I wonder if a false dichotomy is defining a very important conversation at this year’s CBF General Assembly, where a 15 year old hiring policy impacting LGBTQ workers is being questioned. Two options as possible endings are being presented.
- Repeal the policy and lots of churches/$/global partners will leave the Fellowship.
- Keep the policy and millennial ministers are going to leave the Fellowship.
I don’t particularly consider organizational hostage situations or hyperbolic hand-grenades to be healthy responses. I consider them to be couched in fear, not love, in language of us/them.
There’s a better option in the Fellowship, and it’s one that we as a people of faith need to be modeling for our world. An option of conversation where we agree on unity, but don’t confuse it with uniformity. An option where we remain in joyful communion, not begrudging passing of the elements.
I pray that this difficult conversation becomes a courageous one, where we agree to get dirty in the messiness of a complicated spiritual, organizational, and, often, deeply personal issue. I pray that the posture is one of grace rather than finger pointing and line drawing.
While I don’t agree with the hiring policy, I’m committed to conversation about how to help local churches navigate this so they can be the presence of Christ in their communities. However, if we can’t, as a Fellowship model that, we can’t expect our churches to. And what kind of example of Christian community would we be? So before you speak this week, are you in a courageous conversation or preaching to the choir?