Archives For bible

fortherecord

it’s been a long while since i’ve heard a ‘church song’ that deeply resonates with the just and generous version of my faith i’m growing into.

as a former music pastor, i’m all too familiar with the lack of depth in our praise choruses, as well as astutely aware of the sometimes harmful theological themes undergirding much of today’s (and yesterday’s!) popular christian worship music. even some of the great hymns hold onto a systematic form of the faith, creating formulas of if/then that fell apart under the weight of the reality of living life.

ideas like the prosperity gospel or the primary place of penal substitutionary theory of atonement; battle-cries of us/them mixed with a strong dose of in/out dynamics; each underpinned with our seeming unworthiness before God expressed with an intensified repetition mirroring the self-deprecating speech practiced by the prodigal son prior to being gently corrected by his father in luke 15; the insistence on crafting a simplistic version of the gospel story and indeed, the story of humanity in a theology that could be summarized on a napkin.

but then last week, i heard a few songs written and performed by a new friend, david lunsford from eastlake community church. Continue Reading…

convergence.

mjkimpan  —  March 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

convergence

this week, i’ve got the tremendous opportunity to plot and conspire goodness with some old and new friends at an event in marco island, florida – hosted by grace and brian mclaren.

the purpose of our gathering is for a group of initiators of a movement to gather together connecting people and organizations to solve great problems and participate in new opportunities – especially to heal the human spirit, to foster abundant life in community, to seek the common good, and to promote responsible living with the earth.

we readily acknowledge that growing numbers of christian leaders from many traditions – traditional protestant, progressive catholic, progressive evangelicals, and others – are coming to shared convictions that are both radical and exciting ::

• the future of the church will not simply be a replication of the past, and
• it is time for vital, new expressions of just and generous christian faith to emerge

many have often felt marginalized and alone in these convictions; yet when we voice them, we all too quickly discover that we are not alone. many others resonate with the restlessness we feel, and speak of… Continue Reading…

#evanjellyfish.

mjkimpan  —  March 2, 2015 — 6 Comments

evanjellyfish

 

over the past few days, i’ve been in pasadena participating in the Level Ground film festival with friends and colleagues who desire to create safe and sacred spaces in conversations surrounding faith, gender and sexuality across a variety of theological perspectives.

the mission statement of Level Ground is similar to that of The Marin Foundation, with a specific focus on art and film ::

Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality. Our hope is to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements. Level Ground is becoming a national innovator in film festival programming, art curation, and dialogue.

the name Level Ground comes from a prophecy in the book of isaiah. the name embodies a space where we descend from our mountains and climb out of the valleys to meet one another on sacred – though likely uncomfortable – level ground.

one person doing similar work in her specific context is my canadian friend wendy gritter. she and i spent some good time together this week, discussing both the rewards and challenges of being leaders in these spaces. as we ‘talked shop,’ our  tête-à-tête drifted into some of the less-than-flattering names we’ve each been called – and how we each have at times had a tendency to preemptively label ourselves as heretics in an effort of self-protection. Continue Reading…

top ten in 2014.

mjkimpan  —  February 25, 2015 — Leave a comment

topten2014

each year on the blog, i’ve published a list of the previous years’ most popular posts. this year, however – the opportunity to do so escaped my attention.

until now.

better late than never, i guess… so here’s a list of the top ten posts at the WayWard follower from 2014 :: Continue Reading…

what the heck?!?!

mjkimpan  —  February 22, 2015 — 22 Comments

whattheheck

today after we wrapped up our Culture War Curriculum class in chicago, i was to be hopping on a train and heading to Indiana Wesleyan University to speak in their chapel service tomorrow on building bridges between conservatives and LGBTQ students on their campus.

when IWU alumni pete heck, who is billed as a conservative christian commentator on social and political issues on his radio show (The Pete Heck Show) caught wind of The Marin Foundation being represented on the campus of his alma mater, his team reached out to us and asked if i’d provide him with ‘a phone interview.’

so, of course, i did.

the phone interview went well – although pete was a bit more aggressively antagonistic than any previous interview i’ve had with a radio personality – i felt he allowed me to respond to his questions with an explanation of The Marin Foundation’s philosophy, and listened to my biblical reasoning for our posture and position by reflecting on some examples of the life, teachings and actions of the jesus we both claim to follow.

we didn’t agree, at the end. but that’s not the point.

i was looking forward to listening to the interview once it went live on the air – as it does weekly – on the largest talk radio station in indiana. i was told that would be today.

this morning, i saw pete had tweeted ::

Continue Reading…

potandkettle

after initially addressing our culture’s addiction to answers we continued our series on sacred cow tipping last week by addressing the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates an environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other.

today, we’ll explore the dangerous and innate hypocrisy of the subtle ‘hierarchy of sins’ which surprisingly allows room for ‘process’ on sins to which we’re most likely to succumb, and simultaneously provides reason for an outright rejection of those guilty of ‘sinning’ in ways we deem unlikely temptations for ourselves. Continue Reading…

membersonly

last week, we continued our series on sacred cow tipping by acknowledging our culture’s addiction to answers. today’s post will grapple with the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates ann environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other.

next, we’ll explore the dangerous and innate hypocrisy of the subtle ‘hierarchy of sins’ which surprisingly allows room for ‘process’ on sins to which we’re most likely to succumb, and simultaneously an outright rejection of those we deem unlikely temptations.

finally, we’ll explore together new ways to invite and participate in community with those with whom we disagree in areas critical to our faith and core to our identity.

so then, the inherent exclusivity of church membership ::

Continue Reading…

answeraddict


this is a long one… bear with me.

as promised in my previous post, we’re exploring some sacred cows in need of tipping – beginning with our culture’s addiction to answers. as this series continues we’ll grapple with the inherent exclusivity of church membership and how our application of this tradition (better reserved for private golf clubs and credit card reward programs than churches) not only hinders our ability to love the Other, but unintentionally creates and facilitates ann environment of stigmatization, ostracization and marginalization – eventually leading to the dehumanization and demonization of the Other. Continue Reading…

stirring the pot.

mjkimpan  —  August 7, 2014 — 9 Comments

stirringpot

with increasing frequency in the past several weeks and months, the media has paid particular attention to the spaces we at The Marin Foundation inhabit on a daily basis- the disconnect between social, political and religious conservatives and the broader LGBTQ community. twitter timelines, facebook feeds and comment sections are laden with the polarizing back-and-forth, us/them language, with accusations of bigotry or deceit being lobbed back and forth. even (perhaps especially?) in religious news service spaces, the conversation has reached a fever pitch. Continue Reading…

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…