When following Jesus looks different than Christianity (pt. 1)

Jesus dancing

An Article just went viral (surprise surprise) about a community that is trying to create a separate prom that won’t allow gay students to attend.

WHAT?!?!?

I am not going to debate the theology that surrounds our friends in the LGBTQ community, as I know plenty of Christians on both sides of the proverbial aisle: those who DO believe homosexuality is a sin, and those who do not. However, it seems that for the most part instances of exclusion, discrimination, or outright hatred toward the LGBTQ community seem to arise from those who DO view homosexuality as a sin; therefore, what I want to address is what is seemingly anti-Jesus behavior coming from these folks.

Let me tell you a story (for those who feel that the LGBTQ community are “sinners”):

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the prom ticket booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

While Jesus was dancing at prom, many gay, lesbian, transgendered and queers came and danced with him and his disciples. When the “Christians” saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher dance with gay, lesbian, transgendered and queers?”…

For my friends that don’t view the LGBTQ community as “sinners” (at least not for their sexuality) – the notion that their Christian faith is demonstrated, in the manner in the article, is heart wrenching.

I fear that we are at a place where we need to have honest discussions about this. If you are in the camp that holds homosexuality as a sin then please follow Jesus’ examples of how to treat the folks you think are missing the mark – don’t wind up in the same camp as many of the Pharisees in this particular situation above (Matthew 9.10-12). If you are in the camp that accepts homosexuality please follow Jesus’ examples of how to love those that disagree with you as well!

Article (as referenced above)

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Chewsday’s Rumination: Does G_d Want Us to Fail?

RuminatingGreat title huh? Does G_d want us to fail?” I suppose that was a bit unfair since there is a part(s) to the question that I left out. The full question, I think, is: Does G_d want us to try and fail or to just not try at all?

I know that my gut response was immediately: Of course G_d wants us to try! But here is what I’m chewing on today…what if that failure is sin? What if I attempted to do something but the result of my effort is sin? Would it have been better to not have attempted it?

Now, if you know me, you’ll know that a well earned sin has never slowed me down…so I would go for it. But here is my concern…I don’t know that my proclivity for sin is so well accepted amongst the religious. What I am attempting to say is that I hear many folks in the church concerned about decisions [to the point of inactivity] because of a fear that their choice could lead to committing a sin.

Have you said, or heard someone else say, “I’m not sure if this is what G_d wants me to do or if it is just me?” Ultimately, this results in only a few folks ‘going for it.’ – Is the good LORD really playing cat and mouse with our faithfulness? Is He going to unleash hell if we run with reckless abandon after what we believe to be good and righteous?

As a father this feels familiar (though off the top of my head I don’t have a good example): I would desire that my son attempts what is good and right with fervor and excitement…even if it results in him ‘failing’ and ultimately doing something that he’s not allowed to do. I thought about an instance when he retrieved a friend’s kickball from the street because the child (younger than him) was going to run out for it…My son knew that the right thing to do was to help him (and protect him) but ultimately he failed to follow our rules for him – not going out into the street on his own!

How often do I go out into the street in order to do what is good and right? Would it be better to do nothing? My son now understands that the better choice would be to take his friend with him to get an adult to retrieve the ball…but I bless G_d that he is the type of person that will risk messing up in order to care for the people around him.

Does G_d want us to fail?

Moral Blackholes

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It occurred to me this morning that within life there are space(s) where Moral Blackholes exist. You know the place(s)! If not, let me give you an example:

I hear many a Christian express how morality of our culture is going out the window…how the world is “heading to hell in a handbasket”…how this generation is worse than the previous…blah, blah, blah. Maybe you say such things…but then this high moral individual enters The Moral Blackhole (make sure you read that with an ominous voice)…a place that makes the Twilight Zone seem normal…a place that makes the Bermuda Triangle seem like a great vacation destination…a place where the moral code is lost in translation.

For every person this is probably a different space/place but the one that seems to be a common MB is when behind the wheel of a car. Speed Limit – pshh – I scoff at speed limits! Stop signs – don’t tell me how to live my life! No stopping zones – need not apply! School Zones – kids are fast and like to dodge things!
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An automobile is a fascinating device – one that can take the highest Moralist and reduce them to driver of said handbasket. Now cars are not the only MB out there – it just seemed like one that most of us could relate to.

Top Ten:
10. Punctuality
9. Office Supplies
8. Tipping at restaurants
7. Shortcuts on the Job
6. Coupons (one per visit)
5. Downloading music/movies/software
4. When someone upsets us first (retaliation)
3. Wrong Change/Wrong Price (and we realize it)
2. Taxes
1. Driving
What items did I miss? What would you list as the top ten (or at least top few)?

What are your Moral Blackholes? Why do we make exceptions? Why will most of us respond defensively to this question (especially if it comes to driving)?