According to my daily calendar that features an uplifting quotation in the spirit of “Keep Calm and Carry On,” American lieutenant general Lewis “Chesty” Puller was the one who first said, “We’re all in the same pickle.” It came to my mind as I pondered a provocative comment by a conservative pastor friend of mine.
Jesus spoke of His followers as a family. He saw us as brothers and sisters and we certainly have our squabbles as all families do. What we seem to have lost is an ability in the church to call upon the healing powers of a family in order to remain the Body of Christ when we disagree. This is the church family I yearn for and feel called by God to work toward. I hope your mind and heart are touched by this podcast recording of a talk between my brother in Christ, Dave, and me. We’ve known one another for decades and had many conversations about our different perspectives on the place of LGBT in the church and in God’s eyes. As we speak together here, Dave and I are hoping that you will join us with your reflections.
What a momentous thing that Jason Collins has become the first American NBA player to come out as gay! At the same time, I agree with Frank Bruni at the New York Times: This will undoubtedly bring a better day for our society, but the best day will come when matters like this are no longer a concern for anybody.
The whole point of the revised ordination requirements is this: Love. God’s love is not a new thing, of course. When asked what God’s greatest commandment for us was, Jesus replied: Love. Love is Jesus’ Truth about God that He lifted up, emphasized, and established through His words and actions in the world, including His death on the cross.
Occasionally, but rarely, have I shared my own stories. However, in this historic moment, I’d like to share a little about my personal journey in the hopes that it will inspire others to share theirs.
Today, Tuesday, May 10, marks the day now written in the Book of Life when it has become a certainty that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will allow ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender faithful Christians as elders, deacons and ministers in the church communities that wish for these candidates to become ordained.