As I read the stories, I learned about a part of church history of which I had very little knowledge. While I was present for the subsequent discussions regarding the issue of same-sex marriage, the 1988 divisions were only oblique references. Reading the stories made them real.
These stories cut right to the core of our faith. We talk of being welcoming, inclusive, and true to the teachings of Jesus, yet these stories all give examples of injustices performed by people who think of themselves as good Christians, true to the teachings of their church. While looking back and trying to give context to the stories is important, it in no way justifies the wrongs.
In Ruth’s story, the wishes of financial contributors take precedence over spiritual need. How can someone see themselves as Christian when they choose blackmail and give in to ignorance instead of following the learnings of faith?
In the story of the congregation walkout, once more, ignorance and selfishness take precedence over consideration and caring for others. How would all of those who walked out react to finding out that a beloved child or grandchild was a member of the LGBT community?
Perspective and education are key to examining our faith and what it should mean to the way we affirm acceptance.
(Shared with permission. Photo credit: Wix.)