At the General Assembly in Orlando, Florida during July 2013 representatives and voting delegates from across the life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) gathered to explore, discuss, discern and proclaim. Among those conversations and proclamations was Sense of the Assembly Resolution 1327. Equally important is the pastoral letter to the church from our General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins (Pastoral Letter) (Other resources here).
This is obviously a deeply important conversation no matter where one stands on the issues, and no matter where one’s deepest sense of right may lie. I do not presume here to try to press an agenda, other than open conversation and communication. Unfortunately, at times one or another party hijacks the process in their zeal do defend their view of what is right and righteous.
For us as Disciples, it is of primary importance that no human opinion shall separate us from fellowship at Christ’s table. This means that around the matter of sexual orientation we are called to allow our hearts to be made tender by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit who unites us in love. We are no more passionate about this issue than were the Jews and Gentiles of the first century when Paul said, “There is now therefore no longer Jew nor Gentile, Male nor Female, Slave nor Free, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28)
What we cannot allow to happen is for one or another group to decide for everyone else who we are to be by narrowing the scope of the love that Jesus extends with outstretched nail pierced hands. Knowledge is power, not to wield against our enemies, but to transform all our hearts and minds until they conform with the mind of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ as his reign unfolds in, through and around us.
What transformation needs to happen within your heart so that you can break bread with those toward whom you hold strong negative feelings? Decide today to take a step of humility toward those persons, not to correct them but simply to love them.