A story in Friday’s New York Times reminded me why I left the Southern Baptist Church that had been the place where I struggled with questions of doubt and faith. In the 50s the issue was race and the refusal to address tough religious questions. This past week it was the acceptance of our gay, lesbian, and transgender brothers and sisters.
The Southern Baptist Convention executive committee “disfellowshipped” two churches because they practice the inclusive Gospel of Jesus. We at Old First fought off such myopia and prejudice almost 20 years ago.
One of the churches so treated, Towne View in Kennesaw, Georgia, had accepted two gay couples as members. Horrors of horrors! How so profoundly sad that the SBC thinks that one cannot be a Christian and gay. How outrageous that loving persons who confess Christ as Lord should be considered outside the pale.
Prayer for the Day
God of righteousness and justice, who created us all as your children,
You gave us eyes to see and ears to hear, but we blind and deaf;
Your Spirit calls us to welcome all who call on your name,
But often we draw lines excluding some who would serve you.
Move us from our failure of ourselves and of you,
So we are able to speak your truth to the world around us.
In the name of him who opens our hearts to your truth,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
Love comes despite ourselves; and then, if we have not already done so, we have the task of becoming ourselves so we may welcome love.
- Diane Wolkstein, American writer
Tolerance is a poor substitute for embrace.
- Jamie Arpin-Ricci, pastor, author, Winnipeg, Canada
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
Psalm 65: 4