“A simple lay person armed with scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.”
How highly controversial! Scripture alone is enough. Scripture is self-authenticating, clear, its own interpreter, and sufficient as the final authority of Christian beliefs. The idea is that whoever bases their faith on scripture, whoever seeks guidance and answers in scripture, doesn’t need anything or anyone else and will never be disappointed.
This concept of scripture alone or sola scriptura was introduced by the same man who said those words in the beginning of this article: Martin Luther, the German reformer who saw so many flaws in the Catholic Church of the 15th century that he simply had to speak against it. His idea that scripture alone stands in the center of an individual’s striving for and learning about God was eagerly adopted by many and eventually also by the younger evangelical denominations in the United States. To this day it is a key principal of many conservative Baptist and Lutheran churches and all those who call themselves “bible-believing”. I firmly believe that indeed, the bible is God’s love letter to us, his children and all the guidance and nudges we need to come closer to this love are right there in scripture. So yes, I call myself bible-believing.
Wait. How can a progressive Christian who is living in a same-sex marriage be bible-believing? How can someone like me adopt the same term as conservative Christians? Do I believe that my sexuality is wrong, that my wife is an abomination? Of course not. Then why does my hand not tremble when I write: “I believe in the bible.”?
Continue reading “Bible-believing Bisexual?!”
Zella Ziona was 21 years old when she was killed on October 15th 2015.
For Lisa and me it was a happy day. It was the first time we celebrated her birthday together. We had a wonderful day full of laughter, tenderness and the simple joy of having found each other and being so absolutely in love.
Marc Pourner was 28 years old when he was killed on November 14th 2015.
For Lisa and me it was a busy day. We were more than just a little excited. Just a day before, on the 13th we got our marriage license. In the middle of Texas. Lisa who has lived here all her life could barely believe it. For her it was a miracle. Our wedding was scheduled for November 19th and there was still so much to do. We were in a bubble of delirious happiness.
Now, in March 2016 I have been in this country for six months. In this time at least two people who identified somewhere on the LGBT spectrum were killed in hate crimes in the United States. Dozens more were severely injured, many tortured, beaten bloody, suffering from broken bones or severe burns or even brain damage. Hundreds more were verbally assaulted, intimidated and bullied for being who they are.
Continue reading “Birthday, death day, ressurection day (When I was new to homophobia)”
They call him the powerless Jesus. The statue in Sant’Egidio, a 16th century church in Rome is very old. Age and circumstances have left this Jesus without his cross… and without arms. All we can see is his beaten body, the pain on his face and in his eyes. He is dying, tortured and crucified. The sacrifice of sacrifices, the moment Jesus, the human was at his weakest, most fragile, most powerless. The moment when he was nothing more than a body, broken by ignorance, fear, lies and betrayal.
For some reason this statue touches me more than the average statue of the crucified Christ. Jesus on the cross always makes me sad, yes, but it also always makes me proud, makes me smile. This man sacrificed his life for me because he couldn’t help but love me, you, us so much. It is this unconditional love, the compassion for those who hurt him, the forgiveness for those who killed him that touches me, that makes me proud to be one of those beloveds.
The arms, outstretched and nailed to cross are for me the ultimate symbol of Christ’s love, the never-ending embrace, the eternal invitation to come and simply be accepted as we are. This was, this is what makes Jesus, the human man, so powerful: His ability to love, his ability for compassion and forgiveness.
Continue reading “The powerless Jesus”