I posted a four tweet version of this, deleted them. Then reposted the following:
I rarely feel the need to make a public statement regarding my faith or beliefs. The gospels teach us love, not to hate or judge.
I deleted that tweet also in favor of attempting to explain my thoughts and feelings regarding The Nashville Statement. I am not the best Christian and while I have long struggled with institutionalize Christianity, I have never doubted the existence of God or the divinity of Christ. I know this post will put me at odds with how many people I love live their faith and that breaks my heart.
The Nashville Statement seems to encourage hate and hypocrisy. The focus on gender roles and sexual identity in a time when toxic hate is running rampant in our country and our world seems like strange timing.
Every Christian (or person who claims Christianity as their faith) should be reading The Bible for themselves, should be learning about Biblical and Church history, should be meditating on what Jesus was really trying to teach through The Gospels. Just because certain ideas have been associated with The Bible for 1,500 years and taught as “the one true interpretation” of this passage or that passage, doesn’t mean they are truth. Humanity is full of flaws as are all human institutions. Between what I learned growing up, through reading some theologians, through completing Education for Ministry, and through reading The Bible: Jesus was a man of action who sought to make a difference in the everyday lives of those on the fringes of society. He gave us the two greatest (as in most important) commandments—love God, love others—as the lens through which we are to understand and apply the other Ten Commandments.
Yes, he went after people corrupting Temple worship. However, those people were allowed to commercialize their faith by the temple priests, the leaders of their faith. Selling appropriate sacrifices and whatever else kept many of the poorest from easy access to the Temple and the required rituals of their belief system.
Time and again Jesus spoke out against hypocrisy and hypocrites. Time and again he used friendship as a way of making statements. He constantly taught in coded language through his parables.
Where in Matthew, Mark, Luke & Acts, or John does Jesus emphasize gender roles or sexual identity? I’ll be rereading them this month looking for just that. The Gospels are the heart of my faith because they were written by his closest followers or their closest followers. What these books have in common is truly impressive considering the different generations they were written in, the audiences they were written for (illiterate to well-educated), the sources we no longer have access to.