Congregations that open themselves to full participation by those in the LGBTQ community are likely to begin hearing the other side of the story they have missed for so long, and that story includes a lot of hidden pain.
While they no doubt have inflicted trauma on others, white evangelical Christians in America also experience trauma because of the gap between how they were told the world should work and the way it actually is working.
Oh, the dilemmas of pastoral ministry. Here I sit, looking at a beautiful piece of art for Sunday’s order of worship, trying to determine whether to cover the nakedness of the man helped by the Good Samaritan.
This is not one of those preacher stories that ends with someone saying the sinner’s prayer and getting baptized. But redemption traveled with us that night as we talked about life, pain and hope.
When faith leaders lament the difficulty of keeping Republicans and Democrats together in the same church, they miss the bigger issue.
Those of us who have the most to learn are the ones who seldom have been victims of racism ourselves, who think we know what racism means but in reality do not know the definition. What scares me is the seemingly vast number of Christians who know the definition and simply don’t care.
To be presented the Body of Christ by a transwoman created a role reversal I had not anticipated. As a pastor, I am accustomed to being the one serving the elements. Today, I was the one who received. And in that moment, I was changed yet again.
We, too, live in perilous times that will define us for all time. Will history remember us as protectors of ourselves, our institutions and our borders? Or as protectors of God’s children, as people who truly believe O’Flaherty’s motto: “God has no country.”
It seems America’s cultural divide has reached such a bitter impasse that the Golden Rule no longer applies. We’ve short-circuited it by jumping to the conclusion that “others” are not like us enough for this sage wisdom to apply.