In June 2018, the RCA General Synod commended the “Great Lakes Catechism on Marriage and Sexuality” for consideration by the Commission on Theology (COT) and the wider RCA. In response, a diverse group of people from the LGBTQ community, parents, pastors, educators and others shared their thoughts with Room for All and the COT, offering alternative perspectives on a faithful ethic for living as sexual and gendered people of God. Room for All is grateful for the opportunity to share those responses in “Outsights” over the next several weeks.
A Letter to the Church
Kate Mears – New Jersey
Time and time again, the Christian faith has been challenged and differences brought to light. Time and time again, we, as a church, look to Sripture as a guide to get us through. This has helped us to grow throughout these many years. Starting as just a group of disciples under Christ, we have come to the place we are today.
Throughout history, we moved through the initial conflict over the acceptance of the Gentiles (which includes all of us), and learned that the church was to welcome all sorts of people. We continued to progress through the years and through the Reformation, through biblically defended slavery, and through segregation, bringing about today’s Christian faith. What we defended in the past, we speak against now. Even still, we encounter challenges and we continue to look to Scripture as a guide.
It has been said that scripture interprets Scripture, and that God no longer speaks through anything other than what is written in the Bible. God used to speak to people, like Abraham, Moses, and the judges. However, God had been silent before, during a time described in the Bible. God wasn’t speaking to Eli, the High Priest. But one night, God broke the silence and called out to Samuel instead. Eli had to humble himself and listen to God speaking through another, about where God was leading God’s people in the future.
We always need to be willing to have open ears, minds, and hearts to know where God is leading us. We always need to humble ourselves to be listening to others and the perspectives they bring so that we can learn and grow, not just as individuals but as a whole church.
Eyes can even confirm what your ears are hearing from those with ties to the LGBTQ community. When you live a life alongside a person in the church who is in the LGBTQ community, you will be able to see God in their life, just like you will be able to see God in someone else’s life. You can see God bringing out the best in the person and showing the essence of God in this world, love. Somewhere down the line, people stopped looking for God in others. We stopped looking for that true essence of what God is, love.
This Great Lakes Catechism on Marriage and Sexuality is an attempt to silence the voice of God. God has been speaking to us and the essence of God can be seen so visibly in God’s beautifully created people in the LGBTQ community. We must be willing to hear God’s voice and see God’s essence in the LGBTQ community. We can’t grow in faith without God in the midst. If we are casting out or silencing those who have God’s voice and essence of love, then we are casting out and silencing God. We need to listen to what God is saying. The authentic lives of LGBTQ people must be honored and celebrated as all life should be.
May the still, small voice of God reach us all. Your sister in Love and in Christ,