I had a pretty awesome weekend. I got in my beat-up car and visited friends in Charlotte, Spruce Pine, and Asheville. I spent about 15 hours on the road in all, and I just felt so grown-up. I also visited some different people. I stayed with an ex-gay couple who works for Exodus in Charlotte, and I stayed with an actively gay Buddhist in Asheville. As a gay celibate Christian with liberal politics, I had major disagreements with both sets of people, and have had online arguments with all of them before. In person, though, they were all nice, sweet, engaging people. The disagreements still exist, but it was nice to stay the night with folks without arguing. We all have so much more in common than we have in disagreement.
Other than that, things are going well. I'm really excited about graduate school. The one I visited this weekend was awesome and everyone was so nice, and it's only my backup! I love how my backup is somewhere I would be 100% happy with.
On the spiritual side of things, my Bible study (great dudes) have been going through 1 John this semester. There's been a lot of conviction about being in the world but not of the world. For example, I was watching "Slumdog Millionaire" with friends the other day. It's a great movie, but at the end of it, even though it ended fairly happily, I couldn't feel too joyful. The characters were still all Muslim and Hindu. Even though they were happy, I just couldn't forget that their happiness was nothing without Christ. They would still be unsaved. I've been really convicted about this recently. Should I root for characters that I know aren't saved? I should be preoccupied with the salvation of others, and I need to more boldly proclaim the Gospel, because Hell is a reality. Eternal life and joy, far better than the joy of this Earth, is a reality. I want everyone I know and love on the joyful side of the divide, and even though I'm not going to start listening to all hymns and watching only Christian-themed television, my faith in Jesus needs to influence how I see art as well. I obviously should not use depictions of sin for my entertainment (which means I might have to let "Mad Men" go, since you can't watch that show without being forced to root for someone committing adultery). But even in other films or TV shows, if there are happy endings, but no one is saved, can they really be called happy?
As always, it's something to think about. This is what happens when you put me in a car for a few days with little else to do. :)