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Harmony of Grace

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Image Source:  张 学欢 Why did I decide to start this blog? Why call it Harmony of Grace?  One definition for the word harmony is "living in peace and mutual understanding with others." I have always been fascinated with music and in my opinion, the musical definition of the word harmony has a more accurate depiction of the word's true meaning. In musical terms, a harmony is "a note or group of notes that compliment the notes in the melody (main tune of the song)." There are many different possible harmonies, but if played/sung correctly, they all compliment the melody and emphasize the beauty of the musical arrangement as a whole. When I had my first encounter with Jesus, the concept of harmony became much more real in my life. But how does harmony have anything to do with God's grace? I believe that God's grace can be seen in the world we live in, through various means, as a complimentary harmony to God's nature an

The Laws of Leviticus

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The second and third passages of scripture that are used to condemn homosexuality and clobber LGBTQ+ people come from the often-read book of Leviticus (sarcasm alert). Before digging into these verses, let’s quote them here: “Don’t lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.” - Leviticus 18:22 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” - Leviticus 20:13 These strong words in the Bible have armed anti-gay protesters with enough content to fill their picket signs with hatred and violence. “Homosexuality is an Abomination” and “God hates fags” and “To death with the gays” are all signs that make regular appearances at Pride parades throughout the world, unfortunately often held up by so-called Christians. Regardless of someone’s belief about homosexuality, I will never understand how some Christians see this as a Christ-like response

One pastor’s journey towards the full affirmation of LGBTQ+ folk

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I have been vocal in recent years about my support of the LGBTQ+ community. One thing I have yet to do is share my story of how I came to a point of being fully affirming of LGBTQ+ people and relationships. This is what I hope to do here. My Early Homophobia (fear/dislike of LGBTQ+ people) I can’t remember the first time I encountered LGBTQ+ people in the world. All I can remember is that, as a child, I was taught that homosexuality is wrong. Whenever a gay couple came on the TV or walked past us in the mall, someone in my family would make a comment about how it was “against nature.” I never questioned it. I just presumed this was the way it was - anyone who was gay chose to go against the flow of how things “should” be. I attended an all-boys school where toxic masculinity ran rampant and the word gay was a synonym for anything that was uncool or it was used as a derogatory term for anyone who didn’t fit the mould of a macho man. As I became more involved in the church as a te

The Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah

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One of my goals with this series in Pride Month is to unpack the passages of the Bible that seem to address homosexuality directly. The bible’s texts about homosexuality were my biggest stumbling block in my path towards full affirmation of LGBTQ+ folk. I grew up being told that the reason homosexuality is seen as a sin by Christians is because the bible says so. This was enough for me to stand firm in my opposition to homosexuality and with a brief glance at the often-quoted "clobber" texts, it was easy to confirm these statements. However, as I began to take my study of the bible seriously, I noticed that a lot of what I had been taught about what the bible says about homosexuality was simply not true. This was my first realization of how easy it is to pick and choose verses from the bible to support any particular beliefs. In these posts, I will share some of the information I have learnt in the hope that you too will learn to take the bible seriously and not be afraid