(Part 1 of 3 of God, the Church, and LGBT)
In my last post titled “God Really Likes You, But You Suck: The Confusing Message of Grace” I shared about the subject of God’s favor. If you have not read it already I strongly encourage you to do so before reading on. It will make a lot more sense related to the theology behind what I am about to say and potentially answer a lot of your questions.
In summary of it: we have confused our understanding of grace, which is often defined as God’s “unmerited favor” toward us. It is not that one must do something wrong first, thus unmeriting themselves, before undeserved favor is offered; instead, it is favor freely given that never had to be merited in the first place. Continue reading
Photo by Melissa Baldwin
“♫ Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me ♪” We sing about it all the time. “♪ Grace, grace, God’s grace. Grace that is greater than all my sin ♫” We talk about it. “By grace alone you have been saved.” And we offer it to each other. “Grace to you.” It is one of the most prominent messages in the church. But do we really know what it means?
The Greek word for grace, χάρις (charis), is most often defined as “favor” and sometimes as “kindness.” It has the implication of favor that is freely extended – and thus often defined as “unmerited favor.”
So if God really favors you a lot that should make us really feel good right? But do we?
Last week, blogger and former evangelical Christian turned atheist, Neil Carter, tweeted:
The Helix Nebula in infrared *
Imagine with me for a moment that the Universe called out to you. Would you follow it? And what I mean by the Universe is all that is out there: the billions of stars, the planets, the super novas, the galaxies, everything that is within them and all that you could possibly imagine, as far as the almost infinite, expanding Universe can go. And further yet, the laws that are behind all that exists in the Universe. What if it called out to you in one big unifying voice? Would you tune your ears to listen to it? Continue reading
(Welcome to my blog part 2 of 2)
Yes, it’s true. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t exactly a rebel growing up. About the most rebellious thing I did as a kid was, when upset with my parents, I would go into their bedroom and gently lay their bedside lamps on the ground so that it would look like I was so angry I had gone in and knocked them over. Well, what do you expect? I didn’t exactly want to break them. But I could just imagine the anguish they experienced upon discovering the lamps. “What have we done??? Where have we gone wrong??? Our otherwise gentle, perfect son has gone on a rampage. We’ve lost him forever!!! Well, at least he didn’t break them.” Continue reading