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______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Rock Beats Paper August 3, 2015

rock-beats-paper

A friend of mine recently expressed concern over some passages in Romans, Chapter 1, that many say condemn loving, same-sex relationships.
There are similar passages of concern in 1st Corinthians, chapter 6.
I thought I’d use part of my response to him as a blog post.
Much of this I’ve said in various places, but this will make a decent summary of those spread-out statements.

1st, rather than go into those passages, questionable translations, and various interpretations, I’ll refer you to Matthew Vines, The Gay Christian Network, Mel White, and others who have all addressed the “clobber scriptures” a number of times.
A lot of that is nicely expounded upon in Justin R. Cannon’s book The Bible, Christianity, & Homosexuality.

If you’re someone who is interested in Biblical interpretations that do not condemn same-sex relationships, you can find them. Others will argue you’re wrong, but disagreeing over the meaning of Bible passages is a long-standing church tradition.  And there is, of course, no one understanding across Christianity.
(Hey, ever notice how when you bring up a scripture that goes against someone’s current belief, they always say “You can make the Bible say anything,” but when they are the one quoting verses, it’s always “God clearly says…”
Hmmm.)

INSTEAD of biblical exegesis, there’s another approach which, for me, covers it all.
To start,  I know you’ve heard the “slavery example,” but in a nutshell:
The “church” condoned and practiced it!
The church used “chapter and verse” to defend it.
And (this is important) The Bible never says slavery is wrong!
In fact…

“The shortest book in the New Testament is a letter from Paul to a Christian slave owner, about owning his Christian slave.
And Paul doesn’t say, ‘Christians don’t own people.’  Paul talks about how Christians own people.
We ignore what the Bible says about slavery because the Bible got slavery wrong.
If the Bible got the easiest moral question that humanity has ever faced wrong, what are the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong?”
Dan Savage

Yep. Now I’ve ventured into heretic territory.

Look, I’ve read the Bible cover to cover repeatedly.
I’ve read many portions dozens of time, and some hundreds of times (or more).
And I’ll tell ya, there is no BIBLICAL basis for believing the Bible is an inerrant, infallible morality reference for all of human history.
The Bible never claims those traits for itself. In fact, there’s plenty of Biblical evidence to the contrary.
If you’ve read “Velvet Elvis,”
If you’ve read “A New Kind Of Christianity,”
or if you’ve just had that “Duh!” moment on your own,
then you know, as wonderful as it is, the Bible isn’t “that kind” of a book.
It’s a divine library, written by many people with many perspectives over many, many years.

SO, in the end, the bottom line for me is (keeping in mind the Bible’s stance on slavery, subjugation of women, etc.)
even if the Bible clearly said “All gays go to hell,” my response would be (this could get me crucified) : “So What!”
“Doing the right thing” trumps the Bible.
Jesus trumps the Bible.  (In this case, Rock beats paper.)
God trumps the Bible.
And, as a final nail in my coffin, “Truth trumps the Bible.”

Contrary to what some may accuse me of, I’m not disrespecting the Bible.
If anything, I respect the Bible too much to take it all literally.
I respect the Bible too much to pretend it’s a single, cohesive, non-contradictory narrative.
And, I respect the Bible too much to place expectations on it that I have no reason to believe God intended.
I still read the Bible, discuss the Bible, and wrestle with its passages.
I gather with others and we sometimes do this together.
I still believe it to be a divinely inspired book, from which (when properly approached) much wisdom can be gained.
But many things, as stated above, trump the Bible.
Treating others justly with grace and human dignity trumps the Bible.
So, I’m all for digging into the Bible responsibly.
But there’s a lot of stuff in that book that keeps bringing me back to this:
When in contradiction with love,
Love trumps the Bible.
Once again, Love Wins.

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More Info:
http://www.gaychurch.org/homosexuality-and-the-bible/the-bible-christianity-and-homosexuality/
http://www.believeoutloud.com/
http://www.wegiveadamn.org/issues/faith/
https://lifewalkblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/tribbles-arent-the-trouble-labels-are/

 

Three Dog Night July 15, 2011

One  //  Easy To Be Hard  //  Out In The Country  //  One Man Band  //
Mama Told Me Not To Come  //  Celebrate  //  Liar  //  Shambala  //
Old Fashioned Love Song  //  Never Been To Spain  //  Black & White  //
The Family of Man  //  Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here  //  Joy To The World  //
And Many More!

Wow.  Another great concert at the Foellinger Theatre.
These guys still sound fantastic!
Plus, the obligatory humor and anecdotes.  They even did an updated
rap/hip hop version of Mama Told Me Not To Come.  Good times.

From 1969-1974, nobody had more Top 10 hits, moved more records, or
sold more concert tickets than Three Dog Night.

                 

 

My Review of “Raised By Wolves” January 10, 2010

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“Raised By Wolves:  The Story Of Christian Rock & Roll”
by John J Thompson

I’ve been listening to “Jesus music” for about 35 years, and this book has brought back many memories.  It’s also brought to light many new (to me) stories.  This is the most complete coverage of “Christian” music and its history I can imagine.

Everybody is here:  From Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Andre Crouch, and Barry McGuire (who was very encouraging during my participation in the “2009 Aids Walk”), to Petra and Rez, to Amy Grant and M.W. Smith, to DC Talk, Daniel Amos, and Steve Taylor (who loved making “hamburger out of sacred cows” and guided the music and careers of The Newsboys, Sixpence, and others), to Keith Green and Rich Mullins, to Alice Cooper, Sixpence None the Richer, and Creed, to Delirious? and Sonic Flood, and Lauren Hill.

Lots of stories, behind the scenes insights, and inside information.  But more than just the artists and music, this book comments on the “Christian music industry,” various attitudes and expectations, and the age-old story of religion always fighting what God is doing.  It also comments on the down side of the “Christian” marketplace:

“The Christian community had nearly completed its total retreat from mainstream society.  It even had its own television networks.  Many Christians were able to live in a world within a world, one that would protect them from ever brushing up against non-Christians.  And the ghetto was large enough that many people made millions of dollars selling Christian CDS to Christians, Christian books to Christians, and even Christian toys, paintings, videos, and clothes to Christians.  A handful of artists, however, wanted nothing to do with that ghetto.”

In many ways, the “CCM Industry” serves to further the illusion of the separation and compartmentalization of the Christian life into secular and sacred.  But, wheat and weeds have always grown together, and will continue to do so.  There’s a lot of great music out there by people of faith.  This book, at many points, shows how the industry tried to ignore it (or lambast it), while the “church” tried, first, to destroy it, and then to control it.

There are a lot of true “success” stories chronicled here as well; Petra, Lost Dogs, and Sixpence None The Richer being among them.

This book is already about 10 years old, so the last decade is, of course, not covered.  But, I can’t think of an abundance of landmark happenings in CCM during that period anyway.  Except maybe for Stryper getting back together.  Oh, and the release of Re-Union’s “Inside Out.” 😉

If you’re a long-time devotee, this book will provide a nostalgic trip down memory lane.  If you’re relatively new to the scene, you will be brought “up to speed.”  In either case, you’ll find a fun, informative, and challenging time with “Raised By Wolves.”

 

 
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