Dec 26th: St Stephen, Martyr (Acts 6:8-10,7:54-59)

Today we remember St Stephen, the first martyr. Just as Stephen some of his hearers who disliked his words, but could not counter the truth of what he said, were “infuriated and ground their teeth at him“. Stephen, however persisted in proclaiming the truth – and paid the price.

Martyrdom of Stephen The_Stoning_of_St_Stephen_-_1603-04

Countless gay men, lesbians and trans people have similarly encountered anger, hatred and violence  for living lives of sexual or gender honesty, and even more for speaking publicly about the morality and integrity of our lives. Continue reading

Bashed: Queer Martyrdom (Philippians 1:12-14)

I’m glad to announce to you, sisters and brothers, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the Good News. Consequently it has become clear throughout the Praetorium and everywhere else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of our sisters and brothers in Christ have been encouraged to speak the word of God more fearlessly.
                It’s true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others do so with the right intention. These latter act out of love, aware that I am here in the defense of the Good News. The others, who proclaim Christ for selfish or jealous motives, don’t care if they make my chains heavier to bear.
                All that matters is that in any and every way, whether from specious or genuine motives, Christ is being proclaimed!
                   Philippians 1:12-1
Paul writes from jail. His crime? Being born a christian, or at least being born again a christian. Paul was jailed because he lived out of his center. Being true to his own self-identity Paul couldn’t help but feel and live as he did. Born again in Christ, it was not a choice but a compelling inner compass that led Paul into a life contrary to national laws and natural schemes (resurrections are not a part of the natural order of things). Paul paid the price – imprisonment and ultimately death.
Paul considered his jail time an honor as it resulted in the love of God being spread even more vigorously than before. It did not matter if people were speaking maliciously and malevolently. What mattered was that a way into the heart of the Sacred was being articulated and shared with those who were unaware.
We call Paul and others like him martyrs as they paid the ultimate price in giving their lives for their beliefs. Martyrs are esteemed by all expressions of faith for their blood cemented the various paths into the heart of the Sacred. As a person of faith I join the ranks of those giving homage to martyrs.
Continue reading at The Bible in Drag
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