We love this video! Check out what this group is doing at fallingplates.com
This post is so good, it’s long but read the whole thing. Man if we could all show love this way and have this kind of impact on our fellow humans the world would be such a different place.
It was the fifth time that night that my Theology and Biblical Greek professor was calling. And, like the previous times, no way was I answering the phone. I knew why he was calling. Earlier that day, I emailed all of my professors to tell them I’d made the difficult decision to withdraw from school. As my cell phone went to voice mail, I crawled into bed under my covers, dreading the next morning when the rest of my professors would get my email, when the university would call my parents, when my roommates would ask me why I wasn’t waking up for class. “Why did I come here?” I asked myself. “Out of all the colleges in the world, why did I pick this one?”….
Read the rest of the article here!
It’s video Tuesday and I had another video planned but then I watched this video from our friend Tony Moore and it’s so excellent I decided to share it instead. As we have mentioned here before, Tony is the pastor of Transformation House in South Carolina and he has an awesome testimony . We are big fans of Transformation House here. Anyway, in this video he answers some questions from his congregation and shares a little of his own story . I hope you find it informative and helpful and most of all full of hope and love and compassion ! Some of the questions he looks at are
One of our passions at Tourniquet is to help the church become a more compassionate and loving place for people who are impacted by SSA and I mean all people, the ones who identify as gay, the ones who struggle the ones who love people who do any of the above and that includes us, the kids of those people. Growing up ,the church wasn’t the warmest most understand place for me and my siblings, parents were flat out scared of what they didn’t understand about our family and not many tried to understand so for the children of people with SSA the church can be a lonely place . We wanna change that. So that’s why when I find a pastor talking to his church about this in a way that will help I am gonna do my best to pass it along.
Sorry we missed last week guys but here’s the new Exodus Week-End review. Great question of the Week this week as well as some wonderful resources watch the video to find out more about . . .
And don’t forget, if you would like to be a part of the wonderful work of Exodus International through prayer or financial support head over to the website and click on the Support Exodus link!
Today I read this article Growing Up With Two Moms:The Untold Children’s View, it was written a few months ago by a man named Robert Lopez who grew up with two moms, he shares about his confusion and difficulty growing up without a father or any other male role model.He also talks about feeling silenced by the gay community . Having grown up in a somewhat more traditional family with only one SSA parent I don’t know the same pain as Robert Lopez but I do identify with his frustration about not being counted,but instead silenced. He talks about being ignored and treated like it would be better if his voice was erased from the public conversation on this issue. And while I don’t share all of his views I appreciate and commend his determination and willingness to speak out .
He also talks about the affirmation he found in the 2012 Regnerus Study , a study that explores the impact of SSA parenting on the children involved. And it makes sense that he would feel that way. The study has received praise and criticism but I don’t think voices like Mr. Lopez’s can be ignored anymore.
At Tourniquet we are not here to push any agenda whether we agree with it or not. What we are here to do is give people like Me, like Mr. Lopez , like you a safe place to speak, a place to find support and understanding and a place to find a way forward. We believe that restoration is possible even in these hard situations and that no matter what your upbringing you can find hope and freedom through a relationship with Jesus Christ. We hope to one day be able to reach more and more kids of SSA parents because we know the loneliness of growing up where you are misunderstood from every side and we have found that there is restoration in Jesus and a purpose in our stories!
In the beginning was the Word,and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-
With all of the “Gay Christian” controversy and conversation going on, it’s led me to think very deeply about what I believe about salvation and ask a lot of questions. I like to pool my resources and dip into perspectives that are different than my own, I like to reach outside of my comfort zone when I’m searching myself and God this way, because, honestly, some of the best answers come from the places that are less familiar to me. Shocking, I know.
Thinking about what I believe about salvation has led me, naturally, straight to the cross and stirred some interesting feelings and reactions that I didn’t quite expect from myself, and from those whom I’ve asked questions of. I like to challenge myself, perhaps more than I should at times, but for the most part I think it’s a good thing. For this reason when I feel resistant to something (most of the time) I want to know why, when I sense other people feel resistant to something I want to know why even more. Where do resistance and the cross meet? Let me tell you.
My spiritual influences have been predominately Protestant/Evangelical until the last few years as I’ve began to deeply appreciate and have interest in Orthodox Christianity. Something I’ve noticed about Protestants is that, for the most part, when we talk about The Cross, we talk about, well, the cross… as in literally the wooden beams that Jesus was hung on, but very rarely do we focus on Him actually hanging there. Think about it, when we wear crosses, they aren’t crucifixes, it’s just the image of the cross. How often have you seen pictures of the three crosses on a hill depicted in Protestant/Evangelical churches? In my own mind, when the cross is mentioned, in my head it’s not the torture device bearing my dying Savior, it’s a pristine naked cross that reflects that same Savior risen. This isn’t a terrible thing, but I thought it was interesting, especially interesting when I started to note my own reaction to images of Jesus on the cross.
I’ve always had the impression that Protestants were more interested in a resurrected Christ than a dying Christ. I’ve accepted the message of the hope of the Risen Savior without question, and don’t get me wrong, it is a very good message. But there seems to be this resistance within Evangelicalism to see Jesus on the cross, I have sensed it in myself and in others. Images of Jesus dying are unnecessary and keeping a crucifix is taboo or ultra religious.
Thus my curiosity was stirred and I began to dig, and to keep it simple the gist of what I’ve found is that my Protestant/Evangelical brothers and sisters seem to think that the message of Jesus on the cross is not as important as the message of Jesus risen. Or to say it a different way, why focus on the gory sad part when we can be glad that Jesus rose again and defeated death and sin? Well yes, why in the world… except…
We think of Jesus as all God and all man right up until the cross and then he becomes simply all man. All man dying. We view him there as we would view a man sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, it grieves us, we sense the injustice, we are even able to accept and mourn the fact that it is in our place that he dies. But in the moment to many of us, Jesus, the Son of God, is just one of us dying, we even wonder sometimes if we would be able to die for love of someone else. Then we move on and Jesus becomes God again as he defies all odds and raises from the dead. We revel in the impossible beauty of our Risen Savior, our Jesus who isn’t destroyed in death but who lives victorious.
What we’re failing to realize is that as impossible and beautiful the resurrection is, God’s death on the cross is even more impossible and more beautiful. Why? Because God died on the cross. Digest those words for a moment. I don’t blame some of us for resisting any type of focus on this one area, because as I attempt to really grasp it, it’s horrifying and beyond my ability to cope with fully understanding. It is a mystery unlike any other, but after having really thought about it, for me it has become the most crucial part of understanding salvation and who I am in Christ.
If I’ve quoted Peter’s words once, I’ve quoted them a thousand times, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18) and I’ve always believed that what was done on the cross covered past, present, and future, but when I stopped thinking of a man dying on that cross and came to terms with my God dying on it, this truth took on new meaning. I realized that Jesus’ death was not a moment in time, or a historical event, but rather an irrevocable fact. The reality of God dying for us is so impossible, if we can even begin to wrap our minds around it as a reality, that it is uncontainable, limitless, it has no boundaries. It didn’t just change the course of the future, it reached into the past and made human existence possible, otherwise the world would have caved in on itself when Eve took the first bite of the forbidden fruit. Creation wasn’t made to be in rebellion against its Creator, but we are given the opportunity to exist and be reconciled to our Creator because God died and rose again.
How do we dare to question that there is -anything- that could not be covered by what was done on the cross by God himself? If there was anything that was not covered we would all cease to exist.
I cannot bear to weigh sin any longer, not my own, and certainly not the sin of others. Sin and death were broken when the Creator of all things sacrificed himself. If I truly believe that what the Bible says was done on the cross was actually done, who am I to question who does or does not belong to God?
The sight of a crucifix is still uncomfortable to me, but not because it seems spooky or religious, but because it reminds me of something real that I cannot fully understand and I welcome the reminder.We have to stop leaving Jesus off of the cross, because when we do it becomes less about him and more about a status symbol. Perhaps it would do us all good to stop being so proud of what we think we know, and be humbled by what happened on the cross and what we cannot understand. After all, God told Adam and Eve to eat freely from the tree of Life, but to leave the tree of knowledge alone.
It doesn’t matter to me what your sexual orientation is, where your weaknesses lie, what are your strengths, credentials, what denomination you belong to, or where you align yourself politically, it’s not my job to decide whether you belong to God or not. All I can do is turn to the Father with all I am, encouraging you to do the same, and let his grace and love draw out of us what is true. He has given me the ministry of reconciliation, not condemnation.