“When the church has obtained the grace and humility needed to embrace those who are different, [the] truth of the gospel will be set free of the corruption and deception that have perverted it since the first century.”
— Rick Joyner, from his book, “A Prophetic Vision for the 21st Century”
I am about halfway through this book by Rick Joyner and although he may be a bit too conservative and may even be anti-LGBT or against same-sex marriage, (I don’t know his views exactly, but his book so far indicates some smatterings of conservative, anti-liberal, anti-progressive leanings), I found this quote to be very powerful and hopeful. I think Rick Joyner may have been speaking more in regards to racial equality among the churches–racial and ethnic equality… but this quote holds true for all of us as well. I suspect he may not have fully realized the magnitude of what he was saying and how this simple quote can apply not just to people of a different race or ethnic group, but persons of faith who are expressing themselves differently in other ways beyond skin complexion or language or ethnic heritage.
I suspect that any person who feels marginalized or set aside as an outcast will feel they are waiting for the church to wake up and smell some spiritual coffee. In the Gospels we have plenty of examples of Jesus’ ministry outreach to all sorts of “different” people– lepers, tax collectors, former Pharisees, the sick, the blind, Deaf, accused prostitute, children, elderly, etc. But it is sad and disappointing when churches appear to preach but shirk from practicing– or they lose sight of what it means to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. They only seem willing and able to meet outreach halfway– reaching only to those amongst themselves or to those most conveniently or comfortably close to them.
Which is why I created this blog ministry– to try and reach out to all LGBT people who feel left out of religion or faith or opportunities to worship or feel inspired with some kind of faith. Why should we feel left out or marginalized or set aside? Jesus can reach out to lepers and people possessed by demons and heal the sick, blind, Deaf, and share table space with tax collectors and others… are we not at least as human as these people he has reached out to? I think so! Churches do need to wake up! Luckily, there are more and more churches becoming “Open and Affirming”. They are opening their doors to us and affirming that they will accepts us as we are and will not seek to change us as LGBT persons of faith. They are affirming that we have a place at the table of communion. They affirm that our love is just as valid as any other expression of love in the world.
If you find an “Open and Affirming” church, give it a visit and let me know your experiences!