Friday, October 9, 2015

PASTRIX: THE CRANKY, BEAUTIFUL FAITH OF A SINNER AND SAINT

By Nadia Bolz-Weber. Nashville, TN: Jericho Books, 2014

This was a very interesting read from a more emergent church kind of perspective which is a side of things I don't often delve into when I read.

I found it very intriguing how Bolz-Weber felt called to ministry because she was the only religious person among her friends. It is probably correct to say she would have been the only kind of Christian from which her friends and the kind of people who go to her church would have been willing to hear about Jesus. I would not compare her to Esther though. Instead, I would compare her to Debra, stepping up when there was no man willing to do what was required.

Bolz-Weber's story about going from an alcoholic, drug using wannabe stand-up comic to an emergent-type Lutheran pastor is definitely inspiring, thrilling and heartwarming and once again proves the passage in Jeremiah which ends, "but what will you do at the end of it?"

Bolz-Weber can bloody write! One gets into her patter like a warm bath, and the description of her writing style in the front of the book is certainly apt. Heck, she can speak, despite what her self-deprecating comments would lead you to believe. From even first hearing about this book on "Tapestry", I wanted to have lunch with her and chew the fat.

Some of the lessons Bolz-Weber learns along her journey of being a pastor are pretty obvious to someone of a different background, but you can still get into the telling like the aforementioned bathtub.

That is the praise I have for Bolz-Weber and "Pastrix", now for the major stickingpoint between her and me, namely, homosexuality and transgenderism.

First of all, let me say that, while they should never compromise on homosexuality being a sin and abomination and on the fact that God-who is incapable of making mistakes-created us male and female, many Christians need to approach these issues and, indeed, these people differently.

Having said that, though, I will not compromise on what God has said through the Scriptures.

Emergent and Christians of other pro-lgbtq8&&((*%^&fdksk ilks do a disservice to homosexuals and transgendered folk when they tell them they can lead a life in Christ without having to address these sins, for they are only serving to disempower the homosexual by doing this. Homosexuals (in which group I would include transsexuals and other gender-dysphoric persons) have deep-seeded feelings of inadequacy-not about who they are as girls or guys-but about themselves as people. Thus, Christians need to, in love, get at the individual's particular version of that inadequacy.

In the case of Mary Kristene Calahan, (which is the name and gender I will use so as not to further disempower her), I would not have baptized her into being a man. I would have prayerfully considered and talked to her about what it is that makes her feel she's meant to be a man. Then I would have told her to talk to God about whatever her answer to my previous question would have been.

Finally, to Nadia and all others who think so: True faith in and obedience of God is not for the purpose of "becoming like us", that is, being made into what some particular group of so-called Christians think a follower of Jesus should look and act like; it's about becoming your true self. God is trying to restore each one of those who are truly seeking for and trusting in Him to the way He wants them to be.

We are born into this world and get flack from all quarters and messages telling us we have to be like someone else and conform to others expectations. This often leads to many terrible consequences to the person being put upon by the world in this way.

God the Father sent His son (who was actually a part of Himself) down to Earth to die on the cross in part that we would have a way to become our true, God-designed individual selves we were meant to have been had the events of the Garden of Eden not taken place. God wants to free you from that homosexuality and gender-dysphoria (as well as all your other sins) so that you can become the you you were meant to be.

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