Ethics of Queer Holiness Mid-Term Question 1

  • Briefly describe what Mark Jordan explains about truth-telling in the Church
  • What is your task at hand in terms of truth-telling within the Christian Church? What would be one of the misunderstandings (that your fellow Christians learned from the existing teachings of the Church) that you feel most obligated to dedicate your time and energy to telling the truth?

Telling the truth in church is hard because while it is something we sometimes do, sometimes the church needs to hide the things that it has done to harm people, so secrets are constructed and lies are told or the truth is simply not told and just swept away. Sometimes the church focuses on hiding its sin rather than tell the truth. Jordan wrote, “The Roman Catholic church is old and arrogant; it is weighed down by institutional sins; it has invested in sprawling systems for keeping secrets.” (Jordan, p 10) The church believes that keeping a secret is easier because once the truth is known about one thing, how many other things will they learn about?

In addition, once a secret is known, there are reactions to deal with. As Jordan points out, the usual first reaction to telling the truth is anger. (Jordan, p19) People get hurt and angry when the church does them wrong. They are disillusioned and may lose faith. Our understanding of our belief system is so wrapped up in the church that sometimes the leaders can erode our trust in God.

However, Jordan tells us we need to tell the reforming truths for the church to allow the body of Christ to thrive and grow by including all. Through the whole book, Jordan tells us that truth telling in the church is hard but is something we all need to do.

My task at hand for truth telling is one I feel sorely unqualified to do. The ministry I serve is a campus ministry for the ELCA just off the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. It is one of the most conservative areas in the country, and the ministry I serve is Reconciled in Christ. We are fully welcoming of all God’s children, regardless of race, gender, identity, former faith life. No matter where you are on this journey of life, you are welcome here. My task is to be an ally, a support for the part of humanity that  much of the church and the world says are sinful and must change in order to be a part of the body of Christ. Many People in the pews, and those who profess to be or identify as Christian, have been taught that homosexuality is a sin. Some have seen through this smoke screen and yet even some of them still see transgendered as an abomination. My time and energy need to be focused on eradicating the understanding that God would create any human to be separated from God for all eternity. I feel sorely unqualified as I feel like when I started in ministry things were clear. I knew all people were included, but now I know people personally who are affected by the new transgender laws and are being held back as leaders in the church. I am not sure if what I am doing is effective. I am unsure how best to make a difference, and yet I know my voice is one that needs to be heard. As one who has had privilege due to my skin color and gender identification all my life, I need to make it known that the privilege must end, and all really means all. I will continue to grow and speak the truth in every way I can :  that gender and sexual orientation are not things God cares about. We are called to love all and know that God loves all.

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