Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honor.The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Sunday, January 22, 2017
This article is based on two assumptions:
First, God sent his Son into the world for all of us. According to John 3:16, 17 there are no conditions on God’s love. The only condition set on obtaining everlasting life, or salvation, is to believe in Jesus.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (KJV)Second, what we are to believe about Jesus is that he died and was raised from the dead on the third day. If we believe this with our hearts and confess with our mouth that "Jesus is Lord" then we will be saved according to the Bible:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (KJV)TRADITIONAL TEACHING: Gays are an abomination...
According to the general Church community gays are an abomination. Gays are told that they have a no hope in God; they will end up like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah; and they are treated as though they embody all evil. A Christian co-worker once told me that the antichrist is going to be a homosexual man. She believed that he was going to be in the closet at first to make everybody like him. She said that when the time comes for him to show his evil he will come out of the closet. I want to proclaim to you that the concept that gays have no hope in God, as gay people, is not a Biblical teaching but a traditional teaching.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (KJV)There are many examples of traditional teachings that served no other purpose but to separate people from God.
- Galileo discovered that the earth revolved around the sun. The Church considered this heresy according to their misinterpretation of Genesis 1. They sentenced him to life imprisonment under house arrest.
- The Church used Genesis 9:21-27 to "prove" that Blacks were cursed by God into a life of slavery in order to justify what was done to them during the plantation days and to justify racism. The fact is that the curse fell upon Canaan, one of Noah’s grandson’s. Canaan was one of four brothers. His three brothers settled in Africa but Canaan settled in the Middle East.
- Another example of a traditional teaching with no basis in Scripture is the hatred of Jews. Some think that God condemned the Jews because they killed Jesus. If it were not for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ there would be no salvation. Jesus himself was a Jew!
The God of the Bible is full of justice, mercy and love. Yes, He has gotten and will get angry with people, but this anger is always precipitated by three things: abandoning Him in exchange for another god, abusing others morally, financially, sexually or otherwise, and abusing ourselves in the same manner. You will see this consistent theme from Genesis to Revelation.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
by Walt Whitman
Monday, January 16, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Rick & Bubba's Rick Burgess speaks about his bisexual daughterBrandi Burgess, bisexual daughter of Rick & Bubba host: 'I am praying for my father'By Brandi Burgess, daughter of Rick Burgess of Rick & Bubba, and an actress and activist living in PhiladelphiaI have always believed stories carry healing powers. Bible legends of heroes and outcasts. Fables with neatly packaged morals. That friend at every gathering who lit up the room with fantastical tales, the one who left my sides hurting and my eyes streaming and made me think, "my god this is my life, it is so ridiculous and wonderful."My first memories are of me sitting under my father's radio desk, listening to him talk. Rick Burgess has built an entire career sharing the stories of his life. He has amassed an incredible following, because he speaks his truth. People love him. People hate him. His boldness has always inspired me.As I grew older I became a prominent character in his stories. I was the exuberant softball player whose passion got her thrown out of games, the angsty teen late to church, the young woman in Israel almost traded in marriage for 40 camels. I was a punch line, a glittering prop, a cartoon.Then - in his eyes -- I failed him.Gone were the stories of my boyfriends being taken down "to the hunting room" before first dates. I was erased. Recently, I've returned, cast as the prodigal daughter.The story my father tells is one of a lost lamb, covered in shame. In his public musings, he speaks of my sin. Without my consent, he uses me as a cautionary tale.For the past three years, my father and I have been debating God's stance on homosexuality. It started with my Instagram post at a Pride parade: a picture of a mother holding a sign saying "I love my gay son." I got a text demanding its removal: "How dare you compromise my platform!?", "Remember who you represent.", "Are you a gay?"I have been praying, researching and meditating on the many emails, sermons and verses my dad has sent me. I always come back to the same conclusion. Love is love.I shared this with him. "I love you. I'm sorry. I still love God." I promised to be discrete.This led to a constant barrage of shame. "You think you're so mod, so special. But you're nothing. You're typical."I blocked everyone in my family from my social media because it was "killing my grandmother." I grew silent. I mourned my family. I believed I was selfish, a fraud.I visited home this summer. I wasn't allowed too close to my siblings, for fear of infecting them with my queerness.My stepmother took me out to lunch. She told me about a recent vacation with my father. "He couldn't go in the water. You know he has panic attacks around water ever since your brother drowned."Why didn't I know that? Why couldn't my father let me hold him, tell me his fear. I would have given him rest, said, "Me too, dad. When I babysit, I have to tell the parents that I can't take them to the pool. I know exactly how you feel."As I was pondering this, Sherri asked me "are you seeing anyone?" I took a deep breath, and held on to hope. The Greek word for hope means "cord." My dad taught me that."Yes. I am. I am deeply in love. It is....not with a man." I had my speech ready, about fluidity, non-binary queerness, Lin-Manuel Miranda quotes, etc."No. You choose this or you choose us. After all your father's done for you, how could you do this to him?"I was whisked away to the Rick and Bubba office. Dad was waiting, bible in hand.I believe that my father's actions were intended as love. I believe he can't know how powerfully he hurt me.My story is not that of all queer people from an evangelical home. I have the privilege of now belonging to a safe community. Yet, I let my father's message of shame define me. I hated my body, sabotaged relationships, believed I was unworthy of love.So now, I am writing to the young women who feel like they don't belong in their bodies, to the boys who want to kiss boys, and those on the spectrum between:Perhaps you have heard my father on the radio and it makes you want to go to sleep and never wake up.I love you. Your worth is untouchable. Find a good friend. Invest in therapy. Dance in the middle of the night and hold yourself accountable to the life you've always wanted. At the root of all this hate speech is fear. This is not your fear to carry. Release it.I am redeemed. I have surrendered to the beautiful mystery of God's love, have witnessed its vast complexity.My partner whispers to me as I fall asleep: "Your worth is intrinsic, your beauty immeasurable." Their love is divine, it is of God. I know this in my bones.I am telling you this because I can no longer avoid my own eyes in the mirror.I am praying for my father. I am holding onto hope and it is outstretched toward him. Perhaps he will take hold. Perhaps we will find we were holding the same cord.Here is an article about her father's very unchristian response:
Rick Burgess of the Rick & Bubba Show was asked this week to comment on his daughter's choice to speak out about her bisexuality. He declined, saying "God has given me my own platform in which to clearly state my views on this issue that is impacting our society and the church."He and his wife, Sherri, addressed the issue on the radio show this morning.The comments were largely focused on scripture, and Rick said he hopes his daughter, Brandi Burgess, finds her way back home to God. He said he and Sherri have "taken on the role of the father of the Prodigal Son."To Brandi, he said: "I told you before and I'll say it again you're my daughter and I will always love you. But I love you enough to tell you the truth. I'm not going to come up with some version of love that really isn't love at all, that pats you on the back to justify you all the way to hell."He said Brandi is misguided."This has become a new version of Christianity which is not biblical in any way shape or form," he said. "Sadly our daughter and others have bought into this new hippie version of Jesus.""Quit making up a version of God which is your own - which is idolatry," he saidSherri Burgess, Brandi's stepmother, said she didn't believe Brandi when she initially said she was bisexual."I just didn't believe it but over time she's convinced me she really does feel this way," she said. "This is not a battle between Rick and me and our daughter. It's a battle between good and evil, the Bible versus the world, God versus the world."On Brandi's comments about her own journey, Rick said "we now release you to that journey and we pray and we hope that it brings you back to repentance."Sherri said she advised Brandi not to live according to human passions, but according to God's will."I don't care if you're happy. I don't care if you're healthy. I care about your eternal salvation," she said."I know there are people out there who really struggle with this and it is hard. But Jesus is there not only to forgive you but to cleanse you of all unrighteousness."Rick said "We love her with all our heart and we love her enough to tell her the truth, but in this article instead of declaring the Lord Lord, she's declared herself Lord."He asked people to be kind."I would just say again I know how these things can get ugly because Bubba and I have been in the crosshairs ... Let's see if we can stay away from that, please. It may upset you. You may be offended. You may say this is disrespectful, and certainly we've gone through those feelings ourselves. But please just understand she's lost. She's just got scales on her eyes and she needs those to fall."
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
I went to see Rogue One yesterday. My first impression was that it was good, but not great. Honestly, the more I watch Star Wars movies, I am convinced that the original three were by far the best and all the others just can't compare.
The more I thought about the movie, the more disappointed I was in Rogue One. The ending was dissatisfying. Such a disappointment. I like a movie with a happy ending. Not to give this one away but it has a happy ending and at the same time doesn't. This movie leads up to right before Episode IV begins, so you know ultimately good comes from it, but it was still disappointing and overall depressing.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Friday, January 6, 2017
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Humanities Commentaries on VPR
Peter A. Gilbert's Look at Life through the Humanities
December 24, 2007
Simple holiday wreaths made of evergreen branches make me think of a wonderful poem: “A Wreath” by George Herbert. Herbert was an Anglican priest who lived in England about the same time as Shakespeare. He wrote metaphysical poetry, poetry that emphasized wit cleverness or startling similes, rather than comparisons and images that seem natural—like love and roses, purity and fresh snow.
In high school, you may have read a poem by John Donne, another seventeenth-century Anglican clergyman, in which a man tries to seduce a woman by comparing their potential encounter to a flea that has bitten them both. It’s hard to imagine a less romantic object or argument to make his case—and that’s the poem’s charm.
Donne wrote another poem that compares two lovers saying goodbye to each other to a compass, the kind of compass with which you draw a circle. Although the lovers must part temporarily, they continue to act in sync: as the man travels around, the woman stays put at home, but leans toward the circling man. And its the woman’s standing firmly at home that causes the man’s circle of travel to stay true and not wander. These two poems are classic metaphysical poems built on an idea, a conceit, a clever and startling comparison.
Now to Herbert’s poem “A Wreath.” The poem’s wit rests in the fact that each of the poem’s twelve lines overlaps with the next line, just as the evergreen branches in a wreath overlap one another to form a circle. You’ll hear how the end of one line kind of repeats at the beginning of the next line. And the end of the poem, you guessed it, brings you back to the beginning—like a circle, a wreath, or a garland that crowns a hero.
It’s a religious poem, but one doesn’t have to be Christian to be struck by the poem’s beauty and technique. Here’s George Herbert’s “A Wreath”:
A Wreathed garland of deserved praise,
Of praise deserved, unto Thee I give,
I give to Thee, who knowest all my ways,
My crooked winding ways, wherein I live, —
Wherein I die, not live; for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to Thee,
To Thee, who art more far above deceit,
Than deceit seems above simplicity.
Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practice them: then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.
So, because of its structure or style, the poem itself literally becomes, as the last line says, a wreath, and that wreath-poem becomes, in turn, a garland—a crown of praise. Clever indeed.
This article first aired as a commentary on Vermont Public Radio.