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Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Keep "Out of Ur"!

This is a bit hot, leaving my ears red when I proof it, so I didn't post it at Out of Ur. Still, I wanted it to be available:

Growing up in a conservative denomination, I was told over and over not to ask questions. "Put your hand down," the teachers might have said. "We don't want to hear from you."

If the blog Out of Ur looks ugly sometimes, it is only because God's Church looks ugly sometimes. Canceling the blog will not accomplish anything—except to silence some Christians with real questions.

It won't be the first time no one wants to hear what they have to say.

Still, I understand blogs like Out of Ur can be intense. They aren't for everyone. (Mel Gibson's Passion was intense. It wasn’t for everyone either.)

God's Church is full of dynamic variety—and I am more comfortable in some parts of His Church than in others. In fact, God Himself is full of dynamic variety we call the Trinity. And frankly, I am more comfortable with some parts of God than others.

My comfort level is not a moral issue, though. It is an issue of taste.

If God isn't glorified when you read Out of Ur, don't read it. But please don't presume that God can't be glorified when other people read it.

I find great encouragement in the variety of voices here. Please don't silence them.

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I submitted the following to respond to Dennis in Chicago but apparently it was lost or ignored...

It is simply unbiblical (and human wishful thinking) to claim either that the Lord tolerates our sin or that the things the Lord has called sin, somehow, aren’t.

After Christ exposed the accusers of the Woman Caught in Adultery for their hypocrisy, he left her with one command: “Go and sin no more.” Zaccheus was so moved to repentance that he vowed to recompense those whom he had defrauded fourfold. The Woman at the Well told Jesus a half-truth and He called her on it and her sinful cohabitation. These people changed. Their lives were made new.

When Jesus pointed out people’s specific sins, did He only concentrate on the “big” obvious sins like adultery and public corruption? No. He told Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things…”

Lust of the flesh takes many forms and every believer struggles with it, whether it be a sexual sin (lust, pornography, homosexuality, adultery, etc.) or gossip or envy or pride, etc., etc.

Paul describes the struggle with the flesh in Romans. It is clear that no believer lives without that struggle even if the sin is not outwardly visible. What would it be like for many of us if there were a public stigma attached to covetousness?

Dennis is remarkably honest and clearly brokenhearted. Most importantly, he does not make the mistake of trying to deny that sin is sin. I can imagine the Rich Young Ruler, years down the road, rationalizing in his mind his continued attachment to his wealth, trying to convince himself that it’s really not a sin and Christ didn’t really mean it when He told the young man to give up all that he owned.

Dennis is also more spiritually mature than the believer who abuses the body God gave him by continuing to overeat. Oh wait, that’s me.

So what are we to do? I think its obvious. Galatians 6-Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.--Collosians 3- So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Interesting thoughts (in reference to the Brian McLaren discussion on Out of Ur, I assume?)

You're pretty much preaching to the choir here.
So is God glorified in questions or answers, or questions and answers?

The comments here reference The Hidden Blessing of Brokeback Mountain on Out of Ur.

It is interesting that Out of Ur didn't post the comments from Anonymous. Perhaps as anonymous suggested, the comment just got lost.

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