We are talking about sexuality in my church. My Church, that is. We are (again) coming to a time of voting on the issue of allowing (or not allowing) GLBTQ folks to be ordained to the ministry. Ho hum, been there, done that before.
Because I am constitutionally incapable of saying NO, I found myself not too long ago helping to facilitate a town hall for folks from a bunch of different churches (though, not my church-- it was not my district), to be in conversation about these issues. As I drove through the grey afternoon (working in dinner with a dear colleague who is in that town) I reflected that, this could be fun-- the host church is known as being pretty progressive, and I was imagining there would be a lot of support for us there.
Uh, not in my small group.
It has been a long time since I had a theological conversation with someone in which I was described as being "something the devil himself is using to destroy the church." Actually, this is the first time that has ever happened. To be fair... the gentleman so describing me did not know he was talking about me. He also said, disdainfully, "It took me years to learn that, when people say the word inclusive, they really mean homosexuals." And his lip curled. His lip curled!
OK, I'm being a drama queen. Out of a group of five, three of us were on the side of the angels, as I once heard it described by a certain seminary president. And two were-- well, calling me an instrument of evil. (Not unlike Barack Obama has been described on occasion.) No, that's a bald-faced lie. One called me an instrument of evil, and the other merely said I wasn't the church's biggest problem-- there was pornography, war, child sexual abuse.
Hey, guys. Here's a clue. I love Jesus. I try to follow him. I am faithful to my commitments, including those to my children, my church, and my Beloved. I pay my taxes, and my house is not an eyesore. I try to conserve energy, and I recycle. I give a tenth of my income to the church I serve, and I give to other charities on top of that. I challenge myself to live according to the dictates of the gospel-- Matthew 25 comes to mind. I thank you for thinking pornography, war and child sexual abuse are bigger problems for society than I am. I agree with you. I don't think I'm an agent of evil. I think I'm on God's team-- maybe not the clean-up batter, or the star relief pitcher, but a good, solid .250 hitter who can be relied upon to catch the pop-ups to right field. All I ask is the opportunity to stay in the game.