Thursday, October 01, 2015

whose names do you not mention?

a list of people whom we cannot name as our brothers and sisters. drawing by rob goetze

Whose names are not mentioned in your church? Of whom have you never heard it said, "they are our brothers and sisters?"

Consider this from Brian McLaren:
The vestiges of Imperial Christianity are not always as obvious as this inscription in stone. But they are no less present in most of our churches. Racism, colonialism, exclusivism, elitism, and other members of the hostility family often hide camouflaged in songs and hymns, devotionals and prayers, sermons and Sunday School lessons. And it’s not only what is said that aids and abets hostility: it’s what is left unsaid. For example, I remember preaching in a predominantly Tutsi church in Burundi. After I made an appeal for the Twa people, the nation’s oppressed minority, someone came up to me and said, “The word Twa has never been spoken before in this church. It is as if the Twa didn’t exist. Thank you for reminding us that the Twa are God’s children.” I thought of how many real-world hostilities around the world are similarly protected through avoidance and silence in churches today.

Brian D. McLaren, p.168, in Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World

I spoke up at a church meeting a few years ago, and talked about wanting the church to be a place that is welcoming of our gay brothers and sisters in Christ. Later I realized that I had never heard anyone use the expression "our gay brothers and sisters in Christ" at our church, ever. Perhaps that was the first time it was even said there....

Perhaps it reminded some that this isn't an issue to be debated and ideas to be objected to, but that there are real people involved....

 Hopefully, some who never thought about it might begin to consider the breadth and width and depth of God's love and of the body of Christ.

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