December 20, 2013

In Which The Phil Robertson Event Becomes Irrelevant

So it's a day or so after Billy Whiskers Phil Robertson helped to stir up all sorts of outrage over his comments concerning gays and blacks in civil-rights era Louisiana. I still think that Phil owes the LGBTQ community an apology for the dehumanizing tone of his statements and members of the church of Christ (and Christians at large) an apology for the coarse and vulgar manner of stating his opinion that served only to bring reproach upon himself and the church at large. A man that serves as an elder should be mature and compassionate enough to know how to speak in a more gracious manner.

But that's all irrelevant.

For lots of reasons, in the big picture, but for a very specific reason in my life.

This morning I received a phone call from my dearest friend. I answered expecting to hear her cheerful voice, but I heard the choking gasps of anguished grief.

December 19, 2013

Why Phil Robertson Hurts the Church of Christ

I'm a member of the church of Christ (coC) denomination, just like Phil Robertson, the ZZ Top imitator that's the star of a reality TV show. There's a big difference between us, though. I was raised in the coC from childhood, and left it for a decade due to people with attitudes like Mr. Robertson promoted. Trust me when I tell you that when a coC member expresses his opinion in the way Phil did, you can bet that the LGBT community and people of color aren't the only ones looked down upon by them. Anyone that doesn't agree with their doctrine, people with mental illness, divorced people, feminists and women are second-class citizens in their worldview. That's because their worldview consists of the 'saved' inside the conservative coC and everyone else that is 'outside' of the coC.

There are a lot of people in the coC that want to move forward with gender equality and a new discussion on sexuality, but the reactions to Phil's comments are going to do nothing but cause a lot of people that are in the 'undecided' category to hunker down and retreat into the old exclusivist sectarian doctrine. That's going to shut down the possibility of gender equality discussions in a lot of coC congregations, and put back an open dialogue on human sexuality a decade or two.

December 17, 2013

Burning the Witches

Even though we think we're all compassionate and forgiving as Christians, we still love to burn us some witches.

Today, Rachel Held Evans tweeted about finding some of her work plagiarized by Amy L. Fritz in a blog post (since removed). This instance of plagiarism was nine paragraphs copied verbatim from a post Rachel wrote for Qideas. Of course, Twitter caught for immediately, with critical chirps and squawks aimed at Amy, her husband, and eventually back at Rachel.

December 5, 2013

Choose Your Lens

The more I've looked at my own heart, and watched the struggles of other people, the more I'm convinced that the problems and divisions manifesting themselves in Christianity these days isn't about lack of knowledge.

We all have a problem with vision. Not the 'vision' of future plans, but of our spiritual eyesight.

We make so many theological decisions that have huge personal and social implications for us based solely on evidence presented to us. But how we look at that evidence makes a world of difference in how we treat others and ourselves.

Do we see the world as fallen into evil, or do we see it as God's good creation? Do we see people as depraved sinners, or do we see each person as a bearer of God's image ? Are we living out the law of sin and death, or the law of love?