Thinking about church this Sunday. Definitely not sitting in the walls of a church, but thinking about them from a distance. A local pastor gave a tirade, I mean sermon, against the evils of homosexuality recently. That’s painful. More painful, watching as local commenters on Facebook defend him. One commenter could not even understand an article criticizing him – the writer would post quotes as examples of his cruelty and the commenter was like, “I don’t get it. He said that. It’s true, what’s the big deal?”
What’s the big deal? The big deal is that traditional evangelicalism says a core piece of my identity is broken. They would quickly say, well, we are all broken people in need of Jesus. But the difference is that they would say that the nature of my brokenness makes me ineligible (I hear unworthy) for love. According to traditional Christian sexual ethics, my brokenness disqualifies me from being a parent, having a family, having a spouse. And just to be safe, I better make sure I maintain a low level of intimacy in all my relationships. So what I hear there is that until/unless I get this “evil” worked out, I am worthless. In the very religion that advertises a place to belong, grace and forgiveness, unconditional love; I hear the message that none of that applies to me. I’m too broken for that, unless Jesus “fixes” me.
I have done an awesome job of following those guidelines. So much that I don’t even know how to have people in my life. I don’t know how to have close friends. I don’t know how to have romantic relationships. And according to tradition that means I have successfully resisted my brokenness. Yay! Good for me! And yet I hear from the pulpit that I’m supposed to be in groups where we can have intimate friendships. But that’s not for me. I’m not wanted in those groups.
I just can’t do a theology that on one hand encourages communities and relationships for everyone else and isolation for me. That’s why I’m not in church on this Sunday morning. Because it’s for everyone else. Not for me.