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Showing posts from April, 2017

The Gospel of Rick and Morty

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OK, maybe that's overselling it a bit. It's not exactly about the life of Jesus is it? But it is good news, in its own weird way (and what better way is there than weird?)

The thing about Rick and Morty is that it's not a lead-by-example type of good news. It's not the life of a saint or anything, but you knew that. What I appreciate about the show is that it takes the other approach, and it takes it hard (hehe). By that I mean, it teaches by dis-example. It's the 'don't do this, look how bad it turns out' kind of thing. And it does it while being silly, and weird, and human.


Is anyone in Rick and Morty good? Certainly none of the main characters (Birdperson, maybe, but he's only in like 4 episodes). Rick obviously isn't. He constantly puts his family in danger to chase down trivial pleasures of the flesh: an orgy with an alien hive mind, space drugs, the universe's greatest ice cream. Morty inclines a little more to humanism, but he still p…

God Is Genderfluid

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God is not a man.

Even most traditional denominations would consider it a heresy to claim God as male.

However, there has been significant resistance to calling God by any pronouns other than "He". After all, "Father" is how Jesus described God. "He" is the pronoun used throughout most of the Bible to describe God. So why should we use anything else?

Well, for this post at least, I am going to ignore the benefits on our end, the benefits for women and genderqueer people to be able to envision a God who is like them, and even the benefits of men to consider a the feminine side of God.

For now, I am going to focus on how accepting that God is genderfluid is consistent with scripture, and therefore a more complete and accurate way to honor God.


1. God Created Both Men and Women In Their Image
God created Adam in God's own image, and then created Eve from Adam's rib, right? Wrong. That is actually a mashup of two different creation accounts. In the f…

Wine With Friends

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I wanted to post something for Easter, but I've struggling to come up with something relevant to say other than, like, "Easter is cool" and "welcome back to life, Jesus! Sorry we killed you and everything."

So I thought I'd talk about something that's pretty damn related, but kind of tangential: Communion.

There's a lot of different ideas about communion, and what it represents, and what it does. I'm certainly no authority on it, and even if I were I'm not interested in dumping a theological argument at you, but I can talk about my own experience.

I've participated in communion with a lot of different groups: Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopal, Reformed, Lutheran, non-denominational. I've had a lot of different thoughts about what it is and why we do it.

But the one thing I find most poignant about the Lord's Supper, at least right now, in a divided world -- as I confront my own prejudices, as God forces me to come face to face w…

Submission

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And no, I'm not talking about S&M.

Submission is hard for a socially liberal outsider. We've seen too many times where power was abused. We're too in touch with the suffering caused by those who chose to submit to something and got invalidated, or worse. Too many fellow queers, forced to suppress their identity, subjected to inhumane tortures, outcast by their families, all in the name of submission. Too many women have taken the poor advice of their churches and submitted to men who beat them, gaslighted them, and treated them like inferiors. Too many churches have contributed to pedophile coverups and racial subjugation and holy wars.

In some ways, that is what is so powerful about submission. I'm not saying, of course, that we should submit to human people or structures that are going to abuse or invalidate us. But there's something ironically empowering about putting our trust in something so fully. It's not something to do blindly, only prayerfully and…

Freak Spotlight: Hieronymus Bosch

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The history of the church is full of weirdos and outcasts. In fact, the early church by its nature was almost entirely composed of such freaks, until it was forcibly mainstreamed by Constantine, but that's a whole different topic.

Freak Spotlights are where I talk about some of my favorite notable weirdos in the church, and what better place to start than the weirdest of them all, Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch?

Bosch is a well known artist whose work is noted for its busy and extremely surreal imagery. He predated the surrealist movement by a few centuries, but his work clearly demonstrates many of the traits embraced by the noteworthy likes of Dali and Ernst.

The coolest thing about Bosch for me is how he embraced both dark and twisted subject matter as well as Christian tropes. Perhaps his best-known piece, the Garden of Earthly Delights, illustrates this juxtaposition:


There's a lot going on here, but as you look closer you start to see the absurdity and depravity. It'…

Radical Love

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I've always thought I was good at radical love, the Jesus brand of love for the "least of these". After all, I've always been close with those on the outskirts, the losers and nerds, the stoners and goths.

It's only recently that I've realized how hypocritical this is. It's no more radical to love my fellow outcasts than it is for the "normal" person to love their fellow everyman. For me, embracing the titles of freak, weirdo, outcast, stranger, Jesus-like love means opening my heart to those least like me. Conservative men in suits. Anti-abortion protesters. Christians preaching messages condemning my fellow queers.

That kind of love isn't easy for me, and that's what makes it radical. I look at people like that, and I don't think about how much we have in common. I look and hope that my visage makes them uncomfortable. I pray that my makeup repels them from ever talking to me, so I never have to learn whether there's anything …