Worth Reading This Week
It’s Friday, and that means I share what’s worth reading this week that you may have missed! First, Amy Mitchell is a lady I know through Twitter, and she is an intelligent, forward-thinking, sharp writer. And all that skill is on display in a post from this week about Emergent Christianity and its problems with inclusion and privilege:
I have also become frustrated with the fact that Emergent types are willing to talk about inclusion but often fail to practice it. For example, LGBT people are frequently left out of the conversation in the supposed interest of attracting more people to the table. To put it simply, there is a widespread attitude that people should not be made to feel “uncomfortable” if they believe that homosexuality is a sin by having actual gay people speaking and teaching. To allow such would imply that Emergents have taken sides; thus we’re reduced to hearing straight people speak on behalf of LGBT Christians rather than hearing from LGBT Christians themselves.
Which brings me to the last problem. It disturbs me that the words “rigorous thinking” should be used in conjunction with anything having to do with faith. This was exactly the kind of narrow-minded bullshit I tried desperately to leave behind with the evangelicals. In their case, the issue was over finding the one correct interpretation for every single word of the Bible. Right doctrine trumped everything else. Now we have this particular brand of emergent thought that assumes we just need to study harder so that we can figure out God’s intent through Scripture. Understanding the context and nuance in history and the Bible will render previous versions of Christianity null and void and lead us to perfect practice of our faith. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. Replacing one crappy theology with an equally crappy theology leaves us nothing but a huge pile of manure. And certainly, maintaining that study is the most important aspect of spiritual practice ignores the fact that not all Christians are highly intellectual, nor do all of us want to spend the majority of our time poring over dense tomes. Most of us just want to love God and love people, and we’re all still trying to work out what that means.
And this piece by Joel Anderson about unlearning misogyny is also vital and important:
So before the big event, the boys were told to get into a single line as we gathered outside the camp’s central building. Then, a twist: we were told we had to go in one at a time. The girls would be waiting on us.
I was first in line. The room was dark. All was silent.
I nervously walked inside and briskly walked down the narrow path to the other side of the room. The girls were lined up on each side of the path, and bombarded me with the sorts of lewd catcalls that I had laughed off for much of my life.
No, I wasn’t scared or intimidated. In fact, I was flattered at the attention because I didn’t know any better. I was later told the girls had turned their backs and gone silent to the boys who made a game of it.
And I'll let Suzannah Paul close it out here with a barn-burner about privilege.
Is it possible to unite across demographics and experience identity in being the body of Christ and liberation through growing the Kingdom of God together? Absolutely. That is part of the hope of the gospel, and I've certainly seen healing, beauty, and reconciliation come through common work. But privileged folks (who also find identity in their own race, gender, etc) need to stop expecting others to check their identities or experiences of oppression at the door. We can't build the Kingdom of God with the tools of Empire and privilege.