My friend told me about his church. He was frustrated that they didn’t have a place for his brokenness. He thought that is what church should be like. A place where the broken are welcomed. But as he told me about the church I realized it was a church very much bent towards discipling the masses. And it’s hard to appeal to the mainstream upward-motivated masses when your church is known for being broken people. The value they championed was discipleship of the masses. And I think that is good, but at the expense of a heart for the broken.
But then he told me about another church he went to. Even though he is heterosexual, the new church he tried advertises itself as very LGBT friendly. My felt very much more at home there. They are used to being treated as broken, so their congregation was ready to embrace my friend. And I’m not sure yet where I stand on LGBT issues and scripture but the virtue they championed was the instructions of Jesus to welcome the brokenhearted and marginalized. And championing that as their primary virtue comes at the expense of being accused of a culturized reading of scripture.
And, not to sound like a relatavist, but I think as different people gather together, each feeling called to champion certain virtues because that is the biggest need they see in the world, I see value in what each one is uniquely doing.
I just talked to a friend, Michael who said something that blew my mind. He said something like, “No one of us can contain the entire image of God. So the more diverse, specialized understandings of God’s respective passions we can put together in harmony, the closer we’ll get to embodying him here.”
Raw Spoon, 5-4-17