*Only cowards have these flags in their sanctuaries.
Not too long ago, I attended the wedding of two old men. Before the service started, my friend leaned over asked, “What’s that smell?” More interested in the service, I brushed him off and dismissively replied, “I have no idea.” As the service started, I smiled when I saw the pastor. Standing between the two grooms was a man of great boldness. In defiance of his denomination’s prohibition against clergy performing same-sex ceremonies, the pastor stood boldly. Surveying the room, I saw dozens upon dozens of pastors from the same denomination repeatedly stand and cheer. I couldn’t help but be shocked. These folks had the audacity to cheer when they were too much of a coward to do the same thing. They didn’t know a damn thing about justice. Leaning over, I told my friend, “I finally know what the smell is…all these pastors around us are full of shit.”
Why are pastors often cowards when it comes to justice? I’ve heard about pensions. I’ve heard about jobs. I’ve heard about retirement. I’ve heard about standing. I’ve heard about not wanting to upset anyone. I’ve heard explanation after explanation. What I haven’t heard is anything about Jesus. These folks are smart enough to know that Jesus doesn’t have anything to do with excuses. Jesus is with justice. There is no other measurement for ministry. Justice is it. Now, just preaching about justice or attending a protest or any other moderate measure is not justice. Justice is about giving your life. God does not look kindly on those who sit on their ass as people crumble. Pastors are the greatest threat to the church today. We need to call them what they are…cowards.