I haven’t written anything in the past few weeks. And oh, there has been a lot to write about. Hurricane Harvey, the ongoing onslaught of policies from this political administration, The Nashville Statement.
Yeah, on Monday during Hurricane Harvey, a group of powerful conservative evangelical leaders thought it would be great timing to inject a damaging and harmful document into the world concerning LGBQT+. Really? Right now? That’s what they thought was good leadership?
But the answer is yes; they chose to bring that to the world this past week.
Thankfully there are so many others who quickly stood up against it, and I proudly signed Christians United for LGBT+ because I will always do whatever I can do to stand for full and free equality for all.
It’s also made me think a lot about those of us who have unraveled out of conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism and are trying to find our way forward. Who used to be some part of the tribe who wrote this document. Who used to believe some of the things that that document professes. Who used to think that doctrine and right belief bound people together. Who used to hang on every word that a leader in authority shared. Who still feels the magnitude of the power block they used to hold (even though it is starting to crumble).
It was part of a culture we are no longer part of, and it’s important to avoid giving any group of people that kind of power over us ever again.
Yes, it’s crucial to stand against the Nashville Statement because of the true ugliness of the document and the harm it can do to my friends and family.
But it is also a reminder that it doesn’t really matter what they or anyone else says.
I know what direction I need to keep walking.
I don’t need all the right words and all the right defense and all the right anything.
I know what God has stirred in the deep places of my heart over this last decade and that’s what I need to listen to.
This is my heart for all of you who are in the middle of that tension and trying to find your way:
You don’t need to have all the right words.
You don’t need to defend your position.
You don’t need to make anyone see anything.
You don’t need an articulated reason why you know you can no longer follow that kind of teaching.
You don’t need to explain what sometimes can’t be explained.
You don’t need to spend energy on people who want to engage in scriptural toe-to-toes where nothing fruitful ever comes of it.
You don’t need their approval—whoever “their” is.
But I do believe, in every fiber of my being, that you have to listen to God’s stirring in your heart and follow it.
You may not have the words, but your heart feels clear.
You know you don’t want that kind of toxicity in your life.
You know you just can’t keep having the same conversations because they aren’t going to get you anywhere new.
You know that you want to live a life of faith that is filled with freedom and mystery and diversity.
You know you want to follow Jesus into places you feel called to go.
You know you want to live in the tension of paradox instead of trying to have everything all figured out.
You know you want to stand for justice and equality in whatever ways you can and nothing’s going to stop you.
Some of you reading this may not know the things you want quite yet because you’re in the depths of unraveling, but my guess is you probably are clear on what you don’t want anymore.
That’s a great starting place.
Nashville Statements help with that kind of clarity.
Knowing what we don’t want first can be really clarifying. It’s not judge-y and mean and divisive. It’s helpful. It’s catalyzing. It’s healing.
It’s our heart being clear even when we don’t have all the right words.
Today my words feel a bit muddled but, oh, my heart is more clear than ever that a radically inclusive faith is the only direction I can walk.