Lazy-Day Link-a-palooza: OCD, Christian Jerks, Gender Equality, and Ethiopia

by Camille on December 4, 2012

I’ve pretty much ignored my Google Reader for the past month or so as I struggled to finish my last graduate school assignment. When I did write, I largely focused on book reviews as part of the launch team for Rachel Held Evan’s new one, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. However, I’ve spent moments here and there over the past few days catching up, and I missed some amazing posts. Here are a few for your reading pleasure.

what I want you to know about obsessive compulsive disorder, from Rage Against the Minivan

People so often say, “I have OCD” when describing how they like things in their place or become irritated with clutter. Being overly neat and orderly is not the same as having clinical obsessive compulsive disorder. I have a dear friend who struggles with this disorder, and I felt like I was reading her words in this post. This brave woman shares a glimpse into the disorder and gives hopeful advice for its sufferers.

Picture this anxiety disorder as cause and effect: you have an unwanted, intrusive, repetitive thought—and then you perform some ritual or action to provide yourself temporary relief.

Common themes of obsessions include worrying that you have harmed or will harm someone (purposely or not), recurrent doubt over your sexual orientation, unwanted blasphemous thoughts, upsetting sexual thoughts, contamination fears, a need for symmetry or exactness. Common compulsions include washing and cleaning, checking, counting, repeating certain prayers or phrases, confessing and seeking reassurance, arranging.

No pictures allowed, from It’s Almost Naptime

Missy is adopting an older child from Ethiopia after a LONG adoption journey. This post recounts her visit to the orphanage, and her words paint a more poignant picture than perhaps even a camera could manage.

And I’m sorry I can’t show you a picture of the bright sunny small room at the top of the stairs where the walls were lined with cribs. Even if I could, you couldn’t hear what I heard, which, aside from the caretakers chatting to each other, was silence.  Except for one chubby little girl who must have been new to the orphanage and therefore still mistakenly believed that if she cried, someone might come. She sat whimpering in her crib with a confused look on her face.

Why are Christians such jerks? from Stuff Christians Like – Jon Acuff

Jon says Christians are jerks because  humans are jerks, and God isn’t finished yet. He’s always working to make us more like His image; thus, no matter how far along we are in our faith journey, we should identify ourselves as “new-Christian” as opposed to “Christian.” Because we have a long way to go.

Salvation is not the same thing as sanctification.

We’re all just getting started.

But when someone says they are a “Christian,” you don’t look at them that way. You tend to assume they will be grace-filled, love-driven, servant-minded beacons of awesomeness. That would be like asking someone who had taken karate for a year if they were a black belt. Or asking a first-year medical student if they were ready to do a heart transplant.

NT Wright rightly reflects on the Church of England’s choice against women bishops, from Patheos

I’m of the belief that God can and does use women to preach, teach, and minister to His people. Over the past year, I’ve read numerous books and blog posts that have opened my eyes to how many denominations severely limit the roles of women in church.  I grew up in the Methodist church with a female pastor on staff for my entire childhood, so I took women’s roles for granted. Not anymore.

I pray for my sisters in other denominations that do not affirm women. The reasons are typically not rooted in good biblical hermeneutics  but reflect a sort of ‘picking-and-choosing’ that demonstrates the inconsistencies of hyper-literalism and attempted ahistorical approaches to exegesis. As I’ve made clear, one reason I take pride in my denomination, the Brethren in Christ, is that we ordain women bishops under the conviction that the Scriptures make no gender distinctions when it comes to being a leader within the church.

 Why we have to make a better case for gender equality in the Church, by Rachel Held Evans

Another response to the Church of England’s vote against women bishops.

I believe, with every ounce of my being, that patriarchy is a manifestation of a fallen, broken world and that a new creation in which “there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free, for all are one in Christ Jesus” began at the resurrection, an event first announced to the world by women. I believe that while the apostle Paul instructed some women not to teach, he encouraged others to prophesy, teach, and lead, and so we have to look at the epistles in their totality and in their context rather than lifting a few verses out to restrict women from preaching the gospel. 

In which I tell you the truth about telling the truth, by Sarah Bessey

For those whose first response to gay brothers and sisters is to “tell them the truth about their sin.”

No, I believe that tough love means going down deep, to battle our own selfishness, our own anger,  our own frustrations, our fears, our temptations to choose being right over being gracious, to give up on having the last word, to stop convincing by arguing and harsh invectives, pinches and pricks, to win at all costs.

Tough love means Christ will win in me.

The Calm in the Storm, from Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary

As Charlie and I are planning on pursuing foster-care adoption in the near future, I found this post incredibly uplifting.

So when people ask me if foster care was hard, I tell them yes. When they ask me if it was good, I tell them yes. And when they ask me if I’d do it again, I tell them abso-freaking-lutely! 
Because, well… because.
Because this is Mercy, come to life; that I offer my own hand to the weary.
Because this is Hope, believed; that I know one month of calm can change a lifetime.
Because this is Christ, in me; that I can raise my arms against a storm and say to the wind and the waves… “stop”.
And they will.
Addison Cooper December 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Very fun summary of why Christians are jerks. You’re right – we’re still works in progress, and I like the analogy of a kid who’s taken one year of karate not yet being a black belt. I think that the kid with one year of karate might think & pretend & talk like he’s a black belt. But he’s probably only 6 or 7 years old, so it’s cute. Sometimes we Christians think & pretend & talk like we’re black belts, when we’re not. Makes me remember that verse that says we shouldn’t think more highly of ourselves than we ought! But, we ought not to think lower than we ought either. Maybe we should just stop ranking ourselves!
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