Wow! It’s been an eventful week!
First, there was the spat over Sojouners decision not to run an ad. I posted about that here.
Then we learned that the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted for full inclusion of GLBTQ clergy.
And in Uganda, continuing confusion over the progress of the anti-gay bill, that would allow capital punishment. Episcopal Cafe has the rundown on the on-again, off-again debate.
To follow up on the Sojourners issue, my friend Brian Maclaren, who served on Sojourners board of directors, shares his pilgrimage on full inclusion. In Part I he writes:
But at this point I was a pastor and had to deal with the conflict between two commitments: first, one of my primary job requirements – to keep together rather than divide my congregation on the one hand, and second, to stand up with integrity and be counted as an advocate for people I had become convinced were being treated with neither justice nor compassion. I negotiated this tension by speaking up when I could and by seeking to use my influence to increase sensitivity to people whom I felt were being treated by Christians in a truly sub-Christian way.
But at every turn I felt that I couldn’t speak out too strongly too fast without dividing the church that I was called to serve. At times I probably pushed too far too fast – and got angry letters and emails about it, and at times I didn’t lead strongly enough – and got angry letters and emails about that too, just from other people.
In Part II he writes:
If I were to boil down messy contemporary reality to an equation, here’s what it would be:
– You can’t lead a coalition of progressive Christians without being an outspoken leader on LGBTQ issues.
– You can’t lead a coalition that includes mainstream Evangelical and conservative Catholic Christians if you are an outspoken leader on LGBTQ issues.
For progressive Christians, it is often difficult to comprehend the excruciating problem for conservative Christians to move toward a position that fully includes Gays and Lesbians, what the toll is personally, and what the toll is for their relationships. Brian’s two posts on the topic may help others comprehend.
For a profound theological perspective on the Christian argument for same-sex blessings, Eugene Roger’s piece in Christian Century is breath-taking.