Thursday, March 26, 2015

god's tired of the same old thing...

God, contrary to what one might expect from observing some of God's followers, is very much into thinking. And having thought more about the upcoming bus ad campaign by the Edmonton Atheists Society, God has issued another statement:

Portion of Michelangelo's painting with some text by Edmonton Atheist Society bus ad, with response by God(added by rob g

Check out God's previous response 1 and previous response 2.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

god has more thoughts about being erased

After a good night's sleep, God has further thoughts on being erased by the Edmonton Atheist Society:

Edmonton Atheist Society bus ad, with further response by God (added by rob g)

Check out God's previous response.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

god relieved by erasure

Here in Edmonton, the atheist society is about to start a bus ad campaign claiming it's good to be godless.

Here is God's response:

Edmonton atheists society bus ad, with (possible) god's response added by robg.

Christian Post article about the ad campaign.

Original ad as seen at

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

abandon the moral circle

If you have not seen my previous post about moral circles, read this first and then this.

abandon the moral circle. drawing by robg

How to bring the not-kin into the circle?
with arms wide open

How to move myself out of the circle?

follow jesus out of it

How to make the circle disappear?

love your neighbour and your enemy

Some thoughts about addressing our moral circle:

Identify the general location of your moral circle.

Act across the moral circle.

Weave connections across the circle.

Expand the moral circle.

Step out of the moral circle.

Step over the moral circle.

Live as if the moral circle does not exist.
(This essentially destroys the moral circle, as I only have one if I let it exist, if I live like it does...)

And that's what Jesus does, isn't it?

Jesus acts across the boundaries that others would want him to have, he steps out of the expectations of kin versus not-kin, he lives as if the moral circle does not exist... loving everyone, friends and enemies alike.

Friday, March 13, 2015

[category wrecker par excellence]

Here's a great way to make friends and influence people!

Enlarge your moral circle and then switch things up a bit! While I'm familiar with the text referenced here, I never thought about it like this before...

Anointing His Feet

36-39 One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”

40 Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Oh? Tell me.”

41-42 “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”

43-47 Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”

“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”

48 Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”

49 That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”

50 He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Luke 7:36-50 The Message (MSG)

p.s. I dare you to try this with your pastor...

Tullian Tchividjian - Twitter - Wrecking every category ... Jesus tells the religious leader...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

jesus and his "moral circle"

jesus sees doctor luke about his enlarged moral circle. cartoon by rob g

Enlarged spleen, enlarged prostate, enlarged heart... 

enlarged moral circle??

If you have not seen my previous post about the moral circle, read this first.

Of course, Jesus wouldn't see a doctor about his moral circle being enlarged, as he wouldn't see an enlarged moral circle as a problem. In fact, if Jesus even has a "moral circle", it probably looks like this:

jesus and his "moral circle". drawing by rob g

Now that's a large "moral circle" -- more commonly referred to as extravagant, limitless self-giving love. What do you expect from a God who so loved the world, and from his Son who embraces everyone...

And we who are followers of Jesus, are called to follow him in loving in extravagant, limitless, self-giving love. Time to work on some circle-enlarging exercises....

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

moral circles

basic moral circle (circle only), by rob g

Did you know that you have a moral circle? And while it might sound like something positive, for the most part it isn't positive at all. It divides our world into family and not-family, kin and not-kin, into us and them, into people and "ends to our means".

Here's how Richard Beck describes our moral circle:
... These two instinctive processes [differentiating kin from non-kin, and extending '"kindness" toward our "kin"'] create what Singer calls our moral circle. That is, we psychologically draw a circle around a group of people whom we identify as "my kind," "my tribe," "my clan," "my family." This circle is initially populated with family members, but as we grow the circle includes more and more non-biological relations, "friends" who are "like family to us."

... In Kantian language, people inside the moral circle are treated as ends in themselves while people on the outside of the moral circle are treated as means to our ends. We treat those inside the moral circle with love, affection, and mercy, and those outside the moral circle with indifference, hostility, or pragmatism. And all of this flows naturally from a simple psychological mechanism: Are you identified as "family"?

Richard Beck, Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality
(pp. 100-101)

Saturday, March 07, 2015

[love has no labels]

Love Has No Labels, image from the website.

Love Has No Labels, a new online campaign, says:

Before anything else, we are all human.
It's time to embrace diversity.
Let's put aside labels in the name of love.

I agree wholeheartedly!

Their site includes a great video (below), discussion of bias, a bias quiz, tips on fighting bias and prejudice, and stories giving examples of what bias looks like.

Video link

Love Has No Labels website

Thursday, March 05, 2015

embrace of the (evan)jellyfish

Read more about the table I long for...

Image version for benefit of mobile users:

#evanjellyfish everyone welcome at the table apdegrado robgoetze more arms to embrace and welcome others

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

are you an evanjellyfish?

jesus prays about the evanjellyfish. drawing by robg

Ah, yes. We're living in 2015 and when conservative religious people want to insult someone who claims to be evangelical but who is not keeping the law well enough, who is not standing on the gospel, who is not faithful the way they define it, who is loving people too much, the slur of the day is "evanjellyfish".

Michael J. Kimpan, after being called an evanjellyfish, wrote a great post about it and started a hashtag #evanjellyfish, inviting people to share what makes them an evanjellyfish.

Read his post and then ask yourself: what makes you an evanjellyfish?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

looking for love in all the wrong places

looking for love in all the wrong places. cartoon by rob g

When it is said about someone that they are "looking for love in all the wrong places", the reference is usually to places like bars and clubs, or the arms of other people who are considered unsuitable. And implied by the phrase, is that there are "right places" to look for love. Yet I don't recall ever having heard discussions or presentations about the "right places", except perhaps in an ultra-spiritualized way.

The right places to look for love. Ironically, one both expects - and doesn't expect -  a church to be a place to find love. We expect it because we know it should be that way. We don't expect it because we know it often isn't that way.

And so, for Jonesy and others, the church might well be the wrong place to look for love. Pretty sad, I'd say.

Check out an earlier related post.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

pop psycholojesus

pop psycholojesus cartoon by rob g

Just some trite sayings from everyone's favourite pop psychologist, western jesus.

On a serious note, I've been thinking about two of these phrases recently: "looking for love in all the wrong places," and "attention-seeking." Here are two examples of how they might be used:
She's looking for love in all the wrong places.

There's that attention-seeking behaviour again!
I've been wondering whether these phrases actually function as ways of dismissing someone. If someone is looking for love in all the wrong places, well then, poor guy, he just needs to learn to look in the right places. Or the attention-seeking woman needs to stop focusing on herself, and focus on others for a change.

The phrases seem to ignore the underlying need or reality: the reality that he is looking for love and having difficulty finding it; the reality that for some reason or other, she is drawing attention to herself.

How do we move beyond labeling and instead see the person behind the behaviour?