Monday, October 29, 2007

Conservaliberal?

For starters, any references to "conservative" or "liberal" in this post are not to be taken in a political sense. They are references to how one sees the Bible and his or her faith. Granted, often times these Scriptural views do coincide with political views, but not always, and certainly not in my case. :)

I have often found that in times of stress or temptation, my views on Scripture become more conservative. Though nothing changes about my beliefs in any major way, I do become more open minded to the prospect of more "literal" interpretations of Scripture. For example, I'm still of the belief that the Genesis 1 account is metaphorical and that women can be preachers, but I'm reevaluating those beliefs (among others). I want to see if they truly hold any water, so I'm spending more time with my Bible and other theological writings.

I say this like I have a lot of time. Do understand that I'm still a Sophomore in college so "more time" probably just translates to an extra fifteen minutes a day or so. ;-)

I'm also learning more about the Reformed aspect of my faith. I don't think I've mentioned much about it since my initial post about the shift in my theological views. Recently, at the long-neglected recommendations of some commenters, I'm reading a lot of sermons by John Piper. Needless to say, I really like the guy. I especially like how he treats the subject of homosexuality. In the sermons I've read (and I haven't read them all), he seems to have a very kind and Christian attitude towards the subject. Granted, he does use a bit of ex-gay rhetoric, but sometimes that can't be helped. He does seem to differentiate Christ's version of "change" and our human expectations, and that's a refreshing take. It is most certainly making me think more about how I view my homosexual desires (mainly just the lust, because I'm beginning to wonder why the desires for emotional intimacy with another man need to be considered homosexual at all).

I think my newfound "conservatism" is due to the fact that I'm in a relationship that could potentially be harmful (but could also potentially be helpful). Because I am being faced with more temptation nowadays, I'm relying on God and His Word more. This is a good thing, and might be the reason God allowed the relationship to happen in the first place. I'll admit I had been getting a little complacent about the whole reading Scripture and praying thing.

Of course, it's probably a stretch to say that a Christian guy with a boyfriend is "conservative," but I don't think my views are liberal, either. Maybe I'm a mix of both: a Conservaliberal perhaps? Either way I'm excited about a lot of things going on in my life, and a deeper understanding of my faith and the wonderful mysteries of God's Word is probably up there at the top of the list.

Speaking of Reformed theology, I found a lovely little cartoon on deviantART from the user *spacecoyote depicting John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes playing the part of two similarly-named comic strip characters. ;-) Blogger wouldn't let me upload the photo, so just click on the deviantART link to see it. I busted out laughing when I saw it the first time. Have a great day, everyone!

8 comments:

MR said...

I highly recommend John Piper's sermons on homosexuality. He and his congregation showed compassion on one of their own who was gay and died of HIV/AIDS. You have to HEAR John Piper, not just read to get the full impact, so choose the audio if you have time. The sermons on this topic are on this link:
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByTopic/80/

Jay said...

Thanks for the link MR, though I already explored the sermons under that link. There's other good stuff if you play around with the Search function of the site. Sometimes small references or asides in unrelated sermons can lead to gems as well.

You know what strikes me as sad, though? You say his congregation showed compassion to a gay HIV/AIDS man like it's something that's unique or unexpected for Christians. It really shouldn't be. :(

That's not anything against you, just the crappy state of the Church nowadays. It's still the Bride of Christ, though. Gotta give it that. ;-)

kurt_t said...

This reminds me a lot of the pre-ex-ex-gay Peterson Toscano.

Did I just invent a new word?

Glenn Houtchens said...

Hey Jay,
Good to see you continuing to write- I am encouraged by your realistic introspection on your relationships in the light of God's Holy Spirit. College is such a wonderful time- don't miss one second of it!
In Christ,
Glenn =)

Robert said...

The Calvin and Hobbes cartoon is a riot (on a related note, when I was in Paris I noticed that Catholic France had seen to it the Protestant John Calvin was given a street in his name).

I hope you and Hitch are doing well. I loved that bubbly feeling inside of me when I dated a really cute guy. I remember when I first kissed a guy romantically, and I thought I would explode all over the room.

I wouldn't worry where the relationship goes (I know that sounds contradictory from what I previously wrote); if you end up doing something you regret, you will handle it with maturity.

Charles said...

I'd second what Robert said: don't worry about where the relationship goes. Or, don't focus on the relationship - focus on Christ. Let Him lead you through the whole thing. You'll be much happier if you do - whether or not you're in a relationship, and whether or not you have sex.

Norm! said...

Hi Jay,

Not sure you'll see this comment, but I just had to share. As you may be aware, John Piper's comments have been making the rounds on various politically-progressive and gay blogs. I couldn't place where I had heard his name before, until I eventually figured that I heard of Piper from your blog.

Needless to say, Piper's attempt to prophesize and interpret a tornado as God's warning to the Evangelical Lutheran Church against gay-inclusion is ridiculous, silly, and even hateful. At first I thought I could give Piper the benefit of doubt that his comments were taken out of context, but his blog is very explicit with even Bible citations.

Jay said...

I agree. That's quite the ridiculous statement. Piper can be quite the polarizing figure for me. When he's good, he's really good. When he's bad, he's really bad. I remember during the presidential campaign he was very lighthearted and almost dismissive of President Obama's pro-abortion stance. Then, after Obama was elected, he denounced it strongly.

Similarly, he's said things that were fairly moderate about the gay community (while always recognizing, like I do, that homosexual behavior is a sin). Then he goes and does something like this. The fact that he's erratic doesn't make his good arguments less good, but it does cast a pretty wary light on the man.

Thanks for stopping by.