I believe the Church is called not to make the world a better place but to be the better place God has already made in the world. I believe the Church is that better place when our differences about the kingdom we call America are transcended by the Kingdom to which we’re called in Christ.
Such a community, one like the Trinity of difference and peace, is made possible only by listening to those who are different from you.
I last posted a rebuttal from the Right regarding our Pastoral Letter on the Executive Order on Refugees. Now, I thought I would post a rebuttal to the rebuttal, from one our (majority conservative) congregation’s leaders.
At a time when a lot of Christians are lamenting how the protests against Trump make them feel, I think it’s especially urgent to clarify how the Executive Order (and Trump himself) makes other Christians feel.
Again….deep breath…to be the Church is to listen peaceably to those different from you.
“I wanted to give you a quick series of thoughts on some of the recent discussions regarding the Executive Order.
Recently the vibe I’ve gotten is that the direction people want to take with this is to stay out of it because it’s too political, and to talk about this stuff in a church context is impolite.
I’m fine with that as a leader. I can see the argument as to how that’s better for the church and its mission in the long term. I am not OK with that at all personally. As you know, my wife and oldest son are immigrants from Muslim majority countries. This very easily could have impacted them and our family had George W Bush done something similar after 9/11 (with far more justification).
I also have lived and worked with literally hundreds of Muslims. I count many of them as close friends. All of this is to say, I have very close personal ties to this issue and I will never be OK with any version of God that might countenance this, or even countenance not speaking out about this. You can say I have strong feelings on the issue!
As I am in the minority, and as I have to respect the decisions of the rest on this, I will just kind of check out of discussions around this topic in the future. I will be present, I will listen, but I won’t invest a lot of emotional energy in them as the result is it just makes me sad and angry by varying degrees.
And I am going to have to stop reading Jason’s blog for at least a little while! I am not disappointed or frustrated with any members of our church – I have simply had different life experiences than them.
I have personally appreciated Michelle Matthew’s strong stand on this issue, and also the stand of the United Methodist and wider Church overall. And I hope and pray that I am wrong about our President and his motives. Hopefully this whole issue blows over quickly, either because the courts strike it down or because it really is just a 90 day pause, and not a ban.
OK, long ramble over!