my own medicine

Given that my last two posts have been, directly and indirectly, about silence, I probably should have seen this coming.

After talking a bit with my pastor and my parents, we all think it would be wise if I took a bit of a break from blogging to simply be silent, to ground myself in spiritual discipline and seek wisdom for the “next step,” whatever that ends up being. (I have my fingers crossed for becoming an international ping-pong superstar… time to proof-text Philippians 4:13 for motivation!)

Basically, I’ve felt for a while that the ground is eroding beneath me, so to speak. Bible-reading is slipping toward “sporadic-at-best” and I’m becoming increasingly incapable of simply sitting still and being with God. I had planned to “come out” publicly at the beginning of May, but such a move would be unhealthy; for all my excitement and passion, I can tell I stand on a very tenuous and fragile stability at the moment.

So. I’ll be taking a bit of a break. I have one more almost-finished post that I’ll put up this weekend and then I will promptly and metaphorically drop off the face of the planet (I superstitiously insert “metaphorically” whenever an idiom would, literally, kill me – can’t be too careful). I hope to reemerge some time in June, at which point, if it seems wise, I’ll set fire to my closet and not look back.

wolverine explosion

Like this, but cooler.

I also won’t be regularly checking GaySubtlety’s Twitter or Facebook for this time, though I will be checking email, so don’t hesitate to metaphorically shoot something my way. If you have any reading suggestions aside from Foster’s A Celebration of Discipline, I’d love to hear from you.

And, finally, I’d appreciate whatever prayer you’re willing to offer on my behalf. I want so badly to, you know, do this whole thing right… but my general proclivity to screw absolutely everything up will certainly loom large during this brief time.

Thanks so much for understanding and for being so patient with me as I struggle to discern what faithfulness looks like for me at this point in my life.

Peace and blessings to all of you.

Jordan

P.S. I really did only just learn how to embed photos… so… here’s a cute picture of a red panda.

One of the only good reasons to keep the internet around.

Adorable animal pictures are pretty much the only good reason to keep the internet around.

the times they are a-changin’

Hey there, you. How are you doing? Well? Glad to hear it. I’m doing fine, I guess. Lots of stuff going on, so I’ve been pretty busy.

Now that we got the awkward small-talk out of the way, I figured I’d let you in on what’s happening over on our side of things, including some info on how the blog may be changing in the coming months.

So, as you may know, I (Jordan) recently got back from a brief three month romp in Africa. What you may not know is that I (still Jordan) am leaving this weekend for a brief four month romp in Latin America to work with street kids and orphans. Internships are addicting, ok?

I (Tony… j/k it’s Jordan) am not sure how often I will post once I arrive down there. There are a few reasons for this uncertainty: 1) I’ll be living with a bunch of insane latino teenagers and may exist in a perpetual state of semi-unconsciousness, and 2) I’ll be focusing on blogging from a separate, non-pseudonymous website (assuming I can ever decide on a gosh-darn domain name) about my time with the kids and all the zany lessons I learn, and to effectively maintain both seems unrealistic given how lazy I am (on a scale from 1 to 10, I didn’t bother to fill it in).

I’m to the point, now, that I think it would be best for me to take a small break from writing and thinking constantly about sexuality and to grow up a bit while focusing on my other passions (of which there are distressingly many). But I hope to jump headlong back into the sexuality discussion when I return from Latin America, at which point I will “come out” on my personal website and continue things from there.

I’ve decided not to “go public” until then because I don’t want to risk complicating this internship. I’m not sure it would, but I can wait. Once I do, however, I will post links on this blog.

While I may not write as many full-length posts, I intend to become more active on GaySubtlety’s Twitter, so if you aren’t following us there, you totally should (I’ll give you, like, 20,000,000 GS points if you do). I’ll frequently post links to interesting articles and videos, though not necessarily opining about them. As for this blog, we are looking at ways of turning it into a more formalized, indexed resource, but more on that later.

Anyway, thanks for your grace as we move into a bit of a different season and try to figure things out. I’ve already finished a post that I’ll put up on Friday. It’s one of the more important ones that I’ve written, at least for myself. After that, who knows! I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Oh, and have a blessed Advent. What an incredible time to meditate on the nearness of Christ and the overwhelming beauty of the incarnation. God is very, very good, isn’t he?

Jordan

input

Well, good news, everybody: I have definitively proven that my tolerance for espresso is greater than the average human’s (this must be what mom meant when she told me I would be special some day). I have got to figure out a way to have deep, meaningful conversations without clutching a latte. Despite the minor annoyance of having my retinal fluid become caffeinated, my time at Wheaton has been truly wonderful. The “regular” posting schedule will resume over the weekend, I hope.

So, I have a favor to ask. I’m going to assume that there are people who read the blog and seriously disagree with any number of things in it, and I’ve been wondering, for a while, what I could be doing to better communicate in a way that is gracious and understanding. If you are one of those people, would you be willing to help me out by sending me an email with your thoughts or suggestions on how to improve the blog? I’m not so much looking for a flood of side-A arguments, though I guess you can send those along. Rather, I’m more interested in exposing my blind spots. Maybe I’ve stated things in a harmful way, maybe I haven’t done justice to an alternative view (as is inevitable, really), maybe I’ve dealt in false stereotypes, maybe I’ve incited feelings of alienation for some people. I’m sure I’m guilty of all those, and more, to one degree or another and I’m sorry for that.

I have a lot to learn, a lot of growing up to do. I hope to continually become a safer, more loving contribution to the conversation as a whole, and I think this is an important step forward.

Thanks!

Jordan

framed, pt. 1

This series will be, I desperately hope, one of my only forays into the various theological arguments regarding homosexuality. After observing the semi-renewed interest in Matt Vines’ Youtube video about homosexuality and Scripture as well as countless other posts, articles, reviews, tirades, and comments relating to the topic, I feel compelled to say one thing (which will then lead to many other things!): the conversations surrounding being gay and Christian must begin with a commitment to love, nuance, and solid, careful, biblical exegesis (the art of understanding the meaning of the text).

I’m so tired of reading one-dimensional arguments, from Christians, that simply peddle the same old tired rhetoric that avoids the real questions, namely, What does the whole of the biblical witness say, what does it require of the Church, and how should Christians then interact with those who do not share their convictions? Instead we pick and choose, proof-text, and pretend that we have it all figured out.

“I was born this way!” That’s fine, but let’s talk about the fall and Christian ascesis. “Leviticus says gay people are abominations!” Enjoy your shrimp and polyester graphic-T. “Genesis 2:18 says it isn’t good for man to be alone, so singleness is tragic!” I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the banshee-screams of your horrifying exegetical folly. “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and—-” Banshee-screams, I tell you!

Ok, now I’m venting unhelpfully. Basically what I’m trying to say is that, as an Evangelical, I’m thoroughly dissatisfied with the shallow faux-theology that has been framing the popular discussion for the past few years. There have been some serious transgressions on both sides, mistakes that are then propped up by detractors and demolished in a haze of straw, as if something of consequence was actually communicated. It’s an elaborate dance of glancing tangents – sure, there’s contact, but nobody gets to the heart of the thing.

I intend to write a follow-up post on two approaches to the conversation that I find distinctly annoying: uncritical rejection of intense historical-cultural analysis that challenges the traditional status-quo, and uncritical acceptance of a distressingly anemic “gospel of unqualified inclusion.” The former is most commonly found among side-B Christians (though is by no means constitutive of that position), and the latter is most commonly found among side-A Christians (though is by no means constitutive of that position).

I’m quite solidly “side-B,” and it can be dangerously easy to slip into a “go team!” mentality when reading articles of divergent opinions; easy, that is, until I remember that my “team” is ultimately the Church and this Church contains men and women who are sincerely and ardently side-A because of their commitment to the Bible. When I approach material written by other Christians with the singular intent to expose all its weaknesses and deconstruct it, I do ecclesial unity a great disservice.

One of my mentors taught me to set my default question as, “What can I learn from this person?” As an intrinsically constructive inquiry, it encourages me to move past knee-jerk generalizations that only serve to feed the illusion of a simplistic us vs. them reality that fails to do justice to the complexity of the topic at hand (a “topic” that is intimately connected to the lives of beloved men and women) as well as the oneness of Christ’s body.

And I’m pretty sure I just ended up convicting myself. That sucks. I hate it when this happens! This is why it’s so hard being imperfect.

I found this article (consequently by a side-A brother) to be a helpful reminder of how the conversation must be framed: graciously, in terms of the Gospel. His last paragraphs especially gave concrete expression to my vague unhappiness, and I hope to build on his thoughtful clarity in the next post.

Does any of this ring true for other people? That it seems like, at least recently, there has been a small explosion of unreflective articles about homosexuality and the Christian faith? (And you’re like, Yea, I’m reading one. And I’m like, Oh.)

Anyway, more on this later, I need to go do this thing people call “sleep” (which, tonight, is mostly just a veiled pretense to lay in bed and listen to Mika’s new album). I hope you all are well.

Jordan

Correction: I mistakenly identified Steve Holmes as side-A when he is in fact not. My apologies. I think, in a way, that it stands as a testament to the humble grace with which he wrote that particular article.