It’s been a rough few years. Well, that’s the understatement of the millennium…but it has been. For us collectively, for me personally, and probably for you too. But today is my birthday and I thought I’d write a note. I haven’t written about God or the church for a bit. Honestly, my heart is broken... Continue Reading →
Because here’s the ultimate point: The brain of every single person around you right now is in complete survival mode, reacting to uncertainty and brimming with anxiety. But what if we could tap into our best memories right now and intentionally give that same level of care and love to the people in our lives. What if we could use our own experiences as a roadmap towards easing the anxiety of those around us?
Simply put – the resurrection shut hell down. Jesus walked into that joint while he was dead, pulled out those who were there, turned over all the tables, and chained that pit up forever. No one is going to go there again.
The early movement of Christianity was radical, gritty, overtly political, and fueled by love in the public realm – and all of it was made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. He overcame the powers of death and injustice and empowered His followers to live out this radical message of liberating shalom (The Kingdom of God) in every local municipality in the world.
The church is so good at filling its calendars with Bible studies and get-togethers. With gatherings and readings and meals and parties- but isn’t the purpose of the church to change the world? To bring shalom? We so consistently and disproportionately spend our time and resources on building the inner life of the church. On building up the inner life of the individual, and doing Bible studies on “living your life to the fullest” while the world is on fire, kids are living in cages, bombs are ripping into flesh, your next-door neighbor is drowning in medical debt, and the economy has exploited nearly every last thread of dignity from our lives.
I believe what we are seeing is the church’s true self is raging, and in a desperate effort for freedom has engaged in self-sabotage. What the church has built over the past few centuries can no longer stand. The false self must burn, and that process feels exactly like that: a destructive fire. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to watch and even more difficult to be in.
People ask me sometimes, what is your church like? I generally say, "It's pretty fantastic but you should come see for yourself." To give you a feel for it, let’s start off with what last Sunday looked like:
The reality is this: many queer (LGBTQ+) Christians have an intensely deep faith and instead of trying to dismiss their faith we should actually be learning from and supporting their wisdom and experience. Here's why I believe this:
When we say that someone else is “not a Christian” or “deceived” we are taking it upon ourselves to be the judge of that person’s faith. We are telling them that their faith, and ultimately their soul, only has value if they agree with our position. We are, in effect, deifying ourselves by becoming the self-appointed arbiters of faith.
Just think about it…What institution is more unapologetically blatant than the church about determining who gets to be a part and who doesn’t? Who can lead and who can’t? We are pulling chairs away from our table and curating our guest lists so the only folks that are invited are just “like us”. The church was designed to be the solution to division, not a shining example of it. We have become the enemy that we were meant to transform.