Gay Pride… Christian Shame, part 3

In part 1 of this brief series, we have examined how the LGBT symbol of the rainbow flag is a sign of their community’s pride in their identity, whereas the primary symbol of the Christian community is a symbol of shame, depicting the death of Jesus, the necessary sacrifice given because of who Christians know themselves to be. In part 2, we learn that the Christian community also has the rainbow sign in its repertoire of symbols. And while the rainbow of Noah’s day was symbol of God’s faithfulness to keep His promises, it was also a symbol that God is a God of war who lays aside his war-bow in the sky to remind us of why the flood judgment had to fall. The rainbow reminds the Christian of his humble position of being saved by grace and that the judgment of God is inescapable except aboard the one vessel that has absorbed the wrath of God.rainbow eye

So in this final installment, we will look furthering the reality that God is not some soft, toothless, grandpa-in-the-sky and how it is reinforced when we look at the two places in the Bible where the rainbow appears again. Continue reading

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Gay Pride… Christian Shame

I find it fascinating what symbols communities rally around. Many of the African-Americans that were freed from slavery in our nation sought solace in music, giving us such rich deposits such as the blues and negro spirituals. The blues were an act of cultural rebellion where their deplorable life-circumstances were described, but described in song. It was as if they were saying, “This life is oppressing me but I refuse to let it steal my voice.”

And with the recent Supreme Court ruling last week, we are seeing the LGBT community rallying around their symbol, the rainbow flag. rainbow flag and crossThe rainbow flag’s original purpose was simple. According to its original designer Gilbert Baker, “We needed something that expressed us. The rainbow really fits that, in terms of: we’re all the colors, and all the genders and all the races… It’s a natural flag; the rainbow is in the sky and it’s beautiful. It’s a magical part of nature.” And while it seems that the goal of the rainbow flag is still to represent inclusion, the word that is heard most often from both the media and the LGBT community is “pride”. There are gay pride marches and LGBT pride parades and t-shirts and bumper stickers and… And regardless of one’s convictions about homosexuality or the various gender issues at hand, the one thing that comes across strongly is that the LGBT community wants to display their pride in their identity.

But there is another community that was once a minority. Continue reading

Dreams and the helplessness of ISIS

We all want control.  Americans especially want control.  We even have multiple departments of our federal government (CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, National Security Council, etc.) dedicated to the procuring, enforcing, and defense of the illusion of control for Americans and US interests.  But control is just that… an illusion.  Sometimes our ability to maintain the illusion lasts for a while.  dreamsWe secure health insurance and life insurance.  We pay extra for increased safety features on our vehicles and strap our children into car seats that could protect them from a nuclear blast.  Even our cigarettes have a disclaimer on them so that we know just exactly what we are putting on the line when we light up.  But eventually the illusion of control is taken away from most of us, sometimes violently so.  A car wreck, a job loss, a cancer diagnosis, a child’s unexpected sickness, a parent’s death can all tear away the idea that we are in control of our lives or of those that we love.

But some helpful reflection on something we all do every day, should help let us down a little easier…  Continue reading

Christian Accountability… not without its pitfalls

In my task of shepherding and learning how to be healthy member of Christ’s Church, I hear the word accountability tossed around frequently.  But since accountability isn’t something expressly set down in holy scripture, how do we even define it?  What should we expect from it?  What part should it play in the typical Christian’s pursuit of the mind and life of Christ?  Here’s an excellent and brief article that begins to answer some of these questions.

Another Helpful Word on Grace and Obedience

With the blogosphere boiling over with posts and responses and rejoinders to the responses concerning how sanctification works in the Christian life, I thought to myself, "Self, why don't you throw your hat in the ring."  And then, after cogitating on that idea for about... ohhh... a good three seconds I figgered the best thing was for me to simply list the the things I have found helpful, starting with the one I read about ten minutes ago here.   But rewind a few months and I read this and this as well and I'm waiting on the third part of that article with baited breath. [How does one bait their breath?  And why does that sound so gross?]  Rewind even further and I also found this and this helpful as well.  And if you disagree with me or those things I have found helpful, I will slay you like the uncircumcised Philistine you must be... charitably of course.

Polarizing Presbyterians

A couple weeks ago I attended the PCA’s General Assembly in Houston, TX and was pleased with the general measure of peace that characterized the work of the commissioners conducting the business of our denomination.  With Dr. Bryan Chapell as the moderator, our business was conducted with sobriety and cordiality, with an overall tenor of a passion for God’s truth and mercy.  A decent summary of our work, which ranged from resolutions concerning child abuse prevention and reporting to the adoption of a report that gave theological clarity to issues missionaries are facing in Muslim-majority cultures, has been posted here.

However, there was another Presbyterian General Assembly that met recently, and their story is one of sadness.  The Presbyterian Church (USA) is the largest Presbyterian denomination, yet like the proverbial dog returning to its vomit it appears to be repeating and entrenching its foolishness.  Below is a quote from this article that tells the unfortunate story of the PC-USA’s continued slide into cultural capitulation, impotence, and covenantal unfaithfulness.

Although church liberals love to insist their policies appeal to the rising generation, all of the available evidence indicates just the opposite. Liberalizing churches don’t attract young people, who, even if themselves liberal, tend to flock to churches they respect for not pandering to them. The same is true for racial minorities, who largely avoid liberal Mainline Protestantism in favor of ethnic or Evangelical churches.  Essentially, the PCUSA, by its votes this week, resolved to become even smaller, older, and whiter, creating a future that depends more and more on endowments instead of live people.