Showing posts from January, 2016

Thoughts on Sexuality

I have been asked by a number of people about what I think about same sex relationships. It has come up in diocesan talks. The Primate’s meeting has put restrictions on the Episcopal Church (USA) for changing their marriage canon. So it has been in the news. I also recently came from a diocese that allowed our bishop to grant permission to clergy to bless civilly married same sex couples, and I was present for many of those discussions. One thing needs to be said on the front- love is always to define us as Christians. Regardless of what “side” we land on, our decision has to come from a place of love. The following is not my attempt to solve anything. What you will find are questions that I’m asking and some of the ways I’m trying to seek a way forward. I want to always be open to what God might be saying and so that means also listening to what others are saying. So this is a growing and morphing thought process. In some ways I’d rather not say anything. This is such a divisive is…

Transgender Rights

So interesting issue:

It is a classic case of the rights of the individual versus the rights of the many. "Gender", I leaned in my university anthropology class, is socially determined, not biologically determined. A person's "sex" is their biology- it's what their DNA says about them. I have met quite a number of transgender folks, especially while living in Toronto. Those I met who feel so inclined were lovely, thoughtful, and insightful people. I'm sure that was born by years of intense internal struggle and suffering. In Alberta there is all kinds of talk about this issue at the moment as a bill is being brought forward to allow folks to use whatever bathroom/change room they wish (based on which "gender" they identify with).

I just thought I would pass on a couple articles:
One abo…

The Body of Christ- 1 Cor 12

1 Cor 12:12-31

Before we talk about Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, it might be helpful to say something about the city of Corinth. The city had been almost completely destroyed at one point, but by Paul’s day the city had been rebuilt for about 100 years as a Roman colony. So it had the feel of a new city. There wasn’t really any aristocracy because it was a recently rebuilt city that was populated mostly with Roman soldier, freedmen (which were a step above slaves on the social ladder), and slaves. It was now an important city with lots of things going on. Don’t think of a sleepy backwater. This town was buzzing. There was tourism, with people coming to watch athletic competitions. There was lots of trade, which brought in lots of different people traveling from all over to do business. It had the feel of a boom town. It also had a reputation in ancient literature- to “act like a Corinthian” became a phrase meaning “to commit fornication” (see Aristophanes (430-385 BC) who coined t…

Gifts for building up the community 1 Cor 12

1 Cor 12:1-11
We live in a culture that has become more and more obsessed about the self. It is teaching us to be narcissistic. Social media is often used for advertising the self. In the desire for self-esteem we can become self-absorbed and entitled believing we deserve more- we are special. The advertising we see continuously presents us with the message that we deserve better than we have. John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. We are being trained by our culture to think in terms of what our country can do for us. Paul might say, “Ask not what Christ can do for you, but what you can do for the body of Christ”.

The Corinthian church seemed to be dealing with a lot of the same issues that are present in our culture. Some seemed to have succumbed to spiritual pride. They were competitive. Some were puffed-up by their spiritual ability. They prided themselves in being “spiritual” people over and against the regula…

the wise follow the star- Matt 2

Matt 2:1-12
It is a strange and mysterious passage that is only mentioned by the Gospel of Matthew. Men came to Palestine from somewhere in the East- perhaps Persia, or Arabia, or maybe somewhere else, we don’t know.

The men who come are equally mysterious (were they all men?). They were not kings according to Matthew. We think of them as kings because this passage made people think of passages of the Bible like Isaiah 60 and Psalm 72 that talk about the kings of the nations coming to Israel to give gifts and pay homage. They were not Jews. They were probably gentiles (which just means "not Jewish"). They are called “Magi” in the plural, but “Magus” in the singular. It is a word that that has a few definitions and can refer to a practitioner of occult magic arts, to someone who would divine the future, to an interpreter of dreams (like the prophet Daniel, or Joseph), or to those who study the night sky. A magus was a mysterious person, with mysterious knowledge…

Jesus, Light from Light, true God from true God- Jn 1

John 1:1-18
Watching a ball bounce across a room is very different than hearing a physicist explain the same event. The physicist would describe gravity, the density of the floor, the rubber’s ability to bounce (called the “Coefficient of Restitution”), the force at which the ball was thrown or the height it was dropped from, maybe even variables like the temperature of the room, etc. All of that would be communicated through a swirl of numbers and letters drawn into mathematical formulas that explain what we watched happen with our eyes. It doesn’t mean that watching the ball bounce across the room is less true, they are just different ways of explaining the same event. The physicist’s explanation is more abstract, but also provides a kind of truth that isn’t available to us by simple observation.

The opening of the Gospel according to John is a bit like this. Most of us know the Christmas story. The images sit easily in our minds- Mary and Joseph next to a baby in a mang…