In a momentous decision last Friday, the Supreme Court determined that all couples have the right to be married. From now on all Americans can marry who they love. For members at Pine Valley Christian Church, it’s a time to celebrate.
It also is a day that brings complications, especially for a denomination that emphasizes Alexander Campbell’s slogan “Unity is our Polar Star.” One of the core values held highest by Disciples of Christ is Christian unity. In conversations and in prayers during worship this weekend, I have heard that yearning among our members. We celebrate and yet pray for Christian unity among all Christians. It matters as we navigate the road before us for Christian unity.
Benjamin Moberg, in a recent article on Sojourners, shares from conversations he has had with what he calls brave, honest Christians who want to love, but they can’t cross the bridge of their theology. A wide gulf of scripture and theology stand between them. He says many say something like this, “I want to be where you are. I’m trying to get there. But this is what I’ve got. This is what I believe right now.”
The article suggests looking for common ground by finding places where we can all meet together:
- Start with LGBTQ youth homelessness. Nearly 40 percent of the youth homeless population is LGBTQ. That is an epidemic. Teach parents to be better. Instill children with the knowledge that they are worthy of love. Donate to a shelter.
- Talk about employment discrimination, and the fact that in over half of the country, some of LGBTQ friends and neighbors are at risk of being fired simply on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Talk about school bullying and workplace hostility.
- Talk about broadly written discriminatory religious freedom laws.
- Talk about violence against trans-folks, particularly trans women of color, and how 45 percent of hate murders in 2011 were against these women.
- Talk about the high rate of poverty that is a result of much of the above listed oppression.
In the journey of Christian unity, I hope the response is love. I pray it looks like love. I pray it exemplifies love.
Grace and Peace,