Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Via Nieuwhof: Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian

On Friday, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can now marry in all 50 states, setting off a flurry of reaction by Christians and virtually everyone else on social media and beyond.

Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful background post to the shift in opinion that led to the decision and included links to a number of other leading articles in his post.

The social media reaction ranged from surprising to predictable to disappointing to occasionally refreshing.

I write from the perspective of a pastor of an evangelical church in a country where same sex-marriage has been the law of the land for a decade.

That does not mean I hold any uniquely deep wisdom, but it does mean we’ve had a decade to process and pray over the issue.

I hope what I offer can help. It’s my perspective. My fingers tremble at the keyboard because my goal is to help in the midst of a dialogue that seems far more divisive than it is uniting or constructive.

There will be many who disagree with me, I’m sure, but I hope it pulls debate away from the “sky is falling/this is the best thing ever” dichotomy that seems to characterize much of the dialogue so far.

The purpose of this post is not to take a position or define matters theologically (for there is so much debate around that). Rather, the purpose of this post is to think through how to respond as a church when the law of the land changes as fundamentally as it’s changing on same-sex marriage and many other issues.

Here are 5 perspectives I hope are helpful as church leaders of various positions on the subject think and pray through a way forward.

Make the jump here to read the 5 Points


Not Alone (Alternate Version)

1st Grader Backs Down Homophobe Street Preacher

Via JMG: AUSTRALIA: Parliament Might Hold Free Vote On Same-Sex Marriage In August

Via Reuters:
Australia will soon decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage under a cross-party bill which may allow parliament members to vote according to their conscience, rather than along party lines, media reported on Wednesday. The debate over whether to follow countries like the United States and Ireland in recognizing same-sex marriage has strained relations between Australia's socially conservative Catholic Prime Minister Tony Abbott and members of his Liberal Party in favor of the change. A cross-party bill, sponsored by two Liberal Party lawmakers is expected to go to the federal parliament on Aug. 11, Sky News Australia said. There is speculation that Abbott may appease his own party members by allowing them the freedom to vote independently, in recognition that they favor the legislation. Abbott's sister is engaged to a woman and has called for bipartisan agreement.
The first day of spring in the southern hemisphere is September 23rd.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: US Virgin Islands Fall In Line

The Virgin Islands have become the final US territory to comply with SCOTUS.
Governor Kenneth Mapp has announced that he’s currently working on an executive order to direct government agencies and departments to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Mapp made the announcement during a Tuesday morning press conference at Government House, stating that upon taking office in January, he swore to uphold the laws of the land. “The Government of the Virgin Islands as a civil society can no longer discriminate on marriage,” Mapp said. “The nation has arrived, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s ruling, at full marriage equality — when two consenting adults appear for a marriage license and apply for that license, civil society is required to respond. And so persons of the same-sex can be married in the U.S. Virgin Islands.” The governor stressed that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling does not force churches and ministers to perform same-sex or any other kind of marriage, however as the territory’s leader, he must abide by the law.
The territory has a population of 106K.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Bilerico Project Calls It Quits

Long-running LGBT group blog The Bilerico Project has called it quits after eleven years. Founder Bil Browning writes:

Projects are meant to be temporary and so was Bilerico Project. After more than a decade, it's time to wrap up our experiment. The media landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade and so have our lives and the LGBT movement itself. It's time to turn the page and start something fresh in this new environment. My first post in 2004 was a quote from Margaret Meade. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." I think we've done our part to make the world a better place. This will be my last post on Bilerico Project. The site will be archived at so that all 31,000+ posts will still be available for readers. It's been a long strange journey and I've loved every single moment of it, but the time has come to end the project and call it a success.
From JMG: "In the early years of this here website thingy, there were only a handful of us doing LGBT news aggregation and commentary before behemoths like Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and other major sites launched LGBT verticals. Bilerico now joins Mike Rogers, Pam Spauding, Andrew Sullivan, and John Aravosis in LGBT blogging history. Hail to the independents."

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día - Flower of the day 01/07/2015

“A máscara não tem nenhum comprometimento com a verdade. A vítima, por exemplo, sofre muito, mas esse sofrimento não tem nada a ver com sua dor original. É apenas mais um mecanismo de defesa, uma forma de fugir da dor. Esse sofrimento é completamente desnecessário, ele não serve para nada, pois é um falso sofrimento.”

“La máscara no tiene ningún compromiso con la verdad. La víctima, por ejemplo, sufre mucho, pero este sufrimiento no tiene nada que ver con su dolor original. Es solo un mecanismo de defensa más, una forma de huir del dolor. Este sufrimiento es completamente innecesario, no sirve para nada, ya que es un falso sufrimiento.”

"The mask has no commitment to the truth. The victim, for example, suffers a lot, but this suffering has nothing to do with one’s original pain. It's just a defense mechanism to escape the pain. This suffering is completely unnecessary. It serves no purpose since it is a false suffering."

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día - Flower of the day 30/06/2015

“A identificação com a mente agitada gera o estado que conhecemos como ‘loucura’. Muitos acreditam ser “normais” porque não falam sozinhos ou não quebram coisas, mas isso não é sinal de sanidade. Existem estados diferenciados de loucura. Algumas pessoas aparentam ser normais, mas internamente são completamente loucas. Me refiro a uma falta de eixo que se manifesta por não sabermos quem somos. Nesse estado de identificação com a mente, é muito comum tomar o real como irreal e vice-versa. E esse tipo de loucura é muito normal”.

“La identificación con la mente agitada genera el estado que conocemos como "locura". Muchos creen ser "normales" ya que no hablan solos o no rompen cosas, pero esto no es signo de sanidad. Existen estados diferentes de locura. Algunas personas aparentan ser normales, pero internamente están completamente locas. Me refiero a una falta de eje que se manifiesta por no saber quiénes somos. En este estado de identificación con la mente, es muy común tomar lo real como irreal y viceversa. Y esta clase de locura es muy normal”.

“Identification with an agitated mind generates the state that we call ‘madness’. Many people believe they are ‘normal’ because they don’t talk to themselves and they don’t break things, but this is not a sign of sanity. There are different states of madness. Some people seem to be normal, but inside they are completely mad. I am talking about a lack of centeredness which occurs when we don’t know who we are. In this state of identification with the mind, it is very common to mistake reality for something unreal and vice versa. This type of madness is very common”.

Today's Daily Dharma: May I Be of Service

May I Be of Service
May I become an island for those seeking dry land
A lamp for those needing light,
A place of rest for those who desire one,
And a servant for those needing service.
Shantideva, "May I Become an Island"