4 Comments

  1. Jon Heckerman

    I remember a lengthy study conducted in the late 1970’s, by one of our predecessor bodies, concerning the role of LGBT people in our church. To perhaps oversimplify, their conclusion was that such is how some people are and we should seek to discern to discover and use their gifts to build up the earthly body of Christ. This went well with my experience of having gotten to know people of all sexual orientations in my college days and finding both good and bad individuals across the spectrum, much as I had been raised to recognize life is regarding race and gender. Soon, however, that study was swept under the proverbial rug and the witch hunts and rule changing began and continued as our denomination took its present form.
    Over the years I worked with and got to know people of all sexual orientations in the hospitality industry. We spoke of many things, as friends do, and sometimes I felt ashamed to affirm my participation in a church body which would deny full rights to those I knew to be striving to and succeeding in living moral lives.
    Finally, I saw our denomination vote in favor of that which I had seen as a better course for so many years. And now, it saddens my heart to hear others whom I also count as friends say that the body I love has become apostate for increasing its inclusiveness. It saddens my heart to hear them say that my approach to scripture which allows me to recognize how God calls both men and women and members of all races to full participation is flawed with regard to certain people. It saddens my heart to hear those whose arguments I may not accept but still appreciate in our discussions urge either a strange movement toward a body with two sets of rules at the same time or toward division.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Jon, for speaking from your heart on this painful issue. I appreciate you sharing from your personal experiences and relationships–and for sharing some about your journey in the church. We can all keep praying that God will keep working on all of us so that we’ll know a glimpse of the kingdom when we see it!

      Reply
      1. Edna Bailey

        How I appreciated your thoughts and how much it is the desire of my heart that no matter what side of the issue we are, we can live together and be church. I believe it is a desire of God’s heart also.
        How much more effective we would be for God if we would put our energies to what unites us–that being God, in Christ Jesus, by the power of his Holy Spirit, and loving with God’s longsuffering love.
        Why do we not realize that the enemy of our souls takes great delight in dividing us? We talk and talk and debate and waste energy that could be put to loving God and loving others as we love ourselves. I’m grateful that God works in us in spite of our narrow short-sightedness–but how much more he coud do if we would let the things that divide us remain on the back burner–and work towards the true Kingdom of God. I can understand why some people refused to become involved in the organized church. More than once I’ve wanted to pull away myself–but I don’t think that’s the answer either. Thank you again. I find your thinking refreshing.

        Reply
        1. Marcia

          Thank you, Edna. And your thoughts, too, are refreshing and edifying for me. We need each other–and your decision to keep desiring and seeking out community is inspiring to me and to others I am sure.

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