Thursday, August 13, 2009
Here is some exciting news, I've got a new blog location:
I will no longer be posting at this location, so head on over to www.loveisanorientation.com and join in on the conversation! For those of you who subscribe to this blog, there is a new subscription button on the new site.
Blogger did me well, and now I'm over to this new site thanks to Adam McLane!!!!!!! He did the WHOLE THING!
See you at www.loveisanorientation.com!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Also, the lack of blogging is due to working on a new site for my blog! I hope you'll love it when it's up and ready to roll!
While on the road I usually have a wonderful opportunity to think and pray. I have been chewing on a few new thoughts, and I'm really looking forward to start posting my back-logged mind. I'm sure we'll be getting into a lot of uncomfortable conversations soon, and yet even as I write that, I remind myself that immersion into uncomfortable places over a significant amount of time produces growth ... and we're all growing through this thing together.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I got hated on by a gay organization. Then I got hated on by a Christian one.
I received a couple offensive emails calling me names. Then I received a couple encouraging emails giving me hope.
I had a moving Living in the Tension gathering. Then I went home and cried.
I got hated on once again by the same gay organization and the same Christian organization.
I talked to some people who I trust my life with (Brenda, Dad, Richard and Wendy). Then I felt better.
I woke up this morning with a double ear infection. And also woke up to a few more hateful emails.
And then a few more encouraging ones.
Here’s one from someone I don’t know who just finished reading my book:
“You do not do this in vain. Know when the times get tough you have touched lives.”
Then I had a great talk with an editor at a magazine doing an article on my book, and then I prayed.
And I feel comforted in the FACT that I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
No matter what haters try to lie, cheat, complain or tear me down.
No matter what friends are too “worn out” by this difficult bridge building work and want to give up—because “it’s too hard” and now think “it can never happen” because it hasn’t happened quick enough for their satisfaction.
Give up then.
Because I won’t. And neither will God.
Because I’m trying to learn how to live and love in real time.
Don’t have answers for everything.
And the sad part is that too many “intelligent” people from both ends won’t ever admit that as truth.
I am loved. I am me.
I am satisfied with who I represent and how I daily strive to represent Him.
The rest of them can keep on trying to dissect every word I say and use it against me.
But it doesn’t matter anymore.
Because He was a Jewish carpenter and therefore I build bridges. Period.
I don't care who in this world is satisfied with that answer or not; as there is One who is.
So keep on hatin’ me haters.
Because thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
And you all can’t dictate not even one ounce of that, no matter what you think you own.
Cause I’ll keep on lovin’ anyway.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Heard on over 120 stations and Sirius Satellite, Kresta in the Afternoon looks at all areas of life through the lens of Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church and takes on all comers. Over the years, Al has engaged in vigorous discussions or debates with nationally known figures from politics, the arts, the Church, academia and business such as Jack Kevorkian, Mother Angelica, Jesse Jackson, Carl Bernstein, John McCain, Gloria Steinem, Pat Buchanan, Scott Hahn, Donna Shalala, Judge Robert Bork, Richard Gephardt, Jerry Falwell, George McGovern, Steve Allen, Bowie Kuhn, Mrs. Anwar Sadat, Martin Luther King III, Cal Thomas, Avery Cardinal Dulles, Chuck Colson, Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr, James Earl Ray, Mary Higgins Clark, and C. Everett Koop.
My goal is to keep it peaceful, as you know I’m not into “debates” … and I will stay peaceful no matter what. You can listen live here.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Lots to talk about post-vacation, and I’m looking forward to catching up with all the comments while I was gone.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Here is my final reflection from walking in the 2009 Chicago Gay Pride Parade and interviewing a variety of people who were all a part of that day as well.
How do you think modern views of historiography have affected our ability to think theologically and ethically about our past and present experiences? Here is my answer:
Modern views of historiography, like most everything modern (or should I say postmodern?), are thoroughly rooted in a pluralistic secular movement of what it means to live in a post-Christian era. Sometimes I get shrieks when I say post-Christian, as most people look at Europe as the prime example of a post-Christian culture. Although I know the United States is currently not at the same place as Europe, I do have to bring up the point that Christianity is America is declining at the same time it’s rising in Europe.
My belief is that the “religion” of secularism is riding a way of the past four decades of poor Christian expressions of love and outreach. It’s the fifty-some year old secularists who are leading the charge against the validity of Christianity, and many of the more well known secularists were raised in the Church. After being bitten, excluded and poked at, in their mind it’s their turn now to turn the tables by forming their own movement—which has gained way more momentum than I personally ever thought I would see. Because of this, historiography within our era will forever be skewed away from anything we stand for because in many people’s minds (specifically the mainstream cultural influencers), Christendom’s time has passed.
The only way to recoup any of the Truth in history is for us to intentionally start loving in such a way that we become the come-as-you-are-culture we are supposed to be. This does not mean fight. This does not mean picket. This does not mean cause a stink. This means that if we can focus on the character of God and live out his commands to faithfully and exuberantly love all of his creations made in his image (and I mean all), years from now society will look back with their own version of historiography—one that looks nothing like the secularist version of today. What is this love that I talk about? It’s not a Universalist type of love where anything goes. It’s a Christ driven love that allows God to work on HIS timetable; not ours. No matter what the outcome. It’s a type of love where the Body of Christ intentionally seeks out those considered on the outside—and that does not mean go to Africa and help those who can’t help themselves (although that is good too). It means we go to our own communities, our own outcasts, our own neighbors who are in our everyday lives. It’s so hard because it’s so personal. Those starving babies in Africa don’t know you, won’t talk back to you and adore your every moment. Not the same with a grown American adult who has been burned by the Church at some point in their life.
It’s time to go out and move forward; and history depends on our actions today!
“Do you know what I think about living out your faith?”
In my head I said: Nope—don’t know and don’t necessarily want to know either if it is anything like what you have spewed out for the last hour. Instead I smiled and asked his thoughts. And out came a very unexpected profound statement! He said:
“My take is that there are four ways people live in death here on earth:
1. The obsessive need to look good
2. The obsessive need to be right
3. The obsessive need to avoid pain
4. The obsessive need to be in control”
And as soon as he was done telling Brenda and I his fully inspired and completely insightful and culturally relevant thoughts on living a stifled life in Christ, he went back to his old self—as if for one moment in time he was inspired by clarity.
I now refer to these four constructs as the Empire Carpet Theology.
Friday, July 10, 2009
The purpose of the study is to understand the characteristics of these marriages and the experiences of individuals in them. Participants can be currently in a mixed orientation marriage or have been previously. If you or someone you know fits this description and would like to share your experience, participants are needed! The survey can be accessed online by going to www.mixedorientationstudy.com. The study is completely anonymous and confidential; however, participants are given the option of sharing limited identifying information to participate in future follow-up studies if desired.
Short and to the point—this is officially the worst evangelism tool ever found on the face of the earth.
Sadness strikes me in great amounts hearing this gay man’s response.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
In this video I get yelled at and told I’m going to hell. The protestors thought I was gay. When I told them I wasn’t gay and went to a conservative seminary, I was still told I’m going to hell.
One thing to notice about half way through the video, the guy with the megaphone kept yelling:
“Sick, Sick, Sick”
Does that really work? Maybe it’s just me, but that does absolutely no good—for anyone.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In this clip I interview Nathan, a straight man who is walking in the Parade. And funny enough, he goes to an evangelical seminary in Chicago as well! One of the things that Nathan says is that he sometimes feels as though he is more loved by the GLBT community than he is by his seminary community. It’s strange for me that others have had the same experience as myself. As I say in my book:
"I have never met a more loving community in my life than the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) community. Obviously, there are exceptions in any community, but in general I've found that GLBT people don't care if you're skinny, hairy, fat, pimpled, a millionaire or dead broke; there is room for everyone."
Take out the GLBT part of that quote and you have the ideal definition of Christianity. Let this be a bold challenge.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Welcome to my neighborhood during it’s most famous hour. At the end of the clip I pray that I know the Lord loves this neighborhood. And he does. Many look upon Boystown and think God hates it in anger and judgment. I believe he loves it in broken compassion, yearning for those 1.2 million people and beyond at that Parade to come to know his love and transcending characteristics as the Creator he is; and all that is entailed with that relationship.
Many people (gay and straight) are confused by transgenders. Here’s our opportunity to learn from, and listen to a transgender female [defined as male to female] talk about her experiences growing up in the Catholic church. Towards the end she says something that I think we all need to hear:
I asked her if she thought the Church could have helped her out with her “demons” (as she put it), and her response was “no.” Experiences prove potent—especially with religion and personal demons. We’re losing thousands to the secular world because we’re not quite sure how to respond to a variety of topics.
So instead of trying to figure out how to respond, let’s figure out how to love—and the responses will be a natural outplay of our commitment to another.
Monday, July 6, 2009
In this video I interview a Mom and her son who are both walking in the Parade. I think the Mom says two very profound things:
1. Although she would group her own theological beliefs in a more liberal category, she said that she totally believes that someone can hold onto a conservative theological belief and still love in tangible ways that make a difference in GLBT peoples lives.
2. She thinks the problem in the culture war is not a theology “thing,” it’s a people “thing.”
My belief is that people’s actions are an outplay of their theology. In agreement with what the Mom said, no matter what the belief, the culture war can easily end because of what people do, not by convincing others of what they believe.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Here’s the back-story to this video:
This man was involved in a church and when he decided to tell leadership of his same-sex attractions they put him into therapy (not forcefully because he agreed to do so) and they put his works in the church on “probation” until he didn’t have same-sex attractions anymore. After trying and trying with no change in the attractions, he gladly left the church and now will not go anywhere unless the church, as he said, “are not concerned who he sleeps with.”
Another casualty we created because we didn’t know how to build Christ’s bridges in the right way.
His life now is on our heads for causing his current state. Why? Because he started with a traditional interpretation of Scripture and look where he’s at now because he “couldn’t succeed vs. his struggles”. Listen closely here for a second: if there is something we need to take from this interview, it’s that the Church needs to reorient its understanding of what a successful outcome looks like. If the only metric of success is to “be straight” then we’re not going to ever really be able to make a difference because what constitutes straight? Marriage? Children? What if the person is still gay and just wants an outside facade to blend in? Is that success then? Is success no more attractions to the same-sex, ever? What about unwanted fantasies that can't be overcome? What about gay Christians? What about celibacy? What about the replacement for intimacy if celibate? Where does that come from?
Too many questions and too few answers because many of us have never invested the time, effort and relationships into figuring it out because the majority Church is just concerned with one label: S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T.
Think about this, if not success, then the only other option is failure. And if success/fail are the only two options we offer (all the while not clearly defining the different shades of one’s journey along the way), we’re not caring enough to authentically enter into someone’s life story with them, now are we? It seems that the Church thinks the ends (being straight) justify the means (don’t care how you get there, just get there—and get there quick. And if it takes too long or done in the fashion deemed appropriate then you’re a failure). When my understanding of what it is to build a Christlike bridge with the GLBT community is the exact opposite (see Love is an Orientation, specifically pages 146-160).
His life is another unfortunate example of us keeping the GLBT community at arm’s length in the most horrific way:
Telling them we love them and want to be there with them throughout everything, and in deception setting up a structure of success and failure that the majority of the time equates to failure. What happens when someone fails, then?! Do we just let them go and not give a second thought because they weren’t successful enough???—well, we did with him and the majority is ok with that.
But it’s not ok with me and I hope it's not ok with you either.
Friday, July 3, 2009
This is the first interview I conducted at the Parade. As soon as I got there I saw a group of people wearing purple shirts with the transgender logo on them (you’ll see the logo in the video). None of the people in the shirts “looked” transgender, so I went up to them and asked what they were walking for. It turns out that they were parents who have transgender kids. Two of these parents were more than happy to be interviewed on camera, and here are their thoughts on two questions:
1. What would you like to say to the Church as a parent of a transgender kid
2. What can the Church do to tangibly serve your transgender kid?
Notice that when the dad is talking, he’s eyes are welling up because he’s fighting back some major tears. In talking to him off camera he got very emotional as this was his first parade—he’s just trying to learn to live and love amidst everything going on in his, and his child’s life.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I recorded this video from my condo after the parade, as a real-time summary of what you are going to see, feel and hear over the next two weeks as I post the remaining ten videos from my participation in the 2009 Gay Pride Parade in Chicago.
As I said in the video, this is a time to reflect as we take everyone’s words during the interviews as a legitimate expression of what each person’s experience has been, and where they are currently. My favorite slogan—right from the gate you can’t relate—and this is a huge step forward as we are able to place the GLBT community’s metric upon ourselves to know the boundaries of what it is to make significant things happen for the Kingdom.
Monday, June 29, 2009
It was the absolute most fun I’ve ever had on an interview!
DJ and Aaron (the hosts) kept it fun, laughable and serious all at the same time. It was a blast. I know you all with enjoy this … ESPECIALLY the last 17 minutes, which include 10 off the wall questions they asked me totally unrelated to homosexuality as well as the outtakes from the interview!
Listen to it here.
And while you’re on their site, take a listen to Professor Soong-Chan Rah talking about the white captivity of the Western church—it’s fascinating and controversial!
Hope you enjoy the fun!!!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Here is Part 2 of my interview with Spencer Burke and theooze.tv. Instead of commenting here, go to this link and rate the interview and join in on the conversation - there are some polarizing views already posted. Let's show some folks what peaceful and productive bridge building conversations look like.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
June 25: Gay Pride Parade: Original Intent and Current Purpose
July 22: I Do Exist—Ex Gay Viewing and Discussion
Aug 11: Discussion with a Gay Secular Person
Aug 27: Discussion with an Ex-Gay Person
Sep 17: Discussion with a Gay Christian
Oct 8: Secret Confessions (Oct 11th National Coming Out Day)
Nov 5: Gay Marriage
Nov 17: Discussion with a Straight Conservative Christian
Dec 3: Discussion with a Celibate Person
Dec 14: The Actual Argument
Here is a reminder of why The Marin Foundation hosts these discussions:
Purpose for Living in the Tension Community Gathering:
Christians need to start willfully planting themselves in the middle of some very uncomfortable places—making a conscious commitment to stay in that place with the GLBT community. In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. was locked up in a jail in Birmingham, Alabama. In a letter to confront his fellow white clergymen, MLK reflected on his life’s work to that point and said: “I must confess that I am not afraid of the world tension. I have earnestly opposed violent tension my whole life, but there is a type of constructive, non-violent tension which is necessary for growth.”
I’m going to be real right now—the Christian community has been running from that constructive, non-violent tension for too long when it comes to gays and lesbians. The productive growth that MLK was talking about only comes retrospectively, after much time has been spent immersed in tension filled areas with what we are most uneasy about. Those tension-filled areas are dirty, uncomfortable, confusing, overbearing and uneasy. And they’re worth every minute for the kingdom we so boldly claim ourselves to be a part of.
For gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, ex-gay, celibate and straight (progressive and conservative) people to all willfully enter into a place of constructive tension, intentionally forming a community that peacefully and productively takes on the most divisive topics within the culture war that is faith and sexuality.
Culture wants to resolve conflict—we want to use our different communities’ filtration systems to elevate the conversation through the tension. Get past the stereotypes. Learn and practice what it means to live in unanswerable questions. Shift the paradigm away from a ‘fix it’ culture to one that turns hearts onto Christ amongst the most uncomfortable places.
Stay. Commit. Reconcile. Grow.
He was a Jewish carpenter and therefore I build bridges ©
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here is my contribution:
Question: I was recently asked by a large Christian magazine what if every Christian and every church bought into what I was saying—what will happen down the road; and what is the end goal to building a bridge?
Here’s the exciting and scary part: I don’t know what it will look like because it’s never been done before, but what I do know, is that the Lord is showing us how to start this movement, and then sustain it for the long haul. Churches and Christians have been so concerned and paralyzed with the X, Y and Z; that they have never done A, B and C in the right way—the exact mission the Lord has placed on my heart through The Marin Foundation and my book Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community.
Let this story sink in:
A young and successful Christian businessman I know has the all the money he needs and all the looks to back up his skyrocketing career. He has a girlfriend whom he’s attracted to but sexually chaste with. However, he has one small secret that he has been keeping from everyone: the anonymous sex with other males behind his girlfriend’s back.
Over the past year he has gone to the altar at his church on three separate occasions during the service to ask his pastor for help. Each time the pastor promised to follow up with him and never did, leaving him more depressed as he continued to sink further and further away. It took a lot of guts for him to turn to The Marin Foundation and tell me his story after how he had been forgotten. When I told him that I wasn’t going to leave, that I would follow through and that I would help him however he needs to be helped, tears started to fill his eyes and he smiled.
I thought he was happy because he finally found someone he could trust. Boy was I wrong. He looked at me and said, “Do you know how many times I’ve heard that before? I’m only telling you all of this so my conscious is clear. God knows how many of his people have given up, or not tried at all.” With that he paid for his meal, got up, thanked me for my time and promptly left.
What just happened? I had never had anything like that happen to me before, and I was really mad. Who was that guy to think I was like all the others? He just used me as a means to feel better, like I was some type of confessional he needed to justify what he was doing emotionally and physically to himself and his girlfriend. I just wasted an hour of my time. I got up and headed out.
No more than two steps out of the door I realized something myself: Who was I to think that he would believe me when I said those things? That exact situation has happened to him three other times that I know of, by a person who he trusted for help. He didn’t want words, he didn’t want a feeling; he wanted me to follow through.
And so that is what I did. As soon as I got back to my desk I emailed and called him to let him know I meant what I said. It’s been almost a year since that first encounter and he’s on a tough journey right now. But it’s sure a lot easier when you know someone isn’t going to give up on you.
When it comes to same-sex sexual attractions and behaviors, Christians just give up too easy. Therefore above anything else when it comes to the GLBT community, the most important thing Christians can do is make a commitment for the long haul. Without a genuine commitment on the Christian’s part there can be, and will be nothing other then meaningless talk and niceties. I hear the same thing again and again from GLBT youth and adults: “I would have rather had Christians never enter my life than to continue entering in and then leaving. It does more harm than good.”
Just read that statement again. Only through a real commitment without knowing what’s going to happen, can believers take the first step to restoring a bridge with the GLBT community.
When I first immersed myself in the GLBT community I had no idea what I was doing or what good could ever come out of my decision. The only thing I did know was that I was in it for the long haul because in my mind, there was no turning back. God will always be faithful to our commitments if we can only be faithful to our own.
I know that committing to something that most of us know nothing about is not easy. When we are walking into an unknown we need assurance that there is hope to one day pull us through the times that we know will come, the times we know we can’t handle. God will fill in those gaps if only we solidify in ourselves the commitment to stay. Remember that God gives the growth, Jesus causes us to stand and it is our job to obey—because God doesn’t only work when we know what the outcome is going to be!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Enjoy this interview (Part 1) with author and creator of The Ooze and theooze.tv, Spencer Burke. Watching it back I forgot I got a little excited at the end. And if you know me, you know what I mean by excited!
Do you agree or disagree with anything I said?
Monday, June 22, 2009
Here is Part 2 of my interview with Chris Heuertz, author and International Director of Word Made Flesh. In this segment I ask Chris two questions:
What would you tell the Church about building bridges with the gay and lesbian community
What would you tell the gay and lesbian community about the Church
His answers are moving.
While I was in Omaha, NE last week I had the opportunity to hang out with a man that I respect with all of my heart and soul, Chris Heuertz, the International Director of Word Made Flesh - a non profit organization that incarnationally serves the poorest of the poor all over the world. Chris is the most humble man I know, and he is one of those people in this lifetime that you just feel privileged to sit at his feet and learn from his amazing life and experiences.
This first part of the interview I talk to Chris about Word Made Flesh, which you can link to here. I also talk to Chris about his book, Simple Spirituality, which you can buy here or here. And you can check out some other talks by Chris here.
PS - as I watched it back I realized I talked waaaay too much. I'm learning how to get used to being the interviewer instead of the interviewee. Sorry about that. :)
But seriously, I truly do love Chris and the Word Made Flesh team:
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I just found out yesterday that Love is an Orientation is going into its second printing after only a month and a half! That's really quick ...
Let's keep this movement's momentum accelerating forward so much so that neither community would be able to ignore our new paradigms of what it means to peacefully and productively build bridges with each other in order to end the culture war and still do significant things for the Kingdom!
Here are some links to send to people, or have them stop in their local Barnes & Noble or Borders:
Barnes & Noble ($12 or $10.80 if member): http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Love-Is-an-Orientation/Andrew-Marin/e/9780830836260/?itm=1
Borders ($15): http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?type=1&catalogId=10001&simple=1&defaultSearchView=List&keyword=love+is+an+orientation&LogData=%5Bsearch%3A+30%2Cparse%3A+44%5D&searchData=%7BproductId%3Anull%2Csku%3Anull%2Ctype%3A1%2Csort%3Anull%2CcurrPage%3A1%2CresultsPerPage%3A25%2CsimpleSearch%3Atrue%2Cnavigation%3A5185%2CmoreValue%3Anull%2CcoverView%3Afalse%2Curl%3Arpp%3D25%26view%3D2%26type%3D1%26nav%3D5185%26simple%3Dtrue%26book_search%3Dlove%2Bis%2Ban%2Borientation%2Cterms%3A%7Bbook_search%3Dlove+is+an+orientation%7D%7D&storeId=13551&sku=0830836268&ddkey=http:SearchResults
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
“Andrew, if you keep hitting your head against a brick wall, one day the wall will break!”
So hit away I will…
There were two public reviews I have recently seen that really caught my attention because one is from a Muslim and the other is from a gay Anabaptist.
Here is the review of my book from a Muslim, Afdhere Jama, who is the author of the book Illegal Citizens: Queer Lives in the Muslim World. He also edits Huriyah, a bilingual (arabic in paper, english online) GLBT Muslim magazine.
Wow. Humbled. Overwhelmed. That's all I can say about that.
And this link is from the Young Anabaptist Radicals blog (I made a comment on this post). Again, I am in total amazement how the Lord is using the book to cross cultural and religious boundaries!
If you’ve seen any cool reviews, hit me up because I’d love to read them as well.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
[Addendum on June 16, 2009: Do you ever find yourself being labled into a socially constructed group because someone on the outside doesn't understand you? I tackle this question in my own life after the last two conservative evangelical radio interviews have called me Emergent for no other reason than I live within, and loves me some GLBT folks.]
Am I Emergent? I tackle this question in 4 minutes and 33 seconds after I have been called Emergent by two of the last three conservative evangelical radio hosts I have been on with. This clip is not me speaking against Emergent, but rather about the indictment of evangelicalism surrounding homosexuality and the life I live.
What are your thoughts on Emergent? Conservativism? None of the above? Love to hear you thoughts on this whole thing.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The answers to those questions are yes, yes, and yes again. And a few very influential gay organizations are wearing thin on Obama’s stale (would they even go so far as to say “Republican”?!?!?) rhetoric around GLBT issues. As a friend of mine who works for a well known gay political organization told me:
“Obama, you can talk all you want about “declaring June our month” and how much respect you have for us, but your talk is what got you elected. It’s time to show you’re different than everyone who came before you because your talk isn’t getting you anywhere anymore.”
Such the tangled (and bandwagon hopping on and off) web we continually weave…
Interesting article from Politico that I saw highlighted on CNN.
What are your thoughts about the gay community turning on Obama?
Friday, June 5, 2009
This video was taken minutes ago in the green room of Harvest TV's studios after taping 2 segments for their program. The host I am talking to is Kelly Morgan - I love her to death. She gets it, asked wonderful questions during the interviews and her family lives in the tension everyday as her two kids (one in majoring in it in college and one younger in middle school) are both involved in theater and production. Her heart was honest and I really appriciated her stepping out to have me on their program.
And PS - is there anything that motivates weight loss more than looking at how many chins you have?! Wow.
Seriously though, tell me what you want to see and hear through these videos so I can keep it fresh and relevant!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
As you can see by my 'mug' looking at you in this video, I just bought a Flip Camera to start recording short bites of my life within this unique bridge building experience that the Lord has laid before us. I hope you enjoy this new way of interacting along side my written posts as well!
Tell me, what types of things would you all love to see through these videos as I move forward in this fun experiment?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Why am I me and given the inherent right that comes with being a straight, white male; opposed to all others in socially constructed minority groups by race, sex, disability or health?
And some of those prayers which are more earthly:
That my book will sell 500,000 copies because the Lord’s bridge building work within the GLBT community would be out there so much that no one could ignore it anymore,
Lord, you have trusted me in running The Marin Foundation with very few financial resources for so long, in all of which that I feel I have been a great steward of those sparse finances, that it is totally ok to start trusting me with more!
And when it comes to sexuality and same-sex attractions, why does God answer some people’s prayers and not others? I have met very few people who, when first realizing their same-sex attraction, did not pray to God to take those attractions away so as to have an easier life in a way that aligns with a traditional interpretation of Scripture. Because let’s be honest, who would choose a same-sex attraction and the potential life (celibacy or being ‘out’) that comes with it? If you think about it, when someone has a same-sex attraction, whether they act on it or not, are automatically cast as deviant to mainline Christianity. What a heavy responsibility to steward. What haunts me though is how I can just be me, do nothing to counteract my God-given characteristics and get married, have a family, and without a second thought be looked at within mainstream as acceptable before God in my inherent qualities that I did nothing to attain? It’s a question that pains me because I’ll never know the answer.
In going a step further; why does God answer some people’s prayers who seek to “overcome” their same-sex attraction and not others?
In my book I detail a story of a friend of mine who was student body president of a major evangelical university who hid his same-sex attractions for 17 years as he prayed and worked everyday for God to take those attractions away. Yet why does God answer other’s prayers for the same thing but not his, causing him to believe one of two things must be true:
1. Either there is no God because He won’t answer the one prayer he prays
2. There is a God and he’s just condemned to hell anyway because of the attractions he knows not where they came from
The problem is that evangelicals find it easy to come up with excusal answers:
“Because he didn’t pray enough…”
“Because he doesn’t have enough faith…” (this one was actually told to me by a radio host on air last week)
“Because he’s not really Christian and not praying to the God of transformation…”
You name it: I, and they, have heard it.
But I just don’t believe in those faultily constructed “releasing-of-responsibility-blood-off-my-head” excuses that do nothing other than put an even wider unemotional arm’s length gap between our conservative believe system and the gay community. Uttering and crying out to the name of El Shaddai, the Almighty and Yeshua are the same for everyone—God hears them all, all the time.
The most over utilized Christian-eze response is to the bigger question is:
“You can’t see it now but God will somehow use this unanswered prayer for good.”
Theologically correct, yes. But that doesn’t bring help or comfort one ounce when someone is in the midst of whatever they’re going through, feeling like their cries for help just slowly drift off into eternal space. In 2006 when I was receiving death threats in the mail after being attacked and lied about in the national media, my brothers and sisters in the faith kept repeating that phrase to me, almost as if it was told to me enough I’d just start to believe it despite my negatively encompassing situation; pleading with God why He would allow this to happen. There is a difference between reason and application. Just because something is rationally correct doesn’t mean its application can be implemented, easy or not, no matter how “right” it might be. Just the same, straight Christians rattle off that common phrase to GLBT folks. There is nothing worse then when your most earnest prayer is not answered, especially when it comes to life experiences that can’t ever be taken back. So how are we supposed to handle these difficult prayers that go unanswered?
I was reading Christian Theology by Millard Erickson and I came across this great explanation on p. 301-302:
“God’s transcendence over time has been likened to a person who sits on a steeple while he watches a parade. He sees all parts of the parade at the different points on the route rather than only what is going past him at the moment. He is aware of what is passing each point of the route. So God also is aware of what is happening, has happened, and will happen at each point in time, yet at any given point within time he is also conscious of the distinction between what is now occurring, what has been, and what will be…God has access to all information. So his judgments are made wisely. He sees all things in their proper perspective; thus he does not give anything a higher or lower value than it out to have. One can therefore pray confidently, knowing that God will not grant something that is not good. Even though we are not wise enough to see all of the facts, or the results to which our ideas or planned actions may lead, we can trust God to know what is best.”
Here is the Andrew Marin synthesis to that paragraph:
God is inherently good because He is a supreme being that knows all and is in all. So our unanswered prayers are not due to a lack of faith.
Not due to a wrongly formatted prayer.
Not due to God not hearing our deepest cries.
They are because God is a good steward of our faith and life as a whole, such that unanswered prayers are not a negative, but rather an opportunity to experientially continue to live out an active faith amidst and through the missing answers because God’s love for us is always best—and the best in most cases goes unanswered in the areas that we long for answers the most! Why? Because what we long for the most is usually the one thing that has taken over priority in our lives and become our identity.
This realization is what an honest, non-Western-non-consumer-non-seeker-friendly faith is all about. God never promised to answer our prayers, He promised to wholistically always give us what is best for the faith journey of our existence from day one to death bed according to what He sees best. And it brings me peace to cognitively realize that unanswered prayers cannot just be succinctly put into pop-cultured theology, but they are actually as great as those prayers that are answered because God’s best is an opportunity to live out His eternal answer in real time—in either an answered or unanswered fashion.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Each community is pleading, and strongly urging their people to get involved to win the culture war against the other community.
I started to realize something—this is the difference between a bridge builder and a dime-a-dozen culture warrior who blindly fights because they are told to:
Bridge builders want to end the culture war in peaceful and productive ways through eternal principles that draw us to God, and to each other.
Dime-a-dozen culture warriors want to win the culture war by turning to external, socially constructed tools for validation and legitimization within mainstream circles [mainstream secular and mainstream religious].
Which place do you find yourself in this culture war? And which place do you see yourself needing to be, and why?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Have a question? Chime in.
I’m wearing myself ragged, and I’ve not-so-subtly realized that I can’t keep this up—hence all of the extra sleep when it’s possible. But starting on Tuesday I will be resuming my daily week-day blog posts.
Thanks for hanging in there with me!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
It will be a very exciting time and I pray the Lord uses this as a launching pad for other great connections to make significant bridges for the Kingdom. If you’re in Chicago, please feel free to come and by and experience an unforgettable night of productive dialogue!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I have found that talking about such a hostile subject to large crowds lends itself to some ‘unique’ experiences, stories and lives that have been dramatically affected by the pervasive culture war. This can be very, very draining day in and day out as I want to give, and do nothing less than share in that pain, hurt or excitement as much as I am humanly able. I have come to realize that I need much more strength than I am able to muster through periods like this one. So please lift up these times on my behalf. Although even after May 24, it doesn’t slow down all that much, but at least I’ll have a day off more regularly. Praise the Lord in all things!
Thank you for all of your love, support and prayers.
If you want to ask me any questions live on air, feel free to call in.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Among many others…
CCDA’s structure is based off of Dr. John Perkins 3Rs: Relocation (move into the neighborhood), Reconciliation (level the disconnect) and Redistribution (raise up new indigenous leadership). And those are all things that I take very seriously in my life, and try to model each day.
With this in mind I want to leave us with some words on Reconciliation from Dr. Perkins from his book, With Justice For All. I truly look forward to spending the next four days with these proven leaders—leaders who created a movement that has sustained the test of time. Something I can only hope God continues to foster through The Marin Foundation.
The only purpose of the gospel is to reconcile people to God and to each other. A gospel that doesn’t reconcile is not a Christian gospel at all. But in America it seems as if we don’t believe that. We don’t really believe that the proof of our discipleship is that we love one another (see John 13:35)…
To be reconciled to each other, then, we must bear the burdens created by each other’s pasts. And to be reconcilers in the world, to bring others together, we must bear the burdens of both the parties we seek to reconcile…
We must be reconciled to both God and man. The gospel’s first work is to reconcile us to God (2 Cor. 5:18), then, if our relationship with God is right, it will show up in our relationships with each other (1 John 4:20). For my worship to be acceptable to God, I must be reconciled to my brother (Matthew 5:23-24). To be reconciled to my brother I must first be reconciled to God; to remain reconciled to God I must be reconciled to my brother. I cannot have one without the other…
If the purpose of the gospel is to reconcile us to God and to our fellowman, if your mission is to be God’s ambassadors of reconciliation (see 2 Cor. 5:20), how do we fulfill that mission? It’s tempting for us to start out with a list of things to do. But that is not how the world of reconciliation begins. Before we can do the world of God, we must be the people of God—the believing fellowship, the Body of Christ. We cannot achieve Christ’s mission each working alone; we must work as a Body, each one exercising their spiritual gifts as a part of the whole. The believing fellowship must be a living demonstration of the love that God gives us for one another. Our invitation to others then becomes, “Come join us in this fellowship which we have with each other and with God” (see 1 John 1:3). Before we can invite others to join our fellowship, we must have a fellowship. So before we can do the work of the church, we must be the church.
To do the work of reconciliation, then, we must begin by being a reconciled fellowship, by being the Body of Christ. We must model the kind of relationships into which we want to invite others. Our love for each other gives credibility and power to our witness. We must begin by being. Being, though, is not complete until it results in doing. As James says, “Faith, if it has no works, it’s dead”. A faith that doesn’t express itself in works is not a true faith. Now that’s good, but it’s not enough. It’s not enough to just be a reconciled fellowship, though that is where we have to start. We must be a reconciled fellowship on a mission. And our mission is to bring others into fellowship with God and with us.
And many of the people in the Christian community movement seem to lack this vision. They love each other, yet they lack this drive to take the gospel to unbelievers, inviting them to join the fellowship… (excerpts from pp. 116-146).
The problem with the culture war that is GLBT vs. conservative Christianity, is that the word reconciliation has become distorted to mean something it is not. I’ll leave it there as I will be expanding on this, and other lingual distortions (and how to fix them) within the culture war starting next week.
Monday, May 4, 2009
This review is the most soul crushing review I’ve read to date on my book. I’m not talking about “soul crushing” because it’s bad—I’m talking about “soul crushing” because someone dared to write what he did. It comes from the world famous Internet Monk, whose blog is consistently ranked in the Top 5 most read Christian blogs in the world, and he just took everything to a whole new level.
Praise be to God for His will to push this thing forward:
Barukh attah adonai
(Hebrew for 'Blessed are you, O Lord' - to be recited throughout the day in all things good or bad, because in all things, even our own breathe is a privilege given to us by our Holy Lord).
And that is what keeps me going.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
You can view it on their website here.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Weight loss since last weigh-in: 1.5 lbs.
Total weight loss thus far: 11 lbs.
I haven’t weighed under 250 lbs. since May 2008—that’s exactly one year ago! Sweet. I’ll be weighing myself in again on Monday May 25th.
Also my next mini-series on the blog, starting with my next post, will be about the language in this culture war that drives each community further apart, and keeps us talking past each other instead of to each other.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I haven’t yet been able to find a direct website for them so you can listen live this evening, but I’ll keep looking and keep you posted on any new developments I scrape up (or find if it's archived somewhere).
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
On Wed, April 29th at 8am CST I will be interview on the UK's largest Christian radio station. The 20 minute interview will be taped, and then rebroadcasted on the show Premier Drive. It looks as though after it airs, they will put a podcast of it on their website. Please pray that the Lord lifts up this time and the word of our bridge building work spreads across the UK as well.
This is a painting that I commissioned Scott Erickson, an artist friend of mine, to paint. Scott has painted in some huge venues to some really big time people, so this is a big honor for me. This painting is a deconstructed cross with the following words overlaid:
This paining is so very special to me because of how profoundly personal it is to what the Lord has given me. It's now proudly displayed in my office for all to see. Scott's a great guy, a special talent, and a wonderful person. If you're interested in Scott and his work (especially if you'd like to commission him to paint a one-of-a-kind piece for you too), hit him up on Facebook, Twitter or his website.
Monday, April 27, 2009
(This is our conference/class space)
(Standing at my personal office door looking in)
(My desk...and if you've read my book you'll understand what the picutre frame on top of the desk is all about...)
The Marin Foundation
5241 N. Ashland Ave. 1st Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Friday, April 24, 2009
1. It was brought to my attention yesterday that on Jim Wallis’ blog, God’s Politics, Brian McLaren wrote a post mentioning myself and Love is an Orientation (the same post also later showed up on Brian’s blog as well). I am much appreciative, but then in reading the comments section below the post on God’s Politics, I come to realize how much a bridge building ethic is actually needed.
Let’s keep plugging away.
2. Here is a blog post by Danielle Strickland—who is the head of the Salvation Army in Australia. Who knew someone in Australia was reading my book, let alone the head of the Salvation Army on the other side of the world? Praise the Lord.
3. Here is an email The Marin Foundation just received about the book:
“I Have spent the past three days reading the new book: twice! Excellent, thoughtful & thought-provoking, inspiring, frustrating, at times overwhelming, exhilarating, scary, hopeful. And I need a third reading to take notes before I can digest it more! For now, thank you for all the possibilities that you are bringing to this subject. I saw myself throughout the pages of the book: 54 years old, Christian believer, gay, graduated from a Christian college, attended groups for many years in many different places, and I still feel caught in some kind of limbo land between worlds. I have read all the other books on this subject. Your book is a bridge, yes.
Thank you Sincerely!”
This is such a humbling experience. Thanks for sharing it with me through my blog!
If you have any thoughts or know of people reviewing or talking about Love is an Orientation, please feel free to let me know!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
1. A year and a half ago a guy wrote a really nasty blog post about me—he didn’t know me, he never talked to me and never came to anything I’ve ever done. And then yesterday I saw these words posted by him on the Neue Podcast comment section:
Andrew Marin has a very non-judgmental spirit and I appreciate what he is doing to reach out to what the church often wrongly considers “untouchables”.
I wrote a blog post a couple years ago on Marin’s ministry and had negative things to say. He commented on it, and after prayer and research, I apologize for slandering his ministry. God Bless.
2. I recently received a Facebook message from a person who is a Campus Pastor in Philadelphia that said:
Just thought I would let you know...some of our students from the Christian fellowship on campus are reaching out to the GLBT Pride group this week. It is a first step hang out game night. It is a direct result of them coming to your talk at Jubilee Conference about how to build bridges on college campuses. Thank you.
3. There is a team of pastors from North Carolina who have flown in for three days to learn from what The Marin Foundation is doing in hopes they can better build bridges to their own local community in Raleigh. They came to the Living in the Tension Community Gathering last night, I will meet with them all day today and then they are all going to my speaking event tonight at Willow Creek (which is open to the public and starts at 8pm - at the Barrington campus).
This is the first time anything like this has happened, and it’s such a humbling thing to realize that what you’re doing, other people see important enough to take time to fly out and be a part of it themselves. This is an honor that will stick with me for a long, long time.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Shame in the Closet and its Impact in All Our Lives
Feel free to join us tonight at 5249 N. Ashland Ave, Room 120 at 7pm.
The next thing that came to my mind was,
And who cares anyway?
Since I sometimes have no filter from brain to mouth I immediately asked those two things. And I loved their explanations:
Because your book is so different, many people who don’t know you will assume it’s the same old stuff repackaged with a new name and cover. The easiest and most efficient way for people who don’t know you to start understanding your uniqueness is to read other’s words and thoughts who have already read your book.
That makes total sense to me. So if you’ve read my book, please go to Amazon.com and write a review. There are already 3 people who have done so—and the wonderful thing is that I don’t know any of them!!!
Thanks for the help in spreading the word.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Note to self—praise the Lord that I have a job and am doing what I’m doing…stop complaining!
Now that I’ve gotten that out:
For those who don’t know, Twitter is like a Facebook status except it is its own website. I’m not too sure how I feel about it. Maybe it’s just because I’m a loyal Facebook fan, but I don’t necessarily see the point. I thought I’d give it a try anyway. Just so you know, Twitter is in no way, nor will it ever, replace my beloved Facebook.
My Twitter name is:
Yes, you read that right. Broken up it says that I “loves me some you”. Which I actually do…
Friday, April 17, 2009
I think that is the biggest mistake a Christian parent could possibly make.
1. It breeds in our Christian youth the idea that if we don’t agree with something we protest and walk in the other direction. And in my opinion, there is no worse way to represent our Christian faith on such a day.
2. From my perspective, what a better way to bring the GLBT topic to the forefront in our Christian homes then to use this day as a springboard in how to peacefully and productively engage what has always been nothing more than a very divisive topic. And in doing such a thing with middle and high schoolers, it gives us a wonderful opportunity to start our youth down the right path in how to bridge within the GLBT community. It's our chance to do something different in showing our faith rather than just talking about it in regards to homosexuality, which is what most of us tend to do.
I was on a Christian radio program recently and off the air the host told me about how his daughter wanted to go to school that day because she knew all of her other Christian friends were going to protest and not be in school. The host went on to tell me that she was the only Christian kid left in many of her classes, and at the end of the day everyone in one of her classes was being silent. Since she was the only one not being silent, and since she was the only Christian, for 20 minutes the teacher allowed her to talk about her faith and her love, and all of the reasons why she decided to come to school that day in opposition to all of the other Christian who didn’t!
Just think what would happen around the country if our Christian kids did as she did…
I could only imagine.
A colleague of mine, Dr. Warren Throckmorton, has started what he calls the Golden Rule Pledge to be done on the Day of Silence. Take a look, and next year feel free to join in—keeping our kids in school and using this day as the Kingdom opportunity it should be.
What do you think...right or wrong?