‘the mind once expanded by a better idea can never shrink to its original size.’

— oliver wendell holmes, jr.

FAQs.

mjkimpan  —  July 15, 2015 — 4 Comments

FAQs

this one is a little link happy.

over the past weekend i was honored to attend and participate in the Wild Goose Festival along with a number of my friends. as is tradition, there were multiple conversations had and relationships established with folks i’d previously not had the privilege of meeting.

a number of these conversations began with simple questions and quickly evolved into more sophisticated discussions. most of these revolved around the life, teachings and example of jesus – and how those of us whom identify as christ-followers can best take our cues from the gospel narratives and apply a christ-centered response in our current culture.

i found myself repeating stories from the scriptures on which i’ve taught or spoken or written – causing me to consider a type of FAQ format for conversations – particularly those on the interpretation of what is so often called ‘good news.’ Continue Reading…

if the conclusion of your definition of inclusion dictates the exclusion of those with whom you disagree…you’re doing it wrong.

confederateflag

i’ve recently received a number of emails and other correspondence requesting i comment on the ongoing debate concerning the placement of the rebel battle flag at the south carolina state capitol.

as i pen this post, CNN reports that 57% of americans believe the flag serves as a symbol of southern pride and not racism.

my first thought :: somehow, this is still a discussion? there’s an actual debate to be had?

here’s my two cents, as clearly as i can state it ::

the confederate flag is not a proud symbol of tradition or heritage; it’s a symbol of intimidation and oppression against the black community. and it always has been.

that’s not just my opinion – it’s a matter of objective historical fact.

Continue Reading…

‘Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.’

— desmond tutu

life after SCOTUS.

mjkimpan  —  June 28, 2015 — 6 Comments

#lovewins

leading up to – and in the immediate wake of – the SCOTUS decision in support of marriage equality in all 50 states, a number of religious and faith community leaders contacted me asking, ‘how should we respond?’ the majority of these requests came from pastors and churches who are currently unable to support same sex relationships, based on their conservative biblical interpretation and theological perspective – yet almost all recognize that their religious communities have historically not been very welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

they also realize, along with many others, that the journey of faith is a matter of being willing and open to having a relationship with God – and that each and every person is welcome under the banner of the unconditional love and radical hospitality of jesus christ.

this tension in which many religious folks live is a real one – and  has been heightened by the culture war rhetoric reaching an almost fever pitch in the anticipation and aftermath of this weekend’s ruling.
Continue Reading…

far too often, the ‘progressive’ definition of inclusion is merely a new form of segregation.

do not miss this.

mjkimpan  —  June 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

if you didn’t catch this brilliant, unscripted social commentary from ‘comedian’ (read: cultural critic) jon stewart, here’s your chance. take 5 minutes.

 

what do you think?

‘As I engage in private conversations with pastors across the country, many admit they have chosen to dig in their heels on homosexuality not as a result of careful study or reflection of the biblical text but out of fear,” explains Michael Kimpan…

He adds that some pastors have a “fear that their congregation will split—as many have—and revenues in the form of tithes from conservative families will be lost, fear of being deemed heretical and losing their denominational affiliation and accreditation, and fear of losing their 401(k) as a result.’

– TIME magazine, January 26th 2015 print edition

not ok.

mjkimpan  —  June 17, 2015 — 2 Comments

nazi

even the image is offensive.

the emotions brought to the surface of any level headed person by the above symbol for the nazi party, the swastika, are uncomfortable to say the least. under this banner an estimated 11 million people were murdered during the holocaust (including 1.1 million children).

the post-world war ii german law code actually prohibits its use or display in any form or fashion – even if used sarcastically, including its use as part of an anti-nazi political statement.

outside of conversations surrounding genocide, delusions of racial superiority or totalitarian regimes and ideologies, comparisons to the nazi party, hitler or anything even remotely related to the third reich are out of place. they serve as an attempt to articulate the ultimate expression of evil.  usually, it’s quite a stretch – and pretty unnecessary. more often than not, the individual making the comparison tends to lose their argument along with their credibility as it is interpreted as inappropriate, unwarranted and hyperbolic.

put simply, it’s in bad form. and it’s not ok.

Continue Reading…