Pride is the Letter to the Romans Embodied

Content Warning: Discussion of rape and queerphobia. So far we have made it almost 2 weeks into June, which means many conservative social media personalities are focusing on spreading their gender and sexual ideologies as far as they can. This year in particular, there has been a focus on Romans 1’s apparent “condemnation” of homosexuality. However, much of this comes from a lack of understanding the literary context of the passage, which causes them to completely miss the point. Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash One thing that often gets missed is the fact that Romans 1 was never meant … Read more

Pride and Intersectionality

June is a rather interesting month. It is most notably known as Pride Month. However, it also carries Juneteenth and often has a period of major protests like BLM. Many times, we are taught to view these events as independent occurrences that just happen to be at the same time, but that is not actually true. These events are interconnected due to their origins as subversive movements that stand up to white supremacy. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash One thing that must be recognized is the fact that many cultures have traditions that affirm and celebrate gender-expansive people and … Read more

Our Struggle is with Human Authority

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authority, world leaders of darkness itself, and against [those with] a spirituality of wickedness among the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash           If you’re like me, you might have grown up being told that Ephesians 6:12 is telling us that our struggle, or wrestling, in this world is against Satan and spiritual evil. In fact, you might have also been told that addressing systemic oppression is against the Bible because it focuses on ingrained evil instead of individual … Read more

When God Can’t, We Must

What Open and Relational Theology Tells Us About Social Justice Recently, I took part in a virtual conference discussing works in the field of Open and Relational Theology (ORT). When my friend Mason found out that I had been invited, his response was “I didn’t know you were in the ORT world.” It is honestly something I don’t talk about much. I was first introduced to ORT through Dr. Thomas Jay Oord and his book God Can’t, which attempts to explain why there is persistent evil in the world. Ultimately, in his conclusion, it comes down to the fact that God’s love … Read more

Solidarity with the “Non-Human”

“What’s it like to develop an entire identity around the sexual sin you desire…” – Dave from Twitter. I’ve often thought about what it means to be human and stepping into the person I’ve been created to be. However, we often don’t think about what it means to be non-human. This is where the quote above comes into play. In just a few short words, Dave was able to take my entire identity as a full human and reduce it to a simple ideology that he could express into a simple idea. It doesn’t bother me much when this happens, … Read more

The Spirit Moves Us to Places of Pain

“To be wounded by the suffering of others is a gift of the Holy Spirit.”Gregory Baum The Spirit moves in places of pain. Not because suffering is sacred, but because people are sacred. And in that movement, there is an invitation to compassion, for us to suffer with the sufferer. My heart swells with a mix of sadness and anger when I remember that the word “compassion” has, for so many, become a merely sentimental idea. An ephemeral word about feelings in the moment. A sort of cathartic wave of piteous fondness that leaves as quickly as it arrives, like … Read more

Salvation Versus Liberation: Where is the Focus?

A few weeks ago, I made this tweet and it sparked a lot of debate. In some ways it was too simplistic, not every instance of “soteria” should be translated “liberation,” but that wasn’t the point. The point was to critique the way that our English translations use theologically saturated words that no longer reflect the original meaning. The word “salvation,” although technically an accurate translation, has come to mean spiritual salvation from hell and is only occasionally used metaphorically for physical salvation. However, the use of “soteria” in the Bible is rarely (if ever) actually about the afterlife. This … Read more

The Breath of God

In time primeval the Spirit, the Breath of the Creator hovered like a wild bird over the dark deep. And it was this same Spirit that, as a warm moist breath, flowed past God’s lips into the nostrils of a lifeless doll shaped of dust and clay. The doll shuddered and was named “Adam.” The world teemed with life. At first, Adam was just a part of it, the first of a new kind of life that knew it’s place within the pattern of Creation. But as humanity grew, alienation and death emerged within the pattern. The Hebrew scripture remind … Read more

Brother Juniper and the Pig’s Foot

I wrote a piece about the tradition and vocation of “holy fool” for a recent issue of Geez Magazine. I’ve written an accompanying piece here, focusing on my favorite holy fool in Western Christianity. To me, the classic example of holy fool within the Western Christian tradition is Brother Juniper. Born in the late 12th century, Brother Juniper was an early follower of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis was himself a holy fool, having famously renounced his inheritance by stripping naked, kissing lepers, preaching to forest creatures, and living a life of such stark simplicity and deep generosity that it sparked … Read more

Queering Jesus

“Queer” started as a slur against folks whose sexuality or gender “deviated” from the norm. In the late 1980s, various people and groups started embracing the word as a sort of self-identifier. A way of challenging mainstream society and its assumptions about what is “normal.” Today it is often used as a “catch all” for those who don’t identify with the dominant assumption that the “normal” way of being human is to be cisgender (a person whose gender identity conforms to the sex they were assigned at birth) and heterosexual. Many people turn to the Bible to reinforce the idea … Read more