Archives For CHURCH/SPIRITUALITY

My Confession

April 18, 2014 — 11 Comments
my confession - man praying before cross

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I have a confession to make.

I see grace growing in my life.

I see an ability growing in my life to withstand loss and suffering. I don’t love it, but I can do it, and I do not fear it.

I see growing in my life, imperfectly but perceptibly, the capacity to be criticized and respond with unforced kindness and love.

I see in my life the beginnings of a genuine love and care for the one person I have never been able to love. Me.

I also see in my life areas of deep brokenness and darkness, with perhaps more clarity than I have ever seen them before. And yet they do not depress or discourage me, as I know one day they too will be forgiven, redeemed, and brought into the light.

I know this does not come from me, because it started at the very moment I ran out of me and seemingly had nothing left at all.

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homosexuality -- hate and love

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During the days of slavery, people who kept countering the “Biblical” arguments for slavery with the “Biblical” arguments for the end of slavery were wasting their time. The very back and forth of it made it seem like possibly those who argued from scripture in support of slavery had a point at least worth opposing.

Instead, somebody needed to stand up and say, “I don’t give a damn what scriptures you throw at me, or how you spin them. Slavery is WRONG, and you’re sick, and that’s the end of it. Call me a heretic or whatever, but the universe arcs toward justice and in the end you’ll have been on the wrong side of both history and theology.”

Likewise, I don’t care what scriptures people are throwing out to justify the discrimination and hatred against gays. And let me be clear — it’s hatred on a level that is hard to imagine.I’m not talking about merely taking a theoretical position for or against “homosexuality.” I’m talking about a way of treating people whose sexual preference is different from your own. That is where you see the hatred. I’m thinking now of all those people who called and canceled their child sponsorships with World Vision because they didn’t like the idea that they might end up drinking at the same water foundation as a gay person. Apparently not even feeding hungry children is worth doing if a gay person’s hands might touch the food first.

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the truth -- never let fear keep you from truth

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The most significant moment of my moral life was the moment I decided to never allow fear, or being offended, to keep me from considering whether something is true.

Make that commitment and your life will never be the same. It’s the moral equivalent of taking the red pill.

When you make that decision, you wake up. You start seeing with clarity you never knew was possible. The first thing you start to see is your own fear and defensiveness, how deeply rooted in you they both are, how quickly you become offended and fearful.

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scales of justice -- michigan gay marriage ban overturned

Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey, on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

It’s official. Michigan’s constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage has been declared unconstitutional. Things in Michigan are about to change, big-time.

I was one of the people going to door to door having people sign petitions to get the gay marriage ban onto the ballot in 2004. As a pastor, I even encouraged people in my church to do it. I now regret that very deeply.

I know I hurt some people at the time and drove wedges between myself and others unnecessarily.

What can I say? I was 35 — just a youngster! I was trying to hard to be “radical for Jesus,” but now I understand that the kind of radical Jesus was went way beyond my small-minded notions at that time.

Jesus was, and is, radical enough to let people make their own choices. Jesus never forced anyone to believe, or tried to shout down his opponents. He simply allowed people to live their lives, and let them know that, whether they realized it or not, they were already standing in the refreshing stream of the mercy and love of God, which was available to them freely.

That mercy and love is available to you too, no matter who you are. God created you and loves you. You may be gay or straight. You may struggle with your sexuality or embrace it. You are a creation of God, a work in progress, a gift to the world.

I apologize to those I hurt and have wronged by my well-intended zeal on this issue.

If you are gay, I want you to know that for some time now I have supported your right to live according to your best understanding of how you should live. That’s not a religious issue, it’s an issue of how we treat human beings in a free and pluralistic society.

Justice has been served today.

bachmann -- gays bullying america

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Check out this audio clip of Michele Bachmann talking about how gays are bullying America:

Wow. How poignant. I didn’t realize how many gays have targeted their straight classmates in schools and picked on them mercilessly.

I guess I hadn’t heard about gangs of gays tying straight people to fences, beating them within an inch of their lives, and leaving them to die alone in the wilderness.

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