Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2013


Peter Hubbard, like Jesus, is not content for us to merely be gracious to homosexuals in Love Into Light. He’s not content to change the climate in the church regarding people who struggle with same sex attraction (SSA). He wants repentant, believing strugglers to be a focus of outreach and part of our community.

This doesn’t happen accidentally. We need to be wise in how we live in community and go about outreach. In talking about community, he starts with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which is a pretty good place to start. Community is important, essential, but it can often be idolatrous too.

“The one who pursues community to escape loneliness is trying to escape from himself.”

I’ve seen that happen. I’ve experienced that to an extent. We just experience the loneliness, and don’t really understand what is going on in the heart. We should not forget that we are made in the image of God, however. As a result, we were made for relationship; for community. God is the eternal community of Father, Son & Spirit living in loving harmony. We were made for that. We also recognize that each person within the Godhead is differentiated. They have a sense of self. Loneliness can be a sign that we don’t have a strong sense of self, or enjoy being by ourselves.

“So in one sense we don’t need each other (God is enough). Yet in another sense we desperately need each other (He reveals Himself to us in community).”

Many people in the church who struggle with SSA often agonize alone. They fear rejection, if people knew. They need the acceptance of the group, and the group needs their honesty. This is a hindrance to community if there are any sins that are kept private. We don’t let anyone into our hearts and are … alone.

He relates how his congregation had a frank discussion of homosexuality. It prompted one member to think more deeply about their sin, and how it was “natural” to them- meaning they had a predisposition to anxiety.

“I”m being challenged to realize that we all may have something in our ‘nature’ that is sin, and we cannot choose to condone our own sin, even though we have a propensity for it. He have to fight against it as the Holy Spirit frees us from it.”

Community deepens as we recognize this fact about ourselves. If we do, we see that while their sin is different in the details, it is not different in kind. If worry is 2nd nature to you, a life-dominating sin, you can understand what it would be like to continually be attracted to the same sex. Just try to a second to consider what it would be like to know that your very attractions are wrong. Every day presents numerous opportunities to stumble in your heart. Of course, even heterosexuals face this as our hearts are tempted to move beyond fidelity, lusting for our neighbor’s spouse or a single person.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


I still remember seeing the trailer for Alien in the theater as a kid.  “In space no one can hear you scream.” Of course we heard them all scream since they were in a pressurized ship, but that is beside the point. It became a franchise that captured our imagination, and kept 20th Century Fox afloat.

The movies boasted some amazing directors at the beginning of their careers. It was the beginning of Ridley Scott’s amazing career. While Terminator had been filmed, it had not yet been released when James Cameron started working on Aliens. David Fincher is an amazing director, even if this wasn’t anywhere close to his best work.

I watched all of the movies this winter while my family was on vacation. Someone lent me the boxed set. As a result I watched all the director’s cuts and lots of the special features.

What could they do next? They really didn’t want to do another sequel. Ridley Scott was fascinated by the idea of a prequel, to explore the origins of the alien. Sounded good to me. I really wanted to see it in the theater, but just didn’t get around to it. The reviews were quite mixed. The movie was quite interesting, in my opinion.

I watched it the other night after recording it on one of those premium channel free previews. It was better than I thought it would be.

It began in an unlikely place and at an unknown time. An alien is left stranded by a gorgeous waterfall. He then drinks something and soon his body is disintegrating. Okay, you think, what is that all about? But they show you the DNA strand to give you some hints.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


No, this is not about climate change.

This is about a different kind of climate change. This is about the current climate in churches regarding homosexuality. Peter Hubbard is not only concerned about how individual Christians interact with homosexuals, but how congregations interact with, talk about and treat homosexuals. As a result, there as a chapter in Love Into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual and the Church called Climate.

He begins by building a good analogy. In Revelation Jesus is revealed as the Lion who is a Lamb. He is a King as well as a Priest who sacrifices Himself. There is both strength and tenderness, righteousness and compassion. The Church is intended to reflect His glory and His character. Churches are tempted to focus on only one side of Christ and present a false face to the world, and homosexuals about who Christ is and what He thinks about them.

“When we talk as if homosexuals do not belong in the church, we misrepresent the gospel in at least three ways: “We are not sinners, you are,” “Sin comes in acceptable forms and unacceptable forms,” and “You will belong here only after you get your act together.” Each of these assumptions denies the power and process of the grace of Christ for real and lasting change.”

As an example of a “church” (and I use this term quite loosely) that is fixated on Christ as Lion, Hubbard gives Westboro Baptist Church. They stress the righteousness and justice of God, rightly calling sin sin. But they have no gospel (which is why I use the term church loosely). They think they have the ministry of condemnation, when we’ve actually been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5).

This kind of church, or Christian, focuses on the sinfulness side of things. There is an “us vs. them” mentality as though all homosexuals were militant activists seeking to destroy the Church. He recalls a time when a guest began to talk about homosexuals using stereotypes as though he’d get some laughs. He didn’t. This kind of church likes using the labels to ostracize people, keep them out because we don’t like “them.”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Considering Paris 1975


There is a reason Blackmore is on the cover of the recently remixed and re-released Deep Purple double disc set Paris 1975. That reason is that Ritchie is front and center of the mix and Ritchie put on one fantastic performance.

This concert is one of the final concerts for the Mach III line up as Blackmore was exiting after the tour was finished. He would go out with a bang.

Ian Paice was also on beast mode. His drumming was strong and often intense. Songs like Burn reveal just how good a drummer he was at the height of Deep Purple’s powers.

For some reason Jon Lord was not as prominent as a soloist on this disc. Yes, he has some solos. But in the Mach III days, the focus was more on guitar. This concert reflects that to a degree. Of the 10 songs found here, only 3 reflect the Mach II days. All 3 of them are from the Machine Head album. In addition to his trademark B-3, there is some work on the synth that was becoming more popular.

Don’t think you are getting cheated since there are only 10 songs. 5 of them are over 10 minutes, and 2 of them are at 20 minutes. There is plenty of music happening here, with lots of improvisation by talented musicians.

Those songs are more of a challenge for David Coverdale. I didn’t think he handled that material very well. On Highway Star, part of the encore, he changes the lyrics to ones I would have appreciated as a teenaged boy (and by the sex crazed French), but not as a man in his late 40’s. He was strong on the songs from Burn and Stormbringer. The concert begins with those 2 title songs, setting an aggressive tone for the concert that only rarely lets up.

In addition to playing bass, Glenn Hughes handles most of the between song banter. His playing was good. His banter …. not so much. He’s actually often annoying picking on “fat people” and the like.

While this is not the best Deep Purple concert available, it is certainly a very strong concert. It represents this era of Deep Purple very well. It is a worthy addition to a fan’s collection, and should get many listens. Serious fans will enjoy the interviews which talk about the songs from the 2 albums this version of the band produced.

As I noted, the concert begins with Burn, and it burns. There is the usual last second tuning/warming up as Ritchie tosses in his usual little run before a little blues intro. With the words “okay” Ritchie rips into the riff and away we go. As I noted, Ian is just killing the drums while Jon adds the organ to complement Ritchie’s riff. This is just a great song including great solos by both Ritchie and Jon.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


Spring 2001 from the Staten Island Ferry

Spring 2001 from the Staten Island Ferry

I was engaged to be married when it all happened.  CavWife to be was teaching in NW NJ, and could see the smoke from the parking lot. One of her students were among the few that lost parents in the building. Thankfully my parents decided to extend their stay in NH because they were booked on the flight out of Boston to LA that day.

Many of us have stories. There are faces we see, video clips that can never be erased from our minds. But I want to consider who we are, or have become in the last 12 years.

In October 2001, we had an engagement party at my future in-laws’ home. That was the day we began the invasion of Afghanistan. We have yet to leave. We have been fighting there my entire married life, forgetting one of the great blunders: don’t get involved in a land war in Asia.

America is increasingly weary of war. We have watched too many of our young people come home in body bags or missing limbs. We seem to have an entire generation suffering from PTSD.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


I was bored.

CavMom keeps renewing a subscription to Family Circle for CavWife. Sometimes I flip thru it to look for good recipes.

I stopped when it talked about the Secret Life of Boys. It was an interesting article on the dynamics of relationships among boys summarized from her book . Each boy in a circle of 3-5 friends seems to fit into an established role. Those roles are identified as:

Mastermind: He’s the ringleader, charismatic and good at identifying people’s weaknesses. He gains power and control over the group (think Alex in A Clockwork Orange). He fears losing his status and can’t admit when he’s in over his head.

Associate: He’s the right-hand man. He’s essentially the “best friend” who can be honest with the mastermind. He gains power by association. He has power and status he would never have apart from the mastermind. But often they lose their sense of identity apart from the mastermind.

Bouncer: or enforcer. It would be Dim in A Clockwork Orange. People skills are not his forte. He’s the one who can enforce the will of the mastermind. He often forfeits the ability to have healthy relationships.

Entertainer: he’s the village idiot who make people laugh. That is his identity: comic relief. He has to keep cutting up to feel valuable.

Conscience: here is the guy who tells the truth, and is often trusted by adults. He will be left out when the others want to cross some lines. He is often used as the smokescreen with parents.

Punching Bag: he’s like the little brother everyone loves by picks on mercilessly. He pays a high price for friendship, but feels it is necessary.

Fly: he hovers around the group, desperately wanting to get in. They often try to earn the acceptance of the rest with gifts and favors.

Champion: he doesn’t play by these rules. He makes his own friends and is genuinely liked by people in many groups. But people will turn on him when he tries to do the right thing instead of playing alone. Most parents think their kid is a champion, but they aren’t. They are rare.

The main point is that these are boys trying to act like men. They are trying to figure it out, but they have not figured it out. It is a sad parody of adult male relationships.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


Earlier in his book Love into Light, Peter Hubbard talked about change. There he talked about unrealistic expectations for change. Change is an internal thing.

Discussion of change for a homosexual (as well as for any sexually immoral person, like addicts) eventually gets to the issues of celibacy and marriage. How you understand yourself if important to this discussion. If you view yourself as the world labels you (“homosexual”, “pervert” “misfit” or “dirty”) you will live out that reality. If you view yourself as God views you if you are in Christ (beloved, holy, son) you will begin to live out of this new reality. No, not perfectly. It is a progress. But God’s labels for those in Christ provide something of the goal.

He notes that we struggle with this notion of an “assigned” life or label. Deep down most of us suspect that God doesn’t have our best in mind. Deep down we think that we know the path to a fulfilling life better than God does. We forget that this is what got us in the deep hole we were in in the first place.

Additionally, Matthew Vines, he notes, talks about how homosexuals often feel left out as their friends marry and have kids. This is not something particular to homosexuals. I didn’t get married until I was 36, and a father until 39. I saw so many friends get married and have kids. I felt left out, forgotten and as if it would never happen to me. That’s the funny thing about sin, it deceives us into thinking we are the only one who feels this way. We don’t realize that others who don’t share our reasons also feel the same kinds of things. Marrying late wasn’t really MY choice. I wanted to get married, but experienced that frustrating reality that the people I wanted to marry didn’t want to marry me. And the people who wanted to marry me were not ones I wanted to marry.

I, like many in my state, wondered “what if God is calling me to be single, forever?” It seemed a fate worse than death at times. I wasn’t struggling with SSA. This is a human problem, not merely a SSA problem. My wife and I have many older friends who have never been married.

There are a number of people in the Bible who were never married or were widowed and remained single and alone with no outlet for their sexual desire. Jesus is pretty prominent there. As fully (hu)man, He would have experienced sexual desire. He would have found particular people attractive. But he never acted upon such desire. He mission trumped all those internal feelings and desires, such that His food was to do the will of His Father.

We also see Paul (probably widowed since he was a Pharisee of Pharisees). Paul was a sinner, like the rest of us. Paul lived in a culture with few if any sexual boundaries. There was temptation without and within. Surely there was loneliness and frustration. As the head of her household, Lydia was single or widowed as well. As that head of household, there would have been slaves or servants she could use to satisfy her sexual desires, as was common. But every indication is that she lived a faithful, obedient life that flowed out of her faith and love for Christ.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »