From Police to Co-Misdemeanors

11 11 2010

A classmate of mine wrote a great article here about the churches’ (non-existent) response to and large part in the series of suicides by gay individuals due to bullying. Here’s my response to her wonderful thoughts and reflections:


This is very well-stated. I especially love the point you made about inhabiting the space of the oppressed person to break open and apart what the standards are and should be.

I think that’s the key to all types of reconciliation. We should decide to be with those who we police trading in our guns and badges of authority for community. Choosing to inhabit the space of “the lesser”, adopting “in-between” identity, and disseminating one’s power gained through “spiritual harassment” are the starting points to a Christianity that encourages dining with people who are different than you and even taking time out of your schedule to be a healing presence to the suffering.

Loving someone so much more than ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4) that we take on their perspective, their burden, in order to learn how to love them properly is the Christian faith at its best. It is the beginning of belonging and seals the deal that one is a Christian.

Sure Christianity is about holiness, I’ve learned this raised in a black church, but I think most churches centered on holiness forget that (I may get in trouble for this) holiness was trumped by compassion. Jesus went out of His way to break the Jewish law in order to heal someone – He did this multiple times that I hope can still send a message to churches. If Jesus had to choose between holiness/correctness and compassion that must break those rules, Jesus chooses compassion.

Your charge is a difficult one. Inhabiting a space of “lesser” invokes powerlessness, and power is hard to come by so we hang on it. But I figure that if Jesus, the reason for the Christian faith, could be a suffering servant (Phil. 2:5-8) and live a life that rejected power over compassion, then we can. It will be difficult, but it is so necessary, especially for those us who are serious about being called Christians.




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