Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We must take sides.

The Novel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Delivered by Elie Wiesel is Oslo on December 10, 1986

And then I explain to him how naive we were, that the world did not know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must takes sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national orders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must--at that moment--become the center of the universe.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Read this...

Click here and read a thoughtful and appropriately challenging post by pF2.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Next year!

I'm usually not a big "new years resolutions" kind of guy, but this year, i think I'm going to give it a shot. While I have several personal goals, certain ones I think are most appropriate for this blog. They are as follows:

- Construct my very own "defense" for my sexuality. A lot of people have done a lot of work on these sorts of things, and I will draw heavily from their work. However, I feel that is important to articulate it for myself since I supposedly have a theological education, AND I feel like there are few resources that explain the issues in a way that will fly for conservative people who take the Bible very seriously (or at least think they do). If I am ever going to be real with my family and many of my old friends, I am going to have to be very sure about what I believe and why I believe it and be able to converse about it in detail.

- Develop friendships with those in the gay community. As of now, most of my interactions with the gay community have been online through blogging or various other means. Wherever I end up with my career, I want to get plugged in with a group of people with whom I can be myself around even if every other social circle puts up barriers.

- Come out to my close friends. If one of these resolutions is to fail it will be this one, yet it's the one I would like to see happen most of all. I suppose that means it's the riskiest one. I have a couple of very close friends with whom I share much of work and life. At this point, I feel like I am being dishonest with them by not letting them know about this HUGE part of my life.

- Fall in love. No, I don't necessarily mean dating or finding someone to spend my life with, etc. I just want to have a major crush of the Jr. High variety. For so long I have denied that part of my being and I find it hard to be vulnerable to love and romance. I want to get past that and encounter someone that makes me giddy and nervous... someone that will occupy my mind incessantly; someone about whom I can imagine lots of crazy things. For once, I want to feel fully human.

Right now, I cannot imagine what life will be like a year from now. So much has to happen between now and then, and it frightens me. I've never felt so clueless in my life, and I guess it's finally time that I practice what I preach and learn to trust the surprising winds of the Spirit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

About the previous post

I never paid much attention to this song. I just figured it was another sappy Christmas tear-jerker that everyone wants to hear in or order to get their warm, fuzzy feeling, climaxing at the big flashy high note at the end.

However, it occurred to me that this song is about much more than a romanticized, irrelevant story--and so is Christmas more than that! It's about... the thrill of hope, the breaking in of a new and glorious morn, it's about a God who struggles with us--in all our trials born to be our friend. Jesus was not born to condemn the broken and save the "perfect"--he was born to befriend those who suffer, and to suffer himself: He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger. Wow.

There are many times I stop believing. Having faith is a constant struggle. But, this year, after sorting through the facts about who I am, I have begun to find great hope in my belief. When I imagine the reign of God, it is not some abstract theological concept that has nothing to do with me. It has very real implications. It's something about which I can vividly dream. It's something I can pray for and it's something I can fight for. It's a phenomenon that, at times like Christmas, I feel has already begun.

Everyone (I think) has a very real struggle--mine happens to be homosexuality. I now believe that until we accept that Christ can redeem and make beautiful whatever keeps us down, we will never know what a "new earth" may look like. May we all march toward that dream and find ourselves thrilled by hope this season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

His law is love and his gospel is peace.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Monday, December 8, 2008

"Biblical marriage" is a farce!

Here's a great article:

Thanks to Scott Jones who mentioned it on his blog.

This makes a great case for two points: the conservative American ideal of "traditional" family is NOT a biblical notion, and it's hermeneutically irresponsible to suggest otherwise AND homosexual relationships are not addressed in scripture.

I think all of these things are pretty obvious to anyone who conducts a level-headed investigation upon the subject. The problem is we're not having this conversation, and can get away with such statements like "The Bible defends marriage between one man and one woman." Really, now? it's time to call BULL SHIT on these kinds of statements--wether you are straight or gay.