God in the Brokenness

An Affirming Gay Christian blog. //

"There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind."
-- C.S. Lewis //

Ἰησοῦς κύριος //

Musings on Theology, Sexuality, Life, and the furious longing of God for all of us. //

- Member at a United Methodist Church //

- Striving to follow Jesus to the best of my ability. Grace is central to who I am. //

- Looking for Koinonia (Idealised state of fellowship and community that should exist within the Christian Church.)
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  • "It is not through rising in glory that God’s loving nature finds its most perfect expression, but rather through suffering the most humiliating and agonizing of punishments despite His perfect innocence.

    It is not through defeating death that Jesus’ divine nature shines forth most profoundly, but through facing it.

    It is not in seeing the empty tomb that we witness the deepest truth about God. It is, rather, in seeing the incarnate God accept the very worst that humanity can do, endure the most profound rejection, and love us still. Love us with a radical, unflagging love.

    In the cross we see God step into the place of debasement, the place of despair, the place where human beings are treated like something worse than things—step into that place and say, “Here I stand.”

    And in that moment, every scapegoat ceases to be a a sacrifice to the gods and becomes instead what we do to God. “What you do to the least of these, you do to me.” On the cross we see just what that means.

    In that moment, our ultimate rejection of love discovers the meaning of a love that reaches across the gap of rejection and says, “Not even this can separate us.”

    In that moment, our worst afflictions become moments of solidarity with the very foundation of reality. When we feel most cut off from the good, when despair and loneliness and anguish seem to consume our souls, we discover that God is there—and not just there, but there at His most human, at the point at which the divine enters most fully into the world.

    By an act of stunning audacity, God turns the universe on its head, and finds a way to be most fully present to us in that space where God is felt to be most fully absent.

    The empty tomb is the effect, the consequence. The cross is the thing itself.

    Today is Good Friday, Silent Friday, Black Friday. Today Christians turn their thoughts to this staggering thing.

    May this holiest night rip through the veils of the ordinary and move you to wonder.”

    - The Piety that Lies Between 

    “ To engage in activism that envisions alternatives ways of organizing society and alternative ways of being is to risk membership in society, a sense of belonging, however partial it may be. Activism can make us vulnerable because it is so obviously about wanting something beyond what is, and to have a political desire often is construed as wanting too much. ”

    —    Deborah B. Gould 
    Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight against AIDS

    Here are some songs for Good Friday. 

    You can download them all here for free.

    Disclaimer: They do have very strong Penal Substitutionary themes throughout it sometimes.

    “ Jesus was not sent by God to die in order to appease a violent deity, nor did he defeat the powers by dying on the cross. His death was not an atoning sacrifice or a way of bringing a scapegoat mechanism to light. It was a political murder meant to sow terror and to undermine hope. His violent death exposes the domination system as oppressive and violent. His resurrection challenges the ultimate power of the system and invites us to be people of God here and now where oppressive systems remain powerful and must be challenged. Jesus teaches us how to live and shows us the risks of living God’s compassion in an unjust world. ”

    —    Walter Wink (via locusimperium)

    (via dick-of-saint-vick)

    “ Why is Good Friday good? Because on this day, the unjust suffering of Jesus became, through God’s power, the means by which forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration came to us. God doesn’t cause evil, but can can wring hope and life from even the darkest tombs. ”

    —    M. Miofsky 

    literally 90% of the gay people I know can’t stand the Orthodox Church and i have a pretty good idea why

    Life in the Borderlands: A Taxonomical Analysis of Post-Evangelicalism.

    godinthebrokenness:

    This post nailed all my problems with Post-Evangelicalism and why I left it. 

    Because these post-evangelicals are unwilling to give up on those things they’ve been taught are “Scripturally clear” … their analysis becomes that of attempting to baptize the poor theology as less shameful and more gracious and loving, instead of actually challenging the theology itself. This is how we land at post-evangelicals who challenge Thabiti Anyabwile on “the yuck factor” of homosexuality but will still waffle and say they’re uncomfortable with saying homosexuality isn’t sinful.

    Post-evangelicals tend to exist in a world where they take steps to challenge shaming rhetoric without actually challenging the beliefs that cause that rhetoric to arise.

    This uncertainty on the part of post-evangelicals is, I will not deny, a necessary part of the journey away from evangelicalism. It is hard to leave behind those identities that shaped you for so long, especially when you’ve been told that forsaking those particular political positions means you are sacrificing Scriptural fidelity and faith.

    However, post-evangelicals, in chasing after a safer, more tolerant and less terrifying label than “liberal,” find themselves claiming a theo-political identity that, like evangelicalism, has specific designations, markers, and perspectives. In seeking to find a group that accepts them, post-evangelicals begin identifying themselves as progressives, only to discover similar gatekeeping surrounding the particular label. And because the expectation was further tolerance and big-tent politics, post-evangelicals find themselves hurt and stunned by the idea the progressive doesn’t merely mean defining oneself as against harmful evangelicalism but also moving toward a system of equality and justice for all peoples.

    This is why there is much post-evangelical anger over unwillingness of progressives (like myself) to accept those who are in the middle ground. Christianity, and even liberal Christianity, is a big tent. But progressivism, as a political and theological label, is not. Like evangelicalism, a label characterized by a specific conservative theology and politics, progressivism is a political system that has certain, defined tenets of honoring the stories and experiences of others and fighting for justice within the messiness that is American Christianity.

    Progressivism carries with it a specific understanding of the intersectional nature of oppressions and privileges, and knows that moving forward –progressing – in the world means embracing changes on both the individual and systemic level.

    It is a far more radical leftist ideology than I think many post-evangelicals expect, and much of the post-evangelical crowd finds themselves disappointed when they are held to a higher standard of progressivism while attempting to claim a more liberal but still “safe” ethic.

    I have sympathy for the position post-evangelicals are in. By attempting to hold on to that middle ground, afraid, in many ways, to move too far from evangelicalism out of the fear they will lose all relationships there, they exist as people without a country, lost to both parts of the political and theological debate.

    My sympathy, however, only extends so far, as much of this post-evangelical struggle is used as an excuse for behavior that perpetuates harm similar to that they denounce by evangelicals. The liberalism of the post-evangelical often denies the role that privilege plays throughout systemic injustice, promotes problematic half-baked ideas, and often only challenges existing systems in ways that are deemed safe and nice.

    Life in the Borderlands: A Taxonomical Analysis of Post-Evangelicalism.

    This post nailed all my problems with Post-Evangelicalism and why I left it. 

    Because these post-evangelicals are unwilling to give up on those things they’ve been taught are “Scripturally clear” … their analysis becomes that of attempting to baptize the poor theology as less shameful and more gracious and loving, instead of actually challenging the theology itself. This is how we land at post-evangelicals who challenge Thabiti Anyabwile on “the yuck factor” of homosexuality but will still waffle and say they’re uncomfortable with saying homosexuality isn’t sinful.

    Post-evangelicals tend to exist in a world where they take steps to challenge shaming rhetoric without actually challenging the beliefs that cause that rhetoric to arise.

    This uncertainty on the part of post-evangelicals is, I will not deny, a necessary part of the journey away from evangelicalism. It is hard to leave behind those identities that shaped you for so long, especially when you’ve been told that forsaking those particular political positions means you are sacrificing Scriptural fidelity and faith.

    However, post-evangelicals, in chasing after a safer, more tolerant and less terrifying label than “liberal,” find themselves claiming a theo-political identity that, like evangelicalism, has specific designations, markers, and perspectives. In seeking to find a group that accepts them, post-evangelicals begin identifying themselves as progressives, only to discover similar gatekeeping surrounding the particular label. And because the expectation was further tolerance and big-tent politics, post-evangelicals find themselves hurt and stunned by the idea the progressive doesn’t merely mean defining oneself as against harmful evangelicalism but also moving toward a system of equality and justice for all peoples.

    This is why there is much post-evangelical anger over unwillingness of progressives (like myself) to accept those who are in the middle ground. Christianity, and even liberal Christianity, is a big tent. But progressivism, as a political and theological label, is not. Like evangelicalism, a label characterized by a specific conservative theology and politics, progressivism is a political system that has certain, defined tenets of honoring the stories and experiences of others and fighting for justice within the messiness that is American Christianity.

    Progressivism carries with it a specific understanding of the intersectional nature of oppressions and privileges, and knows that moving forward –progressing – in the world means embracing changes on both the individual and systemic level.

    It is a far more radical leftist ideology than I think many post-evangelicals expect, and much of the post-evangelical crowd finds themselves disappointed when they are held to a higher standard of progressivism while attempting to claim a more liberal but still “safe” ethic.

    I have sympathy for the position post-evangelicals are in. By attempting to hold on to that middle ground, afraid, in many ways, to move too far from evangelicalism out of the fear they will lose all relationships there, they exist as people without a country, lost to both parts of the political and theological debate.

    My sympathy, however, only extends so far, as much of this post-evangelical struggle is used as an excuse for behavior that perpetuates harm similar to that they denounce by evangelicals. The liberalism of the post-evangelical often denies the role that privilege plays throughout systemic injustice, promotes problematic half-baked ideas, and often only challenges existing systems in ways that are deemed safe and nice.

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