The Beautiful Mind Effect

It’s still there.

I’m loving my wife just a fully and faithfully as I know how. I’m avoiding anything and everything possible that would derail my integrity and destroy our relationship. Our peace, our laughter, our enjoyment, our intimacy is paramount to me. But in spite of all that awesome life I have with her…

It’s still there.

I’m trying my best to show my children that I love their mother and am deeply committed to our marriage. It is my hope that they will see and realize that I haven’t given up on us, on them, or on a happy future. But in spite of that…

It’s still there.

My mental state is one of sustained peace like none than I have experienced in a long time. My job situation is more stable, Our living arrangement is more agreeable. I’ve embraced who I am and what it takes to be contented with this crazy life that is mine. And it spite of that…

It’s still there.

My faith journey is one that is most interesting. I’ve come to believe that much of what I used to call my faith is simply organizational junk and mythical religiosity. I’m still sorting through many things, but I’ve stripped myself down to the bare bones of the basic tenets of the Christian faith. There are WAY more “non essentials” now in my faith than there used to be. But, in spite of all that…

It’s still there.

For as long as my memory goes back…the same now as at age 7 or 8…it’s still there.

The sight of a cute/handsome/hot guy catches my attention…and my mind wants to take me for a ride.

Ummm…<gulp>…focus!!

I’m calling it “The Beautiful Mind Effect”.

A Beautiful Mind is an awesome movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connelly. It is an absolutely engrossing depiction of the true life of Dr. John Nash, Princeton Mathematics Professor and Nobel Prize Winner, who happened to be a paranoid schizophrenic. In the final moments of the movie, Nash (portrayed by Crowe), in response to an inquiry of a colleague regarding his condition, said “I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them. Like a diet of the mind, I just choose not to indulge certain appetites; like my appetite for patterns; perhaps my appetite to imagine and to dream.”

Those really attractive guys that pass before my eyes are there. Really there…in flesh and blood. That’s the main difference between me and Nash. However, I am learning that my mind, like his, must be on a perpetual diet, I must choose not to indulge those “certain appetites.”

And I just want you to know how very difficult that is.

Very.

At times, it’s a hellish experience.

Because…my attraction to those guys…

Is still there.

– Trevor

Are We All Selectively Pro-Life People?

Good question! Think about it…

john pavlovitz

PX*7970380

Life.

At times we all find ourselves compelled to vigorously defend it, while at other times showing complete and willful ambivalence toward it. There is for each of us, an alarm that goes off in our hearts during those occasions when we feel urgency about protecting the living or passion about grieving the dead—but we’re also fairly inconsistent in our burdens.

Lately I’ve come to believe that we are all pro-life, only selectively so.

Some people expend their energies fighting for the dignity of the unborn in the womb, viewing them as inherently God-designed, yet they will show complete disdain for that life if it later manifests itself as a gay teenager whose simple existence they now see as a sinful abomination. The “sanctity of life” then seems far less a concern.

Others will find their hearts terribly ravaged by the shooting death of a single lion in Africa and driven to craft moving social media eulogies, yet be relatively unmoved by a…

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My Christmas (in July) List

An unfailing sense of trust to invade my wife’s heart and mind.

A confidence that I am loved by my brothers.

The vitality of a relevant faith community.

No more change for a while…I need a little more routine.

A connection with my mother that is not judgemental.

Success, fulfillment, and happiness for my children…both the straight and the gay ones.

That Christians would stop “unchristianizing” each other.

That this gay man and his straight wife will experience the most blessed of marriages.

That when I attend church, the couple standing in front of me won’t be feeling and squeezing each other’s butts.

That I will be able to offer someone some help for their life challenges.

That I will be loved…for who I am in spite of what I am.

-Trevor

On Learning To Love Offensively (For Those Weary From The Fight)

Simply….powerful!

john pavlovitz

Person in field

This is getting simpler.

I’ve recently found a clearing of sorts; a place where my mind and my spirit are finding peace and rest no matter how loud and ugly things get—though it wasn’t always this way.

For a long time I let the angry, mean-spirited, violent noise get the best of me. That happens to so many good people out here trying to change things, trying to care about stuff that matters, trying to help build the world they wish to see.

Spend enough time in the thick of the fight and you become conditioned to it, poisoned by its cynicism and contempt, hardened by its continual cruelty. Face the world in a battle posture long enough and you lose the ability to live any other way.

Too many people can only function if they have a villain to war with, a cause to rail against, an evil to condemn.

I’m conscientiously objecting to that fruitless war these days…

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Roster of Hate

Wow!

GregComesOut

Roster of Hate

Thanks to R.L. Stollar for calling out prominent fundamentalists and evangelicals who have promoted Doug Wilson’s odious rant in which he argues that  supporting same sex marriage is a far more serious problem than supporting SLAVERY. Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s bring back the good old days of slavery, as long as we don’t have to put up with two men getting married. It’s crap like this that gives me so little hope for the church, or at least fundevangelicalism. The list:

  • Doug Wilson, apologist for slavery and child abuse
  • Joe Carter, Gospel Coalition
  • Eric Teetsel, Manhattan Declaration
  • Justin Taylor, Crossway
  • Mindy Belz, World Magazine
  • John Stonestreet, Summit Ministries
  • Brian Broderson, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa
  • John Lindell, James River Church
  • Bart Gingerich, Evangelical Channel at Patheos
  • James Patrick Riley

Read Stollar’s excellent post at Everyone Who Promoted Doug Wilson’s “Gay Marriage is a Far More Serious Problem Than…

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Better to be an alive atheist than a dead Christian (Joey’s story)

A very good read worthy of your time.

Ben Irwin

Enlight1Today I’m featuring a guest post from my friend Jessy Briton Hamilton, about his friend Joey and his experience being shunned by the church for his sexual orientation. 

Shortly after reading Joey’s story, I saw Julie Rodgers’ post describing her experience of rejection. It astounds me that some traditionalists were not more supportive of Julie, if what they say about holding their convictions with love is really true. As a celibate gay Christian, she’s played by their rules. She’s done everything they ask. Yet her experience at the hands the church has forced her to ask some difficult questions:

The fire I’ve come under (publicly and privately) as I’ve sought to live into the traditional ethic causes me to question whether this is about genuinely held beliefs or straight up homophobia. I say this with nothing but sadness: the kind of discrimination my friends and I have experienced as celibate gays makes me lean toward the latter.

Neither Julie nor…

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