you may have noticed it’s been a few days since i’ve written.
or maybe you haven’t.
either way, it’s the truth.
i’ve been slacking on the blog posts.
this is not to say that i’ve been slacking – quite the contrary, actually. the past few weeks have been filled-to-the-brim with phenomenal phone calls, meetings, texts, emails, skype dates and coffee-infused conversations as i’ve inhabited the tension filled spaces that exist in the realm of my new role as the associate director at The Marin Foundation.
i’m not out to lead people away from truth or drag folks into hell; i’m not an apostate committed to destroying the name of christ; i’ve not neglected the teachings of jesus for a watered down version of the gospel (all of which i’ve been accused in the past 24 hours).
i’m actually pretty orthodox (contrary to popular belief and folklore). boring, even.
i affirm a high view of scripture – its authenticity, relevance and authority – but i’m concerned with the ways in which those within the christian faith have habitually (mis)used scripture to promote an agenda that is different from the good news of jesus – sometimes with even the best of intentions.
it strikes me as odd that in an increasingly pluralistic and post-modern society, there is still a seeming addiction to closed-ended, one-word, YES or NO answers that sum up an entire worldview and perspective that tells me if you’re one of ‘us’ or one of ‘them’ – if i can trust you or if i should despise you, if you’re for me or against me — and all that i stand for.
i’ve written about that here, here and here and The Marin Foundation has written about the reasons we avoid engaging in the polarizing, back-and-forth rhetoric responses repeatedly – and yet once again andrew and The Marin Foundation has been placed onto the chopping block – a place we’re growing increasingly accustomed to and comfortable with – from both sides of the conversation.
the following post was originally written for The Marin Foundation blog at patheos.com and can be read here.
there’s credibility and power in proximity and relationship.
it is impossible to advance the message of reconciliation without being in proximity to and relationship with those who’ve been marginalized. proximity to and relationship with the marginalized instills in us an ability to see beyond the misinformation which has too often led to the dehumanization and lessening of those known as ‘the Other.’
it’s easy to speak out of a position of ignorance and intolerance when we’re dealing with unknown faces and unheard stories.
it becomes much more difficult – impossible, in fact – when we’re speaking of our friends.
just over a week ago, churches around the world celebrated the resurrection of jesus christ and new life as a result of the atonement offered through the cross. some churches held easter egg hunts for children, while others combined their newest technological advances with the talents of their congregation in a christian-ized cocktail of creativity to re-tell the story of christ’s victory over sin and death.
one such celebration ran into some slight technical difficulties, resulting in a fiery display. the fun starts around 1:24 - take a look ::
essentially, during the well rehearsed solo announcing the resurrection, pyrotechnics malfunctioned and the tomb of the recently risen messiah became a bit of a flaming death trap.
kicking open the ‘stone’ door, jesus busts out before churchfolk rush the stage with fire extinguishers to save the day. he lives.
meanwhile, the solo artist didn’t skip a beat – a true example of the old axiom ’the show must go on.‘
as the supreme court continued its discussion on gay marriage for the second day in a row, again our facebook feeds filled with changed profile pictures and folks combating one another on the validity of such an action.
other folks used their status to decry the ‘unholy contempt being shown for God’s ways‘ (a literal quote) and more than a few posts were made with some political, religious or moral rant for or against homosexuality.
with some of my friends fighting for equality and others fighting to maintain the status quo – each convinced of the moral validity of their arguments – whether based on their interpretation of a religious text, personal ethics, some moral code or a conviction of civil rights and justice – the conversation seems to be causing more division than dialogue.