Archives For redemption

nationalinsecurity

if you follow my facebook feed, you’ll know that leading up to this holiday season i spent some time defending my counter-cultural suggestion that since the jesus of the gospel narratives is quite clearly against killing people, folks who claim to follow him ought to be as well.

some folks disagreed.

though it’s not the first time an impassioned disagreement has taken place in my world, i was surprised that the most vitriolic – sometimes even violent – responses came not due to my previous suggestions that the gospel is far better news than what we learned in church; or that the family of God expands beyond the walls of religion; or even that accepting syrian refugees and muslim immigrants is a christ-followers’ ethical and moral responsibility; but the assertion that christians shouldn’t kill people.

ever.

i don’t say so lightly. such an assertion flies in the face of the faith and family in which i  was raised – and not just because we used to sing, ‘onward christian soldier, marching off to war…’ during children’s church.

for me, it started on the day i was born.

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dmb10

a continuation of the gospel according to dave matthews

preface :: in this series, i’m heavily relying upon the intuitiveness of our readers to shape the conversation; though i’ve got some (perhaps many?) thoughts and opinions about dave and his lyrics – and have been continually impressed over the years at the spiritual under/overtones of the band’s music – i’d prefer to allow folks to come to their own conclusions, and to drive the discussion.

so again, some questions to consider in each of the posts of this series :: Continue Reading…

hmmm

 

the tweet is from kevin deyoung, a prolific blogger, preacher and author who has about 42,000 more twitter followers than me. he writes for The Gospel Coalition, which was rated one of the top 25 christian blogs for ministry in a recent analysis. his personal blog, DeYoung, Restless and Reformed did even better, landing at #12.

that’s a lot of readers. a lot of influence. a lot of responsibility.

the hashtag referenced in the tweet, #T4G14, stands for ‘Together for the Gospel‘ a well attended biennial conference for pastors and church leaders with big name speakers such as john piper, al mohler, david platt, matt chandler, john macarthur, mark dever (whose talk was quoted in the tweet) and… kevin deyoung.

these guys are professional gospel proclaimers with huge platforms, teaching at a conference all about the proclamation of that same good news.

but…

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see more.

mjkimpan  —  March 28, 2014 — 4 Comments

oneonone

‘I think that we all need to start with grace and compassion. Set the issues, beliefs and convictions aside and let’s see one another as we truly are : God’s children in need of His grace. I believe the church and other Christian ministries and organizations like World Vision are being robbed of the incredible contributions that LGBT people can make. There are so many incredible gifts, talents and abilities that were God-given that are being unused and de-valued because of the labels we place on one another.’

see more of my conversation with my friend tim schraeder on why he decided to come out as a gay christian here.

prayer?

mjkimpan  —  March 7, 2014 — 1 Comment

prayerbeads

i recently came across this tweet from stephanie drury.

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refusing to refuse.

mjkimpan  —  February 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

footwashing

it was almost time.

three years had passed since jesus first extended the invitation to this rag-tag group of curiously single jewish men.

‘follow me,’ he had said.

they were misfits, all of them. yet they found in their brotherhood a sense of solidarity with one another, in spite of their differences. this, of course, laid the ground work for their eventual understanding of christ’s stand in solidarity with all of humanity. Continue Reading…

just wonder(ing).

mjkimpan  —  January 31, 2014 — Leave a comment

upsidedown

what would it look like if rather than focusing on an us/them mentality, harping on what ‘sins’ exist ‘out there’ we each focused on how we ourselves could better find and follow christ in our every interaction?

what would it look like to celebrate the fingerprint of God – the imago dei – in each person we encounter, regardless of our differences or their perspective?

what would it look like to mirror the solidarity with the Other – the disenfranchised, marginalized and oppressed in our communities that we see evidenced in God’s incarnation?

what if, rather than declaring things seen in others as sinful, i recognized the areas in my own life where i fall short, and was encouraged and inspired by my community to get back up and try again?

i am convinced if this is how we began to approach worship within our faith communities (as well as our liturgy, our structures and systems for membership, service and doctrine, et cetera), we would quite possibly turn things upside down.

and we’d be closer to what christ envisioned for his church than we are right now.

what do you think?

 

pope hope.

mjkimpan  —  January 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

pope2

in comments made back in november but released just friday, pope francis again made headlines by encouraging priests to leave their comfort zones and spend time amongst people at the margins of society (similar to this line of thinking).

he continued,

“This is really very important to me: the need to become acquainted with reality by experience, to spend time walking on the periphery in order really to become acquainted with the reality and life-experiences of people – if this does not happen we then run the risk of being abstract ideologists or fundamentalists, which is not healthy.

i think francis is onto something.

what do you think?

xmas songs.

mjkimpan  —  December 25, 2013 — 6 Comments

singing

 

‘the best way to spread christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.’ – buddy the elf

over the past several weeks, i’ve had a number of conversations with folks surrounding the idea of creating cultural change within the church – asking questions of how church leaders and change agents can create safe and sacred spaces for all people to explore the richness of the gospel – which is, as the angel proclaimed that firs christmas,  good news of great joy for ALL people.

a recurring theme in that conversation is the power of music and song – and the importance of singing words which create a culture of inclusion rather than exclusion; of love and grace rather than judgment and intolerance; of compassion and solidarity rather than elitism and discrimination.

when we choose what songs we sing in church, we’re literally choosing words to put in the mouths of God’s people.

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mjk bw headshot that fits

i recently wrote this post for National Coming Out Day. it received a bit of attention on our patheos blog for The Marin Foundation, which resulted in a number of supportive comments from some of our friends.

i share it here, at the WayWard Follower because of this simple fact :: october 11 isn’t the only time LGBT people come out of the closet – nor should it be. many of my regular readers here don’t necessarily follow our posts at patheos. yet year round, individuals have may opportunities to engage in beautiful conversations with their friends and loved ones. my hope is that the lessons i’ve learned through my own experiences may serve as a learning opportunity for others…

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