conviction.

mjkimpan  —  May 5, 2014 — 6 Comments

conviction

there is a difference between things that are painful, and things that are destructive.

embrace the former, and reject the latter.

i am convinced we are in the midst of a seismic shift – a massive, historic reformation of the way we define what it means to follow jesus. how we understand the bible, the gospel, heaven and hell are being challenged and poked and prodded and picked up and looked at from the underside before being placed back on the shelf of ‘religion’ – and in many cases, the spot the good book is placed in on the shelf has moved dramatically from where it had initially been picked up.

many have found that in the midst of this shift, some voices – ones who may have helped forge their faith in the past – are no longer able to help them grow; in fact, they may even hinder their growth…holding them back from what they feel called forward to.

how can this be?

Continue Reading…

GAGC

it’s no surprise that as humans we have an inherent propensity to gravitate toward individuals and ways of thinking which reflect our own personal convictions and biases. our ‘comfort zones’ are made up of the familiar – things which reinforce the world as we already interpret it.

this familiarity provides for us the comfort of the similar – we often surround ourselves with like-minded people – reflecting our belief systems, behaviors and preferred philosophies and perspectives.

this ‘sameness’ is indeed part of the human experience; and yet, left unchecked, it can also lend itself toward the sort of dangerous Groupishness i’ve discussed at length here on the blog in the past. creating a cultural norm of us/them || in/out and refusing to generously engage the Other can, in fact, lead us backwards to a sort of tribalism which is inherently inhospitable and ungracious.

striking that balance is an important part of creating space for civil dialogue and disagreement.

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missing the point.

mjkimpan  —  May 1, 2014 — 6 Comments

lethalchair

just moments ago, i stumbled across an Op-Ed piece on CNN’s blog.

unsurprisingly, it was written about the recent controversial execution by lethal injection tuesday in oklahoma – a ‘botched execution’ that went so wrong that the same news agency wrote previously that ‘it will also prompt many Americans across the country to rethink the wisdom, and the morality, of capital punishment.

As it well should.

enter al mohler’s Op-Ed piece.

much to my dismay, the title of the article written by the widely respected president of the flagship school for the largest protestant denomination in our country (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) with 16.2 million members was this ::

Why Christians should support the death penalty

how have we gotten the message of jesus so damned wrong?

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(broken) jars of clay.

mjkimpan  —  April 30, 2014 — 9 Comments

jarsofclay

‘but we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always caring in the body the death of jesus, so that the life of jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. for we who live are always being given over to death for jesus’ sake, so that the life of jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh.’

– ii corinthians 4:7-11

sometimes i fear rather than being seen as jars of clay containing the treasure of the abundant life giving message of christ, many within the christian community instead look like a bunch of crack pots.

earlier this week, the frontman for the band Jars of Clay posed some good questions via his twitter feed about a christian response to the LGBTQ community – a move he later apologized for, acknowledging that the venue of 140 characters or less allowed for a misinterpretation of his intended queries. as his blogpost explained, the line of thought was prompted from dan haseline watching the film 12 Years a Slave on an international flight following his sitting on a panel which was pummeled with questions surrounding gay rights in australia. admittedly, he said, he hadn’t given the question much thought, even of his gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in the states.

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stay tuned…

mjkimpan  —  April 29, 2014 — 2 Comments

UKtrip

as some of you may know, i’m currently in the UK visiting my colleague and dear friend andrew marin as he continues his studies as a PhD candidate at st. andrews university in scotland.

the two weeks leading up to my trip saw my regular posting schedule here on the blog suffer, and i’ve been relatively absent since arriving here in the UK; however, much attention regarding the conversations surrounding faith and sexuality have been at the forefront of the online world – from last week’s release of matthew vine’s book God and the Gay Christian to the frontman of jars of clay ruffling the feathers of many on his twitter feed.

i’ll be posting a couple posts in the following days about the aforementioned stories, as well as some thoughts of my own. stay tuned.

is not our refusal to entertain question and doubt an exercise in dogmatic propaganda?

significant

in an earlier post, i mentioned brian mclaren. i’ve blogged a bit here and there about some of his thoughts, and extensively quoted his work ‘A New Kind of Christianity’ in my series on scripture here at the WayWard Follower. in many ways, that book literally changed my life – and saved my faith.

put bluntly – there is no other author, speaker, pastor or friend who has had a more significant influence on my spiritual development than has brian.

i was first given the opportunity to meet brian face to face as he was touring for his (at the time) most recent book, ‘Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? :: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World and had the privilege of sitting down with him afterwards. our discussion crossed over from inter-faith dialogue to the need for a more generous, gracious, hospitable approach to the church’s conversation with the LGBT community (this was mere months before i came to The Marin Foundation).

it was one of the most meaningful and significant conversations i’ve ever had.

it, in conjunction with spending two days later that same week with rob bell, led to me leaving the faith community i had grown to know and love and start out on a grand adventure. Continue Reading…

cloud(ing) judgment?

mjkimpan  —  April 16, 2014 — 2 Comments

glorycloud

jesus. glory.

have you seen this yet? apparently at bethel church in redding, CA there are some… interesting things happening. like a ‘glory cloud’ defined by pastor bill johnson as the presence of God.

according to the pastor, these glory clouds are ‘hard to explain. it looks like smoke, looks like dust. and when you get closer… it looks like gold.’

here’s a compilation video of the glory cloud phenomena at the church ::

curious, that.

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‘true growth and spiritual maturity often occurs when you stop believing in a toxic and destructive image of God…that may look like atheism, but it’s more accurately simply a denial of a god who isn’t worth believing in or following in the first place.’
– rob bell

noah? no, uh…

mjkimpan  —  April 11, 2014 — 13 Comments

hatersofthelostark

i might lose some more subscribers with this one.

have you seen the ‘noah’ movie yet? in its opening weekend, the poetic tale of genesis chapters 6-9 brought in $43.7 million, topping the box office. in just two weeks, it’s earned nearly $200 million.

some people didn’t like it (including the vatican),  offered detailed deconstructions of the film, and have quite a bit to say about it. others, like my friend tony jones, blogged about what an incredible film it was.

and yet others critiqued it on principle – seemingly without either seeing the film, or even re-reading their bibles.

comedian/provocateur jon stewart explains :: Continue Reading…