The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (8/20/2016)

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve put together a GBU post.  I’ve simply had other things on my mind, other projects I’ve been working on. Unfortunately, writer’s inspiration can be a fickle thing, and I have simply been out of my groove recently.

On the converse side, these last couple weeks have been awesome in many ways.  I’ve been able to further cultivate close friendships.  I’ve found mutuality and encouragement in disagreement, and realized that there are such things as true friends.  

And so, in returning to my weekly update post, I am happy to say that the brief hiatus has been refreshing.  I have lots of thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head, and I hope to turn them into quality posts in the near future.  

Method
I have been asked regularly how I define the GBU categories.  Here is my rationale:

Good – Posts with excellent content which contain a positive argument.  These posts are not based in critique but in an argument from a positive premise.

Bad – Posts with excellent content which feature a negative argument.  These posts are based in critique, and work to expose the darkness while pointing towards the light.

Ugly –  Posts that contain content that is simply hateful, disturbing, or otherwise odd and unworthy of praise.  I include this to remind us all that Christianity is a complex religion with a great deal of corruption and injustice therein.  We must own and oppose these influences within our walls, instead of only ever talking about the evils without.

The Good

1. I love this poem by Emily Joy.  She shared it with me as a response to my post on leaving Evangelicalism, and her words resonated so deeply.  She is an immensely gifted spoken word artist. I hope her words speak to you as they did to me.

https://youtu.be/7HCyl6pFvIU

2. This open letter to egalitarian men with public platforms hits the nail on the head.  If we use our theology to pursue our own goals while actively decentering the narratives of the people we claim to be allies for, then we are part of the problem not the solution.

http://www.nextleadership.org/reflections/dear-egalitarian-man-platform/

3. Matthew Vines participated in a Twitter Q&A for Faithfully LGBT.  His answers were so spot on, everyone needs to hear his voice on this.

https://storify.com/faithfullylgbt/a-conversation-on-affirming-theology

The Bad

4. Deborah Fikes has written a post for Nicholas Kristof’s blog regarding the current state of American Evangelicalism. Fikes outlines her experiences traveling the world, highlighting the vast ideological differences.

/http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/kristof/2016/08/19/a-challenge-to-my-fellow-evangelicals/

5. This article from the New York Times looks at the oft purported correlation between segregation and income.  In the end, it uses the story of an affluent black family from Milwaukee (my city) to explore the reasons why increased income for persons of color does not end segregation.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/us/milwaukee-segregation-wealthy-black-families.html

6. Alderman Khalid Rainey of Milwaukee’s 7th District has been a vocal and important leader in helping to restore peace during the Milwaukee riots.  He has given the Milwaukee community an excellent example of how to recognize and legitimize pain and anger while pushing for a better way.  We would all do well to listen to his words.

http://www.cbs58.com/story/32762813/alderman-khalif-rainey-issues-a-plea-for-peace

Also, Alderman Rainey spoke an excellent word on the first night of looting, burning, and violence.  His words are a clarion call our city that these things do not occur in a vacuum.  There is injustice to be addressed, and ignoring these issues will only lead to more violence.

The Ugly

7. This article from John Piper is ignorant, hateful, and theologically bankrupt.  This serves as a reminder of just how sinister non-affirming theology can be.

Also, for the record, even if John Piper means to call hell the second death, he is still talking about DEATH.  And if he is arguing that hell is the true death, then he is also still talking about DEATH.  As such his statement that “Sodomy” is “more lethal than death” has to be the most asinine thing he has said in some time.  

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/satan-and-sodomy

8.  Here is another reminder that it is perfectly legal for LGBT persons to be fired from their jobs simply for being openly LGBT.  The logic used by the funeral home owner is nothing short of hateful.  And, for the record, there is no Bible verse which “ teaches that a person’s sex is an immutable God-given gift and that people should not deny or attempt to change their sex.”  

If you have to make up Bible verses to promote denigration of other human beings, maybe it’s time to admit you don’t actually read it and reconsider how you’re doing this whole “sincerely held religious beliefs” thing.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/in-michigan-its-totally-legal-to-fire-trans-people-for-their-gender-identity/496559/

9. Cynthia Meyer, the United Methodist pastor who came out to her congregation as lesbian in a beautiful sermon earlier this year, has been effectively fired from her job. Despite the love and support of her congregation, it appears her options were to take an indefinite involuntary leave and keep her credentials, or face church discipline and almost certainly be defrocked.

This is another stunning reminder of the antagonism towards the LGBTQ+ community which exists within the Church. This is discrimination and hate, and it has no place in the body of Christ.

http://www.kansascity.com/living/religion/article96377412.html?partner=skygrid

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2 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (8/20/2016)

  1. The link to the New York Times “A Challenge to My Fellow Evangelicals” is not working here, but I found it anyway and was vastly encouraged. Maybe evangelical Christianity is not dying of its own diseases, except here in the US. A reminder not to be too Americentric.

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Thanks for taking the time to read and engage. I look forward to your feedback, I welcome any criticism. However, as my goal here is mutualy respectful, beneficial conversation, I only ask that we keep civility in mind with our words. Grace and Peace.

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