Christmas is the Perfect Time to Protest. No, Really.

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If there’s one theme that unites these two traditions — the plate-of-cookies-for-santa narrative and the candle-light-Christmas-Eve-service narrative — it’s comfort. The warmth of firelight. The familiarity of ritual. The excitement of anticipation. It’s all very comforting.

Yesterday, the church across the street from where we live did something very uncomfortable and untraditional. They filed out the doors and into the street chanting, “Hands up — Don’t shoot!” They held signs saying, “Black lives matter to God and us,” and “We can’t breathe,” and “Do Justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” They filled the intersection in front of my building and shut down traffic (with the help of law enforcement officers, it should be added). [Read more...]

The “Closet” is OK, But Here’s an Alternate Floorplan-Based Metaphor for Coming Out

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The term “coming out” is an interesting phrase (with a long and fascinating history that you can find out about here). The imagery associated with it is one of emerging from a closet (a place of hiding) into a room (a shared space). It’s moving from a private space to a public one. It implies a decisive moment for an LGBTQ person. One minute their sexual orientation or gender identity is a secret, and the next it isn’t. [Read more...]

Why My Wife Came Out

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Last year at about this time, I wrote about when my wife came out to me as bisexual. It was an exposé of my own baggage (of which there was a lot) as well as a tribute to her patience and generosity (of which there was more).

Amid the flood of response, I received many different iterations of the same question: “Why? Why did your wife feel the need to come out at all?” [Read more...]

Labels

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Labels are tricky. On the one hand, they can be incredibly useful as tool for self-definition and community-affiliation. This was my wife’s attitude toward the word “bisexual.” Finally, she had a label that helped make sense of her experience and connect her to a community of like individuals.
On the other hand, labels can be oppressive. My wife and I tend to feel this way about the term “mixed-orientation couple” or “mixed-orientation marriage.” Technically, my wife and I fit that description; she’s bi and I’m straight. But the term seems to imply a conflict of sexual orientations that is absent in our relationship. So it’s not a particularly useful label for us. [Read more...]

Cultural Competency Vs. Cultural Humility

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The first approach is to say nothing. It’s hard to offend if you don’t open your mouth. There are any number of proverbs about “the fool” defending this position. It’s wise. However, it’s not really sustainable in the long run. The conversation around gender and sexuality has become one of the the defining issues facing the church today. As I wrote last week, moderate voices are needed.
The second approach is to equip oneself with the right vocabulary and the right set of expectations. It’s hard to offend if you don’t say anything offensive. Or at least in theory. In practice, these conversations can be very difficult to navigate, as we’ll see. But this approach is known as cultural competency.
There’s a third approach, of course. It’s cultural humility. [Read more...]

“What If They Think I’m Gay?” And Other Fears that Keep People from Engaging

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“Be Bold.” This is the declaration splashed across our website and facebook page. It’s The Marin Foundation’s motto, although it’s not one that I reflect on often. [Read more...]

4 Things I’ve Learned from Matthew Vines and Julie Rodgers

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The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  Does the Bible support or prohibit same-sex relationships? This question behind a three-part series, “The Bible and Homosexuality,” that we’ve put on as [Read More...]

Mixed-Orientation Marriages

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The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  When my wife came out to me as bisexual two-and-a-half years ago, I was immediately overcome with a sinking feeling that this information [Read More...]

The Bible’s Answer to the Problem of Sexism (Part 2)

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  The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  In my last post, I talked about sexism as the possession of women. It’s an attitude of gender relations that dates back [Read More...]

My Reluctant Journey Toward “Reverend”

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The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  I’ve been called “reverend” more than a few times in the last few years. Doing pastoral care for The Marin Foundation, I’m engaged [Read More...]

Individuals Make for Horrible Icons

The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  Last Monday at our biweekly Living in the Tension gathering, one of my friends explained the experience of being a gay Christian like [Read More...]

How to Talk to Young Kids About Same-Sex Relationships

The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com. It’s been a few years since our daughter, Norah, first encountered boys holding hands and girls kissing. That was in the summer of 2011, when our family moved from [Read More...]

Communion is About Equality

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What’s fascinating to me today is how interchangeable the body of Christ (the one that was whipped, crippled and hung on calvary) is with the Body of Christ (his church, the one where we are his hands and feet, where one member in no important than the other). It seems like a deliberate play on words. The great symbol of communion is not the metaphor in food form. It’s God’s children gathering around the table to share a meal. Christ seems to be most present not in the bread and the wine, but in the coming together hungry and leaving together satisfied. [Read more...]

Is World Vision’s New Stance on Married Gay Christians Neutral?

Somewhere in Federal Way, Washington, there’s a woman who loves God, adores her wife and kicks butt at feeding hungry kids.

She’s either a current or soon-to-be employee of World Vision, the large Christian charity devoted to economic development and disaster relief throughout the world, who just announced on Monday that they will extend the opportunity for employment to gay, lesbian and bisexual Christians in same-sex marriages. [Read more...]


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