I tried to pray my sexuality away

File this one under TMI. It’s super intimate and not something I yell at strangers, but it’s just us here so I’ll let you in on a secret:

My faith gave me issues.

As a developing adolescent I routinely heard sexual expression outside of marriage was anathema. Masturbation was an affront to my Creator; only within marriage were my sexual feelings legitimate.

So I prayed. I asked the Source of all living things to kill this part of me, to castrate me in the pursuit of holiness. I created an internal liturgy and recited it for years: remove this from me. Temptation was strong, but I believed God was stronger and could bring me to marriage spotless, untouched. Then marriage would solve all of my problems and, more importantly, validate this deeply meaningful portion of my personhood. Read more “I tried to pray my sexuality away”

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Greater than Jesus

I have been thinking a lot lately about why I call myself a progressive Christian. It could be that I’m getting close to ordination in a progressive denomination, or that I’ve spent the past two years hosting a “post-evangelical” podcast, or maybe it’s this election and the distance that I feel from the conservative church I once called home, a distance I feel sharply whenever I scroll through a Facebook news feed.

At any rate, I’m thinking and so I’m writing.
(and, secretly, I probably hope to close the growing distance a little)

I’m progressive because Jesus said his followers would be.

Not in those terms, of course, but clearly.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is depicted comforting his disciples in preparation for his departure “to the Father.” He promises not to leave them orphans, commands them to trust in the miracles he did whenever they doubt his words and, with a hand under their chins (as I imagine it), he lifts their heads and says,

“Verily truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these because I am going to the Father” [John 14:12]. Read more “Greater than Jesus”

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Allen reviews The Openness of God, though review is a strong word

the-openness-of-god-faith-and-culture-an-irenicon

This was a fascinating read. The authors attempt to make a clear distinction between a biblical portrayal of God’s relationship with the world and the influence of Greek philosophy upon Christian theology, specifically in regard to God’s experience of things like time, change, emotion, and knowledge.

Read more “Allen reviews The Openness of God, though review is a strong word”

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The Definitive List of 2014’s Attacks on Christianity Which, Um, Aren’t That at All.

1. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.

Noah Surely Aronofsky’s adaptation of Israel’s adaptation of Babylon’s adaptation of a great flood story is an affront to God. Read more “The Definitive List of 2014’s Attacks on Christianity Which, Um, Aren’t That at All.”

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When your faith is up and down like a roller coaster, but trying harder doesn’t cut it

“I’ve been struggling with doubt.  Maybe not doubt, but I just don’t feel God’s presence like I did before.”

You might have said these words.  And if you haven’t said them, at least you’ve heard them.  And if you haven’t heard them, dear Christian, open the door, go outside, and talk to someone about faith.

The ups-and-downs are a part of it.

Rollercoaster
(Photo credit: Olfert)

Read more “When your faith is up and down like a roller coaster, but trying harder doesn’t cut it”

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When Faith, Patriotism, and Ignorance Meet Fur Coats

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

A group of Americans/Christians/Concerned Individuals gathered at the White House to protest a scheduled Sharia Law Rally last March.  Well, the Sharia people were a no-show, so the crowd took interest in a single Muslim praying in their vicinity.  What ensued was videotaped.

**There is so much in this video, but see if you can spot the following–

  • Randall Terry, a reporter, encouraging Terry Jones with “don’t blink, just do it” in reference to Burn A Quran Day
  • a man shouting “common sense tells you that you cannot love them, kill your enemy, plain and simple,” shortly after which he belts out an Our Father
  • a gentleman holding Starbucks in one hand while shoving a cross in someone’s face with his other
  • a frantic woman battling a praying Muslim with a highly emotional Lord’s Prayer

Ah, the terribly heroic naive woman who attempted to reason with the crowd.  Don’t you love her? God bless her for trying, but I don’t remember us being popular for our diplomacy.

This mixing of faith, patriotism, and ignorance is like taking medication with alcohol– it may be dangerous, it may make us unreasonable, but it sure is entertaining.

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