Friday, December 29, 2006

Ovine Salvation

I've been reading the comments at the website for Revolution, Jay Bakker's church. Because of the very controversial stand he's made during the documentary One Punk Under God, the site has been getting a lot of attention and much of it is harshly judgmental.

Jay's chuch is "about grace" and while all the Christians who show up at the site to attack Jay say that they believe in grace, I wonder if they do. I wonder what they think that Jesus' sacrifice was for. What did it redeem?

Before Christ there was the Law. And since no one could follow the law absolutely (or was really expected to) there was Sin and Sacrifice. A good Jew brought an offering, generally a sheep or some doves, for sacrifice to God to cover his sins.

Then Christ came and died to offer Himself as a sacrifice.

But what does this mean in a practical sense? To many conservative Christians, the Law is still in effect and so is Sin. The only difference - from a practical point of view - is that they no longer have to bring a sheep. They can just pray instead.

But that seems odd to me. If that's all he came for, Jesus didn't die for men at all, just for the population of rams and ewes. Christ's sacrifice brought ovine salvation.

I think there must be more. I think Jesus must have finalized and accomplished the whole Sin and Sacrifice equation. He pushed aside the Law of Sin and Death that Moses had put in place and gave us direct access to the Creator. His sacrifice was for the human race and benefits us. And not just by the price of a sheep.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Not Under My Roof, You Aren't

That seems to be a far too frequent attitude among parents who find out their children are gay. Responses can range from strict curfews and constant monitoring to insistence on counseling or ex-gay therapy to "get the hell out!".

This week a woman wrote to Between the Lines, a gay weekly in Michigan to tell her story about what happened when she said "get out".

It will break your heart.

Monday, December 18, 2006


From Adam we learn that there is not need for a marriage.

From Seth we learn that procreation with your sisters is OK.

From Abraham we learn that a man can marry his sister – and lie about it. We also learn that if your wife is barren, she can give you her maid to impregnate.

From Lot's daughters we learn that if you don't have a man and you want a child, you can always just get your father drunk and have sex with him.

From Jacob we learn that a wife can be purchased by seven years of labor. We also learn that it is acceptable to deceive a groom into marrying the wrong woman and the marriage is valid. We also learn that having two sisters as wives is a blessing.

From Onan we learn that a man is obligated to impregnate his brother's widow. We also learn that when having sex with your sister-in-law, you are not supposed to pull out before ejaculating (it's wicked in God's sight).

From Salmon we learn that your son born of a prostitute will bring recognition and honor to your name for millennia and your descendant will be the Messiah.

From Ruth we learn that a woman belongs to her husband's family even after his death. We also learn that premarital seduction is honorable.

From David we learn that marriage (to one of your several wives) is for establishing connection into the royal family. We also find that if you kill a man to take his wife, she’ll provide you an heir who will be both wise and wealthy.

From Solomon we learn that a man can have as many wives as he can afford - along with twice as many concubines.

Paul tells us some very interesting things about marriage: It's better never to marry (unless you can't control your passions). And if do have a spouse and they are not a believer, then if s/he leaves you, let them go.

Even Jesus had some opinions about marriage: be sure to have enough wine at the ceremony and second marriages are adultery (even if the ex-spouse is a non-believer).

Yes, there is so much we can learn about marriage from Scripture. But one thing is clear: The idea of "one man, one woman" marriage may indeed be "traditional" but it certainly isn't Biblical.
Gay Retirement Living - A Review

In Boston there's a big bruhaha about retirement centers for elderly gay men and lesbians. "It's discrimination" the gay-haters cry.

Of course, straight people are welcome in gay retirement centers, just like they are welcome at gay parties, gay clubs, gay restaurants, gay neighborhoods and pretty much anywhere else that is "gay".

While the idea of gay retirement centers is fairly new, I do have a first person (well, ok, second person) review. My roommate's (straight) grandmother moved into a gay retirement center in New Mexico this year. Her opinion?

It's beautiful and she always wanted to live in a place like that.

The food is just too fancy for her. The chef isn't from the southwest and doesn't know how to fix eggs. (We have to take that with a grain of salt. One of the reasons she went to the center is because her family was worried that she wasn't eating and had lost too much weight. She's starting to regain some.)

Everyone is nice... but she really didn't want to go to the seminar on lesbian empowerment.
Strange Boat-Fellows

From the New York Times yesterday:

“The Episcopalian ship is in trouble,” said the Rev. John Yates, rector of The Falls Church, one of the two large Virginia congregations, where George Washington served on the vestry. “So we’re climbing over the rails down to various little lifeboats. There’s a lifeboat from Bolivia, one from Rwanda, another from Nigeria. Their desire is to help us build a new ship in North America, and design it and get it sailing.”

From the New York Times today:

Two large and influential Episcopal parishes in Virginia voted overwhelmingly yesterday to leave the Episcopal Church and to affiliate with the Anglican archbishop of Nigeria, a conservative leader in a churchwide fight over homosexuality.
Who are these Anglicans in Nigeria and Rwanda?

From a December 12 AP story

Lawmakers in Nigeria are debating a bill that would ban same-sex marriage and any form of association among gays, even sharing a meal at a restaurant.

Few in Nigeria's deeply closeted gay community have publicly opposed the legislation, which proposes penalties of up to five years in prison and is widely expected to pass. Engaging in homosexual acts is already illegal in Nigeria, with those convicted facing jail terms in the mainly Christian south and execution in the mainly Muslim north.

"This meeting, right here, would be illegal," said activist Bisi Alimi, stabbing the air with a French fry for emphasis as he sat at a table with three gay friends and a reporter.

Other activities prohibited under the proposed law include belonging to gay clubs or reading books, watching films or accessing Internet sites that "promote" homosexuality.

In his Message to the Nation, THE MOST REV. PETER J. AKINOLA, D.D., endorsed the bill saying:

The Church affirms our commitment to the total rejection of the evil of homosexuality which is a perversion of human dignity and encourages the National Assembly to ratify the Bill prohibiting the legality of homosexuality since it is incongruent with the teachings of the Bible, Quran and the basic African traditional values.
As for the Anglican Church in Rwanda? Human Rights Watch tells us

Far from condemning the attempt to exterminate the Tutsi, Archbishop Augustin Nshamihigo and Bishop Jonathan Ruhumuliza of the Anglican Church acted as spokemen for the genocidal government at a press conference in Nairobi. Like many who tried to explain away the slaughter, they placed the blame for the genocide on the RPF because it had attacked Rwanda. Foreign journalists were so disgusted at this presentation that they left the conference.

It would appear that the conservative Episcopalians don't much care who or what is in the lifeboat with them as long as it's anti-gay.