Christ Followers, Where are you?


Last night, I stopped by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver Pride was having a candlelight vigil honouring the victims of the tragedy in Orlando. About 500 people attended

It was a very respectful event,They honoured the victims in a peaceful manner. They even mentioned the names and asked the crowd to repeat the 9 that they knew at the time.

They also spoke forgiveness towards the Muslim community. Suggesting that some Muslims were afraid to show because they may feel that some are anger. They even suggested a dialogue.

They spoke up against fundamentalism of any kind.

They reminded the crowd of the battles of before and how they prevailed.

Considering the circumstances they kept it very respectful and honouring.

However, I was struck by something.

Where was the Christian Community?

There are a few churches close to the Vancouver Art Gallery. The only one that had a representation was the United Church. He was one of the speakers.

But where was everyone else?

You can say that it wasn’t a Christian that shot them. However, there are many that have pointed of the anger and the hurt from Christians towards the LGBT community. And many of those feel that this had an impact on what happened.

It seems the first time that Christians speak out is when they remind people of the Scriptures. You know, the ones that condemn homosexuality. The ones with signs and the insults. There was even a video from a certain “pastor” praising the attack.

This was an opportunity to do what churches call each other each week. Go out and reach the community.  Be as Jesus said “Salt and Light”.

Yet last night, it seemed… nothing.

Maybe you have services. But what if you actually cancel the services and go down to the vigil?

You reflect on the love of God. And how God loves all of us.

Yet in a time to show it….silence.

Which is interesting because the time to speak out  from many preachers  like Franklin Graham, John Piper is…often.

That message speaks volumes. The fact that they couldn’t attend the vigil also speaks volumes.

You say Kevin you are making a generalization. There are many Christians that love LGBT. There are very few Christians that hate LGBT. It’s only the loudest that speak. They are the minority.

II say It’s not enough anymore.

It’s  Christsplaining. It’s as useful as “Thoughts and Prayers”.

If we truly love our neighbours, this would be the time to go out and  show it.

Not hide your head in the sand.

Agree or Disagree: American Culture is the probably the least “Christian Culture” we have ever had.


Twitter stirred up a bit with this Tweet from Eugene Peterson.

It reads

American culture is probably the least Christian culture that we’ve ever had because it is so materialistic and it’s so full of lies.

I’ll be honest: I’m tired of this repeated, irrelevant behaviour from Christianity. But,there’s hope.


rob-bell

I have never met Rob and Kristin Bell. I have enjoyed some of his books and his videos. I find Rob’s approach to Christianity refreshing He likes to question, challenge and make people think.  Not only that, he strikes me that he has an optimistic view on live. I imagine Kristin is the same.

I imagine that it was this behaviour that led him and Kristin’s interview to reflect these statements in their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

One of the oldest aches in the bones of humanity is loneliness. Loneliness is not good for the world. Whoever you are, gay or straight, it is totally normal, natural and healthy to want someone to go through life with. It’s central to our humanity. We want someone to go on the journey with.”

Rob Bell

Oprah Winfrey asked, “When is the Church going to get that?”

Rob Bell said: “Lots of people are already there. We think it’s inevitable and we’re moments away from the church accepting it.””I think culture is already there and the Church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbours, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.”

With that, the internet exploded.

Perhaps it was Kristin’s pragmatism that had her state this.

“I think there are a lot of people who as they see culture moving, their response is to dig in deeper and hold their ground.”

Was she ever right.

In one of many articles from the Christian newspaper world, Christianity was, quite frankly, disappointingly predictably, up in arms by the above comments from Rob and Kristin Bell. That the church is “moments” way from embracing the idea of same sex marriages.

Click here for one example.

Christians over the internet have proclaiming the end is near with this statement. They have proclaimed their place and reminded you who belongs and who does not in their church. And reminded you again that if you are one of “those”, you will not be included in God’s church. There may be some that accepts “them”. But they are not really one of “us”. They aren’t the “Biblical” church.

Biblical. Interesting word.

Here are some of the “Biblical” tweets and Facebook comments I have read today.  Read them, and take a moment to read some Biblical responses to them.

“Why don’t Christians realize that Rob Bell walked away from Christianity a long time ago and thus it doesn’t matter what he says to Oprah?”

Judge not, lest you be judged Jesus said

Former “Pastor” Rob Bell Goes Full Blown Apostasy – Says the Church Should Embrace What God Calls An Abomination.

“Love your neighbours” Jesus said

Rob Bell, village idiot, global false teacher.

“Love your enemies” Jesus said.

And as a reminder, who can forget when certain Christian leaders, subtly or blatantly, depending on your perspective, encouraged  people to stop feeding children in third world because World Vision was willing to hire people in same sex marriage. One even bid them “farewell”. They cancelled sponsorships in droves.

“Feed my sheep” Jesus said

“Truly, I tell you whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me” Jesus said.

You can attempt to translate and twist them however way you want. But the response from Jesus is straight forward.

Meanwhile, while you continue to scream “abomination” from your moral superior  and privileged porch, it is noticed that you refuse to align with “them’. You refuse to bake cakes for “them”. You ignore homeless, bullied and even suicidal kids that you refuse and reject from your church.

It is noticed that you think that you are better than “them”

Your catcalls, insults,and condescending behaviour is becoming irrelevant. Your us vs them approach is irrelevant

What is relevant is what has been relevant all along. People.  People of all shapes and perspectives working together to strengthen our village. Our community.  Realizing we don’t have all the answers, but questions on how everything works in this world. Instead of us vs them, it’s simply us.

Working together to fix the oldest ache in humanity’s bones. Loneliness.

I’m a Christian….


I’m a Christian.

I’m fortunate to have a lot of great friends.

Yes, some of my friends are Christians. They are great people. I love them dearly.

I also have a lot of friends that are atheists. They are great people.I love them dearly.

Many of my friends who are atheists have a high level of ethics. Some, quite frankly, a higher level than I’ve seem from some Christians. Including myself.

So, for those Christians that think today was the day to say I told you because of an attack by an atheist.

I would remind you we Christians still have lots of planks to get out of our eyes.

#CapitolHill

Agree or Disagree: Turn the other cheek.


turn the other cheek
phrase of cheek
refrain from retaliating when one has been attacked or insulted.
When I was in school, I was one of those kids that was picked on a lot. Sometimes, by an individual person. Other times by a group. It was difficult to deal with. However, there was lots of advice that generally fell under two categories
          1) Ignore it.
        2) Stand up to them.
  1. To be honest, both were difficult to do. If I ignored, they would come at me harder. If I stood up, I wasn’t strong enough to hold them back.
    As an adult, I became more mature, I developed a better way on handling these things. I learned that even though there will always be people that insult you, there are also people that love you. And the people that love you, those words have more meaning.
    But, that doesn’t mean that there will still not be difficult people in your, or my life. They will always be there. And, there will be a  time to “turn the other cheek”.
    Turn the other check a phrase that is commonly associated with Jesus.  However, it is also in Lamentations 3:30 (NIV) where it says this;
    Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them and accept the insults of their enemies.
    And as mentioned a the top, it also means “refrain from retaliating when one has been attacked or insulted.”
    So, it would seem for many, that it makes sense to turn the other cheek.
    Or, does it?
    Is there a time that you should turn the other cheek? Walk away from the person and move on? Or, is there a time to stand up? Say no more and stand up!
    When is the time to do either? And how difficult is it?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast -An Adult conversation around GSA’s


Derek Fildebrandt, Terry Lo, Jojo Ruba, and Jeff White discuss the issues around the Gay-Straight Alliances, Bill 202, and Bill 10.

Derek wrote an excellent blog about having an adult conversation on GSA’s. You can read that here.

Terry, if you remember, left his role as VP of communications for the party Calgary- Glenmore constituency association. This was because WRP members didn’t pass an expanded statement on equality rights on their last meeting.

Jojo and Jeff represent Faith Beyond Belief. They exist to help Christians become effective ambassadors for Christ.

One of the observations Jojo made was that many moderate Christians voices haven’t been a part of the conversation. They feel that they have been shut out of the conversation.

Listen to the Podcast here

Topics we cover include;

Some benefits and concerns about GSA’s. Particularly those involved in a Christian school.

What was missing in this conversation?

Parental rights

Religious rights

The silence of Gordon Dirks and how it impacted both sides.

Why the PC government mishandled the situation so badly?

A possible solution going forward.

Follow Derek Fildebrandt at Fildebrandt.ca

Terry @calgarydreamer on Twitter

Faith Beyond Belief at faithbeyondbelief.ca

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@kevole
@AorDThePodcast
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Agree or Disagree: Religion could be gone within a generation.


This is the thought of Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss.

He argues that Religion could be gone within a generation. Here’s a quote from him.

“Change is always one generation away… so if we can plant the seeds of doubt in our children, religion will go away in a generation, or at least largely go away. And that’s what I think we have an obligation to do.”

You can read more here.

My question, or questions, are this.

There are 19 major world religions divided into a total of 270 large or small religious groups. Is this idea possible?

And, if possible, do you see this as a benefit? Why or why not?

If you are interested, you can also listen to this discussion between Peter Rollins and Krauss from the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in 2013.