Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tomorrows Reflection

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the evilmeister Dick Cheney in a blog I called "The Dark Side". In that blog, I was discussing my desire to see Obama give the green light to prosecution of the Bush administration for war crimes and torture.

To make my point, I reflected on the Biblical premise of Jesus as a "pacifist" and I wondered allowed if even Jesus wouldn't eventually get angry when there was extreme injustice. I was reminded of one of the more well-known passages that describe Jesus becoming angry at the moneychangers who had set up shop in the temple, overturning their tables and throwing them out. I am hoping that Obama becomes fed up with Cheney's constant criticism, when he has no moral leg to stand on, and allow the attack dogs to go after him for his role in torture and war.

In that section, I cited, and linked to, a website called "Tomorrow's Reflection" blogged by teaching pastor, Jeremy Jernigan, where he had included a post about Jesus as a pacifist.

Not long after I published my post, I received an email from Rev. Jeremy himself who had noticed that I had linked to his website and he then check out Gray Shades.

Here it is:

Dr. Hardin,

My name is Jeremy and I’m a teaching pastor at Central Christian Church in Arizona ( I’m also the author of the blog,, which you referenced in your post called “The Dark Side” on March 15. I’m not sure how you found my blog, but as a result of your link I found yours. All of this to say that I would be interested in beginning a dialogue with you about the issues that you are passionate about. I’ll admit that we probably approach the topic of homosexuality from very different viewpoints. However, I don’t personally know many openly gay people and I would like to know more about your perspective and better understand how you see things. I believe that this is a topic that the Church (collectively) hasn’t handled well and I believe will be an even greater issue in the future.

You may be interested in hearing a pastor’s perspective or at least sharing your thoughts with one. I have no desire to preach to you or try and get you to think differently, I’m simply offering the chance to learn from each other. I realize this email is probably catching you totally off guard and for that I apologize. If you have no desire to talk with me about this, then no worries. If you do, then I’d be glad to learn more and try and understand a different perspective than mine.

I was impressed with (and curious about) his sincerity and honesty so I agreed to a dialogue that he could post on his website since I sensed a good opportunity to try to break down a few barriers between good Christians and good gays.

So far, two pieces of our dialogue have appeared on Tomorrow's Reflection and I was very pleased to see an overwhelmingly positive response so far.

In the second dialogue, I sent Jeremy a letter that I was asked to write for a small church in Pennsylvania by the pastor with whom I volunteered on the Gulf Coast with the Red Cross after Katrina. In the letter, I gave a fairly detailed accounting of my experiences growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home in the rural South and my spiritual evolution. It's pretty long, but there have been about 12 comments and I'm very encouraged at the lack of hostility or toxic judgement.

Rev. Jeremy seems like a pretty brave guy to me. Kudos to him.

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