1 Question for People Who Won’t Wave the Rainbow Flag

knitting soul

rainbow flag

A few days ago, Kevin DeYoung asked 40 Question For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags. Because I’ve been waving my rainbow flag for the past 5 years, I thought about responding, but the truth is, others have done a fantastic job of that already.

Here’s the thing. I’m out of patience for this. DeYoung asks his 40 questions, but they all boil down to the same thing. Prove that you’re right. Prove that God is on your side. Prove that you deserve what I already have.

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the assumption that my gay friends are the ones who need to be answering questions. I’m tired of the assumption that they need to justify their faith to those who fancy themselves the gatekeepers of Christianity. I’m tired of the woe are we attitude from those who have been a part of movements to bar LGBTQ people…

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It seems to me that Sabbath was made with us introverts in mind. A sunset to sunset of rest.

As a church planter my weeks are filled with meetings, introductions, hosting, smiling, talking, teaching, networking, coffee, gatherings, events…

I find myself crawling towards Sabbath.

My workweek mindset:

  • Sunday is tóhu vavóhu (what can I say we’re a church plant).
  • Monday damnable Monday.
  • Tuesday – wait, it’s only Tuesday?
  • Wednesday I begin seeing the light (or sunset) at the end of the tunnel
  • Thursday – wait, it’s only Thursday?
  • Friday is watching the clock tick towards the tranquility of Sabbath.
  • Sabbath, Sabbath, Sabbath
  • Rinse and Repeat!

As much as I love my Sabbath practices, I always need to be very careful that I remember the purpose of this Sacred Time.

To the biblical mind…labor is the means toward an end, and the Sab­bath as a day of rest, as a day of abstaining from toil…

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Right now as I type, the inter-webs is still blowing up along the hashtag #ThingsJesusNeverSaid – This is a very clever thing. A place for progressive Christians, non-Christians, and conservative Christians to sling the proverbial spit and mud at their blind counterparts in 140 characters or less.

I have to admit many of the posts made me chuckle. Many made me angry. Many more made me quite sad. Again we’ve found a way to rob our ‘one anothers’ from civil discourse and meaningful dialogue. We continue to pursue biting memes and short-hand kvetching as opposed to sincere conversation.

We can stand around pointing fingers all day long but on this day (It is ‘Good Friday’ as I write) no fingers were being pointed by Jesus. In fact on this day Jesus said very few things…one of the more profound things that the New Testament declares he said is, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

It breaks my heart that the church that is to be known for its ‘love of one another’ is instead trotting around and showing its disdain for one another. This is always the danger of taking a religion that had a communal concept of life and salvation and allowing it to transition into a faith that is all about personal salvation and personal gain/growth. If we could only return to the time when the church was in it together…not to win rhetorical dance-offs but rather a time when the heart of the faithful was about lifting the oppressed, serving the marginalized, caring for the downtrodden.

Jesus, it is said, died for the entire world…not for those we like or agree with. Jesus exposes power structures that rob others of their fullness of life. Jesus served the oppressed in order that their hope might be restored.

The irony of #ThingsJesusNeverSaid is that most folks sincerely believe that Jesus is in full agreement with their quips. I find it hard to imagine that Jesus, who fought for the dignity of ALL people, would side specifically with any of us in our foray into Twitter fame.

Put down your hashtags…put aside your polemics…lift up your neighbor whether they are gay or straight, conservative or liberal, male or female, fundamentalist or progressive, religious or not, optimistic or pessimistic, friend or enemy.

Because the one thing we are assured of in the Gospels is that Jesus did say to “love our enemies” and on this particular Holiday we are even called to remember that Jesus not only loved them he also stood before G_d asking on their behalf for their forgiveness. May we learn something from this day of remembrance.

Peace to you and yours. Remember: Agreement should never be a prerequisite for loving others.