Gay Marriage

The Folly of Academic Faith

A couple nights ago, one of my best friends sent me a text:

I was reading 1st Corinthians the other night and came across one of my favorite verses… it reminds me a lot of you and what I think is a major message you are tying to get across to other Christians.

He had my attention. Finding myself in scripture? I’ve given up on that. I find God; I find ancient people with worn stories. I find context and complexity. I don’t find myself.

I used to, but not anymore.

A side-effect of embracing the academic faith? No doubt. My spiritual journey of debates and alternate perspectives is what I know now.

Why would I be in scripture? I don’t need that any more.

The next text came through and my eyes filled with tears.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but a croaking, rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

I hesitated sharing this. Have I accomplished this? No way. Has anyone? Probably not.

We don’t find ourselves in scripture, but scripture finds us. It speaks to us. It grabs us and leads us. Scripture reveals the bits and pieces of us that God is shaping.

My friend Scott thought of me when he read this passage of Paul. I was honored, yet felt more like an impostor. I’m no man of love; more often than not, I fall into the “croaking, rusty gate” category.

My attitudes as of late… I think I’ve lost my way.

The Folly of Academic Faith

In these moments, I’m reminded of the folly of academic faith. We get so wrapped up in ideas. We get wrapped up in our heads, in ourselves. Beautiful simplicity—all too often, we forget it.

This last year I’ve been obsessed with meanings: Heaven, Hell, gay marriage, politics, gender roles, you get the idea.

It’s been rewarding—I would say I prefer it—though I must be cautious.

The academic faith. It’s a door to a man-made mansion with rooms added daily. We’ll never fully explore it, nor will we ever find our way back. Unless, of course, we mark our steps with love.

A warning to all of you like me. Though we yearn for debates and arguments, and we feel as if we must always dive to the bottom of every issue and search endlessly for every solution, we must not forget love.

Thank you Scott for sending me those kind words, and the wonderful reminder.

Signed,

 

A Modern Day Pharisee. 

5 Reasons to Stay a Christian

I fell upon a christian radio station today.

I’ll usually stay away from these shows altogether. If I want to hear talk, I’ll go AM; FM is for music. Leave me alone.

Feeling a bit curious, I let the station keep. What’s a Monday without a little risk? Historically, I’m the type to keep to myself; whatever meat mainstream christians collectively chew and spit at, I try to leave alone and let them be.

Today though, I thought I’d feel the pulse for a bit.

Gay marriage. Of course. As if it’s the only thing to talk about. As if we don’t believe in anything else. As if Christians couldn’t differ on the issue. As if. (I’m doing my best Alicia Silverstone here).

Are we wrong, are they right? I’m not sure. All I know is that this stupid fight we’ve picked is getting the best of us.

Instead of serving the world, we’re trying to rule it. We’ve become obsessed with winning arguments and asserting political agendas; personally, I’m convinced the Kingdom of God is more than just a lobbying group in Washington. It has to be.

It has to be in the streets. It has to be in our homes. It has to be living and breathing love.

Otherwise, I can live without it.

5 Reasons to Stay A Christian
(For frustrated Christians like me)

1. Jesus, Moses, God, Paul, all instruct us to love our neighbors. No agenda. Staying in community keeps us focused on this goal.

2. There are worthy causes to fight for. How do we know which is which? In peaceful protest, Jesus died for his cause. If it’s not worth your life, is it worth fighting for? Will it save another’s if you do?

3. Agreement isn’t the point; what we need is your voice. Mainstream radio, TV, and mega-churches expect us to vote, argue and tolerate what and how they do. The Family is beautiful in it’s diversity, not sameness.

4. Leaving doesn’t make the statement you think it does. Weakness is not meekness. Doors will shut, ears will close, communication will halt. Change takes time; speak as one who loves and listens.

5. Your tithe can change the world. I used to think tithing was a cop out, but money is a faithful way to serve when you can’t otherwise. These people could use your money (and time and energy as well): Potter’s House, Restore International, World Vision, The Mentoring Project, just to name a few.

I’d love to hear some feedback on this. Can arguments (like gay marriage) distract the purpose and hinder our reach? Or are they worth fighting for?