Strident Christian views about homosexuality have compromised any defense of infallibility, causing some to question the existence of God. Certainly there is justification for denying the validity of their anti-LGBTQ worldview. After all, in less than a decade “religious right” speakers presuming to represent Christianity have moved from there is no such thing as sexual orientation to homosexuality is just a choice to maybe it isn’t a choice but there can’t be anything inherent to it to if it is inherent in some way it still cannot possibly by “natural” to either way it’s just a behavior that represents a rebellion against God to those people can attend church but they can never be members of our congregation to perhaps they can join us in Christian fellowship but only if they take a vow of involuntary celibacy to perhaps it is inevitable that some of them will live together but we don’t want to know what that intimacy entails to God can forgive all sins but not the sin of those people wanting to get married. Frankly, it is dizzying how many times a perfect and never-changing God has put a completely different idea, or strategy, into the mouths of those who purport to speak on behalf of deity. This Inappropriate Conversation is going to give the soapbox to a totally different group, gay Christians. "Why worship a God of love if doing so means denying the possibility of experiencing love?" (N.T., Australia). What do we do if some Christians don’t want LGBTQ people worshiping God in the first place? Where do we find either the Great Commission or the Great Commandments in that Christian worldview? Perhaps, the Spirit of the living God is pointing us in a different direction. We should listen.

Different Drummer: John Shore

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I have never “re-blogged” before, so I cannot say if I’m even doing this correctly. A friend I knew from a previous church has given me permission to share her words, so I will. I have taken one subtle step to make things anonymous. I’m not using her name, for example. Having said that, I found her words too powerful to ignore.

As a Christian, I am passionate about witnessing. “Tell me what the Lord is doing in your life” is, for me, the heart and soul of any sermon. Too often, church members are unwilling to hear the witness of anyone they find to be “too different” as if xenophobia has replaced agape within many Christian fellowships. Well, I’m listening to someone whose experiences are totally different from my own. I hope you will, too.
-IC_Greg

Sooo, I am just going to say this. It is long, I warn you.

Firstly, I want to thank and honor all who have given their blood, sweat, tears, and for some, their lives for this. We would not be here if not for you. Deeply, I thank you.

Yet, I realize that there are some out there who are very upset, disturbed, and saddened over the recent ruling from SCOTUS. I want to say, I get it, I really do. I was with you once upon a time. I felt that my religious convictions lead me to an understanding that marriage as we know it today was only by God's design to be between a man and a woman. I felt that it was totally unnatural and completely morally wrong to do anything otherwise. I admit, and those of you who have known me my whole life know that I was quite a zealot back in the day. I was pretty hardline. And so, for people to say to me now that I am not seeing "their" side, is completely false. I WAS on your 'side'. I argued it, heavily. Then I got to a point where I could 'understand' where it would be more comfortable to be with the same sex, but I still did not agree at all that it was in God's design, my religion taught me that.

But, as you go through life, you grow and you learn, and sometimes you have people in your life who gently point out some things you may not have thought of before.

I had no idea what I was really saying back then. I had no clue what it all really meant. I knew people who were gay, and they were a bit of a novelty to me growing up in the small town that I did, I loved them, but I didn't agree.

And then, one day, a dear friend’s mother and I had a very, very long talk about the whole issue. She pointed out things I had never even considered. She pretty much gave me a taste of my own bible beating medicine, but in a totally and completely loving way, something I hadn't particularly learned quite yet called tact.

From then on I really started questioning and researching and asking people and talking with people. Not just accepting what I was being told, but really digging into my own life and the lives of those around me, and searching my own soul. I still wasn't sure about the whole thing, but I started seeing people as people. And love as well, love, and just because I didn't care for it in particular, that didn't mean they were scary or bad people, and did I really have a right to say whether or not they can love who they love?

Somewhere in this time I had written out a list, and sent it out to the universe, to God, to bring into my life a person with certain attributes. The things that were really important to me. I did this as part of a book I had been reading about being a single christian. Irony....

Then I met K.

This was out of left field for me. I had no idea that I even could like another woman, let alone fall in love with one. Before I even knew it, my friends and family members had their eyebrows raised in wonder. And one day, I realized that I had completely fallen in love with a woman.

Some say that God does not condone this sort of 'behavior'. I was one of those people. Well, let me tell you how I see it now. Not only do I believe that God perfectly created this woman for me, I believe that God placed her directly in my path. Period. And, do you know that she just so happened to embody that entire laundry list of what a suitable, Godly mate would look like that I made so long before. Every. Last. Word. My best friend pointed this out to me. I never even asked God for a gender. I was looking for the important things....same beliefs, same interests, likes me for me etc.

And, now, before I start hearing, oh but you're being deceived by the devil (yeah, we struggled through that one together, being that we both come from very religious backgrounds.) Let me tell you this. I have grown more as a person, and most importantly, more in my faith and spirituality and have drawn closer to God in the time that I have known K., than I ever had in my life previously. Why on earth would a 'devil' want to put me directly in the path of someone who would challenge me to pray more, be closer to God, to dig deeper into the bible, to learn more about my own self and spirituality? That seems quite counterproductive to me.

And one of the biggest things I have learned is that love and commitment are so not what I thought. It is so much deeper, amazing, and sometimes downright freaking harder than I ever imagined. And I know that people are saying, well, why use the word 'marriage'? Why take a christian sanctioned word and change it. Well, I challenge you to look deep into the history of that word. I challenge you to look at what the idea of it means throughout the world. Because, I sure was surprised.

It has evolved over time, influenced by culture, religion, and force of power. It has been used and abused in many ways. But when we get down to brass tacks, I think we all know that what this particular word means today, here, now is about basic rights of two people who love each other and want to be afforded the same things their male/female counterparts are afforded. Good and bad.

It isn't the final step. We have so much farther to go. I would like to see a time when I don't have to be nervous about who knows what in a job situation, for fear of being fired. I already know what it feels like to have people be in that awkward uncomfortableness at work when I overhear very demeaning things said about people 'like me'. I know how it feels to have people pity me because I was such a nice girl. (I hope that hasn't changed?!) I already know what it feels like to wonder if we are going to make it out of a restaurant in a rural town in a different state without being harmed. I have lost friends, I have lost respect. I have strained relations with some because I am not equal in their eyes. But I am lucky. There are many, throughout time and to this very day who have been beaten, killed, discriminated against, and some have even taken their lives just because they happen to be attracted to the same sex. So yeah, I am pretty damn lucky that I have only endured a fraction of what others have. And so I will keep moving forward until we can all be so lucky.

So, if you don't want to be friends with me, fine. If you still think I/we are trying to push some sort of political agenda, fine. I am not here to change your mind, we are all on our own journey. I had to come here on my own, with the help of some loving friends, and the help of an ever loving Creator God, who nudges me every damn day to act in love. I am only here to share my view on this whole thing, from where I stand. Because, quite frankly, I am tired of seeing the hatred. I am tired of seeing the subtle, subversive ways that people are covering their distaste. And I am tired of the words I am hearing that I used to say to people, just like me, once upon a time.

There aren't “sides” folks. We are all human beings. We are all in this thing called life together on this planet we call earth. And I for one, am for love. I was created in love. And I want to be a beacon of love. For it is the most powerful thing on earth.
-J.

 

On June 22, 1633,  Galileo was sentenced by the Roman Inquisition for being "vehemently suspect of heresy." He had told the truth, that the earth revolved around the sun according to astronomical evidence, but he was forced to recant that truth. There is a great deal of scientific knowledge we either would not have today, or would have obtained in very different ways, if Galileo had chosen a different course, if he had been "silenced" by more violent means. Speaking truth to power, as the saying goes, is rarely as clear as it sounds. Sometimes it doesn't require formal speech at all. A simple smartphone video can have the same impact today.

Different Drummer: Galileo Galilei

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Whether sanctuary means the same thing today as the center of Christian worship has in the past?

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166: One-ders

30May15

Most music fans these days are very comfortable with just one song from an artist. I'm not. I tend to be a collector, almost an archivist. For that reason, I was very surprised at the number of "one song only" artists there are on my MP3 player, although I was not surprised at how deeply I love those lonely songs.

Different Drummer: Joseph Haydn

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"I'll remember you, though," the title character of Lilo & Stitch says to the other as the alien leaves her home, "I remember everyone that leaves." How is the question. How do we remember those who leave? I've turned that question toward myself and provided some possible answers with songs.

Different Drummer: Joseph Henry Burnett

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Whether the Holy Spirit deserves more recognition as God working in our lives?

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