Monday, May 07, 2007

Good Question

"If God has given them the same gifts [he] gave us when we first believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?"

So asks Peter of his companions in Acts 11, who challenge him about "eating with uncircumcised men". It was a compelling argument; Peter was fairly persuasive, after all.

In these days (before synod assembly, where we will consider 3 LCNA resolutions; see for the texts) I ask this question in regard to ordination of glbt people. Indeed, if God has given them the same gifts God gave me for ministry, then who am I, who are we in the church, to hinder the work of God by establishing policy? Or, refusing to alter policy, as the case stands. There are many very gifted and certainly called glbt pastors-to-be. I was in seminary with some of them, I have served in ministry with some of them. Some are living by the rules, even if the rules are unreasonable. Some have chosen not to try to fit in to a church that is sending a clear message that they are not welcome, that their calls are not valid, that God must want them to serve somewhere else if they can't manage to BE someone else and serve here. Ours is the loss, and, I believe, the sin. Who are we to hinder God, when God has gifted and called servants for ministry? When they have responded to that call, some at great risk, some with the sacrifice of their integrity. Some have attended and even graduated (!) from seminary, some "pass" as acceptable human beings by not correcting any assumptions that they are heterosexual.

My other favorite line from Acts is an observation by Gamaliel in chapter 5: "...if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them--in that case you may even be found fighting against God!" I like to think of my ministry of advocacy on behalf of glbt as a movement in the church, rather than as a plan or undertaking, but we do approach with strategy and hopefully some measure of finesse. *I* feel called to serve the mission of the church in this way; it is indeed a holy thing to me. If I can be faithful and do it well enough, and be patient (there's the rub!), perhaps others will be able to serve according to their calling as well, sooner rather than later. Who are we to hinder God?


At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should be writing books....


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