August 20, 2005

Looking in the Mirror

The news wasn't surprising. One of the congregations with which we are in covenant has decided to withdraw from the community of churches that is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Northern California - Nevada. With their more conservative theology and the geographical distance that separates them from much of the "action," it seemed only a matter of time.

Upon first hearing the news, my first reaction was to think to myself, "Well, we don't really need them. They're too different from us in too many ways. Let them go. Maybe things will even be better without them."

But then a mirror was held up in front of me, and I realized my sin. Can a hand say to the foot, "I have no need of you?" Can an eye say to the ear, "I'm better off without you?" Of course not. Despite our differences, we are one in Christ. We do need each other. And it's not just them. Catholic and Protestant, evangelical and mainline, conservative and liberal --- we may not always agree, but we are, as the church, one in our faith in Jesus Christ.

Progressive Christians often lament the intolerance of those who are on the theological & political right. Well, today I have been made to see my own intolerance for those who don't think like me.

To the people of First Christian Church in Visalia, I say: God be with you. I'm sorry for my part in bringing about the conditions that made you feel you had to leave. You'll be in my prayers.

Side note: Tomorrow, Aug. 21, Ginger and I celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. Has it been that long? She, more than anyone, has been a mirror that has lovingly helped me to see the real me, and even though I have not always liked what I've seen, I've become a better man because of it. Now we're struggling together to raise our pack of boys into men, a task that is often exhausting and frustrating, but there is no one else with whom I'd rather take on this task. I love you Ginger!

1 comment:

B1 said...

Hi Danny, I'm a gay person who is a member of a church that has become inclusive. I've had it said to me a couple of times that a couple of people are glad that a few intolerant people have left our church because it's not inclusive, and they say it as if I'll be glad, too. I'm never glad; I always feel bad for the ones who have gone because I know what it feels like to feel like you don't fit in. It feels bad. And my intention was to find a church home, never to uproot someone else who at one time felt it was their church home. I wish we could all have the same home together and appreciate each other's strengths. I really appreciate this post and your sensitivity to all.