The Bible is against it! That’s the thinking, but what happens, in reality, is endlessly sexually strange—as ‘queer’ as could be! Consider the career of Amy Grant.
Her dad’s side of the family had a knack for producing straight women with mannish features. Amy’s memoir recalls her Aunt Jean:
“She was beautiful in a rugged, tomboy sort of way, with thick, short hair, twinkling eyes, and a mischievous smile. My dad told me she had been a good athlete, a decent golfer and tennis player.”
Amy recalls her teenage years: “I was still playing neighborhood football and doing all my…
Ernest Cline’s narrator, Wade Watts, scorns all religion. He says: “The whole God thing is actually an ancient fairy tale that people have been telling one another for thousands of years.”
But I started to think Cline ditched one religion—to find another?
He doesn’t specify what religion it was, but the details are unmistakable. He recalls that his mother forbade the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. This is vintage Evangelicalism! In the 1980s, the religion was gripped by panic about demonism manifesting in rock music and fantasy.
The key narrative was the tragic tale of Patricia Pulling, whose son…
Max Lucado, the bestselling Christian author, wasn’t controversial in 2004 when arguing against gay marriage as akin to pedophilia, incest and bestiality, while putting in a good word for reparative therapy.
It was just being Evangelical?
It was a video sermon hosted by Washington National Cathedral, and not that big of a deal? Except now, there was a Change.org petition to cancel the date—owing to his earlier anti-gay comments.
The Episcopal clergy at the church did a dance over the matter, agonizing over the speech, and allowing it.
Lucado issued a letter that backtracks from his previous self.
Consider Billy Graham’s finger.
His finger accused the world of sin! But it was godlike. So many thousands came to “make a decision for Christ” at his famous rallies because they had been fingered.
Billy’s Christian story began with a traveling evangelist named Mordecai Ham pointing a finger. It’s in all the biographies. I’m reading a 1993 young adult biography, Billy Graham by Nathan Aaseng:
“He felt as though the finger of God was singling him out in front of all those people. Desperate to escape that terrible, accusing finger, he ducked behind a woman’s hat.”
A woman’s hat?
Come to find out, that was absurdly inaccurate. But I love learning about the history of Christians dealing with Bible manuscripts that are ‘different’.
Back in church, they didn’t tell me about that either.
She’s called the “mother” of Evangelicalism, and recalled on occasion, mostly in reference to her ‘boys’ as she called them. There was Billy Graham, who credited her “remarkable influence” on him, as Bill Bright said “no one has influenced my life more than Dr. Mears.”
If the faith was to become more associated with these guys, it seems the beehive had a queen.
But scholars recalled an unusual woman had presided over a shift in American Protestantism after World War II—the time when the common identity of ‘Evangelical’ was forming.
In church, one tends to get a G-rated version. But Bible scholars evoke a text alive with sexual details. Here’s ten that got my attention.
In the Bible, humans resemble God. This is the meaning of the line in Genesis: “made in the image of God” (1:26–28; 5:1–3; 9:6).
Christian tradition often explains this as meaning humans can reason or think. Except the ‘image’ language, as David J.A. Clines notes, refers to “a three-dimensional object.”
Being the “image of God” means we look like God.
As Benjamin Sommer notes in a study of the subject: “The God of the Hebrew…
At age fourteen she had ‘bad’ friends, especially a woman from whom, she wrote, “I learnt every kind of evil.” Alarmed at the relationship, her father forced her into a convent—a place for “girls like myself,” as she puts it, “although there were none there as depraved as I.”
Teresa of Ávila a.k.a. ‘Teresa of Jesus’, the Catholic saint who died in 1582, remains a global icon of sacred character, beloved across all Christianity. Her sexuality, for some reason, is not often discussed.
A 2019 academic biography by Carlos Eire has this:
“Teresa provides no details about these sins of…
I’m putting together what’s known of the love story of Carl Lentz and Ranin Karim. A man falls in love with a beautiful Palestinian woman. Except for the part about him being white — it’s nearly biblical.
So what’s the problem? That he’s married? That she’s Muslim?
He didn’t tell her he was a famous pastor at Hillsong, the well-known ‘hip’ megachurch. He was known throughout the usually stodgy Evangelical world for his unique appeal — sexy, fashion-conscious, Jesus-centered.
He told her he was a sports agent. He didn’t tell her he was married.
They began texting and FaceTiming, and…
Real facts, not “church facts.”