May 23, 2019

I want to emphasize that the saying of Jesus we are looking at here was not instruction to renounce one’s rights nor to become 1st Century door mats. Rather it was a tactical strategy for them to use in the midst of persecution, respond to their persecutors with love (see Loving Our Enemies), and actively furthering their work toward a safer, more compassionate society for all.  We find this Jesus saying in two passages: Luke 6.29-30: “If anyone strikes you on… Read more

May 22, 2019

In Matthew 5.44-45 we read these words, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (cf. Luke 6.35) A couple summers ago now, I spoke at a convention where at the end of one of the sessions, a participant asked the question, “What… Read more

May 17, 2019

We’ve been getting a lot of questions over the past few weeks about our articles on a more social reading of the gospels. Again, I’m not saying that Jesus never addressed an individual’s personal salvation. In the stories of the gospels, he does. But he also worked toward society’s salvation too.  Here in the West we are shaped by a deeply individualistic culture, and some Christian communities rarely address Jesus’ social salvation, if ever. The form of Christianity that most… Read more

May 16, 2019

If you have ever been insulted, ill-treated, had evil things said about you, hated, excluded, or suffered rejection for trying to effect societal justice, then this sayings of Jesus is for you: “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated… Read more

May 14, 2019

  The ethic of charity, taking care of the less privileged, the poor, or the vulnerable sectors of society, long predates the teachings of Jesus. What Jesus is doing here is not admonishing us to take care of the poor but rather announcing that the situations of the poor, the mourning, and the hungry are to be reversed! Jesus was calling for distributive justice not charity. If we live in a society of limited resources, then for someone to hold… Read more

April 30, 2019

“The image of God is the male-female spectrum. When we speak of a person’s sex, we’re describing their bodies in terms of characteristics we define as male, female, neither, or both. Wherever nature places a person on this spectrum, they are still just as much a bearer of God’s image. With gender identity, a person may identify as male, female, neither, or both. They are still fully human. Whether your orientation is to be attracted to men, women, neither, or… Read more

April 30, 2019

“If Brownson is correct and Paul is referring to Gaius Caligula’s actual behavior, which Paul’s contemporaries, Philo, Dio Cassius, and Dio Chrysostom all wrote about with similar language, then he is describing harmful behavior that most LGBTQ people would condemn alongside most straight, cisgender people.” In part four, we’ll look at a passage that Christians have used in harmful and destructive ways against the Christian and non-Christian LBGTQ communities: Romans 1. I want to begin with the basic understanding that… Read more

April 30, 2019

  “Using the term ‘homosexual’ in these translations represents negative cultural bias. If these passages were free from homophobic bias, they would read ‘pederasty.’ One must ask which interpretation is more culturally biased, and more so, what is the fruit of each interpretation? One produces demonstrable bodily harm to a group of human beings because they are born different. And that should warn us.”   In part three we’re continuing our look at passages that Christians have typically interpreted and… Read more

April 30, 2019

  “My purpose in sharing their work with you is so that each of us can do our own homework, putting in the energy to read, study, and grapple before we ask someone in the Christian LGBTQ community to answer questions they have already answered multiple times and in multiple ways. These discussions are not academic for them. They are personally invested and many are tired of continually arguing about their existence. They already exist and have callings to pursue…. Read more

April 30, 2019

  “And yet I’m torn when I watch the toll it takes on my LGBTQ friends to repeatedly explain these passages. Speaking about them does not have the same emotional cost for me as it does for them. Perhaps I have been a little too silent. I haven’t been silent in my affirmation. But I may have been too silent on some of the ways I arrive at affirmation. So in this series, I want to amplify two voices on… Read more

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