When Did We Become Enemies? A Note to Preston Sprinkle

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Preston,

I read your blog post this morning where you said this:

And I believe in grace. Not just the “doctrines of grace” but “incarnating grace.” Showing favor (grace) unconditionally (biblical grace) to people of every sexual orientation. If believing in the doctrines of grace doesn’t move you to love your enemies, then you don’t really believe in the doctrines of grace. You endorse them. Sign off on them. Nod your head when you’re reading Calvin’s Institutes. But until we love the unlovable, we fail to incarnate grace and imitate the one who died for His enemies.

So gay people are your enemies? We’re the unloveable people you are called to love? Is that what you really believe? Is that what you’re teaching your students at Eternity Bible College? Is that what you’re teaching your children?

When did we become enemies, you and me? Continue reading →

Freezing & Asking: The Seasons of My Life

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On a summer Saturday in 1986, my seventeen year old self was working in a mall. Technically it was the basement of a mall. I was the stock boy in a retailer’s warehouse. Customers would make their selection from merchandise samples on the showroom floor, the cashier would then take their order and send the hand-written slip to us basement-dwellers via pneumatic tube (the kind they used to have at the bank drive-through), and I would pull the stock from the shelves and send it upstairs on the conveyor belt.

I punched my time card out for my lunch break, and I made a beeline for the mall’s record store.  I had just discovered Philip Glass’ Songs from Liquid Days. It’s a song cycle he wrote using the lyrics of (mostly) major pop stars of the time – Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, David Byrne, and Laurie Anderson. It was recorded with some of my favorite performers including the Roches and the Kronos Quartet.

I thought it was just about the coolest thing I had ever heard.

When I got back to work, I freed the cassette tape from its cellophane wrapper, popped it into the Alpine sound system, and turned the volume up to number 11. Auto-repeat allowed me to listen to the tape over and over and over.  I couldn’t get enough. The contrapuntal strains ascended the conveyor belt, along with hair dryers and alarm clocks, arriving on the showroom floor above.

The store’s red-faced general manager burst into the basement and bellowed “What’s this shit you’re listening to?” He wasn’t really looking for an answer and I remained silent under his anger. “Whatever it is, turn it off!” Speechless, I nodded. “Now!” he yelled. Continue reading →

An Echo of Hope

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve put any of my churchy, “faith & sexuality” thoughts to virtual paper.  I’m going through a time of ambivalence. I have a great many unsettled thoughts about “The Third Way”, and loving my enemies, and delighting in those who wish me harm, and Christianity in general.

I’ll probably start to untangle that ball of string in this space soon. But for now, I wanted to reflect a glimmer of hope. Continue reading →

Sharing Some Awesomeness: Spring/Easter Edition

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Steve Martin & Edie Brickell WFUV Show

 This winter has been interminable – both in the air and in my spiritual life.

My hope for the coming holy week is to follow the emotional journey of the original Christ-followers – the anguish and the joy – and come through Easter with a renewed spirit and maybe even a new perspective.

When I first heard the album Love Has Come For You*, I became obsessed. It is a collaboration between the 80′s pop-ingenue Edie Brickell and comic-genius-turned-bluegrass-star Steve Martin**. This deceptively sophisticated gem, “Sun’s Gonna Shine”,  is one of my favorites from that effort.

It’s time to shake off the darkness, y’all.

* Love Has Come For You seems like an especially appropriate sentiment to me right now.
**Matt, please tell me you know who Steve Martin is.

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