Archives For heretic

a moral dilemma.

mjkimpan  —  July 29, 2014 — 8 Comments

gaza

‘we think what we believe is real and valid and what everyone else belives is fearful nonsense and superstition.’ 

during the recent uptick in the outbreak of violence in gaza, i’ve been considering the concerns expressed from both ‘sides’ of the conflict – while acknowledging that where one gets their news, matters.

that said, the moral dilemma surrounding that little plot of land in the middle east transcends the geographical area, and extends to the way in which those of us who are far removed (at least in terms of location) speak about the conflict…and its history.

two significant resources can, i think, help us think more carefully and critically about the ways we talk about who is right and wrong in gaza.

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on the interwebs…

mjkimpan  —  July 7, 2014 — 14 Comments

advocate

over the weekend, a number of posts about The Marin Foundation’s I’m Sorry Campaign were written and shared across the interwebs.

all over the interwebs, in fact.

i mentioned in a recent post that we’d been featured on CNN (our friends at red letter christians also picked up my article – just steer clear of the comments – on both sites).

our friend eliel cruz posted his thoughts (and shared some pics!) on one of the largest LGBT publications in the country - advocate.com (steer clear of the comments there, too) and shared this quote from yours truly ::

“In the midst of our country’s cultural shift — where many, including evangelical Christians, are moving toward a more progressive and, I would contend, Christ-centered understanding in discussions surrounding the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality — there is a need for some folks to acknowledge the harm done toward the LGBTQ community in the name of God and religion,” Marin Foundation executive director Michael Kimpan tells The Advocate.“The ‘I’m Sorry’ campaign provides such an opportunity, to offer an apology and reparations face to face, building bridges of reconciliation between those who once spoke words of hate and intolerance and now desire to speak words — and actions — of love.”

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CNN last year, i wrote a blog post about my experience participating in The Marin Foundation’s I’m Sorry Campaign as we stood in front of these protestors during Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade.

<sidenote :: if you’re unfamiliar with the history of Gay Pride, i highly suggest watching this documentary which outlines the beginning of the LGBT equality movement at the Stonewall Inn in NYC – you can find other helpful documentaries on LGBT history and theology here>

i titled the post LOVE is louder

in spite of the 20 foot tall signs and bullhorns used by the protestors spewing words of hate, our simple sings of love with slogans like ‘I’m Sorry for how the church has treated you’ or ‘God loves you’ spoke volumes.

this year, we brought more people, with bigger signs – and the result was nothing short of extraordinary.

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halfstack.

mjkimpan  —  June 18, 2014 — Leave a comment

halfstack

it was our team’s honor to be featured in HalfStack Magazine’s Summer 2014 Issue on Empowerment.

previous to the photoshoot shown above by alluring chicago and the magazine staff, i personally had the opportunity to do an extensive interview with the magazine’s editor, jennifer lezan.

below are some highlights from that interview and the article :: Continue Reading…

deplorable.

mjkimpan  —  June 11, 2014 — 13 Comments

transtime

yesterday, at the opening of their annual national convention, the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest protestant denomination in the country) overwhelmingly approved a resolution titled ‘On Transgender Identity.

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facepalm

this is beyond embarrassing.

it is un-christlike.

in the following video, ‘christian’ activists briefly disrupted a hindu invocation in the us senate, marring a historic first for the chamber in allowing an actual separation of ‘church’ and ‘state.’

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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?

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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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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…