Perspectives, Gender Bias, Words & What God is Asking of Me Now

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A real conversation from a few years ago:

Me: Even though we say that we affirm women in leadership in this denomination, I think there is still a problem with patriarchal attitudes in the denomination and even in my own local church.

Him: No there isn’t. So, why don’t you stop trying to take the word of God and use it to forward your own agenda.

Ouch. I brought up gender bias and I got told to SIT DOWN. The response shocked me. It was completely outside of my understanding of the character of the person I had begun the conversation with. I had said what I said to a trusted friend and ally, but was answered back by a cultural entrenchment. Looking back, I see the conversation was significant because it represented something much larger than one man’s opinion. That larger thing is systemic gender bias and it is real. My own experience with it in the church hasn’t been easy or pain free.  Still, I believe my experience, and the experiences of many people, are being used by God in order to give us a voice to insist that God is calling us into a fuller experience!’ 

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A Friend on the Path

ThePath

“I have an amnesia.” she said. This after we had walked a couple hundred yards. I was a few steps ahead, acutely aware of the shared space with this strange woman who I had seen from time to time, but only in passing. We hadn’t come into even a tacit agreement to walk together. Yet, here we were, on separate walks in the same direction, and too close for too long not to acknowledge each had just become a part of the others experience.

“Oh?” was my only response. I’d never had anyone tell me they suffered from amnesia before. In the same moment, I felt the Holy Spirit, who had been quietly sneaking up, flare insistently within my heart. His gentle touch instructed me this was a moment to soften, to open, to be present. Continue reading

The Candidate Meeting – A Fable

I ran across this post this morning and it speaks acutely into a situation I’m facing since declaring that I stand for equality for homosexual people in the church. The fable is representative of many of my own feelings.

To be fair, my Pastor has scheduled a meeting with me to discuss possibilities for going forward within disagreement and works very hard to meet me where I am. He is a great Pastor and a really good person – making this situation all the more difficult and sad. I don’t know yet how my own personal situation will resolve, but have faith that God will guide us. I’ll write another post soon dedicated to this subject, but enjoy this fable for now.

The Postmodern Mystic

Good Sam Glass Once upon a a Sunday morning…

“I’d like to thank you all for coming,” the friendly Pastor entoned. “Last Sunday, Mr. Josephson asked to join our church, and we’ve discussed this among our church leadership and Membership Committee this week. I’d like to ask Mr. Michaels to present their findings and recommendations now.”

“Thank you, Pastor,” Jerry Michaels began, as he addressed the half dozen or so church leaders gathered around the small conference table drinking coffee during the Sunday School hour before Worship. “As you know, here at First Godly Church in the Community, we try to take a leadership role in presenting the Gospel and godly civic and family values for and to our town.

“We did some ‘due diligence’ research, Mr. Josephson, regarding your membership here. You have shown remarkable Biblical knowledge, and have volunteered to teach Bible Study for the church. You’ve already impressed a number…

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Tough Questions

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Becoming Christian has it’s challenges. It’s not like joining AA where there’s an easily discernible program to follow and everyone is pretty much on the same page. Becoming Christian means wading into a morass of strong opinions and varying interpretations.  The people and leaders and doctrines are often conflicted within the breadth of the Christian spectrum. Trying to find my place is, at times, confusing and frustrating and hard. I’m grappling with some tough questions straight out of the gate. Continue reading