Archives For homosexuality

This week, Arizona finds itself at the center of American political discussion.

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Rep. Steve Yarborough is concerned about religious people being discriminated against.

The reason? The bill that now sits on the governor’s desk, waiting for a signature or a veto, which protects businesses and their “religious convictions.”

The religious convictions in question are specifically those convictions which pertain to whom the business owner should deny service.

Last year, an Arizona couple were denied service by a bakery when they requested a wedding cake. A New Mexico couple were turned down by a photographer because taking pictures would violate his convictions as a “born again Christian.” Both couples were denied service because they are same-sex couples.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve Yarborough says, “This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”

I’ll let you parse the irony of that statement as you see fit. I don’t have a thing to say about it.

But as the cost of doing business in America rises, financially and for some people, morally, there is a lot that I am thankful for as bills like these are debated all over the country. Continue Reading…

I love my wife.

But sometimes, I don’t tell her enough.  Or I don’t communicate it in a way that she can receive it.

That’s not her fault.  It’s my fault for presuming that she should just feel loved because she’s married to me.

In the last couple of weeks, a couple of news stories have caught my attention.  One is national news (at least in Christian circles), jmac1002the Strange Fire conference, led by John MacArthur.  The other was local news in my town.  A couple of restaurant patrons, in lieu of a tip, wrote a “loving” message to their server, whom they assumed was homosexual.  (You can see where this is going already.  Be warned, there are slurs quoted below.)

And although both events seem as if they have nothing in common, they have a common thread.  The perpetrators invoked “love” as their motivation.

It seems that “love” really does cover a multitude of sins, at least if you tell everyone that’s your motivation.  But these two examples prove, once again, how good Christians can be at using the word “love” in vain, and both can teach us something about what it means to truly love others.

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You probably already know this…FrancisPlane

Basically, Pope Francis is a rock star.  He just finished touring South America, where he was mobbed by thousands of cheering people on beaches.  There is nothing solemn, reserved, or shy about him.  He is magnetic.  I’m not a Catholic, but I like this guy a lot.

And as if a successful tour of a continent weren’t enough, Francis really made news while talking to reporters, going off-script, as it were, and uttering these words:

“Who am I to judge?”

You may already know the context of those words.  But if you don’t, you can read about it here.

My first thought was, “Who are you to judge??? You’re the freaking Pope, that’s who!  You can judge whoever the heck you want!”

But as the utter profundity, the ironic contradiction of the Pope’s words seeped into my mind, I realized something:

That much of my life, my faith has been broken.  It’s been saddled with an illness, an illness not unlike obsessive-compulsive disorder.  You know, the condition where the guy has to have everything just right, everything in its place.

This is my Obsessive-Compulsive Christianity. Continue Reading…

Jesus had some bad habits.

I’m sure he didn’t brush his teeth everyday.  And he was pretty bad at giving people direct answers to their questions.  He was known to have bad table manners when he went to the temple…

…And Jesus was friends with all the wrong people.

Of course, you already know that.  You know that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors and all sorts of other seedy characters.  They were the “wrong” people to be hanging out with.  We romanticize this idea – how welcoming and kind Jesus was to everyone to all the outcasts…

…And then we make sure we do the opposite.

Since my post last week sparked a lot of good discussion, I’ve been thinking a lot about who are the “wrong” people for us to hang out with, the “wrong” sins to forgive.

The conclusion I came to surprised me.

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How far will our churches go in order to preserve so-called “Biblical” values?

I have said it before – that in the future, churches will have a very real choice to make about how they treat a growing population of young people that identify as gay.

That day has come.

Credit: The Huffington Post

Credit: The Huffington Post

Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched the commentaries and predictions trickle out about how churches will react to the Boy Scouts’ decision to allow gay youth members (the alternative has been to retroactively and horrifyingly strip boys of their awards after coming out).  The consensus among prominent evangelical leaders such as Dr. Richard Land seems to be that among the Baptists, the Assemblies of God, and other conservative wings of the church, there will be a “mass exodus.”  Churches will stop sponsoring scouting units in protest of the new policy.

On the surface, I can see how an average evangelical might think this is justified.  Homosexuality is supposedly not “Biblical,” after all.  Being “Biblical” and thinking “Biblically” and having a “Biblical” worldview is always the great monolithic justification for churches acting this way.

But what it looks like to me?  It looks like thousands of churches are finally going to announce – once and for all – that their priority is being Biblical churches, not Gospel churches.

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Christians,

On Wednesday, you broke records, so they say.  You ate a crap-load of processed chicken sandwiches and mayonnaise based secret sauce.  I want to know if anyone ate the carrot-raisin salad instead of fries.  I can’t imagine anyone ordering that.

supporters_flock_to_chic_file_9415641_a165d5e8a2d8f56c73755e8dcb17c3e9You had some people outside your ranks support you and eat along with you.

And some of your own were embarrassed by you.  They averted their eyes and went to Burger King instead.  They pointed fingers.  They were ashamed of you.

They say you stand for hate.

And bigotry.

And they ask if this is what it’s come to.  Is this what moves and mobilizes the church?  Chicken sandwiches?

I’m not going to judge your motivations.  Plenty of other Christians already are.  So I won’t claim to know why you were standing in line.

I’ve got something much bigger on my mind then why you were in line on Wednesday.

Right now, take everything else out of the equation, and just imagine what we could do if we could get excited about something as much as we got excited for one day about chicken.

Continue Reading…