Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Maybe the Church Should Come Out

What follows are some cursory thoughts, it's certainly not an end all, be all conversation, but rather a lengthened version of Jared's morning coffee musings.
A lot comes from what I preached on Sunday and a lot also comes from the following Ted Talk, which I've found to be really interesting and perhaps helpful.

I think the church could stand to learn a little bit about death and resurrection from the LGBTQ community.

And by that, I mean the church should spend some time coming out.

I cannot speak for the whole community, but I can speak about what coming out was like for me.  And coming out felt an awful lot like death and resurrection.

When I came out, I had to let a lot of things I previously thought or wanted to believe about myself to death.  When I came out, I also got to have a lot of myself resurrected and restored into a new creation.

And while this is a long and interesting story, which I would be happy to share at a later time, I will skip to my main point, which is that the church should spend some time coming out, itself.

And by that, I mean the church needs to let go some ideas of what and who it is, let some ideas about itself die, so that God can resurrect the Body of Christ.  You know, that business that God has been in for 2000 years or so.

The church has been telling all sorts of nasty lies about itself, and none of them are really helping the Body of Christ live and thrive.

Lies that include:

  • We are a church that belongs in authority.
  • We are a church that has all the answers.
  • We are the owners of the exclusive path to salvation.
  • We are the church of the 1950s (ok, so maybe this one belongs to my denomination more than most.)
The list can go on and on.

But the point is, these lies need to go.  We need to stop clinging so tightly to them that we choke out any points for us to grow and be transformed into who God is calling us to be.

We need to come out, to stop trying to be those things, and start being who and whose we are, rooted in scripture, tradition, reason, and experience.

We need to stop being something we're not and start being who we have always been created to be.

And maybe, just maybe, when we start doing that, we'll find that we no longer are in a struggle to survive but find ourselves thriving.

That's probably enough rambling for a Tuesday morning.  I'm sure this conversation is one that can be held again and again and again.

Cause coming out is a process that you have to do over and over again.  Because who we are changes over time as we grow and transform.

So, maybe, just maybe, we should stop being afraid of it and learn to love it?

I know I have learned to love coming out.  Why can't the church?