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Love Can Be The Solution

Love Heart Bandaid
Do you want to make a major positive impact in this world?  Do you appreciate the message of love from Jesus, but not necessarily all the ambiguous conditions and pre-requisites that some folks add to it?  Well there's good news...we can in good conscience follow a philosophy which is much less about what we believe, and much more about how we believe.

When Jesus spoke of "belief" he used words that translated in Greek to the word πιστεύω (pisteuō) and from the Hebrew word אָמַן ('aman) - and these words had a bit of a different meaning from what we understand today when we use the word "believe."  To Jesus, belief meant to trust, commit to, or be steadfast in.  In other words, to Jesus belief was action related, and not merely an intellectual agreement.   

Jesus once said in a parable:

Could Paul Distinguish Sexual Immorality from Homosexuality?

Could Paul Distinguish SEXual Immorality and HomoSEXuality?

This post is Part II in a series on morality, and this installment uses the topic of homosexuality for a muse.  I don't plan to go into depth specifically on the issue of homosexuality, as I have already done that in this post.   Instead, this time I want to take a specific swat at delineating the biblical topics of homosexuality from sexual immorality - as I think the two are often tossed into the same bucket, which causes a lot of confusion.

In Paul's letter to the Galatians, which most scholars accept as authentic, Paul writes the following as he tee's up his Fruit of the Spirit doctrine: 

"Now the works of the flesh are these;  adultery [sexual unfaithfulness], fornication [sexual immorality], uncleanness, lasciviousness [unbridled sensuality],  idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, and revellings [orgies]…"   

Wait?  Did Paul accidentally forget homosexuality in his magna carta of sins?  No, of course not.  While it's clear that Paul has real issues with sexual morality, he does not comment here on the issue of two people of the same sex in a loving and committed relationship.  This is because:

Are Progressive Christians Losing Morality?

Lost Something Morality
A recent article by blogger Chad Holtz accused the "progressive Christian movement" of losing morality and holiness.  In the post he recalls his early progressive days at conferences and noticing no difference in progressive Christians and the rest of the world - including drinking, crude language, and looser sexual standards.  He even recounts hanging around the camp-fire outside the Patheos RV (famous for making “Patheos Punch”) late into the night during progressive Christian conferences, and how that "reminded him of his Navy days where nothing was edited, nor sacred..."   This got me to he right?  Are folks in the amorphous "progressive Christian" type of grouping prone to throw morality out the window?  And if so, is that a problem?  

Can Someone Tell Me How to Become a Christian?

Question about Christianity
Hello.  I was wondering if someone could help me out.   I heard lots of people talking about this thing called Christianity, based around someone called Jesus, and it sounds interesting.   Can someone please tell me what Christianity is, and what I have to believe in order to become a Christian?   Thanks!

PS, if I get any insightful comments I will add the top few into this post and reference a link to who provided it (unless you don't want me to).

Top 3 Comments:

Rachel Held Evans Sees the Light?

Walking out the door and seeing the light
A few days ago, popular blogger Rachel Held Evans announced that she was "leaving evangelicalism" due to a last-straw event of World Vision deciding not to employ gay folks to participate in their child feeding programs.   And while many people within the Christian community may think she's gone too far, I say that finally she's seen the light!  Let me explain.

For so many of us who've ventured through the fundamental or evangelical realms, we can identify with having been richly blessed and badly burned by today's mainstream evangelical movement.  Many "evangelicals" (more on that word in a bit) are great and loving people (and many are personal friends of mine) but it's when they're in the group mentality that they can be unrelentingly obstinate and closed minded if you so much as question something in their commonly agreed upon "what we believe" doctrines...  Some are this way because of lack of knowledge and indoctrination, others out of a tightly guarded reverence for church authority, and others simply out of a need for job preservation.  I say this from experience, and as one who left a church family behind for this very reason.  I'm still viewed by some of them as "lost" or having "stumbled in my faith," and I think some still hang around me out of some hope to "re-save" me...  All the while it's not like I've become a satanist or militant atheist... I still call myself a Christian!  Now here's what fascinates me about this Rachel Held Evans situation....

The Evangelical Liberal

Those of you familiar with Christian Evolution know that I rarely "reblog" directly on the site, but instead usually do that kind of thing via social media, etc...  But a recent blog post by a chap named Harvey Edser who has a blog titled The Evangelical Liberal caught my eye.  This post stood out to me because it speaks to what so many people have emailed me directly about to bat around, which is how to experience one's self in a Christian context when any or all of the common creedal boundaries have become confusing, frustrating, or uncertain.  

I have given my own views on this very challenging topic in my manifesto about whether I'm a "Christian."  And I now want to share with you a post from The Evangelical Liberal that does an outstanding job discussing the same topic, and I hope it offers you another valuable angle at the question, and provides insight to you, as it did me.

PS, I'm not going to open comments on this one as you can ping me direct to discuss if you wish, or feel free to leave your comments directly with Harvey.

Here's the post:  Uncertainties, and what to do with them >>

The Book of John (Lennon)

John Lennon Thinking about GodI play a bit of guitar in my spare time, and the other day I came across a nice fingerstyle arrangement of the song Imagine by John Lennon.  I'd heard the song about a thousand times before on the radio, but I never thought to learn it on guitar until this cool arrangement came my way.  And the process really made me think...

As I was practicing the arrangement I was also singing along with it, and while singing it, the words hit me in a way that they never had prior, and that's what I want to discuss with you today.

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