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Harmony of Grace

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

Some Final Thoughts on Pride Month

This post brings an end to my Pride Month series of blog posts. Over the course of this last month, we have had an in-depth look at the six “clobber” passages that have been used to condemn homosexuality and LGBTQ+ people and why they don’t say what many tend to believe they do. I have also presented some of my thoughts and experiences that have led me to become an affirming Christian and pastor.  My main focus this month has been to dismantle the unhelpful perceptions that people have towards the LGBTQ+ community based on false or biased information they were given about the bible, God and Christianity. I hope to have shown why I believe the bible does not condemn same-sex orientation or same-sex couples in mutually-committed and consensual relationships. Not only do I believe that the bible does not condemn same-sex relationships, I strongly believe that a faithful reading of the bible supports same-sex relationships and can give us wisdom and tools for healthy same-sex relationships

What else does the New Testament say about Homosexuality?

  So far in this Pride Month series of blog posts we have studied three Old Testament passages (Genesis 19:1-29, Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13) and one New Testament passage (Romans 1:18-32) that have been used to condemn homosexuality and LGBTQ+ people. We have learnt how these passages were actually about gang rape, inhospitality, priestly restrictions against the blurring of boundaries, and an exposure of Jewish prejudices in order to unite the Church. In today’s post, we are going to look at the final two clobber passages, both which are also found in the New Testament. These are in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:10. Let’s read them now: Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) For the sexually immoral,

“Love the sinner, hate the sin” and “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” - Challenging some unhelpful perceptions and catch phrases thrown at LGBTQ+ people.

There are many common phrases that are thrown around by non-affirming people that may be well-intentioned, but can be extremely painful for LGBTQ+ people to hear. Some of these may even be believed to originate in the bible. Whether you are personally affirming of LGBTQ+ people and relationships or not, I am sure that we would all like to be more loving towards each other so please take these reflections to heart and perhaps think twice about the words that you use when talking to LGBTQ+ people (in fact, a good rule of thumb is to be careful with our words no matter who we are talking to - not least because many LGBTQ+ people are still living in the closet and may not disclose how they feel to you). “Love the sinner, hate the sin” This phrase is commonly quoted by non-affirming Christians to claim that they still love LGBTQ+ people, even though they “disagree with their lifestyle” (another very harmful phrase to avoid). This phrase is declared so strongly by some that you would swea