things that make you go hmmm…

mjkimpan  —  April 9, 2014 — 81 Comments

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…

the above proclamation of ‘no good news’ for some seems in direct contrast to the original gospel proclamation in the second chapter of the gospel of luke ::

But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people…

isn’t there a difference here? are we talking about same good news? or is this bad news? shouldn’t our understanding and proclamation of the gospel reflect the grace, compassion, hope and joy present – for all people - in its initial proclamation by heavenly messengers?

i could be wrong, and i don’t intend to impose my perspective on you – but either way this could be an interesting conversation between us.

what do you think?

  • EML_9

    BIBLICAL IMAGES, #1

    Support for LGBT relationships can be found in the Heart of the Divine Nature itself. Instead of scouring the text of the Bible for clobber verses, an undertaking rooted in fear rather than Love, How about we dig a little deeper?

    The Incarnation of Jesus.

    Christians that have a problem with lesbian relationships may be having a problem with the circumstance that brought about the birth of their own Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit, in both the literal text of the Scriptures and also in its inner meaning, is undoubtedly a feminine Energy. To put it another way Mary, a woman, became pregnant of the Holy Spirit, also a Woman. Two women conceived the Christ child, without masculine intervention.

  • EML_9

    TWISTED LOGIC, Conservatives!

    We love Black people, but have a problem with Black Presidents.

    We love Native Americans, but think they should stay on their reservations.

    We love mentally challenged people, but don’t support their ability to reproduce.

    And we love gay people, but don’t want them being gay with one another. They must keep it in their pants, for if they don’t, the Church has every right to commit spiritual violence against them.

  • EML_9

    ON THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM

    On the Source of the Problem

    (or you know where you can put the bridge)

    The issue is not God…

    The issue is not us…

    The issue is you.

    God is incapable of wronging us.

    And there’s nothing wrong with us.

    So…

    There IS something wrong with you.

    And for anyone, that’s a difficult thing

    To have to acknowledge.

    It is nothing we have done, or not done.

    It is all you,

    And only you.

    And so has it always been.

    Yet…

    You can stop hurting us

    Any time you wish too.

    You have always had that power.

    We have already forgiven you, many times over.

    Please forgive yourselves, and together, let us

    Let it go!

    We wait for you, always.

  • EML_9

    SEPARATING “CHURCH” AND “GAY COMMUNITY”

    Please stop rhetorically separating “Church” from “gay community.” The Church has always had gay people and has always been lead by droves and droves of people from the gay community. We ARE the Church.

    And the next time I hear your ANYONE use the phrase “same-sex attracted” person, I’m going to reach for my pistol. Granted, it will be the Joker’s pistol from the first Batman movie that fires a red flag imprinted with the word “Bang!” but a firearm nonetheless it shall be.

  • EML_9

    SUGGESTED LIVING IN THE TENSION RESOURCE PACKET, #1

    Elevating the discourse between Pro-Slavery Traditionalists and the slave community.

    The slave community’s position

    Uh…. The Exodus?

    Pro-Slavery Traditionalists

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

    OR we could just go with this:

    And Behold, I give unto thee a new teaching. Thou shalt find what thou doest look for. … TinderHeart++

    Or even better: Seek, and ye shall find.- JC

  • EML_9

    THE TRUE GAMBLE

    If the label “Christian” is to have any meaning beyond what we project onto it, it has to mean, minimally, erring on the side of EXPANSIVE Love. You should be saying to God: “God, it is not within my power to discern why these verses in your Word say what they seem to say about gay relationships, but HERE AND NOW, I am going to stand with your Son, in the power of the Spirit that you promised to guide us, and I trust You to forgive me if I have dreamed too big. I will not COWER BEFORE YOU in the expectation that I will dream too small! God, you have entrusted this Life, this spiritual journey, into my safekeeping, and just like the servant who would not bury that which is entrusted to him, I will not abdicate my spiritual responsibility to your people and your World by ignoring the Holiness I think I see in the lives of my partnered gay brothers and sisters. They are bearing spiritual fruit, Lord Jesus. How can this be possible, in a universe impregnated with your Spirit, if they are living in a way contrary to your Spirit? Can a house divided against itself stand? Can Spirit be divided against Itself?

    So, Father God, let’s roll up our sleeves together and see just how much Holiness, just how much fruit of the Spirit, just how much Christ-likeness, we can wring from these relationships that, according to received wisdom, are supposed to be sinful and taboo. Let’s crack open the Scriptures together, with eyes unclouded by fear, and see just how much joyous justification and gracious interpretation we can find to support the work of the Spirit we think we see you doing in our midst.

    We Love You, and we trust in Your Love. Always, and before everything else, we trust in YOU. Not especially our conceptions of You, be they right or wrong. Not especially our beliefs about you, but YOU. To know You is to Love You and trust You. Knowing Your endless, always-kind of Love for us and all that is, we will be faithful and will likewise ALWAYS err on the side of Grace. We will ALWAYS err on the side of an expansive Love. We will ALWAYS err on the side of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    And with Your continued help, we will teach others to do the same.”

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    Kevin DeYoung and I simply don’t practice the same faith.

    In my faith, the lived gospel means that all are the beloved of God and invited to the communion table.

    In Kevin DeYoung’s faith, as an expression of God’s demand for holiness, he is morally obligated to exclude the unholy from the communion table.

    IMHO, Kevin is robbing himself of a life enriched by those who believe differently than he does. I also believe his version of Christianity breeds a dangerous culture of secret-keeping (lest someone discover your sins and kick you out of the club).

    • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

      And not for nothing, his tweet is an intentional insult to Christians who are gay…the mean-spiritedness of it reminds me of high school.

      • http://www.mjkimpan.com/ michael j. kimpan

        i felt the same way. several of the tweets coming out of the conference seem to me to be pointedly against gay christians.

    • http://www.mjkimpan.com/ michael j. kimpan

      so true and such a helpful insight – that the culture of secret-keeping which is so very prevalent in the church (and not at all a part of the abundant life jesus offers, in my opinion) is created in part by statements and beliefs like these.

    • http://www.thewronggloria.com TWG_Gloria

      Secret-keeping. Yes. But when the secret becomes too heavy a burden to carry alone and gets shared, all hell breaks loose…as does all grace. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell Freedhearts

    So… Christianity is like any other religion, based on what I do? Or unique, based on what God has done?

    • http://www.mjkimpan.com/ michael j. kimpan

      and therein lies the difference.

  • manlambda

    Again this is why I question the whole bridge building movement. As you pointed out these people have great influence within the evangelical community. They aren’t going to change. I’d rather gay people abandon religion all together or build bridges and partner with affirming religions. Why would I build a bridge to these people?

    • http://www.mjkimpan.com/ michael j. kimpan

      i think in order for bridge building/peacemaking to be effective, both sides must desire reconciliation – and though i cannot speak for kevin deyoung or members of TGC, my experience and observation has been that they are disinterested in my understanding of what that means.

      with others, however – i am hopeful. as Ford1968 says in one of the comments below, i suspect kevin deyoung and i ‘simply don’t practice the same faith.’ i believe we have fundamentally different understandings of who jesus is, what the gospel is and what those things mean for our practical lives.

      • Tim Walstrum

        The problem is this isn’t some isolated incident. This is the majority of the evangelical world. I see no purpose trying to build a bridge with those who are so anti-gay.

        • http://www.mjkimpan.com/ michael j. kimpan

          i hear you, tim. i hear you. :(

        • Ben

          What if Dr King or Nelson Mandela had said I have no desire to build a bridge with these racists?

          • Tim Walstrum

            Ben,
            Neither of these leaders ever tried to build a bridge with racists. You didn’t see them trying to build a bridge with George Wallace, or the KKK. They fought for their equal rights without saying we must meet racists in the middle which is what a bridge is.

            • Bob_Schmidt

              Amen.

              (TO ANDREW)

              The 2-2.5 million LGBT kids and teens in the US Evangelical Church don’t care about your beliefs, or my beliefs. What they need, is Love-in-Action, or Justice. Somewhere along the way, you became convinced that cordiality = Love. Cordiality is your orientation. Love wants what is best for the other, even if it means sacrifice. Tell me, what sacrifice is made by you and your family, when you give your blessing to churches that seek to prevent my family? I’m waiting for a response.

    • http://www.thewronggloria.com TWG_Gloria

      Because there are people like me in churches that listen to people like him, and we need that bridge to walk across.

  • http://exclusionandembrace.blogspot.com/ rob g

    For me, Volf adds to this conversation when he names the act of exclusion as sin. “Since he who was innocent, sinless, and fully within God’s camp transgressed social boundaries that excluded the outcasts, these boundaries themselves were evil, sinful, and outside God’s will (Neyrey 1988, 79). By embracing the “outcast,” Jesus underscored the “sinfulness” of the persons and systems that cast them out.” (p. 72)

    http://exclusionandembrace.blogspot.ca/2012/01/sin-as-exclusion.html

    • http://www.mjkimpan.com/ michael j. kimpan

      love this, rob. thanks for sharing.

  • EML_24

    Please explain what is so threatening about this post. We’d really like to know. You say you don’t mind genuine conversation- here is an example of the kind of conversation we have been offering for a month, beginning with “the true gamble,” on up until the present time.

    We ask that you explain publicly why you refuse to allow this post to go through. Until then, we consider your offers for dialog to be disingenuous.

    OUR KIDS

    Consequently, this is what all of this is about- the kids. They don’t have a voice, no one speaks for them, and they are the ones that will suffer most if LGBT apartheid remains the order of the day in the conservative Church. Please see to it that doesn’t happen, TMF. Work for a just-war/pacifist style resolution, for the time being, in the conservative Church. Don’t leave the door open for future suffering. I’d like to see the 1000 percent suicide rate among LGBT conservative Evangelical kids come down to normal-or-better-levels. Less drastically, I don’t want a single child to have to go through the hell on earth that my adolescence in conservative Evangelicalism was. I am not alone, not by a longshot. That’s why Love must be more than sentiment, more than cordiality, more than even kindness- it must be justice, or Love-in-action. Love sacrifices its own conceptual configurations if need be for the Soul of another, especially when it loses nothing significant in the process. Love gives the benefit of the doubt. Love makes no peace with that which stands in the way of Love. Love seeks to utterly destroy the works of evil, to prevent suffering, to effect total cures, not just minor healing that must be continually rebandaged.

    In short, Love seeks and will stop at nothing less than TOTAL TRANSFORMATION of the Heart. As we chant at St. Hildegard’s

    God is not a tame lion,
    You better watch out or She just might
    Swallow you whole!
    God is not a tame Lion,
    And if you get lucky, She just might
    Swallow you whole!
    So swallow us whole, like Jonah, Love!

  • Bob_Schmidt

    OUR KIDS

    Consequently, this is what all of this is about- the kids. They don’t have a voice, no one speaks for them, and they are the ones that will suffer most if LGBT apartheid remains the order of the day in the conservative Church. Please see to it that doesn’t happen, TMF. Work for a just-war/pacifist style resolution, for the time being, in the conservative Church. Don’t leave the door open for future suffering. I’d like to see the 1000 percent suicide rate among LGBT conservative Evangelical kids come down to normal-or-better-levels. Less drastically, I don’t want a single child to have to go through the hell on earth that my adolescence in conservative Evangelicalism was. I am not alone, not by a longshot. That’s why Love must be more than sentiment, more than cordiality, more than even kindness- it must be justice, or Love-in-action. Love sacrifices its own conceptual configurations if need be for the Soul of another, especially when it loses nothing significant in the process. Love gives the benefit of the doubt. Love makes no peace with that which stands in the way of Love. Love seeks to utterly destroy the works of evil, to prevent suffering, to effect total cures, not just minor healing that must be continually rebandaged.

    In short, Love seeks and will stop at nothing less than TOTAL TRANSFORMATION of the Heart. As we chant at St. Hildegard’s

    God is not a tame lion,
    You better watch out or She just might
    Swallow you whole!
    God is not a tame Lion,
    And if you get lucky, She just might
    Swallow you whole!
    So swallow us whole, like Jonah, Love!

  • TO_MICHAEL

    So Michael, I guess even after all of this TMF is still not going to change course in the slightest, and ban/delete everything we put up. 3 messages this time on FB, one a piece, and they are gone 3 times since (very) early this morning. And now you are doing the same with our presence on this blog, again, twice interrupting conversations with other readers just as you have done since day #1

    Is this the invitation to genuine conversation that you speak of?

    Or do you and yours just have some deep-seated existential issue that our presence exacerbates, that we’re missing?

  • andrea

    It is a shame that we as the body of Christ continue to draw lines and put up barriers that not only exclude and separate us from (in your words) the Other but also limits the power of the Holy Spirit through the death and resurrection of Christ. Personally, I am tired of the hopelessness and division of this gospel that is so often preached. The power of the resurrected Christ is what raised my life from spiritual death and I absolutely believe the same power and salvation is available to all. And He never changes. The truth of the resurrected Christ never changes, even in my life. I still need Him today just as much as I did the moment I believed. And because of that, I am now in Christ and He is in me and He did not exclude the Other. He always drew near to the marginalized in humility. He shows no partiality. Ever. I wonder what Paul would have to say to Kevin DeYoung….I think he would go ballistic.

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    So. Two things.

    First, I went back to the blog post associated with this tweet. ( http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2014/04/08/what-we-need/ ). Brother DeYoung is indeed saying that unrepentant sinners are going to hell; and he is specifically referring to people who are gay. His language makes it clear that anyone who disagrees with his beliefs is not a true Christian. I guess I’m lucky that God is my judge and not pastor DeYoung. People like me scare the shit out of him.

    Second, I asked Preston Sprinkle about the primacy of beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexuality. I consider Preston a pretty moderate evangelical – and he certainly exhibits more grace than most. I was surprised that he responded he wasn’t sure homosexuality could be considered a secondary issue. That was a little disheartening. That tells me the evangelical world generally lacks the ability to withhold judgement. Exclusion is required; gay people and Christianity are mutually exclusive.

    I stand by my earlier thoughts. We are not practicing the same faith. Their faith is parasitic; it can only survive by killing all other beliefs – it demands to be “absolutely true” in comparison to all other beliefs.

    So, as if we needed further proof, trying to build a bridge here is an exercise in shoveling sand against the tide. I can only hope that their land mass erodes as they continue to exclude sinners from their ranks.

    Now the onus is on me and people like me to love those who see us as less than human and want us to disappear.