Am I Afraid of Atheism?

Revolution Church — which was founded by Jay Bakker and has followed him from Phoenix to Atlanta to New York City to its present home in Minneapolis — is a unique faith community. Yes, it’s small (at least in person; its online footprint, via the podcast, is much larger). But the people who attend are there for something that very few churches offer, and that’s brutal, unadulterated honesty. That’s what Jay brings each week, and that’s what those who attend are hoping for.

I cannot claim to be as honest or humble as Jay, but when he asks me to guest preach, I try to get in touch with my Inner Jay. That’s what I did last Sunday, in a talk entitled, “Should We Be Afraid of Atheism.”

Jay talks openly about his doubts. Several times, I’ve heard him admit at Revolution that he doubts daily whether God exists. At many churches, this would be disconcerting (see, for example, where the Archbishop of Canterbury admits his own doubts), but at Revolution, that’s the very thing that people come to hear.

I, too, doubt God’s existence — though less today than I used to. But that’s not what I talked about last Sunday. Instead, I talked about the doubts of others, and whether atheism is part of the legacy of the emerging church movement.

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What Is Home?

That’s the question that my friend, Lily Percy, asked me in the On Being studio this weekend. I was hanging out at On Being as part of the amazing Northern Spark Festival that takes place annually in the Twin Cities. It’s an overnight affair with hundreds of artists and over 50,000 participants. I was there to see the Ragamala Dance Company perform their “Sacred Earth” dance, which I found totally mezmerizing.

The On Being recording studio was also open, and Lily was asking people a question about “Home.” They called it an “Audio Selfie.” Here’s my answer. Here’s Jay Bakker’s — his is a lot different than mine. You can find a lot more on that page.

Thanks, Lily!

Marriage Equality and a Day of Celebration

 

Last night, Courtney and I were on hand to help our dear friend, Jay Bakker, launch the new Minneapolis site of Revolution Church.  You can hear Jay’s inaugural sermon, “Vulgar Grace Throws the First Stone.”

The photo above is a detail shot by Courtney of the rainbow communion bread that we contributed to the service. We baked that loaf — the same loaf that Courtney baked with our friends Rachel and Rachet for our (sacramental) wedding — in support of marriage equality. Jay has been an outspoken proponent of marriage equality and has performed several same-sex weddings. When he broke the bread last night, Jay told us to remember not just the broken body of Jesus, but also the broken bodies and spirits of many GLBT persons who have been persecuted for their non-heterosexuality.

Today, Jay and Courtney and I and several other friends will be going to St. Paul to hold vigil as the Minnesota Senate debates and votes on a bill opening marriage in our state to same-gendered couples. It is expected to pass easily (my senator has already emailed me to assure me that she will be voting for its passage), and to be signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton tomorrow.

Our gay and lesbian friends will be able to marry in Minnesota beginning on August 1.

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Should This Be Illegal?

I encourage you to take 15 minutes out of your day and watch this video.  It’s the wedding video of a gay couple who were “married” this summer in Minneapolis.* (If you need proof that these are Minnesotans of Scandinavian ancestry, hang till the dancing at the end. That’ll prove it to you.)  If you suffer from the “Ick Factor” when same-gendered persons kiss, this will push some buttons for you.

I’m NOT asking you to consider if this is biblical or unbiblical.  I’m asking you to consider whether it is good public policy to outlaw this:

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