Friday, December 19, 2014

[generous spaciousness at TWU]

Wendy Gritter, executive director of New Direction, and her colleagues recently made a cross-Canada `Generous Spaciousness Road Trip". Here`s an excerpt of what Wendy said at Trinity Western University, speaking at their Gender Café:

Might we be animated by a vision of unity and diversity that would restore our public witness?

Might we be able to call out the fear and the anxiety for what it is, and have the courage and the trust and the faith to recognize that the body of Christ is diverse and a whole lot bigger than we might even like it to be, filled with people who think differently than we do and yet who name the name of Jesus, who honour the Scriptures, and are also seeking to share the good news of Jesus with the world?

Might we recognize the gift and the opportunity of this conversation at this time in the history of the church, rather than a problem to fix or a conflict to avoid, an opportunity for growth and maturation?

Wendy Gritter speaking at TWU, November 13, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

jesus faces a difficult decision

incarnate - tough choice to make. cartoon by robg. Jesus, Michael Brown, David Beckham

Jesus faces a difficult decision. Neither option is a winner, neither promises to end well. Yet because of his love for every one of us, he gave up his privilege, he "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant," he became one of us.

History moves on. Two thousand years later, the same crap is still happening in this world of ours.

Instead of following his example, we picked up the pieces of privilege and made gods of ourselves....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

come, you who are blessed...

come you who are blessed. drawing by robg

Come, you who are blessed by my Father;

take your inheritance,

the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

For I was hungry and you passed laws against feeding the homeless,

I was thirsty and you gave me a religious tract,

I was a stranger and you fought for the right to discriminate against me,

I needed clothes and you filled your closet with the latest fads,

I was sick and you refused to give your employees health benefits,

I was in prison and you used me for cheap labour.

Matthew 25:34-40, adapted.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


Tribute to murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, by Jonathan Labillois

Jonathan Labillois' tribute to 1183 murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

For more information, search Twitter for #MMIW.

Artist's website.

Source: @windspeakernews

Monday, December 01, 2014

[repay violence with violence]

Michael Brown's family. Photo via

Since Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot to death by Darren Wilson, a police officer, in Ferguson Missouri this past summer (Aug 9, 2014),

since that time,

and more since since the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson (Nov 24, 2014),

I have occasionally had the following thought pop into my head:

On a happy sunny day, a sniper (a white sniper, to avoid increasing racial violence) should take out Wilson's teenage son as he's walking down the street on his way home from school.

And today, only today, after reading an article by Suzanne Ross (see below), I'm thinking,

"Did I seriously wish that?

How do I -- the guy with this blog about embracing people instead of excluding them -- wish that someone would kill Wilson's kid? And to take so long to realize what I'm wishing....

For starters, his son is as valuable as Michael Brown and also deserves to live a life free of violence. Of course, in a country with systemic racism, the opposite is the reality: Wilson's son is considered as worthy of having a life free of violence, and Michael Brown just doesn't matter....

so perhaps I'm reacting in an equal and opposite way.

But as a follower of Jesus, I should see all lives as being valued and equally deserving a life free of violence, regardless.

Monday, November 24, 2014

the roth of god

the roth of god, drawing by rob g

This is our beloved priest and resident alien, "the roth of god."

He loves Jesus and he loves people. Pretty biblical, uh?

With two faces, he can see parishioners on the right and on the left side of the church, differing points of view, and the entire length of the longest all-you-can-eat buffet in town.

He is not double-minded nor "blown and tossed by the wind" — there's only one brain inside that head, and both feet are planted firmly on the ground.

His hair is styled after Wolverine, his favourite movie character.

He has four arms because he is embracing of others and because they're useful for complex tasks like the Eucharist.

What looks like funky vestments is really his skin with racing stripes tattooed onto it.

While some aliens are toxic, the roth is antidotal.

He doesn't paint his toenails. Those are their natural colours.

He levitates tables and turns blood into wine!

You might wonder how someone ostensibly reasonable and sane like me comes up with such drawings, and I have to confess that not only am I not that reasonable and sane, but it was very easy.

I was at church a few months ago, and during the Eucharist squinted my eyes and looked up to the front, where the roth was waving his arms around. He looked kinda like an alien, and what more does one need than that?

And clearly, if you have read I Peter 2:11 in some translations, being strange and an alien is very biblical...

Friday, November 21, 2014


Richard Beck on the kingdom:
'The eccentric Kingdom doesn't claim territory over against the world. The eccentric Kingdom doesn't erect walls to create a gated community. Rather, the eccentric Kingdom, like salt and leaven, is embedded in the world.

The eccentric Kingdom is the embedded, pilgrim, landless, possessionless, homeless, sojourning, itinerant missionary community called and commissioned to live lives of radical service and availability to the world.'
Isn't that quote just delicious?! And I wonder, why is such fare so rarely found?

Read the whole post.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[lest we forget...]

lest we forget there are no unwounded civilians either. sign by Steve Young. Photo and edit by rob g

Here in Canada, we remember our soldiers -- those who have gone before and have lost their lives; those who go now.War is a horrible thing, and I agree with Steve Young's sign that there are no unwounded soldiers.

But as the wars are "somewhere over there", as we are not in a war zone, it is easy to forget that there are civilian men, women and children being hurt and killed every day, and that just as there are no unwounded soldiers, there are no unwounded civilians.

Sign in front of the office of Steve Young, MLA for Edmonton Riverview.
Photo and edit by rob g. Photo taken on 2014-11-17.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

my picture of god

my picture of god now (= jesus), by rob g

At a recent prayer time at church, we did some drawing. First, we were asked to draw a picture of God as we understood him when we were young. I drew a bearded man up on a cloud, and me on the earth.

Then we were asked to draw a picture of God as we understand or perceive him now. The picture above is what I drew: a quick sketch of Jesus and friends. Why? Cuz one thing I'm sure of, is that Jesus embodies what God is like. So the way I understand and perceive God, is by looking at Jesus.

Friday, November 14, 2014

[peace is a human right]

Peace is a human right.

I don't know if I ever heard anyone say that before reading Koehler's article the other day.

time to abolish war | peace is a human right. Image by

Nor did I know that in 1999, the United Nations considered a culture of peace resolution. Imagine that!

Read Robert Koehler's article to find out what happened to the resolution .... (I'll give you a hint: it wasn't passed).

love your enemies...

love your enemies, cartoon by rob g

Here's a cartoon inspired by an evening spent with MT, Michael Hardin, Jim Robertson and others, discussing mimetic theory, non-violent atonement and other such things.

Does this fit with what you read and see of Jesus in the New Testament? If we are to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us, wouldn't our heavenly Father do the same, but a zillion times more completely?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[ending the teaching of contempt against the church’s sexual minorities]

Dr. David P. Gushee. Photo by Rick Wood (cropped)

Dr. David P. Gushee, a leading evangelical ethicist, has just given an incredible talk at the Reformation Project's Regional Training Conference.

Entitled “Ending the Teaching of Contempt against the Church’s Sexual Minorities”, it is a must-read.

In the talk, he addresses the
unchristlike body of Christian tradition,
amounting to what can be fairly described as a teaching of contempt against one particular group, which was prevalent in the church for centuries until the mid 1900's, and then compares that to a similar teaching of contempt has been directed against another group in more recent years.

Read Dr. Gushee's talk. This is a must-read if you are a Christian serious about your faith.

My cartoon about Martin Luther
My cartoon about who is ostracized