Is There a Christianity That Isn’t Toxic? (Guest Post by Morgan Guyton)

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Have American Christians become what Jesus came to stop us from being?

It’s not an unreasonable question after decades of toxic culture war. Growing up Southern Baptist, I used to think there were two kinds of Christians: those who were vocal about God’s desire to burn most of humanity in hell and those who were conflicted and embarrassed about it.

It wasn’t until I walked through the doors of a mostly LGBT United Methodist church in my early twenties that I discovered a very different and much more beautiful gospel. My journey since then has given me a very different understanding of Christian salvation than I had growing up. I wrote a book called How Jesus Saves the World From Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity that tries to articulate the much more beautiful gospel shared with me by Christians who had been rejected by the church. Here are the twelve touchstones of the gospel they taught me.

1) Worship Not Performance

Jesus says we can only receive the kingdom of God if we become like children. That’s because children know how to worship. They live in a world of wonder and delight without worrying about what others think of them. Until they lose their innocence.

The story of Adam and Eve captures the moment when we discover our nakedness, when we become afraid and ashamed, when we start blaming others. We become performers who are focused on satisfying our critics, the biggest of whom is God. All the time God’s heart is broken, and he wants to rescue us from this toxic mistrust so that we can share in his joy like we did when we were children.

Tragically, so much Christian worship today is a performance where we try to say hallelujah louder than the people around us. God wants us to stop performing for him so that we can bask in his love for us and worship.

2) Mercy Not Sacrifice

One of the most important things God says in the Bible is Hosea 6:6: “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” Jesus pulls out this quote in his argument with the religious authorities. The American Dream teaches us that if we make the right sacrifices, we will have a good life, which means that people who don’t have a good life haven’t made the right sacrifices and don’t deserve our help.

We all have to make sacrifices, but it’s toxic if we expect to be rewarded for them. God wants to save us from the entitlement and bitterness of using our sacrifices to justify ourselves by revealing his mercy to us. That’s why Jesus puts our sins on the cross: not because God needs a blood payment for our sins, but because God wants to replace our self-justifying sacrifice with mercy. The more that we accept God’s mercy and stop trying to earn our legitimacy through sacrifice, the more we can be God’s mercy in the world.

3) Empty Not Clean

Jesus’ greatest argument with the religious authorities was over the nature of holiness. They thought holiness was about staying clean and following a set of rules to prove their loyalty to God. Jesus showed that holiness is about emptying your heart of anxieties, addictions, and agendas so that it can be filled with God’s love.

This is best illustrated in the story of the Good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite walked past the wounded traveler because their religion was about staying clean. The Samaritan stopped because he was “moved with pity.”

A heart full of distracting idols cannot be moved by other peoples’ suffering. Also it’s not enough to spend our lives doing service work for other people. That can turn into another form of “cleanliness” that makes us toxic. If we want our service to come from a place of compassion, we need to engage in spiritual disciplines like prayer and fasting to empty our hearts first.

 4) Breath Not Meat

The apostle Paul says to live according to the spirit instead of the flesh. This is one of the most widely misunderstood Christian teachings. For Paul to talk about the flesh negatively does not mean we’re supposed to hate physical pleasure. “Flesh” is an inadequate translation of the Greek word sarx which is better translated as “meat.” Meat is a perfect metaphor for dead life because meat is life that was killed for the sake of consumption.

When we live as mindless consumers, our bodies become like a lump of meat. A much richer physical life is attained by those who seek to become the breath of God, rather than a lump of meat. Spiritual life is not unphysical. It is physicality lived with perfect elegance. Our bodies become beautiful temples when we savor life instead of just consuming it.

 5) Honor Not Terror

One of the most troubling things the Bible says is that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” So many Christians think we’re supposed to be afraid of God. But the “fear” that is being spoken of here is really a reverence for the truth. It is living with intentionality and integrity. Ironically, many atheists display a much deeper “fear of the Lord” through their integrity than Christians who only believe in God because they’re afraid.

Jesus’ crucifixion is the image God wants us to see when we think about how he reigns over the world. What we should fear is doing further violence to a bleeding man who is gasping for air. People live with much greater honor when they’re afraid of crucifying Jesus than when they’re afraid of God’s punishment.

6) Poetry Not Math

2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all scripture is God-breathed.” Too many Christians read this statement like a word problem in math class rather than a line of poetry. In math class, what you do with word problems is turn them into simple equations to be solved. That’s what many Christians do with scripture. They reduce it into formula. They see “God-breathed,” and they think that just means the Bible is without error.

When we reduce the Bible to formulas, we take God’s breath out of it, which is the one thing that gives it life. Every verse in the Bible has an infinite depth of meaning depending on how the Holy Spirit uses it in the lives of each person reading it. That’s what I mean by calling it poetry. When we make it a formula, we are giving ourselves the authority as interpreters. When we recognize its infinite mystery, the Bible retains its authority over us as a poem.

7) Communion Not Correctness

One of the most toxic things about American Christianity is the way so many Christians are obsessed with having the right answer. Being right has become way more important than being loving. The purpose of Christian doctrine is not to make us correct, but to draw us into the deepest possible communion with God.

It is the witness of the prayers and wrestling of two thousand years of Christians. They weren’t perfect. Some of them did terrible things. But they discovered ways of talking about God that gave them an incredible connection to divine mystery. Christian doctrine is toxic when it turns into a never-ending argument of people who are infatuated with their own eloquence. Christian doctrine is beautiful when it creates a community of people who are deeply connected with God and each other.

8) Temple Not Program

What our society needs today more than anything else is sacred time and sacred space. Everyone is in a hurry to achieve, to climb the career ladder, to get their kids into good colleges, to increase the resale value of their houses. Churches too often play right into this toxic culture of achievement by providing more programs to add to an already hectic week. Too often, we tell people who are trying very hard to try harder.

What people need is not another program, but a temple. They need to hear the voice that says, “Come and rest.” They need for the sanctuary of our churches to be an actual sanctuary instead of a town hall meeting. In a world where people don’t know how to relax, our churches need to teach the world how to sit in God’s lap and do nothing. If church continues to be just another anxious, hyper-busy volunteer group, people will continue to lose interest.

9) Solidarity Not Sanctimony

Another quarrel Jesus had with the religious authorities was about how to define sin. For the religious authorities, sin was two things: breaking the rules and disobeying authority figures. Under this definition of sin, it’s not sin if the Bible doesn’t tell you explicitly not to do it or if you’re at the top of a chain of command. This is why many Christian communities have become toxic, spiritually abusive spaces.

What Jesus calls out as sin is the failure to love. He consistently takes a posture of solidarity, standing up for people, rather than sanctimony, standing up for the rules. This isn’t to say that rules are unimportant. But every rule must submit itself to the authority of the great commandment to love God and love neighbor. Perfect love is our ultimate goal. Anything short of that is sin, but we have a gracious God who is constantly replacing our sin with love.

10) Outsiders Not Insiders

The word for church in Greek is ekklesia which is a compound word meaning those who have been “called out” from the world. The original church was made up of outsiders and misfits who didn’t fit in the culture of the Roman Empire as well as the insiders who renounced their privilege to live in community with them. Too often, the church today tailors its theology and sense of morality to validate the superiority of the insiders rather than create a safe space for outsiders.

When Jesus tells us to take up our crosses and follow him, he’s not just telling us to stop cussing, doing drugs, and having premarital sex, which is a relatively easy insider version of morality. Jesus is telling us to renounce our worldly status and power to submit ourselves fully to the world’s outsiders. When insiders lose their safety by becoming outsiders, the world becomes safe for everyone. That’s what the church is supposed to look like.

11) Servanthood Not Leadership

Toxic Christianity has a major leadership fetish. There are dozens of conferences every year about Christian leadership, which too often is about maximizing your influence over other people as guru John Maxwell puts it. Our social media age is defined by “leaders” who have a huge influence but no responsibility.

Jesus defines leadership as servanthood. He says whoever wishes to be great must be the greatest servant. He doesn’t make “servant” a meaningless adjective to slap on the front of leadership, because for Jesus, leadership is about washing the feet of those you are called to nurture and empower. Christian leadership is about helping members of a community gain confidence in their gifts so that they can be God’s ministers to the world. Your worth as a leader should be measured by how many people you have empowered not how many people you control.

12) Kingdom Not Stadium

Over the past thirty years, our landscape has filled with giant megachurch stadiums. I’m sure the Holy Spirit has been part of their growth, but I worry how much they have thrived on triumphalist hype, the feeling that they’re winning. I am not called as a Christian pastor to build a stadium of adoring fans who flock to hear the one right gospel. Rather, I am called to accompany people on their journey into God’s kingdom as a fellow pilgrim seeking to enter the kingdom more deeply.

So when I share my faith with another person, Christian or not, I expect to be evangelized by them at least as much as they are evangelized by me. Real evangelism is not about inviting people to be an audience in my stadium. It’s about falling more deeply in love with God and expecting every other person to be an angel sent from God to teach me something. God will accept into the kingdom many people who bitterly disagree with me. Figuring out how to share the heavenly banquet with them is the most difficult and most beautiful aspect of the Christian journey.

Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in learning more, check out my book here and my blog here.

Thanks, Obama

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Dear President Obama,

History usually has a way of revealing the truth.

Like the sun gradually coming up and burning away the morning dew covering everything, the unfolding years chase away the noisy bombast of social media rhetoric and knee-jerk, in-the-moment emotion, leaving us with the unvarnished reality of people and their lives.

This will be true of your service too, and of the mark you have left upon the world. Your body of work will testify loudly on your behalf far beyond these days, and in this way your legacy is secure.

But what may be less apparent looking back from the distance of time, will be something that is less easily quantifiable anyway: Character.

Over the past eight years, I’ve watched you.

I’ve watched the way you’ve absorbed a billion body blows from your critics; brutal words that run far deeper than policy or platform, words composed within poisoned hearts long before you served a single day in office.

I’ve watched you bombarded with a daily molotov cocktail of white privilege and hidden or overt racism disguised as objective opposition.

I’ve watched your wife and children attacked with a ferocity and malevolence that defy any sense of decency and that have no precedence.

I’ve watched your birthplace called into question, your personal faith ridiculed, your very humanity discounted.

I’ve watched you endure the incessant, bitter venom of those for whom the color of your skin was always going to be a problem.

And through all of it, I’ve watched you be the better man.

In the face of a sustained, spitting, violent, raw-throated hatred you’ve never responded in kind.

You never allowed yourself to be defined by the bigotry of your critics and you never disrespected them by becoming them.

This, Mr. President, is perhaps your greatest legacy: the way you retained your dignity in the midst of the most undignified behavior of your adversaries. 

The truth is, many of us understand that the Evangelical Right, the NRA, FoxNews, and far too many ordinary folks living here were simply never going to be okay with a man of color leading them and succeeding—and yet you have done both. 

Eight years later, those same people still strain to bait you into reciprocating violence and in fulfilling their toxic prophecies of you, while you simply continue to do what you do with nobility, compassion, good humor, and steadfast, unapologetic conviction.

You live the grace so many Christians evoke but rarely model.

As a father, I realize that my children are always watching me, always taking cues from the way I treat people, from how I respond to adversity, from how I care for those in pain, from how I face mistreatment. I know that for them, my words will always be secondary to my conduct; that how I live will always trump what I say.

This is where I find my deepest gratitude for you in these days.

For eight years you have worked for those who have been marginalized, even while so many have sought to marginalize you. I and so many others notice, and it is spurring us on to speak and move and work for the inherent value of all people regardless of the cost or the wounds or the attacks from those who would deny it. 

We are chasing equality and justice together, unfettered by the words of our detractors. 

We are trying to live passionately yet with integrity.

We are committed to standing upon principles and never upon people. 

We are seeing the way you’ve done it and are moved to move similarly together.   

So you’ll forgive me if I speak informally right now, and if I use words used often brandished by your critics to undermine the work you’ve done and the life you’ve lived and the character you’ve shown.

Without a trace of irony or sarcasm, let me simply say:

Thanks, Obama.

 

 

Gun Apologists, Save Your “Thoughts and Prayers”

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Well, another week here in the Land of the Free. That means another mass shooting and another round of funerals for our brothers and sisters taken in the middle of radiant, beautiful lives. And once again, all gun apologists can offer grieving families are three words to compound their pain; three words certain to do little to comfort them, and even less to ensure more families won’t soon be standing in the horrible shoes they’re standing right now.

Three hollow, empty, useless words:
Thoughts and prayers.

It’s the social media cliché du jour from those wishing to appear moved without actually moving, those who want to feel good about feeling bad without any real response. Most often those who champion guns over people don’t extend gestures like this to comfort victims’ families, they do it to publicly relieve themselves of culpability. They do it because that’s a heck of a lot easier than just about anything else. They do it because that’s all the think they’re required to do.

These folks offer “thoughts and prayers” after a mass murder, as if that has been their only option all along, as if they can offer nothing else now.

They offer “thoughts and prayers” as if God is somehow responsible for:
easy access to assault weapons,
the NRA perpetuating a Wild West, cowboy gun culture,
churches still incubating fear of and disdain for gays and Muslims and people of color,
a supposedly “Christian nation” that spends four times more to arm its military than to teach its children.

Apparently these are all outside of their influence or alteration. Nothing to change or dig deeper into or talk about. They just throw up their hands and pass the bloody buck to God while feeling exonerated from any blame.

I’m a Christian and a pastor and I’ve had it with their “thoughts and prayers”, and I imagine the families burying their children this week are too.

“Thoughts and prayers” from lawmakers who obstruct any new gun legislation is an insult to those who’ve been murdered.
“Thoughts and prayers” from politicians who accept NRA contributions is a putrid, stinking farce.
“Thoughts and prayers” from pastors who continue to preach a “love the sinner, hate the sin” theology that denies the humanity of the LGBTQ community is a flat-out sin.
“Thoughts and prayers” from Christians who still fight against full LGBTQ inclusion in the their churches is repentance worthy.

Thinking about people is all well and good and prayer certainly won’t hurt them—but these aren’t particularly helpful either.

They won’t take weapons from the hands of terrorists and prior offenders and the mentally ill. They won’t make a single street safer.

They certainly won’t raise the dead.

They won’t give the families of those murdered by gun violence, more birthdays and Christmases and graduations.

They won’t prevent the next mass shooting either.

But gun apologists, do you know what might help, instead of your abundant but rather worthless “thoughts and your prayers”?

– Getting off your rear end and doing something to make guns less plentiful and less easy to buy.
– Taking a stand in your church for the inherent value of the LGBTQ community.
– Supporting Muslims and ensuring they have the same right to express faith that you have.

– Telling the NRA that they are not only part of this violence, but they are manufacturing and profiting from it.
– Condemning the hateful rhetoric of preachers and evangelists who use dead people as a soap box to stand upon to dispense further damnation upon the gay community.
– Calling out racism and homophobia and Islamophobia in your church, your political party, your home—and your heart.
– Voting for candidates committed to protecting all life, not just those they deem worth protecting.
– Denouncing bullying “eye for an eye” Christianity that makes violence seem noble or admirable or holy. 

If all you’re going to offer in the face of this kind of repeated carnage are “thoughts and prayers”, people will continue to die and you will be an accessory. You can think and pray all you want, but until you actually move, you’ll be part of this.

Don’t just leave this in the hands of God. God has given you hands too.

God has given you life and this place and time, and maybe God is asking you to do something to affirm life right now.

Maybe God wants you to be the answer to the prayer. 

Think and pray about that.

 

As of this writing, I just read a thoughtful and moving piece by C.J. Prince that says this far more beautifully than I could, and from the perspective of the LGBTQ community. Please read her words!

 

Church, Here’s Some Good News and Some Bad News

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Shift happens.

I have some good news and some bad news about the Church.

There is a movement happening in these days. It is undeniable. If you open your eyes you will bear witness to it all:

Women are taking their rightful place of leadership in local faith communities, sharing the full breadth and depth of their gifts without constraint or caveat—and without needing the permission from those who don’t realize how redemptive this all is.

More and more Christians are through debating whether or not LGBTQ people are the Church that one day could or might be, having realized that they are the Church that already is; that they are full image bearers of God and that their presence is nonnegotiable. To so many people of faith this is simply no longer a question.

The fight for justice and equality is again becoming the centerpiece where local faith communities recognize these things not to be optional, extracurricular activities for those claiming to follow Christ, but the disciple’s very heartbeat.

Millions of Christians are coming to experience the Bible in a new way; not as “God’s Inerrant Answer Book” to be yielded as a weapon against those who differ from them, but as the honest record of similarly flawed, failing, striving ancestors trying to understand and reflect the character of God where they find themselves in the story together.

Christianity is being slowly wrestled away from being the sole property one political party, and these folks are being gently reminded that they never rightfully owned it anyway; that Jesus transcends our systems and overruns our borders and denounces our power moves.

Many people are departing the church campus and becoming the Church in homes and pubs and galleries and parks. They aren’t showing-up in the pews on Sundays but they’re finding deep spiritual community and beautifully altering the planet, finding new ways to express faith together. The institution is shrinking but the organism is thriving.

Rigid dogma and man-made doctrine are being recognized as the idols they have been, and a generation of people of faith are realizing that God is far bigger than anything we construct to hold or represent God. We are right-sizing Divinity together.

Christian, this is the news today about the Church. It simply is. The Church will continue to grow more diverse, more inclusive, more open. It will never go backward. It will never again shrink the table. It is slowly but surely outgrowing the bigotry, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny of its past and it will not be stuffed back into it again.

Now whether this news is good or bad to your heart, well that is the bigger story here.

Should this all discourage you or fill you with panic, you may find yourself doubling down, digging your heels in and becoming more bitter, more angry, more certain that the sky is indeed falling. You may be seeing the world as spiraling hopelessly downward and be fully convinced that these are terrible, Godless days and that all is lost.

If you find this all to be very bad news about the Church, I can only tell you that I respectfully disagree. I can only invite you to the table to share your worry and your fear and your story, and to let me and those like me tell you what we see from where we stand—and why we are so encouraged that it is of God.

But if this all gives you hope; if it is the Church that you see being built, the Church that you are about building in the world, then be greatly encouraged today. You are in good company. Every day I hear from your many kindred spirits walking the planet. They like you, are questioning their assumptions, challenging tradition, praying different prayers, dreaming bigger dreams, and yearning to be part of a Church that is as diverse and expansive and interconnected as creation. Every day, they find greater courage to give voice to these things and to declare it as very good news. And as this happens, that goodness begins to go viral and humanity evolves into a better version of itself.

If you have been the recipient of Church-sanctioned bigotry, racism, and homophobia, know that while the pace and the scale of change may not be what you desire or deserve, it is still happening; like yeast in the dough it is permeating everything and people are being renovated from within, heart by heart. That is how revolution begins and in fact, has begun.  

That’s the news for today, Church.

Whether it seems good or bad to you, live accordingly.

 

The Rainbow Phoenix (A Defiant Love Response to Orlando)

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Dear Hurting Friends,

It can be so easy to be fooled by the pain of these days, to be tricked into believing that hope has departed for good, but do not let that happen.

This pain is our heart’s alarm, sounding in the face of all that is so not right.

It is the terrible noise that reminds us that this is not the way it is supposed to be, and that our spirits testify.

And yet this pain is the very sacred place where we begin again.

It is in this heavy, maddening, brutal day that rebuild what is broken.

It is in these moments of tears and sighs that we fortify our wings.

It is here in our sadness and outrage that we prepare to fly once more.

You see, we are the people of love; those who believe that all people are intrinsically invaluable, that violence against one is violence against all.

We are unrelenting souls of every part of humanity who believe that we are in this journey together.

We are the radiant, glorious, rainbow phoenix rising defiantly from the toxic, acrid horror of these days.

We are the sure, stunning proof that no matter how much hatred might say, love will always have the last, loudest word—and that together we will speak it now.  

Press against the underside of your wrist, beloved. Do it right now. Press firmly.

Do you feel it?

This is your pulse.

This our pulse.

It is the life within you, within us. 

It is reminder that we live, and because we do, hope lives too.

We will live faithfully and boldly in this day for those who cannot.

We will be the streaking light that pushes back the fleeing darkness. 

We will be the brilliant, beautiful response to the ugliness.

And together, tethered tightly to one another, we will fly again.

Be greatly encouraged, dear friends.

Love is still alive.

Love is still alive.

It is still alive.

 

(These words were written for a UK vigil. Share them and read them where they might bring comfort, healing, and encouragement.)

Note from John: The word “rainbow” was never an attempt to co-opt the experience of LGBTQ people in any way, but to express solidarity on behalf of all loving people in the world who believe in equality and diversity, and who stand against violence, bigotry, and homophobia. The “we” expressed here is intended to be all of humanity in its full diversity standing as one.

I deeply apologize if my choice or usage of this word caused further damage or offense to any member of the LGBTQ community, as the attempt was only to support and encourage; to show unity in love across any barriers. Please accept my deepest apologies if this was not conveyed. Love to you all.

Straight Christian, If You Really Give a Damn About the LGBTQ Community

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Exactly seven days ago my phone was on fire.

A blog post I’d written on the Stanford rape case had gone fully viral that morning, and dozens of national talk shows, newspapers from all over the globe, and all the local broadcast teams had swarmed to book me or interview me about my words, and about the bigger issues surrounding sexual assault.

They all operated under the guise of caring deeply about “this very important issue”. But having gone through a similar experience two years earlier I knew the truth: Rape was tending and they wanted a piece of it.

Knowing that their attention would soon be departing I did as much as I could with my time in the spotlight, to lift up the inherent dignity of all people and to center the story on survivors of this kind of prevalent violence, urging people to go beyond the blinding lights of a viral story. Yet while the media storm was still swirling I knew that it would soon be over, and with it I feared, would be any lasting, sustained conversation about sexual assault. There would be no fundamental change. They would all be moving on to the louder, more urgent, more popular story just around the corner. I wrote about that fear here.

The next day I was thrilled to hear from a full-time news network that they wanted me to go to New York City for a live Town Hall on sexual assault, victim advocacy, and the issue of consent. “We want to continue this important conversation”, the producer said.

“Wow, maybe we are doing better!” I thought to myself.

Twelve hours later: Orlando.

A producer called early Sunday morning saying that due to the shooting at Pulse they would be canceling the Town Hall, hoping to “bring the topic to life at another time.”

They won’t. At least not until the next viral rape case that moves the public’s needle.

Last week is an eternity these days.

I’m sharing this with you because right now you seem to give a damn about the LGBTQ community, a community that is dear to me, and a community who so deserves your attention and your social media real estate and a place at the table of your churches and workplaces and homes.

This community is experiencing a tragedy that frankly, those of us who do not identify as LGBTQ can’t possibly fathom and don’t realize the gravity of.

This massacre and these lives and this community merit our attention.

But my great fear is that in a few days, we’ll do to the victims of homophobia and transphobia what we’ve done to the victims of sexual assault this week: we’ll simply replace them. We’ll take this great passion over the lives of queer men and women; all the words of support and all the grief and all the outrage and all the promises to stay for the long haul—and we’ll easily transfer them to something else. We’ll get new Facebook profile filters and share new memes and for a few days we’ll feel good about ourselves for feeling bad—and that will be it.

The media certainly will move on. 

Here’s how you can not do that:

1) Read and share the work of LGBTQ Christian writers, pastors, activists, and thinkers.  Hear the stories of people who have lived this story before it ever hit your radar, and who will live it once it’s no longer newsworthy to the news.

Start here:

Kevin Garcia
Julie Rodgers
Allyson Dylan Robinson
Isaac Archuleta
Broderick Greer
Matthew Vines
Kimberly Knight
Brandan Robertson
Charissa White
Nadia Bolz-Weber
Matthias Roberts
Austen Hartke
John Paul Brammer
Eliel Cruz

2) Attend a local Pride, Out, or PFLAG Event. Literally stand with your queer neighbors and let them know they matter beyond a trending story. Make an effort to live life alongside LGBTQ people and talk to them, not around them or about or over them.

3) Support LGBTQ-owned businesses. There are millions of people from the gay community who do whatever it is that needs doing in your life. Seek them out and help their businesses grow so, that their influence and presence in your neighborhood grow too.

4) Volunteer at/Give to your local LGBTQ center. Step into the lives of people right where you are and ask them how you can help with your time, your resources, and your community connections, to partner with the important work they are already doing so well.

5) Call your local church community to the table now. Hold your spiritual leaders accountable for their theology, their practices, and their public stance toward the LGBTQ community. Demand that the table be expanded.

6) Support and attend LGBTQ-affirming churches. Help to build and strengthen faith communities already committed to doing the work of equality and justice.

7) Talk around your table and look in your mirror. Have conversations with your children, parents, spouses, small groups, church staff, and workplaces about the Orlando shooting; about how you need to respond to it, and to the culture and factors that created it. Reflect and pray about your own heart—and then move in response.


The media will never be our moral compass because its True North changes every 24 hours and it follows the sizzle of urgency.

Soon, the public gaze will drift from this topic, and with it could go real relationships, more loving communities, changed churches, important legislation, and the kind of transformative renovation that only comes through our sustained attention.

If you really give a damn about the LGBTQ community, yes, please do it today.

But perhaps more importantly—do it tomorrow.

Do it a week from now when their phones stop ringing.

 

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