This question – whether or not anyone can believe in God without reward – drives the work and witness of so many of my LGBTQ faith heroes who practice Christianity despite being rejected by and cut off from “the true Church.”
Purity codes and other forms of Christian cleanliness have excluded people for centuries, keeping out entire communities who did not follow one way of living, one way of interpreting scripture and one way that works for one group of people – namely, those with all the power.
The theological assertion of God’s inclusive nature is used to justify the church’s inclusion of gay persons into the full life of the church. Could not another person, equally sincere, conclude from scripture that God is not affirming of sexual relationships between same sex persons?
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.
When it comes to honoring the sacredness of our LGBTQ siblings’ sexualities, we have often been guilty of painting Christ using monochrome colors of exclusivity, narrowness and fear rather than the vibrant colors of inclusivity, expansion and love.
My friend describes herself as “barely Christian.” It was what happened at church, as folk poured out judgment on persons she loved, that made her question what it meant to be a Christian.
If the church of Jesus Christ is to be relevant in our mission, if we are to be agents of God’s reconciling love, we’ve got to take a hard look in the mirror. And in God’s grace to muster the courage to say we were wrong.
Transgender identity is about who a person is. It’s not about who they love or what actions they take that might be sinful in the sense that we all sin. It is about their fundamental being as humans created by God in God’s image – an image that God has declared to be good.
Sexologist William Stayton said biology doesn’t support a literal interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve to explain the difference between the sexes last week at a JUST SEX Conference sponsored by the Alliance of Baptists. Stayton, professor emeritus…