A Gay Man Living Christ in the Church

Some of us would say he struggles with same-sex attraction. It’s our way of avoiding the word “gay”.

But Greg Coles doesn’t avoid the word; he embraces it.

His book–Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity–is beautifully written and raw.

When he realized–as an adolescent–that he was not attracted to girls, he prayed to God to make him straight. He continued to pray. Over the years, he dated girls.

He did not become straight. Continue reading “A Gay Man Living Christ in the Church”

No Brotherly Love in Philadelphia

“True it is, They that are born of the flesh, hate and persecute them that are born of the spirit.” William Penn, Chapter One, VII~
His statue stands atop the great structure in the center of Philadelphia–City Hall. William Penn understood what many of us are just figuring out. The world will never understand nor appreciate our deeply held, uncompromising convictions.
And their disdain for our views trumps even the appearance of compassion. A voice of false compassion casts aside victims unrelated to its intended target.
The Daily Signal reports that days after making an urgent plea on behalf of 300 homeless orphans of the opioid crisis, Philadelphia ended its placement relationship with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services. Because those agencies hold Christian convictions and will not place children with unmarried or LGBT couples, they can no longer place children at all.
In the Keystone State in 2015, more than half of the 16,000 kids in foster care had been removed from their homes because of “parental drug use.” Philadelphia ranks second in deaths by overdose out of 44 counties in the US with populations greater than one million.
The need is indeed great, and there are many, but not enough, ways to meet it. Continue reading “No Brotherly Love in Philadelphia”

America at War with Herself

I’ve been there twice. Once in the summer. Another time in March, spring break. For a tourist, it is the essence of peace. Or it was–until last week.
Charlottesville, Virginia, is now a place we will remember for hate.
The haters gathered to protest the proposed removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Part of a series of removals eliminating Confederate monuments.
Communities began removing monuments and Lee’s battle flag–often considered the Confederate flag–after Dylann Roof’s slaughter of African American Christians at a Bible study in 2015 in South Carolina.
Beyond the protest of monument removal, Saturday’s rally was intended to “unite the right.” But there was more.
They came to shout their hatred for African Americans. They came to shout their hatred for Jews and LGBT’s and immigrants. Historically, they’ve hated Catholics too.
Saturday’s fiasco/riot resulted in the deaths of a counter-protestor and two state police officers. Numerous others were injured.
Some have argued that the monuments and the flag stand for freedom from an oppressive federal government. If that were ever true, it no longer is. The haters have co-opted symbols that once may have been innocent souvenirs from Gettysburg, Vicksburg, or Antietam.
No longer. No more.
Some will equate the hatred of Charlottesville with Christianity–especially conservative Christianity that does not agree with gay marriage. To do so distorts a faith that intends to speak only in love.
And haters who claim Christianity as their own–as many supremacists do–distort the faith. Their faith is in themselves and their hatred, not in a merciful God who seeks to redeem us all.
True Christianity rejects relative morality. A morality that tells us it’s okay to act on anger and hate and selfishness. To act on feelings rather than principles. The danger of relative morality is that it leads to a relative view of people.
It leads us to not see the value in everyone. It leads us back to a time we were at war with each other.
It has led us to now.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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