’s so important, especially in today’s world where the sides have been getting even more heated than before. We need this kind of light and love shining into this topic.
Finally, I can also attest that I’ve also experienced what she wrote about in the first three paragraphs with almost the exact same reaction. It feels good to feel like you fit in and belong, like you don’t have to wear a mask and pretend to be something that you’re not, and that’s not a wrong thing to feel because I think it dimly reflects what we can find in Christ and in an ideal Christian community. Ah. So yeah, read this. She has some really good things to say.
Again, I just want to thank everyone who visited this blog yesterday for being so overwhelmingly supportive and wonderful. It really means so much more than you think, and I appreciate it so much. God has been so good, and everyone has been really awesome.
That being said, I also received a minor flood of messages and things like that yesterday filled with support and also questions. I may have forgotten to mention that I absolutely love hearing your thoughts and your questions. If there’s anything specific that anyone would want me to talk about, look into, or address, please, please, please feel free to message me, text me, email me, whatever you want.
The whole point of this blog is so that I can share what God has been teaching me, and if you can help God teach me more by asking me hard questions, I’d absolutely love that. As I said in my last short post, everything I write here is for His honor. So, if there are questions, please ask them. I’d love to address them here for the benefit of everyone.
Today has been a really crazy day. I went public with this blog for the first time in three months, which is just insanity for me. I don’t think people realized how unnerved I was and anxious for what the response would be (it was fantastic; all of you have been wonderful, and I’m so thankful for that). At the same time, the Lord gently nudged my spirit and reminded me to keep my eyes on Him and that this isn’t about me or the words that I’ve written.
So, in this really short post, I just want to thank everyone who has been really supportive of everything and also reiterate that none of this is my own doing. Everything that’s written here, everything that has happened, every response has been by the grace and blessing of the Father. It’s unreal. And trust me, nothing of what I’ve written here was by my own wisdom. I’m just a clueless human. Anything that anyone resonates with, anything that impacts any of you, it’s all God. It’s all Him. These are just things that He’s been so kindly and patiently teaching me over the past few months. All the glory is His. All of it.
And it’s been incredible. It really has. God has been so good in revealing His plan and His word to me, and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt closer to Him or stronger in my faith than right now. He is an amazing God. Don’t ever forget.
Also, listen to this song, because I basically want this song to define my life and everything that I write here.
Jesus loves you. If you ever find yourself doubting that, please come talk to me. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine.