Rousing Her Radiance: Day 24
The priest corrected our errant ways throughout one of our Living Waters trainings. We discovered this together as team members recounted his admonishments, sourced in truth but unsolicited and given in a sour tone. ‘Right lyrics, wrong music,’ Bonnie mused, and we all agreed.
Truth alone doesn’t qualify us to share our opinions. For example, I don’t like the tone of many barbs aimed at the pope and friends by conservative churchmen. Right lyrics, wrong music. Some eloquent digs are so vociferous that I see nostrils flaring and temples bulging; words are spat, not said. All it does is entrench us deeper into our pre-existing camps. The target of our criticism can’t be expected to listen and learn. Rants are abusive: emotional intelligence 101.
I’ve ranted. I can be so taken by my convictions that I forget the person before me. Maybe that’s because online communication obscures the object of our wrath. We can blow ourselves up like the Wizard of Oz and challenge any bigwig who vexes us, knowing he or she would never give us the time of day. Christians should know and do better.
I should do better. Bearing concern throughout the year over the synod, I felt convicted to not say or write anything about Pope Francis (my pope) that I wouldn’t say to his face. I tried. And I tried to see him, love letters in heart and hand! I had a tiny window in Rome to meet him last June but the day I left for Europe he got sick and cancelled all appointments. He has not responded to my written communication. While we are not on his ‘must see’ list, pro-LGBTQ+ ministries are. Maybe someday.
Jesus’ call remains–don’t say anything in a tone you wouldn’t say to another’s face, Pope Francis or otherwise. I want my truth to be melodious, whether it is received or not.
A darker strain of ugly orthodoxy infects those so sick of good people caving into the ‘gay’ agenda that they start hating people with identity confusion. That is a huge mistake! First, the enemy is the enemy. No one person or false ‘people’ group embodies that. Our goal is to woo persons out of darkness and into glorious Light. Second, the enemy works more through a Church who has lost courage rather than through sexual sinners. Where is our empowered good news, the radiance of our vision for humanity’s best, focused compassion that invites strugglers into that ‘best’?
Without a Church empowered in Her Gospel proclamation and anthropology (clarity on our human dignity, sexual and otherwise), vulnerable people just gravitate toward worldly solutions.
Don’t blame LGBTQ+-ers. Love them. Repent on behalf of a cowardly Church and sing bravely, sweetly. Our song needs to be heard.
‘Temper our truth, sweet Jesus, with Your love for people, however we disagree with them. Give us humble hearts. Convict us when we have ranted. Change us so we can be heard. Forgive us when we have tagged the rainbow set as the enemy. Enliven our orthodoxy with Your good news so that in every truth we declare others can hear the love song You sing over us all.’
‘Father, we thank You for Jesus who established the Church on a Rock against which hell will not prevail (Matt 16:18). We pray for every Christian leader to build on Her firm foundation of sexual clarity and integrity. Father, unmask the deceiver and divider of Christians and unite us in one Spirit. As weak members of Christ, we ask for truth to guide our pursuit of sexual wholeness, for grace to sustain it, and for spiritual power to transform us. May we reflect the chaste radiance of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18) as we “shine like stars in the universe, holding out the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16) to a lost and hurting world.’