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« Big Question: Gay Sex | Main | Ref: Church Marketing Sucks »

April 05, 2009

Comments

pennyjane

"the other deciple, the one Jesus loved...." always was a bit of a curiosity to me. the insinuation being, either Jesus didn't love the rest of His deciples, or...there was a different, unusual love felt for this particular deciple.

i've heard different learned people opine on this, but nothing i've heard quite puts it to bed for me. yours is as interesting a take as any others i've heard kitt.

much love and hope. pj

Joanna

This really is an amazing blog! I love the modern painting of Palm Sunday!!

Kittredge Cherry

A debate about this queer Christ series is now raging at Care2.com under a post titled, “Lesbian Author Re-writes The Crucifixion -- Makes Jesus Gay.” There are 38 comments, mostly denouncing the idea that Jesus might be gay as “blasphemy.”

Here's the link:
http://www.care2.com/causes/civil-rights/blog/lesbian-author-re-writes-the-crucifixion-makes-jesus-gay/


The main post by gay writer Steve W. is actually quite well reasoned. Here are some highlights:

______
“Does adding a gay love affair to the story of the life of Jesus make me feel more included in the story? No it doesn't. However, do I think it is wrong to retell these accounts in different contexts, even in a queer context? Again, no.

The bible is a wonderfully elastic source, and it exists in a state of flux. It changes as we change and reveals new truths as old ones fade like flowers of the previous Spring. I do not think for a second that Kittredge Cherry is proposing that Jesus was gay in Jesus in Love: At the Cross, but rather is recasting the son of god in that light to give a deeper means of identification for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians, just as some have hinted at a relationship between he and Mary Magdalene.

In a time of advancing gay civil rights, I do think, however, that this might stoke the fires of controversy in a way that hinders more than it helps.”

_______
However, many of his readers left judgmental comments condemning the possibility of Jesus feeling attracted to men.

Click on the following link to read the post at Care2.com -- and perhaps add your own comments.

http://www.care2.com/causes/civil-rights/blog/lesbian-author-re-writes-the-crucifixion-makes-jesus-gay/

pennyjane

there's always the chance that kindling the fires will lead to backlash. the thing is we never know 'till we kindle those fires. so, i guess our options are to remain stagnent, let the fire go out, or take the risk.

the bible is God's love letter to us. it is always changing and growing us. if we refuse to accept the growth as offered we condemn to death the very essence we are trying to defend. change or die, it's one of God's laws written on our hearts.

i have been studying the bible for a long time and i'm known as a quick study. speaking for myself it's a rare look inside there that i don't learn something new. often that takes the form of gaining new insight into something i'd already learned. new insight, new perspective...the bible stays the same, my understanding of it grows...and even changes. what's wrong with that? i hope that never ends.

much love and hope. pj

pennyjane

you know....it takes different perspectives from people of good will to make the world work.

i am a rather poor person who goes to a church of some affluence. collecting and spending money is something we do quite a bit of....and as presbyterians we are nothing if not deliberate, everything we spend has to find it's way through a number of filters. my perspective is rather simple and close to a literal interpretation of Christ's teaching in the bible....see a need...limit the questioning and get after meeting it...not all that conducive to prioritizing or effieiency...just do it. Christ said, "if a man asks for your cloak offer him your coat as well." simple and straight forward, if someones asks, give more then they ask for.

now, if everyone in the congregation had my attitude we'd be constantly broke and not spending our money wisely....all that affluence didn't come by being a bunch of spendthrifts. fortunately for us and for those we serve that perspective is tempered as it passes through those filters. the good thing is...at least in our church...all those perspectives are heard and considered...it's rare that in the end things aren't done by consensus.

so, none of those perspectives is wrong and none is all right...the blend is what makes the system work. i think that's something we can all learn about scripture as well. one perspective or the other isn't necessarily the right one...it takes a blend of perspectives to make the bible live. so from the tempered and growing perspective of pennyjane, get God's will done using the good common sense He gave us to do it with...love our friends as well as our enemies...work with them to find new ideas, new perspectives, new methods and new understanding. get the most of every tool He provides, every gift He gives.

God bless with much love and hope. pj

pennyjane

it could be said, "though we are each made in the image of God it takes us all to complete the image.

Kittredge Cherry

Thank you so much, PennyJane, for all your insightful and loving comments. You have obviously read the Bible well and tried to apply its message of love and justice.

People are continuing to attack the Gay Holy Week series at care2.com. There are now 67 comments.

I was feeling discouraged by reading so many comment from people who called me and my work “ignorant… have pity of her,” “asinine,” “a tragedy and a recrucifixion of our precious Lord and Savior,” “absurd,” “abomination to God,” “offended,” “outrageous,” “I can't imagine anything more far fetched, and disrespectful,” “warped,” “sacrilege” “abhorrent,” “rubbish,” “ridiculous,” “the doing of unresponsible and low self esteem,” “shame,” “totally sick and twisted. The devil's workshop,” “sick, gross and utterly disgusting,” “way beyond decency,” “just another very sad and sorry individual trying to make news,” and predicting that I “will be damned on Judgment Day.”

I went to Jesus in prayer, and he seemed to say to me, “You WANTED to walk my path…” On this Good Friday, I remember that he also faced hateful opposition from religious people, and paid the ultimate price. This is the way of the Cross, the way of Christ.

It also helps a lot to hear from supporters like you who have left positive comments and sent me emails. God bless you.

I like what you wrote, “It could be said, ‘though we are each made in the image of God it takes us all to complete the image.’” I’m trying stretch spiritually in order to apply to apply these words to those with righteous anger directed at me and people like me.


FYI: Here's the link to the debate again:

http://www.care2.com/causes/civil-rights/blog/lesbian-author-re-writes-the-crucifixion-makes-jesus-gay/

And, since today is Good Friday, here's a link to a powerful gay Jesus crucifixion painting by lesbian artist Becki Jayne Harrelson:

http://jesusinlove.blogspot.com/2009/04/day-6-jesus-dies-on-cross.html

pennyjane

hi kitt. i'm with Jesus on this one...with every prayer isn't that what you are trying to do with yourself...be more like Him?

yea, though, suffering is still suffering even when self-inflicted by caring and making a real effort to have your prayers be real. Jesus chose the cross and suffered bitterly 'till he died, can we ask for no more? the good news is that He is there with you, sharing both your crosses and He will comfort you more than any of us ever could.

debate? you can't debate with people who think they have the power of God...that is to condemn you to hell...shoot kitt, you can't even provoke them...you can't even confuse them with the facts, their minds are made up...i give you...rick warren.

but with all humility from one who is still learning, still searching out that completed image of God, thank you, you provoke me.

much love and hope. pj

Joanna

I don't think we should ever worry about what straight people think, or if our literary endeavors will incite or inflame them. The whole point of Jesus in Love is to create a imaginative alternative to reading old stories in new ways.

The part about the disciple whom Jesus loved has a rather obvious answer. The person who wrote that Bible passage was simply promoting himself as the most loved. Whoever writes the text controls the theology.

pennyjane

hi joanna, the rather obvious and simple often is the truth, but...i've heard some other perspectives on the "other deciple" that bring all that obviousness into question. it's just that thinking...that our personal perspective is the only valid one that i think kitt and Jesus in Love is trying to challenge. i don't read her as trying to replace or correct other perspectives but only to add another. it's a kind of continuation of what Jesus started when He said he hadn't come to do away with the old laws, but to fulfill them. it's the idea that the old laws aren't invalidated, but brought to a higher level...moved closer to the fruition promised by His coming.

it's a part of the mystery of God that He need not always destroy before He can create. sometimes He can take the discordant melodies of the offkey and weave them into the beauty of His concert in such a way as to convert from discord to beauty. not destroy but make beauty where we can't always see the potential. with the great flood He didn't destroy the whole concept of humanity...He reduced it, yes..but the idea was retained and built upon anew. building upon, keeping the best and adding the better....and always with love and hope.

much love and hope. pj

pennyjane

another perspective i was reminded of today, speaking of the old laws. those we christians find so distasteful, all that rigid legalism and all. sometimes we (me first) even take liberty to laugh at the absurdity of some of them. but today, it was pointed out to me just how important those old laws were to keeping the people of God together as one culture during the times of exile and after the final destruction of the temple by the romans.

another perspective, another view, another reason for me to not feel quite so smug about all my updated ideas of how things should be done. those very laws, so instrumental in the formation and continuation of the very culture i have the priveledge of living in today, i, in all my arrogance...laughed at. i feel kind of stupid right about now.

much love and hope. pj

Joanna

I don't think you have to necessarily make fun of the past, or old cultures etc. pj.

Reading legal texts doesn't always tell you much about a real living past. Just think about all the "theories" there are out there about the JFK assassination. Those of us who lived then, knew the difference between the really crack pot theories and ones that seemed plausable. Archaeologists wouldn't have such an easy time of this.

The same can be said for "legalisms" in the old testiment, and what their real value is.

Personally, I don't find I'm all that interested in that period of history to begin with. I have others eras that are far more compelling. I don't have much interest in listening to others "preach"-- a word that I actually hate. Give me a great one on one conversation anyday.

People latch on the the extremes of ancient societies. It's why there is all this weirdness about the "sins" of gay people.
But we all know that Jesus had more to say about divorce than about gayness. Hmmm.

Cultures survive for a lot of reasons, not all of them good. Traditions survive for a lot of reasons too, not all of them very helpful.. the law and tradition is largely for people who aren't very imaginative and need threats of hell and damnation to function in "holiness."

pennyjane

hi joanna. well, i don't consider myself all that unimaginative but i do hold alot of fondness and respect for tradition...more so as i experience my own. so just being belittled for it doesn't bode well for one of those good old one-on-ones.

if you aren't much for tradition, that's fine...nothing at all wrong with that...but why then do you feel the need to belittle those who are? why do they have to be unimaginative and "need" the things you don't find helpful...can't they just have a different perspective then yours and still be good, smart and decent people?

if you find other periods and episodes of history far more compelling then the history of the jewish people...good for you, explore it and enjoy it. as a christian i find it very interesting, it's my past...my history...the more, it seems, i learn about my history the easier i find understanding my present. that's just me. don't make me smarter or stupider or less imaginative or more needy then the next person, just a part of what makes me me...the unique me.

i find i need to stand on no one to be just exactly as tall as i actually am.

much love and hope. pj

pennyjane

i have a couple of friends here in town who belong to a buddhist sect called soka gaki. both are just simply wonderful people who find this form of contemplative practice very rewarding...in fact i enjoy their meetings myself and often leave feeling pretty good inside.

their methodology, the chanting and meditation, isn't really all that different then what i find i practice as a christian. we have some very different views, but...as i converse and share i find that our vision of God isn't that far apart at all.

God speaks to me thru Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, He speaks to these people with another language. but it seems to be getting through to them in pretty much the same way mine gets through to me...that is...love and compassion...caring for other people and concerned stewardship of the blessing of our earth.

these are people who aren't stupid, they aren't ignorant and they aren't evil. whether they will end up in heaven or hell is just simply not in my paygrade to have an opinion on personally. but deep inside...way down there somewhere the Holy Spirit leads me to want to keep in touch...my relationship with these people may last a lot longer then what may be the transient period i'm in now.

i think i said it once before in here...we are each made in the image of God, but i beleive...as it seems so do my soka gaki brothers and sisters...that it takes us all to complete that image. what a wonderful and uplifting mystery it all is.

i wish we could all get away from this either/or mentality. "if you aren't with me you are against me." this is the root of my problem with people like rick warren...he believes that if you don't see it his way you are going to hell and he feels perfectly entitled to see to it himself that this happen. his theological views are defensible, what isn't is his condemnation of the views of others...and as one with power he has the responsibility to use his position for good, for the betterment of all God's creatures, not to harm those who he doesn't understand. that is what has to be confronted by those of us who do care about others, who do love our neighbors as ourselves...who do suffer the pain of others...we have to find a way to make those of his mentality learn to share their views without hurting others, afflicting the very pain of Jesus' cross on the weak and the unpopular.

in the words of my own pastor, ben dorr, the real stuggle of humankind isn't always fought out between good and evil, but the daily struggle is often more between good and indifference. someone else said it differently...all it takes for evil to succeed is for a few good men to do nothing.

much love and hope. pj

Wayne Cooper

Dear Mam:

While I realize you may mean well, unless you repent of your lifestyle, you will most definitely die and go to hell! You are deceieved into thinking that you can live a perverted and sinful lifestyle and go to heaven anyhow. Accoring to Hebrews 12:14, you cannot and will not.

Praying for Your Liberty!

Wayne

pennyjane

hi wayne. first: thank you for your prayers and your concern. you sound sincere and i appreciate that.

i do have to admit to some confusion though, my transsexualism certainly has not led me away from either peace nor holiness, that i am transsexual is not anything i chose, i was born such. acknowledging and acting on my transsexualism seems to have had the opposite affect on my character. since my transition i am far more at peace than before, and as i can now approach God honestly and boldly, i feel far more holy. so i can't see the relevance of that scripture to the salvation of my immortal soul.

please read on in the bible with a bit more of a discerning mind...you'll find things like..."who can know the mind of God, who can give Him advice?"

you'll see things like, "who are you to judge others?" what you have just done is exactly that. you take upon yourself the responsibility for interpreting scripture and passing judgment in the name of God. you'll also find in scripture, "you can't serve to masters". by assuming for yourself His authority, you are in effect assuming His deity. humble yourself before the Lord, He is the Master, you are His slave....as am i. "how can you judge the slave of another Master?" only that Master knows His needs and requirements.

i'm afraid, as i see it, you have a distinct lack of respect for the blood of Christ....you're assumption is that is isn't powerful enough to accout for all sin, only sin you personally deem worthy.

i repent and ask God's forgivness for all my sin regularily...as i'm sure you do as well....i'm sure God knows what is and what isn't sin far better than you or i can even imagine.

if you are into scripture, please be into it all, not just the parts that seem to suit your personal agenda. the bible is a whole story, taking quips and quotes out of context and applying them to others it not healthy and does nothing to promote understanding...as paul says, "remove the log from your own eye before you try to remove the splinter from the eye of another."

Jesus Christ took all sin to the cross, His blood is worthy. He died a mortal death, took sin and decended into hell with it. on the third day He rose into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

note that, wayne..."He shall come to judge". that means Jesus Christ will do the judging at the behest of God, the Father Almighty...you, therefore, are not responsible for that job, you are not worthy of such a task...and neither am i. your judgment barely rates as opinion, in the Face of Jesus Christ, The Judge.

i wish you true peace and holiness. pj

entre network guy

I love it too!

pennyjane

it's all good. loving is really about all there is. was considering today a piece of scripture....the part where Jesus is in the wilderness being tempted by the devil.

it's always seemed a little wierd to me that the bible says Jesus was tempted...not that the stupid devil tried to tempt him...but failed......it says Jesus was tempted! i think that should probably put to rest any idea of his lack or mortality.

at any rate...somewhere in that conversation Jesus was asked about the big one...the one, overall, main...first and foremost commandment.

LOVE, was the answer. how perfectly simple and oh, so clear.

much love and hope. pj

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