I feel like I need to write more in-depth tonight because a lot is happening, and I feel it is important to be aware of some issues-namely: misogyny and homophobia.
The SBC drama is not going away, and it is getting worse in many ways. Beth Moore has released a blog post deleting or modifying some language she had regarding same-sex relationships in a prayer book she wrote in the past. Harm was done to children of God because of her language. She repented that it was a result of her exceeding scripture.
Growing up Beth Moore was life for me. I have said it before, and I will say it again: when she said she loved scripture; I believed her. She had life in her word that made so many of us want to listen without effort. I still love this woman, and the attacks coming her way are I why write. But, I also write to lift up my LGBTQIAPlus friends who are not benefitting from her words. This is a hard tension for me to live in, and I am going to go with the truth. The truth is Beth is in an abusive relationship with the SBC. I cannot state this more gently. Because of this, she cannot see how her words are continuing to oppress human lives that could really use her voice right now. Losing Rachel Held Evans was devastating for so many- especially the LGBTQIAplus community. I wish my voice would carry like Rachel’s-just so this community would know how much I love them, and I am for them.
Let me back up a minute. Growing up listening to Beth Moore, I actually never heard her talk about LBGTQIAplus community. I did not read many of her books. I did a couple of her studies and workbooks, and none of them talked about my friends. I had no idea she had written books that had hurt my friends. I also feel for Beth Moore grappling with the weight of her words, and what it has done to children of God. I can’t imagine how hard that is; although, the path I am on-I am going to find out. I wish she had paused for a minute before continuing her whole-hearted stance on marriage between a man and a woman when she was trying to apologize (at least I think she was trying to apologize) for her original harsh language she had written previously. People > theology. Actually: loving people as they are is great theology. If the life of people isn’t our theology; then we do not have good theology. I don’t see God making sure we had our stance on marriage right before we enter the kingdom of God. Honestly, I know that isn’t the case, because I have tasted the kingdom of God-and the LGBTQIAplus community is included. Glory!
But! Let me also say this: Beth Moore is the only damn person in the SBC trying to make amends for anything. She is apologizing, and the only one. I used to do this all the time too-not just in church, but in the workforce also. Complentarianism is rotten, and needs to be cast out. I had no idea until I left, and that is why I am holding grace for Beth. She won’t be able to see until she leaves. She is in a system much harsher than I was, and they are demanding uniformity. She has pushed the dial a lot for being in the system she is in. She is also trying to play by their rules, and they are still crucifying her. I wish she could see this is leading her to my friends. My friends are beautiful and loving and kind. They breathed life back into me when I thought I was going to be out of church forever. The LBGTQIAplus community sent me back to church. And my upbringing is nowhere near as oppressive as Beth’s system (I can’t state this enough-complentarianism on any level is oppressive). And the men who supposedly have Beth’s back are defending theology – not Beth. That is important to note.
I want to plead with people to listen. Your theology is not more important than human lives. Discrimination we allow in church plays out in public life. We can’t avoid it by trying to use the Bible to justify it. If we practice discrimination in church; then we will discriminate in public life. We should practice what we want to see in the world. If it is discrimination, then that is what we will see in the public square. Our faith is for the world, not from it- what does that mean to you? I ask myself this everyday.
Speaking up is hard. It is my privilege to be able to do so. Sometimes I feel alone – even in the world that loves me. I can’t live this life without speaking. Words breathed life back into me. Words made me realize I can love people as they are for who they are, and it is the greatest life I have ever known.
When I told Jake how lonely I feel sometimes, he reminded me of my theme song from Frozen, “Let it Go” – Jake said: “The cold never bothered me”.
Also, the friends I have made in the LGBTQIAplus community are everything to me. I wish everyone knew my friends. I am so protective of them because I love them so much. They are good to me, and they make me laugh and smile everyday.