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...]

The Gamble: Gays and Lesbians Experimenting with Straight Relationships

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You’re the expert of your own experience. That’s one of the central tenets of The Marin Foundation, something we talk about all the time. Who you are, how you identify–whether as gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, asexual, straight, bisexual, pursuing celibacy, ex-gay–that’s not up for debate. Your story is sacred, and nobody is better equipped to explain who you are than you.

That’s simple in theory and hard in practice. It’s never harder than when I receive emails like this… [Read more...]

The Parallel Experiences of Jesus and a Sexual Minority

The Ethiopian Eunuch was a sexual minority. He felt the alienation of being outside cultural norms. But apparently he wasn’t alone.
“Who is the prophet speaking about?” That was the Ethiopian’s question to Philip. And, of course, the question behind it was, “Who understands what I’m going through?”
Philip’s answer is Good News. [Read more...]

Is Empathy Dangerous?

I remember sitting at lunch after church with Christine, who had married her wife around the same time I had married mine. We swapped wedding stories for a bit before she told me, with a shaky voice, how nervous she felt about the upcoming Prop. 8 vote and the possibility that her marriage might become legally invalidated.

It was the first time I had ever considered how that might feel.

With these discoveries came two distinct, paradoxical feelings in equal measure: empathy, and skepticism of that empathy. [Read more...]

What Caused My Child to be LGBTQ?

“I’m not sure what made our son [or daughter] gay.”

That’s a phrase I hear a lot in my conversations with parents. I’ve written about the grief process that parent’s often go through in the wake of a child coming out, with feelings of loss, denial and anger. Sometimes parents have a flood of questions: “Who else knows?” “Is he being safe?” “Is she being bullied?” And sometimes parents have a flood of emotions: Shock. Sadness. Relief. Compassion. Anger. Depression. Denial.

And still other times, a parent’s sentiments can boil down to just one, nagging question: what went wrong? [Read more...]


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