A Thread for Positive News in Change in the Churches
I thought it might be nice to have a thread devoted to positive news about changes in the Churches. Another of the Forums I belong to posted this today and I'm sharing it with you because it warms my heart and it might yours too.
Last January, I attended a conference for gay Christians and met this lady from Reno, Nevada. The weird thing about her was that she was straight, but just felt like God was calling her to make a difference in the church when it comes to their attitudes and actions toward the gay community. She has not wavered in that mission, and the most recent result of that is that the editor of OutReno has invited her to write a column for their monthly mag. Initially, the column will appear bi-monthly, but will turn monthly in January.
Below is the first of those articles which appeared in the September publication. I found it to be incredibly encouraging, and thought it might be nice to pass it on to my fellow Roadies. She has given blanket permission to share the articles with anyone, so if you know someone else who might benefit from it, feel free to share it around.
Five Simple Words
I’ve realized lately that five simple words open the door to
conversation with people who might otherwise be content to do the
pleasantries and move on. “I am a social activist”, I say. Is it global
warming, immigration, the homeless, or the handicapped? What is it that
drive my passions? Certainly each of these topics warrant my concerns.
My trigger, however, is the gay community. From a time I cannot
pinpoint, I have cared that bigotry does exist towards my gay friends.
Years ago, a Native American lesbian with whom I have a very close
relationship said, “I am considered the lowest of the low in society.”
I felt her pain, I feel her pain. In November , I sat in a friend’s
dining room watching the election results as FOX News posted the gay
marriage results state by state. He spewed out, “that’s what’s wrong
with America, the gays are ruining the American family”. Let’s ignore
his own adultery that ruined his American family. Rather, let’s leer at
Raf and Tim’s 17 year relationship. They knew on their first date that
they wanted to spend their lives together. They “got married” one year
later and moved in together. Let’s also look at two lesbian friends of
mine who have been together for 14 years sharing love, faithfulness and
respect behind closed doors, because being gay invalidates their belief
system to many fellow Christians. This straight girl longs for much of
what I see that these two couples share.
What is wrong with America and the rest of the world? If I got to elect
one dream candidate next November, I would elect President Jesus. His
platform is mercy, compassion, human dignity, justice and hospitality.
But, He is not running; He expects His followers to do the work for Him
. In the arena of social justice for the LGBTQ community, an accurate
picture of His heart and agenda have not been reflected.
I am sorry that this distortion has hurt people. In January, I went to
the Gay Christian Conference, sponsored by gaychristian.net, for four
days. I was the first straight Christian to join them in their three
years of meeting. Was I going to see for myself “ what is wrong with
America?” Surely not in the way in which the rhetorical question was
posed to me in November. I did not know my purpose, I just knew I
needed to go listen , meet with and learn from my gay brothers and
sisters. One night late, during the please-hear-my -pain-and-journey
open mike, the Jesus I say I follow took over. I publicly apologized
for the rejection of gay children by their parents, for rejection of
the gay community by the straight community and rejection of the gay
church by the straight church. I did not just say I was sorry, I was
blessed with the associated pain God feels over each of these issues;
this made the sorrow very real to me.
Healing began that night for hundreds of people; healing that I want to
be involved in, as a Jesus person. I see hatred swirling downwardly,
hatred between two groups I care about: the Christian community and the
gay community. Neither may be honest enough to say the word “hate”, but
I am going to adhere to the Jesus definition which basically says, if
it ain’t total love, then it is hate. I may be one person now, but I
flow and move in many circles in our community and beyond. I choose to
be as stalwart as Tank Man, who in June of 1989 stood in Tienanmen
Square, in front of 17 People’s Republic army tanks. He is my personal
hero, standing there in his work clothes with his grocery bag and in
his silence; he said before the watching world “stop this destruction,
stop this craziness.”
I have raised two wonderful children and a new book has begun for my
life. I do not like bigotry. That is one thing wrong with America, with
humanity……I want to stand in my personal Tienanmen Square each day. I
may only be a small plot of land now, but I know the passion and truth
God has put in me will extend beyond what I can see.
I make effort to speak to the two side of the chasm. To my gay friends,
I say “can we re-look at the Jesus I know, not the misrepresented one,
the hateful one?” Come talk to me ,or go see my friend Denise Cordova
at Light of the Soul Christian Ministries. They meet every Sunday at 7
pm at the First Congregational Church on Sunnyside. She is a married,
lesbian, Christian pastor. That may wrinkle a few noses. Good.
Wherever you sit in the discussion, if you meet me and I say ‘I am a
social activist”, be ready to engage in a conversation of mercy,
compassion, human dignity, and hospitality ala my Leader. You may not
share my tenets, that’s okay. But, let’s talk, and begin to move
towards dispelling the hatred, the fear, the misunderstandings. I want
my Christian lesbian friends to have the freedoms I have in the church
and in public. I want the two groups that I care about to experience
the Jesus I know . I will stand daily in my work clothes with my
grocery bags in front of the tanks of bigotry and say “stop this
destruction, stop this craziness.”
There's hope and we need to celebrate it.
"One must live as if it would be forever, and as if one might die each moment. Always both together."
--Alexander the Great [Mary Renault, The Persian Boy]
"Never doubt that a small group of commited citizens can change the world: indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
It is always a bright ray of hope when straight people realize the damage that has been done to gay people and start taking a stand for change. I applaud this woman and hope that her message is shouted out in the churches and becomes a beacon of hope.
If everyone cared and nobody cried, if everyone loved and nobody lied, if everyone shared and swallowed their pride, we'd see the day when nobody died. IF EVERYONE CARED/Nickelback