July 15, 2007

Brighten The Corner Where You Are

Don't be content to sit on the back pew. Don't be afraid to have your voice heard in your church. If your church doesn't want to hear your voice because you are gay, find a place that does. That's what I gleaned out of an excellent essay on Whosoever by Lori Heine.

Most of us are searching for a place where our unique, individual talents can be made useful. We want to be recognized. We need to be appreciated. And so we search on and on, following the passion for Christ that God has placed in our hearts. We are so accustomed to being unwelcome that when we find a church in which we are welcome, the pressure we feel to go along to get along - even if it compromises much of what we believe - can be overwhelming.

Those of us who choose to stand up for orthodoxy and tradition, within a church or denomination that welcomes us (and thinks that ought to be enough), can find ourselves plunked down smack on the opposite side of the fence from those who support our inclusion. We may be driven, by conscience, to stand beside the very people who oppose our welcome. Our usual allies may react as if we have betrayed them. What all too often occurs to nobody else is that, for GLBT Christians to have genuine freedom of worship, we must follow our convictions regardless of who else in the church likes it and who doesn't. We owe our loyalty, after all, not to any particular faction within the church, but to God.

Wherever in the church's theological and political spectrum you happen to decide you belong, make sure you make your membership matter. Make your voice heard. Don't let anybody shame or guilt you into compliance with anything you cannot support in good conscience or respect. The Holy Spirit may indeed take you somewhere very far from the tradition in which you were raised. But it makes a great deal of difference whether you go there because it genuinely seems right to you, or whether it is because you have been made, by those whose acceptance of you is strictly conditional, to feel that you must in order to please them.

Click here to read the rest of the essay on Whosoever.

We are ALL an important part of God's kingdom, and he has plans for how He wants to use ALL of us in his Kingdom. Seek out those plans and find the place where He wants to use you.

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