A while back a conversation started with a friend on twitter. The conversation was sparked from mine and sweeties “soapbox sermon” we gave earlier this summer at the community we belong to—Solomon’s Porch.
In case you haven’t read or listened to it, here is the short version:
- We are happy to have found a community of faith to call home.
- At the Porch, we are openly who we are (we’re out) and feel welcomed and valued for who we are.
- Though the community—Solomon’s Porch—does not have a flag or sign hanging out front stating how they feel about LGBT people, one way or another, we feel safe, happy and like we are important contributors to the community.
- Go read the rest here if you would like.
So here is the deal. I got some loving push back. I will be posting most of the conversation here on the blog (with permission) because I find it challenging and I have spent a great deal of time thinking about what my friend has said. I want to wrestle out loud with my friend, and engage my community of faith in the conversation. So please, join me, jump in. I will post it in parts, and will be looking forward to what you have to say.
Part 1: My friend offers this email in response to the sermon.
i started this out as a post on your blog but it got a little long.
plus, it’s something that’s on my heart but i didn’t necessarily want
it to take the focus off of the really great message you shared at the
porch the other night. if you want to post this on your blog either a
comment or in some other fashion you can feel free! or if not that’s
fine as well.
thanks for sharing what you said last night. first, may i say that i
am so happy that you have found a home and a spiritual community that
fits you and you feel safe in.
i, too, agree that it’s not about having a rainbow flag in the church,
it’s not about the stickers or having a church that is predominantly
queer. like you said church is about a community of people growing
together and breaking bread together. it’s not vital that everyone
believe the same things.
but may i gently push you a bit?
i think that sometimes when we find a church that feels like home we
can overlook some of the larger issues that come into play. while you
have found a home that you feel safe and welcome in, there is real
trouble with a church that won’t state, without hedging, that they are
queer affirming. when i hear from doug in response to the question “is
your church queer friendly?” “we have queers here,
and we’re friendly” (which is what he said to me when i asked him
that) what that says to me is: “sure there are gay people here. and i
refuse to take a stand on that issue because i don’t want to push
anyone away.” and that is not okay with me anymore.
for some of us we are settled in our queerness and don’t need it to be
affirmed. it doesn’t have to be the topic of sermons or in the hymns.
we don’t need there to be a gay support group or social outings.
however, i am no longer willing to be in communion with people who
won’t take a stand for the oppressed. if a church can’t come out as a
supporter and ally of queer people i think they actually do MORE harm
than people like fred phelps. which sounds harsh, but let me explain:
with fred i know exactly what i’m getting. i know he hates me. i know
he thinks i’m going to hell. and because he is so vocal about it i can
There will be a second part to my friends message, to be continued tomorrow…
(feel free to chime in at any time)