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Posts Tagged ‘gay’

As many of you know, Trey Pearson of the Christian music group, Everyday Sunday came “out of the closet” yesterday. Once you get into social media, there is a firestorm of commentators from every side of the conversation spitting out Bible verses to support their personal feelings and beliefs. The sad part is, for the most part, they are taking verses out of context and painting conflicting and sometimes hateful pictures.

So, with this in mind, I thought I would dig out this study we did a little while back at digs into the topic in an honest and complete manner. Enjoy!

“This is not your normal sermon on homosexuality….

`Few topics divide the world and the church like homosexuality. For that matter, few things divide the church like the same topic.

The issues within the GLBT community effect our politics, views, and most of all… personal lives. Many have been hurt, driven to anger or just fall away over past hurts and experiences and the divide deepens.

At The Shepherd’s Fellowship, we believe in 100% love and 100% truth. Can this also apply to the conversation of homosexuality? Be part of our study and see what you find as we dig into a hot button but critical study.”

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So, I enjoy many of George Takei’s posts on his Facebook page like many people do. Sure, he and I have different views on some things but that doesn’t mean he’s not funny, thought provoking, and interesting. However, there is a new one he put out that many people are sharing around that made me take notice. While it makes his point, I also see some concerns as it is laid out to appear to be an excerpt from a sermon given by a pastor. It seems many are drawn to it because (at face value) it ties into a heart many Christians have that the “church” in the past has overly beaten up on people in the GLBT community and have stayed blind to other sins we have grown comfortable with. This is a real concern but that doesn’t mean this post is without problems. First, let me say that I do believe the church in many areas have treated people in the GLBT community very poorly in the past and in the present. I have a huge heart for those who have been hurt before and the continuing conversation around this emotional and personal topic. This post is not to trash on people in the GLBT community, it is to explore concerns I have in how this one piece chooses to categorize a certain view and a misrepresentation of Scripture to paint a picture more than be a healthy two way dialogue that we need more of. Also, this post is more for those within the church than it is those outside the church. Second, let me share with you what he put out…. 1939444_922950577734396_3202163858725274414_n Third, let me share random thoughts as you consider the post…. (more…)

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I am growing weary. Actually, I think many people are. We are growing weary of loud voices taking extreme positions that drown out any healthy dialogue on important conversations. There are huge issues in our country including racism, homosexuality, religious beliefs, and more that impact real people in very personal ways that are being treated like stones to throw at others with damaging intent.

I can not go on-line without seeing people offended, angry, and militant about issues that could easily be a conversation instead of a shouting match. I watch people who have the same beliefs I do and people with beliefs different than I do treat each other in the most vicious of ways. I see people choosing to be offended instead of responding with a sense of humor or grace at the smallest infractions. I marvel that many ignore starvation, killing, poverty and war to focus crusades against conservatives or liberals.

We could blame the media. They certainly have done their fair share to raise what they think will get people watching more than reporting the news anymore. Many times when you read comments after a “news story” on-line, it is full of people amazed at how sensitive and/ or mean people have become. At the same time, there is still a fair share of commenters that jump on the band wagon and start trashing others.

I believe it is a “rubber band” effect. For a long time, there are many that did not have a voice. Now that they do, (in some areas) it’s yelling instead of conversation. For a long time, others were the only voices. Now that they are not, (in some areas) the talk has become defensive trying to protect their ground.

How I pray for more common sense, common decency, and common respect.

Tolerance is a word thrown around a lot now a days. I don’t see a lot of it in the loud voices on either side. Even some will brag about how tolerant they are while at the same time trashing on conservatives because their views are different than their own.

You do not have to agree with my beliefs for me to be your friend. However, we are losing the art of that.

Since I have been ranting on…. I’ll give you an hypothetical example that will probably get some mad at me.

Let’s say, I went to a caterer wanting them to do an event to celebrate my son’s baptism. I did not know the owner was muslim until he says, “I appreciate you thinking of us but as a muslim, I just don’t feel comfortable. I’m not the best fit.” Once I heard this, I would understand, thank him for his time, and go to another caterer. He didn’t act in a negative way towards me nor did I to him. We left with mutual respect.

It would never cross my mind to sue him, start a campaign against him, trash him on the news and yelp, and the like. I can respect his views and would never think about forcing him to serve my beliefs.

I also would not take the approach that the best way to show my anger that this man would not do business with me because our beliefs were different by championing others to pull their business from him because his belief was different than me. At the core, it’s the same action.

We can have different beliefs. (We can think the other is wrong on an issue without disrespecting one another on it.)

We can have the same tolerance and love for one another as we discuss our differences, experiences, and emotions.

We can not trash on one another and then pretend we are the victim because not one is listening anymore.

Again, random thoughts that have turning in my head for a bit….. Time to let them out.

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This is not your normal sermon on homosexuality….

Few topics divide the world and the church like homosexuality. For that matter, few things divide the church like the same topic.

The issues within the GLBT community effect our politics, views, and most of all… personal lives. Many have been hurt, driven to anger or just fall away over past hurts and experiences and the divide deepens.

At The Shepherd’s Fellowship, we believe in 100% love and 100% truth. Can this also apply to the conversation of homosexuality? Be part of our study and see what you find as we dig into a hot button but critical study.

Read Full Post »

The Scarlet Thread of Rahab by Randy Thomas

For years, even after becoming a Christian, I was dead set against Christians being involved in public policy. Today, I have to confess with Francis Schaeffer that “true spirituality covers all of reality.” If I am truly to be salt and light to the world, unsavory and dark, then I am compelled to be politically engaged — from the basics of voting, to the extended calling of engagement with civic leaders.

And so I’ve found myself, formerly a rabid liberal, in recent years looking more like a pawn for the vast right wing conspiracy.

Shortly after marriage was redefined in Massachusetts in 2004 I was invited by the New Jersey Family Policy Council (NJFPC) to share my testimony of overcoming homosexuality, and to give my public support for their efforts to pass a constitutional amendment affirming marriage as only between a man and a woman. The group was going to sponsor four meetings in four different New Jersey cities. It was an honor to be invited as one of the speakers.

As I spoke over the phone with Len Deo, director of NJFPC, I could tell that his heart for those of us who have or have had same-sex attractions was very rich with compassionate grace. As we finished our conversation, he mentioned that they were using the biblical story of Jericho as a metaphor to help inspire people to “battle” for marriage.

As you may know, the wandering nation of Israel was eventually commanded by the Lord to take the Promised Land one battle at a time. In the case of Jericho, God commanded Israel to march around the heavily fortified city walls for seven days. On the seventh day they were to blast their horns and the walls of the city would fall. Because of the direction of God, the obedience of Israel and the miracle of God’s intervention, Jericho was conquered.

When I hung up the phone with Len I found myself praying, “Lord, I don’t want to do this in that context. I know they have a great heart, but why does it always come down to ‘battle’ language? I don’t want to talk battle language. Should I even go?”

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So I’m traveling right now and thought I’d take a sec and give a brief update (though I will go more in depth later).

My first stop was day in Nashville, my favorite city so far in my travels over my life. I stopped there to spend an evening with a Christian buddy of mine named David. Like others I will discuss on this trip, we had not met before but have known each other for the last couple years on an on-line discussion board of a wide range of people. There you find Christians and Non-Christians, Straight and Gay folks, grace giving and, well, let’s just say, not so grace giving folks. It’s an interest on-line community that I have come to love. I have had the privilege to meet some of the friends from there (my buddies Kevin and Pat) and on this trip, I got to meet two more.

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