Friday, July 10, 2009

Our personal Confidence A searchable online Bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages.
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 1:6

At some point in my life, this verse became very real to me.  It pulls in the same direction as the 23rd Psalm.  Sometime for an interesting exercise, read the 23rd Psalm and make a list of the things that the writer will do, and another list of the things that God will do.  Spoiler alert: God does everything.  Our job is to "not want", to lay down in green pastures, to not fear, to be anointed, and to dwell in His house forever.  Not a lot of hard-pulling work there, huh?

Also, the "count the cost" verse in Luke 14:27-29.  Certainly, Jesus meant this directed towards us in context, but would God not also be held to the same standard?  In other words, when he decided to save Joe Hayes, he knew what it would take.  He didn't set himself up for a massive failure.  He knew it would be expensive, and He was/is prepared to pay.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Fragility of Gay Iowa - TIME

I gotta be honest. Reading this article confuses me.

In it, we find a member of a heterosexual couple with children who has gotten divorced, and then is re-marrying a same sex partner.

I don't have any answers, but here are some questions that are swimming around in my head:

1- when marriage vows are so easily cast aside, and marriage has been come to see not as a practical institution in which two fairly complex mammals share resources for the purpose of rearing children, why do we care who takes marriage vows or who doesn't? Does the institution really have any meaning at all anymore? I mean in real life, not in theory.
2- I understand that there is no such thing as separate but equal, but what about separation of church and state? In other words, why not a civil union under state law that applies to ALL couples (same or opposite sex), and another thing we'll call marriage that the church can have an do with as it sees fit?
2a- -OR- am I defining the problem too narrowly, and is this more about our culture than about our religion? In which case, why do most Iowans think it's fine to have a civil union but not a marriage? Maybe because that does keep it separate? Would they still be OK with this if the civil union applied to everyone? Does this really all amount to nostalgia over an ideal of marriage?
3- What position is someone who wants to be a good man and follow the teachings of Christ, as well as other great teachers, to take? Christ doesn't speak out clearly on homosexuality, but he certainly comes down hard on divorce. As a Christian, shouldn't I be concentrating my efforts there?
Paul speaks out against homosexuality, but he also tacitly endorses slavery, sets the position of a woman squarely and unequivocally below a man, and says a dozen other things we ignore every day. How do we translate their words on this issue into a modern vernacular and apply it, or do we even try?

Is it not enough that God went to the time and expense to give me a conscience, and that I should use it?

My conscience tells me that, if I'm to be a Godly man, I should love homosexuals and wish them happiness. I should allow them equal rights under state law because, historically, oppressing people in the name of Jesus never ends well (European anti-Semitism, crusades, inquisition, witch-hunts, racist southern preachers last century, etc. etc. etc.). Most importantly, I should hold them to the same moral standards to which I should be holding heterosexuals; namely, that they be good to one another, and recognize that they are now a part of something larger than themselves and it's not all about their happiness or their self-fulfillment. Family first. No divorce without a REALLY good reason. Nobody hits anybody. Be uplifting and encouraging. Don't cheat, because it endangers your partner and children both emotionally and physically. Give of yourself even when you REALLY don't want to, and if you have children, raise them to understand that they are also a part of things that are bigger and more important than themselves and that they must do what is right, not for what it gets them, but because those larger things will break down if they don't.

I think if we could get everyone to agree that that's what a marriage is, then we could probably extend it safely to anyone who wants it.

Well, I've spent too much time on this so it must come to a close whether complete and clearly communicated or not.

At any rate, what do you think? Convince me I'm wrong.

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