Thursday, July 31, 2008

Umteen antithesis to Same-Sex Relational propositions

The following is a slightly misconstrued response to a paper entitled 'Twelve Propositions on Same-Sex Relationships and the Church' by Kim Fabricius. His work can be viewed at the famous 'Faith and Theology' blog in the propositions column.

1. To the proposition that questions of same-sex relationships are first questions of truth and then of morality and discipline.

Karl Barth once said that you cannot do proper theology (here being truth about God) without simultaneously doing ethics (right and wrong) since 'knowing God implies doing His will'. Let the two go hand in hand for a church question. If we are to know God on this matter, who is the Truth, we are to be doing His will. As the Johannine text says so candidly," By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments."

We shall never know the truth until we obey the truth; we shall never obey the truth until we know the truth.

2. To the proposition that homosexuality is a 'given' and not a choice, a normality akin to left-handedness.

Accepted or denied, the church since Augustine has hinged on the doctrine of Original Sin. The normality of Homosexuality would thus be neutral, or more appropriately moot to the debate, if not already supporting the anti-homosexuality agenda since corruption according to this doctrine defines genetics, defines normality.

3. To the proposition that human sexuality here is meant something not 'overly-genitalised', something involving 'friendship, intimacy, and joy' as much as 'libido'.

Such positive aspects of a relationship standing for itself are usually essential to most other Biblically scrutinized relationships like Davids adulterous affair with Bathsheba or the rape of Dinah. I'm sure David was friendly, intimate, and joyous in his genitalised interactions with Bathsheba, over or under. Making stark observations about these qualities in a homosexual 'sexuality' is a polemic best left to those who need ubiquitous positives to justify singular negatives, if indeed the sexuality at hand is a negative. Mentioning the above seems more of an act of desparation than anything, throwing shade rather than light on an issue.

4. To the proposition that a 'Yuk' factor has no place in rational discussion.

Is church discussion rational discussion?
To elevate rationality as a determiner of truth in the arena of the church, Christ's body is to do a disservice to the doctrine of grace. Grace is not rational, which I here take to mean inherant to the human consciousness, grace and truth are entirely secular to humanity and only found by humanity insomuch as they are found in the man Christ. As Mr. Fabricius notably shared with us that the Truth will set us free, we might as well make an addendum that the Christ will set us free, since He is truth incarnate. And as the Barthians would rightly put, to speak of the Truth we must speak of the witness to the truth, sacred scripture.

So without rationality, with Christ as the fulcrum of our interpretive method, can a "Yuk" factor hold legitimacy in the homosexual debate? Was Paul so eager to remove stumbling blocks to his own brother in Christ for nothing? Perhaps the 'Yuk' factor is what ought to hold primacy in the place of this discussion. After all, an offense to a brother is an offense to Christ, who died for our brother.

5. To the proposition that in dealing with scripture we must submit to a hermeneutical axiom that requires homology between our culture and its own.

To present an axiom that forbids the cultural-transcendence of the witness to Christ is in the same act a forbidding of scripture to speak to us on any counts at all today. Where do we draw the line? How can we be keenly certain that every scriptural platitude is in accordance, is bridged to todays' culture and ethical situation'? One would easily call this an impossibility, which would make the Word of God an impossibility. Rather as a Protestant church we must make Faith our rule, Faith our analogy. We accept scripture on faith, not on cultural similarity as scripture, and thus let it speak to us today. Thus, whatever exegetical method we are to employ, the Protestant question must always leave room for scripture to speak for itself; causa finita est. This would include the passages here listed on homosexuality.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cast a care

Is God too busy to swoop up your cares and handle them? Is He unconcerned about what concerns you? If God were truly indifferent to your worries, wouldn't that give you ample support to be indifferent about them as well? At any rate the Word of our Lord declares differently; a simple command is given to those who wish to obey Him and the reward is great.

Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall. (psalm 55:2)

This is a step of obedience; to let Him in on what troubles your heart, however great or small or wicked or frightening. As if He doesn't already know, the love of God waits for an honest answer from us so He can demonstrate the peace He desires to give in an intimate sort of way. The immanence of God will shock you, the greatness of God will bring tranquility to your soul. Oswald Chambers says somewhere that we ought not to count any cost before we place God in the equation. I need to let that settle more in my thinking, because when it does I am unshakeable. Break the fear down and place God (whose name is revealed as PEACE in Judges 6:24) on every level. Hook your detailed care onto the end of a fishing line and cast it into the solar system. God is bigger than that, and no bait is needed.

And for those of you who are like me, who go searching for the worry after we've already got rid of it, faithfully keep on casting it back onto the Lord. Once you have given it to Him, it is in His court. It is now His responsibility to worry about.

Monday, July 28, 2008


The Lord wants you to be healthy, observe as a prime candidate for this purpose of the gospel the faithful servant Paul. He recieved copious benefits of health as a result of his obedience in almost all bodily and mental aspects. The proof text is chapter eleven of his second letter to Corinth

Dermatological health- five sets of forty lashes minus one on the back from the Jews.

Bone and physical conditioning- three beatings with a rod and being stoned once.

Rest and rejuvination- A night and day on the open sea, being constantly on the move, oft sleeplessness.

Travel leisure- three shipwrecks, dangerous rivers and countryside bandits.

Nutrition- Hunger and repeated starvation.

Mental- A messenger from Satan tormenting his mind, perpetual weakness and daily stress from church needs.

These name-it-claim-it laws were also put into effect by his spiritual son Timothy, who worked hard at his faith and recieved frequent illnesses without proper remedy.

Consider this as ample evidence for the validity of a guarenteed life of health and ease if you sign up for following Christ today! Enclosed is a complimentary miracle smiley face.


Pride is ugly

Let us expose it for all of its shame and filth. Here is a poem I wrote when I was particularly angry at pride. I feel very proud of it.

Oh Candle of pride, thou spoiler of my affections and my assurance,
what place hast thou with me? How dare thy wick twist throughout my body,
thy swelling flame throw its sickly light on all my intent?
Would that I were stronger in grace, thy exposed light would be snuffed
eternally; yet I wait in patience for your extinguishing long overdue
and until then have no choice but to bear when necessary and avoid when possible.
Know this, however; that in the acknowledgment (away pride! since it was not I who discovered it)
you have already been struck with a fatal blow.
The same Savior who bore the punishment you incur on me,
will see to it that humility take your place!
And very shortly a new candle will be lit,
a candle that will only shine when all credit I expect is
subdued by my own transparency.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Sword of the Spirit is still sharp.

Today one would think the Bible no longer has the efficacy once boasted of it. The power in the sacred page, every word a sweet nebulae of honey, every precept carefully thought out and preserved to last to the end of the age.. the modern Christian might smirk and call such a description archaic, desperately romanticised and more fitting to our philosophy: lacking in pragmatism. If the Bible has any airtime in the secular universities, it's substance is weed-whacked, dismantled and most conveniently ignored under the humanistic historico-critical method. Nevermind that the Bible speaks about God, let us make it speak about man and show it as thus a man-thing.. merely a man-book. The biblical record is placed along the shelves of the Sumerian epics, Homers works and possibly Tacitus or Josephus. It is a myth, and if it is to speak to us today it must speak to us as any other ancient myth would.

In the church, the visible manifestation of the invisible Spirit, pastors replace sound exegesis with topical fancies and self-help pop psychologies. If the Bible is at all quoted, it is a means to a 'greater' end; the end of telling the seeker friends that they are special, that they need to find their confidence and should think positively. Or the blasphemous message of health wealth and prosperity; King Solomon is proof that God wants you wealthy! Nevermind that Solomons acquiring of vast amounts of gold was a direct violation of the Deuteronomic kingly law set apart by God, (ch.17 v.17) a struggling surplus is a deficit of faith! The Bible is cajoled and manipulated to fit the extensive monologues of various public voices that get a greater hearing in the sermon than sacred scripture itself. A typical sermon these days may include everything from Jung to Mencious to Thomas Merton. It may even include a Bible verse.

At home every Bible, from the Sacra Vulgata to the Scofield edition, from the gardeners Bible to the plumbers Bible.. the Message, Positive thinkers Bible, Archaeologists Bible, Ragamuffins Bible, Reformers Bible, Apologetics Bible, is collected and shelved like ornate china. The difference here is that ornate China is actually looked at.

Some have escaped from the mundane caricature of thumbing scriptures on the weekend to go get slain, get zapped, get prophesied over, get a sign or a miracle or a wonder. Everyone leaps up when theres a 'Word' for them; who cares that there are already 1094 pages of words for them bound up, preserved and spilled out from the heart of the eternal God.

Nevertheless, and in accordance with the power and command of the eternal God, the scriptures stand today as they did yesterday (Romans 16:15-26); they stand as witness to Christ. And so long as our beloved Lord Jesus Christ stands at the throne of Power, far above every other authority, His testimony will be powerful.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Knowing God in pain.

How is such a feat accomplished?

Anguish sears our souls, like a double grate of white-hot iron mechanically placed again and again on whatever wound we are bearing. For me it is the torment of extreme Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The last three years of my life, throughout the day and sometimes directly into the night; my mind shudders under the weight of one blasphemous impulse after the other... a brain lockdown that utilizes my worst religious fears to create a sort of biological demonic attack. I say this not to place myself ridiculously among the champions of the faith, as if three years of mental pain can even come close the blood of the martyrs which stains our history. Nor do I say this to place a neat smack of guilt on your own sufferings; as if I've hauled more and you ought to be ashamed at wincing. Relative to our experience and the history of our lives; every forthcoming hurdle is great of itself. Could David have found sustenance in years of flight from his enemy Saul had he not stood before the giant Goliath without armor? Could he have stood before Saul had he not faced the bear and the lion in his days as a shepherd?

Could God as man have borne the cross for nine hours without first bearing a three-year ministry of insult and verbal persecution? Could He have endured such a plight without first suffering in the desert without food and water for over a month?

From a life of physical torture and persecution to the pain of the first break-up, or the loss of dear friends due to Christian faith, each man knows his own sufferings, each mans sufferings are great.

The question however, is so what? What are we to do with the knowing of God when all notions of relationship seem to be an utter impossibility, when we have been let down, pounded to the ground and abandoned? In our culture, which is built on the legitimate premise of conditional love, this is the failure of contract, this is the time for divorce...because in all things, experiential physical and emotional God has divorced us.

I will present to you the opposite, however. I would like to propose to you that God is best known in the unknowing of Him; God is best known in abandonment, pain, anguish, grief and suffering. When every prayer is a gutteral moan, a grasping of oil in the hand or a catching of the moonbeam, Here is the very analogy of God most suitable to man. Here is the very reconciliation and redemptive act of God to man!

Are we not all familiar with the words uttered by Christ on the cross? They echo psalm 22," My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?!!!"

When God has forsaken you; failed you, abandoned you, given you over to torture and pain and destruction, here you are intimate with Christ. Here you can draw near to the cross and say," Jesus, I am with you. I am forgotten of God, condemned to die and wounded." And He will say," Son, I am with you; sharing in your pain and tasting of your grief. Sit awhile with me."

The intimacy of two people sharing a grief is difficult to explain in words, because words are little shared in the exchange.

Draw near to Christ in your sufferings and His. This is the nearness of God that cannot be separated; because Christ (God) is separated from God for us and with us. Our merger to God is in the very cutting off; so take heart; you are nearer to Him now, more candidate to a relationship with Him then you could ever be as healthy, wealthy and prosperous.