one talk.

mjkimpan  —  April 7, 2014 — 54 Comments

onetalk
at the beginning of the year, i mentioned here on the blog an incredible opportunity for youth workers to come be a part of an inaugural conference here in chicago. providing a safe and sacred place for progressive youth pastors and workers to plot, scheme and collude with one another, The Jopa Group and Fourth Presbyterian Church in chicago created the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference (you can join the facebook group here beginning monday, april 14). the diverse line-up of speakers gave voice to three themes, represented in each plenary session :: theology, sexuality and faith formation.

one of those talks was quite possibly the most raw, honest, vulnerable and powerful i’ve ever experienced.

in a similar vein to this post by my friend and colleague laura statesir, jeff chu was asked to speak on growing up gay in the church, and what he wished his youth pastor knew.


this talk received a standing ovation.

jeff’s transparency and courage captivated the room, as each and every attendee was fixated on his every word.

watch the video. listen to him, and you’ll see why.

my friends, we need to reclaim a version of the gospel that is faithful to the radical inclusivity and hospitality of the risen christ we claim to follow. something that is wholly generous, truly life-giving and boldly compassionate enough to see individuals for who they are – beautifully hand-crafted image bearers of divinity.

what do you think?

  • EML_1

    ATTENTION, SELECTIVE LITERALISTS! :-)

    We have assembled a collection of online resources to help you in your Christian vocation. Let’s live in the tension together by maintaining the prohibition on gay partnerships and shoring up the authority of the inerrant Word of God against these ongoing threats to traditional Christianity!

    1) SAY “NO” TO ENDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING!

    Some Christans are getting the idea that we should be against slavery. But the Word of God clearly states:

    “SLAVES, OBEY YOUR EARTHLY MASTERS WITH FEAR, TREMBLING, AND SINCERITY, AS WHEN YOU OBEY THE MESSIAH”- Ephesians 6:5

    Voice your displeasure here:

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/abou

    2) SAY “NO!” TO THE PROHIBITION ON CHILD SOLDIERS!

    Some Christians are getting the idea that children shouldn’t participate in battle (or anyone, for that matter1) But the Word of God clearly states:

    “BLESSED SHALL HE BE WHO TAKES YOUR LITTLE ONES AND DASHES THEM AGAINST THE ROCK!” – Psalm 137:9

    Voice your displeasure here:

    http://www.child-soldiers.org/

    3) SAY “YES” TO THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PAGANS!

    Some Christians are getting the idea that religious tolerance is in keeping with the highest vision of the Gospel. But the Word of God clearly states:

    YOU MUST NOT ALLOW A WITCH TO LIVE. – Exodus 22: 18

    Voice your displeasure here

    http://www.justice.gov/contact

    https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/lady-liberty-league/lady-liberty-league

    4) SUPPORT A RETURN TO BIBLICAL MARRIAGE!

    Some Christians are proposing that we expand out the definition of marriage in order to allow Even More Love to flow into our World from the throneroom of Heaven. Since when was this necessary? For the Word of God clearly states:

    IF YOU NOTICE AMONG THE CAPTIVES A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN AND ARE ATTRACTED TO HER, TAKE HER TO YOUR HOME, WHERE SHE MUST SHAVE HERE HEAD, CUT HER NAILS. AND SHE SHALL TAKE OFF THE CLOTHES IN WHICH SHE WAS CAPTURED AND SHALL REMAIN IN YOUR HOUSE AND LAMENT HER FATHER AND HER MOTHER A FULL MONTH. AFTER THAT YOU MAY GO IN TO HER AND BE HER HUSBAND, AND SHE SHALL BE YOUR WIFE.

    Men, help yourselves to Biblical marriage, and Voice your displeasure here:

    http://www.nae.net/government-

    http://www.oikoumene.org/en/pr

    THANKS!

  • EML_1

    SUGGESTED LIVING IN THE TENSION RESOURCE PACKET, #1

    Elevating the discourse between Pro-Slavery Traditionalists and the slave community.

    The slave community’s position

    Uh…. The Exodus?

    Pro-Slavery Traditionalists

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

    OR we could just go with this:

    And Behold, I give unto thee a new teaching. Thou shalt find what thou doest look for. … TinderHeart++

    Or even better: Seek, and ye shall find.- JC

  • EML_1

    THE TRUE GAMBLE

    If the label “Christian” is to have any meaning beyond what we project onto it, it has to mean, minimally, erring on the side of EXPANSIVE Love. You should be saying to God: “God, it is not within my power to discern why these verses in your Word say what they seem to say about gay relationships, but HERE AND NOW, I am going to stand with your Son, in the power of the Spirit that you promised to guide us, and I trust You to forgive me if I have dreamed too big. I will not COWER BEFORE YOU in the expectation that I will dream too small! God, you have entrusted this Life, this spiritual journey, into my safekeeping, and just like the servant who would not bury that which is entrusted to him, I will not abdicate my spiritual responsibility to your people and your World by ignoring the Holiness I think I see in the lives of my partnered gay brothers and sisters. They are bearing spiritual fruit, Lord Jesus. How can this be possible, in a universe impregnated with your Spirit, if they are living in a way contrary to your Spirit? Can a house divided against itself stand? Can Spirit be divided against Itself?

    So, Father God, let’s roll up our sleeves together and see just how much Holiness, just how much fruit of the Spirit, just how much Christ-likeness, we can wring from these relationships that, according to received wisdom, are supposed to be sinful and taboo. Let’s crack open the Scriptures together, with eyes unclouded by fear, and see just how much joyous justification and gracious interpretation we can find to support the work of the Spirit we think we see you doing in our midst.

    We Love You, and we trust in Your Love. Always, and before everything else, we trust in YOU. Not especially our conceptions of You, be they right or wrong. Not especially our beliefs about you, but YOU. To know You is to Love You and trust You. Knowing Your endless, always-kind of Love for us and all that is, we will be faithful and will likewise ALWAYS err on the side of Grace. We will ALWAYS err on the side of an expansive Love. We will ALWAYS err on the side of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    And with Your continued help, we will teach others to do the same.”

  • EML_1

    WHY WE’RE DOING THIS

    It is not fair to people in the public eye that they remain uncriticized. Spiritual growth can’t happen like that, from either end. We Love you enough to not pretend like LGBT apartheid in the Church, the Marin Foundation’s current strategy, is an acceptable Christian future, for either one of us. We want to be free, and we want YOU to be free. Our activism, growing directly up and out of the authentic, living lineage of Jesus, insists that Love, justice, and wholeness go together. We want wholeness, or shalom, for ourselves, and for you. We look forward to the day when your organization is a World leader in Truthful reconciliation and Deep Love, a leader that joyfully acknowledges the fullness of gay people in the totality of who we are, and celebrates our partnerships as the blessings they have always been to the Family, the Church, and the World. We think that you have good Hearts, and you are correct that, before anything else, this really matters. But for LGBT people, who frequently have no voice, and whose lives spiritual and otherwise might well hang in the balance of the decisions the Church makes TODAY about its future direction, good intentions are not enough. Justice must roll down like waters… preferably today.

    Even More Love,

    The People of St. Hildegard’s ++