Category Archives: For the Bride

Holy Love: Passages #2

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 Honestly, I was not prepared for the complexity regarding these two passages.  Far from being cut-and-dried as a one-sentence, straightforward condemnation of male homosexual activity, the passages are in relation to a cultural and religious context … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Bibliography

​A Basic Affirming Bibliography On Human Sexuality Below are books which have shaped my theology of human sexuality.  The list began as an attempt to gather biblical references, but in the course of doing so, I realized that a full orbed … Continue reading

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For the Bride: You Are Loved!

​If I were asked to name the #1 struggle that LGBTQ+ people have, I would say it is their struggle to believe God loves them.  If I were asked to name why they have this struggle, I would say because … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Holy Sexuality

I begin new posts for this occasional series with “Holy Sexuality” because it is a broad topic in our society, and it is a particular topic under consideration at The General Conference of The United Methodist Church that begins today … Continue reading

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For the Bride: My Journey

Here is a synopsis of my journey since 2014 of to being an ally with the LGBTQ+ community… I met some of you last evening at First UMC Orlando for the first time, and you asked about my journey to … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Video & Outline

Here is the link to my presentation last evening at First UMC in Orlando, Florida on.the subject, “All Means All: The Bible’s Affirmation of LGBTQ+ Persons”… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CyHF3CCRvPs Here is the handout/outline given to those who were present… “All Means All: … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Resuming Posts

Following last night’s event at First United Methodist Church in Orlando, I am resuming posts in this “For the Bride” category. Previous posts were essentially expansions on things I wrote about in my book, ‘For the Sake of the Bride’ … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Taking A Break

August is one of the months that I cease posting and take a break from writing.  “For the Bride” will resume on September 11th.

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For the Bride: Compassion Rising

Today, I end my comments on the practice of non-judgment.  Like the earlier posts on the principle of love, I am sure there is much more that could be said about this important topic, but I will let what I … Continue reading

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For the Bride: From Letter to Spirit

The early Christians recognized they were stewards of a great Mystery–the Mystery that had within it power to give life or to deal death.  Whether the Mystery did one or the other depended on how they used the Law. In … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Judged by Scripture

Douglas Burton-Christie calls the early Christians’ refusal to be judgmental  a “hermeneutical act” (The Word in the Desert, p. 280).  He means that the early Christians took Matthew 7:1 with utter seriousness.  To refrain from judgment was to trust the … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Seeing Possibilities

Jesus lamented that too many people had eyes to see, but did not see (Mark 8:18).  The early Christians believed that one manifestation of spiritual blindness was judgmentalism. When healed by grace, restored spiritual eyesight would see possibilities in other … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Narrow Vision

In his book, The Word in the Desert, Douglas Burton-Christie notes that the early Christians realized how easily they could deceive themselves into thinking they could know the condition of another person’s heart, and thus accurately pass judgment on them. … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Radical Trust

The church’s perrennial call to repentance is rooted in our belief in God’s willingness and ability to forgive sin.  Judgmentalism was, however, eschewed by the early Christians because they believed it was a diminishment of that belief. One of the … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The Hypocrisy of Judgment

The early Christians linked judgmentalism and hypocrisy.  They did so because they observed that those who became judgmental became increasingly less self-aware.  They could fancy themselves as being righteous while pointing out another’s unrighteousness.  It is the attitude we have … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Living in a Dungeon

Early Christians believed that being judgmental put them in the lowest level of spirituality, so they went to (what seems to us today) extraordinary means to avoid it. An old monk named Nau told his community what to do: “If … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Don’t Feed the Animals

The title of today’s post is often found at zoos, public parks, and other places where animals are found.  The sign could have been placed in the hermit caves and monastic communities of early Christianity. These Christians believed that judgmentalism … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Non-Judgment

Continuing our exploration of early Christianity, we move from the principle of love to the practice of non-judgment, which is the application of love in situations and toward people who do not seem to deserve it.  When we read the … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The Sum of All

When Paul wrote that love is “the more excellent way”–that it “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things”–and that it is greater than faith or hope, he was doing all he could to say … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Soft on Sin?

We have spent an extended period of time considering the way of love in early Christianity, revealing that it was the virtue which defined and directed the inner life and outer witness of the desert fathers and mothers. I will … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Freedom to Love

Rarely do all three weekly writings here on Oboedire revolve around the same theme, but they do this week.  The theme of freedom has woven its way naturally into each post, quite apart from any advance or deliberate plan on … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The Cost of Love

A look at the early desert mothers and fathers reveals that the kind of love we are describing came at great cost.  Far from being quick and easy, it was prolonged and challenging.  And far from being cheap grace, it … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The Confirmation of Love

The desert Christians were earthy folk, perhaps in large measure because of the environment in which they worshipped and worked.  While some of the Church’s best theology comes from the early-Christian era, it is almost always expressed through a tangible … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The Command to Love

An emotion-driven concept of love draws back from thinking of love as a commandment.  But the withdrawal is based on two false assumptions:  that we love (or not) on the basis of how we feel, and/or that love is a … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Beyond Sentimentalism

The shadow of the Cross has cast itself into this week, reminding us that love is a struggle.  We have so sentimentalized love that we view it almost exclusively as an emotion.  So, if we feel like loving someone, we … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Good Friday Love

Today, we see the apex of love–the Cross.  In what was for many of us one of the first  verses we learned after becoming Christians (John 3:16) we saw that God “gave his only-begotten son.” This includes the entirety of … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Holy Experimentation

Years ago, I heard Richard Foster say that prayer is to the spiritual life what experimentation is to science.  In early Christianity, the monastic communities understood this, and they practiced prayer in an “ask, seek, knock” spirit.  We have come … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Love With Skin On

The schools of love established by the early Christians made the curriculum of love concrete.  While they could engage in deep studies about love and participate in inspiring conversations about love, eventually they had to love a real person. Love, … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Simply Love

The early Christians made love the essence of holiness, and practicing it in community meant there were almost unlimited ways to express love to others: gestures, facial expressions, simple acts of charity–what Brother Lawrence would later call “little things for … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The School of Love

The last time I was on retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky, I noticed the community had published a new brochure about themselves, their ministries, their daily schedule, etc.  It was entitled, “A School of Love.” When I … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Amazing Love!

In early Christianity the synonymn for love was perfection.  Far from being a psychologized word (which could become pathological perfectionism), it was deeply theological–the best synonym the early Christians could find to describe when our lives are most like God. … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Turning the Page

When we turn the last page of the New Testament and move from the biblical era to the early Christian period, the next page in the book of history is not blank.  The first page of the Didache reads thus… … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Into the Desert

When we move into early Christianity (from the close of the New Testament to roughly 550 a.d.), we discover that the three pillars were embraced to give shape to the spirituality of the early Christians, who would soon evolve into … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Reinterpretation Is Not Accommodation

The pivotal passages have opened the way for me, and others, to look at key biblical passages concerning human sexuality with fresh eyes, but when new interpretations emerge, the almost-immediate outcry is to accuse those holding them of accommodating the … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Pivotal Passages–3

Today, I share those passages which have led me to advocate the process of holy conversation… –passages that refer to assemblies –Jesus’ conversations with his disciples –Acts 1:12–2:1 –Acts 2:42 ff –Acts 10:1–11:18; Acts 15 –Paul’s epistles as examples of … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Pivotal Passages–2

Today, I share some passages which have led me to advocate the practice of non-judgment… Ps 62:3-4 Ps 75:7. (and the host of related OT passages) Mt 7:1 Mk 9:42 Acts 10:28 Romans 2:1-5 Romans 14:10 1 Cor 4:5 2 … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Pivotal Passages–1

No matter where you stand on the agreement/disagreement spectrum relative to my book, it is essential for you to know that I have come to my position based on the revelation of Scripture. I have established my emphasis regarding love, … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Three Pillars

As we carry this theme into the new year, it has been nearly nine months since I wrote ‘For the Sake of the Bride: Restoring the Church to Her Intended Beauty.’  As I watch the conversations among Christians remain contentious, … Continue reading

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For the Bride: On Break

This post resumes next Friday, January 9th.

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For the Bride: On Break

“For the Bride” is on Christmas Break.  It returns next week, January 9th.

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For the Bride: On Break

“For the Bride” is on a Christmas break.  It resumes on January 9th.

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For the Bride: Infrastructure

Buildings stand because of their infrastructure, what Jesus called “the good foundation.”  As we conclude our brief look at the place of hermeneutics in the human sexuality debate, I will stay with Wesley’s sermon “The Catholic Spirit” one more time. … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The Critical Element

I want to continue to use Wesley’s sermon, “Catholic Spirit,” to shed further light on our continuing exploration of honoring and being the Bride of Christ today. I repeat that the basis for all this is orthodoxy.  Not everyone will … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The Key Distinction

Hermeneutics enables us to claim the key distinction necessary for fellowship–the distinction between doctrine and opinion–between what is primary and what is secondary.  Until we are willing to do this, we have little hope for charitable discourse, or a fully … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Special Report

Since last April, when I wrote ‘For the Sake of the Bride,’ I have read more on the subject of human sexuality than during any comparable period in my life.  Maybe it is the scholar in me, but I have … Continue reading

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For the Bride: The God Window

Continuing our exploration of hermeneutics, we come to realize that our concept of God largely determines how we view the Christian message.  If we view God as essentially angry with us (even if it is righteous indignation), we will almost … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Inevitable Vantage Points

Last week, I introduced the theme of hermeneutics–an indispensable topic if we are to understand the basis of our contemporary debate regarding human sexuality.. What hermeneutics rightly tells us is that the issue is not about who is “biblical,” but … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Playing With Blocks

I grew up before Legos were around, but when I was a child, I had wooden blocks.  They came in different colors, with letters, numbers, animals, and symbols on the various sides.  It was easy to spend long amounts of … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Too Difficult for Whom?

I have to admit there are days when the candle for preserving unity in the Church burns low in my soul.  Some appear to have already concluded that schism is the only way forward.  Others seem to yearn for continuing … Continue reading

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For the Bride: Special Report (2)

Like many of you, I am following as carefully as I can the situation currently existing between Dr. David Gushee and notable colleagues within and beyond the Southern Baptist Convention.  I am doing this, in part, because it is good … Continue reading

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