My life’s journey has been interesting, challenging, rewarding and insightful. I have been blessed to have people in my life that offer wisdom which takes me to a deeper mode of thinking and introspection. Just the other day I had one of those moments. I was talking to a friend and she made a statement that literally floored me. Before I share that statement with you let me note that we are both same gender loving individuals and Christians. My friend has completed her MDiv (Master of Divinity) and is currently in the process of becoming an ordained minister.
When things within the church frustrate either of us we lean on one another as a sounding board. Several years ago I vowed to never get on another committee at church, however, a friend called me and said that she wanted a voice from the LGBT community and she immediately thought of me because of my activist history. It did not take long before I my black ass was piss off so rather than deal with unnecessary frustration I quickly resigned. I take responsibility for part of the issue that arose but how it was handled put my friend in an uncomfortable position and I thought it unfair. I shared this with my MDiv sista. After we ended our phone conversation she sent me a text that stated “Just think we are going to have our funeral/going home services in the same sanctuary where we cannot consecrate our love for our partners”. After reading that I was floored because she is so right which made me look more critically at the church where I worship. Let me take a moment to say that this is a very dynamic and welcoming church in a denomination that openly supports marriage equality for all people. However, each church has that ability to embrace the open and affirming doctrine or not. My church, while it speaks inclusion it is only willing to dip its big toe in that water for to do so could and most likely would upset the membership of the church. Declining membership equates to fewer tithes and offerings therefore silence or fence sitting is the order of the day.
I have often asked myself, how can I or should I support a church that does not support me FULLY in all of who I am. Because I was raised to attend church to worship and thank God for all that He has done for me I am conflicted by how I was raised and what I feel (abandoned).
I find myself moving further and further away from the church as I get older because I am disappointed and disheartened because of the lack of visible inclusion. It is odd to be in a place where you feel misunderstood by those who love you because they see the fact that the church is “welcoming” as enough. I am not asking the church to put a rainbow banner out front but to do more than lip service and an occasional positive mention in a sermon or two a month. Okay, yes we are miles ahead of most churches but we still have a long way to go, therefore, some even my LGBT sisters and brothers think that the crumbs from the table are enough because at least we are getting something. I say a loud a resounding NO because for me that is not enough. My not going to church does not mean I have given up my ability to thank, praise and believe in God but in fact it has given me the ability to demand full open acceptance.