… as long as you think and speak and act and believe exactly as they do.
Thank you, homogeneous white men.
It’s a cartoon, but that’s really the attitude you see from a lot of church leaders. The rebels who buck the trend quickly get branded as unChristian.
That intolerance in the face of dissent is a scar the church has to deal with. Just look at this comment I saw on a Christian blog yesterday. The lady in question was explaining a “rule” she’s learned about blogging:
… Don’t publicly disagree with your church’s teaching on an issue, especially if you are a church member, you or your spouse are fairly “visible,” the church takes firm black & white positions on those issues, and they believe in church discipline.
For me, this means I cannot write about the role of women, homosexuality, Rob Bell, who is “really saved”, or whether doctrine matters for our eternal state. They didn’t even like my post on sex within marriage — that my husband reviewed and approved.
I don’t know how anyone could continue being a part of such an awful church. I don’t know why any church would deny members the opportunity to be open about who they are and what they think… or to “forbid” public disagreements with the church’s actions.
Stronger groups — both inside and outside the religious world — ought welcome people like that.
Churches that demand inflexibility sound like hell to me.