Yesterday I received an email from Glory2Jesus@armyofgod.com.
Just reading who the email was from I knew the sender was angry about something.
It turns out that he (and it was a he) had seen our church’s name on a list of congregations that welcome gay, lesbian and transgendered people. And, he was writing to tell me how wrong I was…how wrong we are and that, in the end, I was headed to hell. He was right in one regard. Bedford Presbyterian Church does welcome all those people and many more. We do our imperfect best to practice what we preach including extending to others the gracious hospitality of God.
I was tempted to write back and to thank him for his email because it reminded me that congregations like ours and Christians like us still have work to do confronting bigotry and hatred and a misuse of scripture. And, for the powerful reminder (as if we need it!) that there are those who, in the name of religion and a loving God, point fingers and issue judgments which demean and intimidate and brutalize others.
I go back and forth between being angry and being sad.
For me, the Christian faith offers such a powerful and provocative vision for how the world might be, and a message of hope that sustains my meager efforts to continue to do my small part in “bending that long arc of history” in the direction of the grand Dream of God. The Army of God and others like them turn so many people away. They give Christianity a bad name. They give religion a bad name. If God is the way they describe God to be who would want to believe in a God like that. Not me.
Yesterday I received an email…