Friday, June 27, 2014

[glad to hear from us... whenever]

God is glad to hear from us, wherever and whenever. Jeff Chu tells this story:
On my flight home after meeting with Bryan, I try to find a word to describe what he is seeking from God. I'm reminded of an anecdote Lupe shared: "Let's say there's a woman and she's a prostitute. At night, she falls into bed exhausted. As she goes to sleep, she cries, 'God, help me!' She wants to be helped. But then she gets up the next morning, she prays, she gets ready for work, and she goes to turn tricks. At the end of her day, she says again, 'God, help me!' What is that? Is that a woman who loves God and is crying out? Is that a woman who God is not going to reach out to until she stops sinning?"

In a soft maternal voice she answered her own question. "After years of listening to people's stories, I tend to think God knows she's trapped. He loves her," she said. "He's glad to hear from her. Whenever."

Lupe then questioned the premise of her question. So which woman is it--the desperate one who is truly seeking God's aid, or the forsaken one who needs to turn to face God before He'll face her? Maybe it's not one or the other. Maybe it's both. Maybe God will meet a prostitute--or a gay man or anyone--wherever he or she is, just as Jesus met the adulterous Samaritan woman at the well before she stopped sinning.

From Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America by Jeff Chu, page 125.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014


Having problems with too many undesirable people coming to your church?

Here's a great solution:

cruci-fix spikes. cartoon by robg

If you haven't heard, there's been some controversy over "anti-homeless spikes" appearing in various places -- outside a record store in London England, in an apartment entry in Montreal, and more. While supposedly intended to stop loitering or to reduce anti-social behaviour, they result in reducing the places where homeless people can find "shelter" at night.

Southwark Bridge Road flats, spikes in entry. Picture from online newspaper
After some outcry, including the mayor of Montreal insisting they be removed as that is not the image he wants for Montreal, most spikes were removed. The bigger question, asked by Matthew Pearce of Montreal's Old Brewery Mission, is: what is really going to be done for the homeless? Do we just want to look like we're not mean to the homeless, or are we going to do something positive and effective?

But seriously, what I'm asking here is: in what ways are the behaviours and attitudes of Christians functioning like the spikes? Functioning in such a way that when people see a building with a cross on it, they feel unwelcome, unwanted, judged and rejected?

Monday, June 16, 2014


what would jesus bake? and who would jesus bake for?

Forcing a Christian to bake a cake for a gay wedding is like forcing an African-American to bake a cake for the KKK.
Richard Land, Evangelical Pastor

I’d rather go to jail than make a cake for a gay wedding.
Jack Phillips, Christian Baker

If someone compels you to bake a cake for them, bake them two cakes.
Jesus, servant to all
Matthew 5:38-42, paraphrased for our time and culture.

And you'd better make sure they are good cakes too!
rob g

On a related note, Tony Campolo tells this story about throwing a birthday party for a prostitute:

Read Tony's story about the birthday party for a prostitute.

If video is not embedded, click here to watch it on YouTube.

Monday, June 09, 2014

why god doesn't go to church

why god doesn't go to church. drawing by rob g

Instead, God is in the thin places, the liminal places, the margins, the bars and bath houses, the back alleys, the streets of the city....

p.s. thanks c.r. for leaving room for god.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

the love family

Oncle and Auntie and Silas

the love family, by silas

God loves everyone and when people hate Him, He loves them still. He sings the love song to us and we love him always.  Jesus is powerful. 

By Silas Brandle,
May 31, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

the true story of the prodigal son

There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

I am the son who went and asked his father for his share of the estate.

He gave it to me without hesitation, which surprised me.

It surprised me because I had never heard of a son ask for his share of the estate. Even more, when I asked some of my peers in the neighbourhood what would happen if a son asked for his share, they were horrified at the idea. They couldn't imagine a son ever asking his father for his share.

“That would be like wishing him to be dead,” they said. “No one would do that, and even if someone did, his father would beat him for it.”

So I was surprised when he gave me my share.

But I was also not surprised.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

[lgbt rights around the world]

The Guardian has just posted a survey of lgbt rights around the world, focusing on five areas:
  1. Is sex between consenting lgbt adults legal?
  2. Are lgbt people protected against discrimination in the workplace?
  3. Do lgbt people have the right to marry?
  4. Are same-sex couples eligible to apply for adoption?
  5. Does the country’s legal system consider hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity to be an aggravating circumstance?
These are rights which those of us who are straight never have to think about. But for many lgbt people around the world, these rights are often limited or non-existent. (I'm pleased that Canada, the country I live in, allows for all five of these).

Take a global tour yourself, using the interactive charts to see the current state of lgbt rights, at the Guardian's website.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

nietzsche at heaven's door

Nietzsche at heaven's door. Cartoon by rob g

Philosopher Guiseppe Fornari, writing in A God Torn to Pieces: The Nietzsche Case, makes this rather shocking claim:

“In the end [Nietzsche] was much closer to Christ than many who would claim to be Christians.”

As Adam Ericksen explains in his review of Fornari's book,
Who was the Christ that Nietzsche rejected and that many Christians do not know? It’s the Christ who says from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Nietzsche rejected Christ because he couldn’t believe in a God who offers this universal forgiveness. And the truth is that many who claim to be Christians can’t believe in that God either.

In fact, while many Christians demonize Nietzsche with their words, they actually agree with him with their actions.


A God Torn to Pieces, book cover, by Giuseppe Fornari

Read the rest of Adam's comments here.

Note: I have not read Fornari's book yet, nor can I confirm whether or not Nietzsche is in heaven.

However, I do believe that God knows us all by name, and so the man we often refer to as "Nietzsche" is a human being named Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who is loved by God.  And I believe that God is bigger than us and our ideas (and statements) about Him, and bigger than our ideas about whom we will see in heaven when we get there....

Thursday, April 24, 2014


secular and evangelical streaking, cartoon by rob g

Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said in an interview (source):

"There's always a pragmatic streak in evangelicalism that negotiates away orthodoxy for cultural acceptance."

My observation:

"There's often a dogmatic streak in evangelicalism that negotiates away mercy for self righteousness."

What do you think?