Ten Things Christians Can Learn From The Queer Community (In Honor Of Reconciling In Christ Sunday)

Ten Things Christians Can Learn From The Queer Community (In Honor Of Reconciling In Christ Sunday) January 29, 2022

 

  1. You’re not really “inclusive” if you use inclusivity to gain power and prestige rather than make yourself vulnerable. Sometimes this is called “rainbow-washing,” when corporations use the flag of inclusion to make themselves appear more progressive and attract a larger market-share. But solidarity with oppressed communities means entering into the spaces of oppression and risking suffering the same kinds of exclusion those excluded have experienced. In other words, if you say you have a few gay friends but you don’t want your friends at the golf course to ask you why your church is becoming the “gay church,” you aren’t really being inclusive.
  2. It’s hard to over-state how much human harm is caused specifically by the exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people from their churches. Because human sexuality and gender identity is so close to the bone, so central to who we are, rejection for who we are cuts very deep. Homophobic churches like to use language like “gay lifestyle” to distance themselves from the reality that they are rejecting people for who they are. They want to portray it as a “choice.” But this kind of language is hate speech, full stop. 
  3. If you belong to a church that says they are welcoming of all, but then excludes those in same-gender relationships or of differing gender identities from serving in church leadership, preaching, teaching Sunday school, etc., then your welcome is fake. It’s a bait and switch. Additionally, if you are straight and a member of these churches you can’t claim you are inclusive, even if in your personal life you stand for LGBTQIA causes. Your financial contributions and membership in these churches actively support exclusion. Either actively and continually challenge the church leadership, or leave, or stop claiming you support inclusion.
  4. Let’s be honest. The whole heterosexual-normative and gender-binary thing is a modernist fiction. Just read the Bible for a more diverse view. The Ethiopian Eunuch who took Christianity back to Ethiopia was on-binary. As far as we can tell Jesus and Paul were both Ace (Asexual). Then we have Naomi and Ruth. David and Nathan. Abraham and Solomon and many others were polyamorousl. Which I guess makes David potentially pansexual. And that isn’t even getting into the eschatological and theological gender-bending concepts of the church as the Bride of Christ.
  5. You know who understands new identities and new names as well as anyone, and can help us understand the experience of Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, and Saul to Paul? Trans people!
  6. You know who has experienced significant rejection and persecution, and yet have found ways to build identity and community in spite of it, just like the early Christian church? LGBTQIA people!
  7. You might ask yourself, as I have sometimes been asked, “What if we become known as the ‘gay church’?” And I’m like, well it’s about damn time. I mean you can find thousands of churches in Arkansas alone who hate queer people. How about just a few churches who live in such solidarity with queer people that the church is perceived as the queer church?
  8. But also, you know who wants to be a part of queer church? Straight people! Because they know the joy and wisdom LGBTQIA+ people bring to church organizing and life. And those who really live in solidarity aren’t afraid to be perceived as queer just because they have queer siblings in Christ.
  9. Even very recently in churches are that are LGBTQIA+ affirming, churches have still lacked adequate resources for queer youth. I could hold a gathering of the youth just from our church who had to wait to come out until they were in their 20s, and they’re still in their 20s. The emerging moment is a moment to actually support youth in their identity discernment, so they don’t have to hide, and the added bonus is more authentic and open conversations about sexuality and gender in the church.
  10. Rainbows. Rainbows are awesome.

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