So, this is new. I don’t often write about faith or church and it’s mainly because I’ve been searching for the language. But I think I’ll be writing a bit more on this theme in 2016.
A few days ago Vicky Beeching, the theologian and LGBT activist, posted this:
We (the church) need to stop doing this. In one tweet, Vicky poignantly showed how it feels to be marginalised and dehumanised by your community.
The world at large is still not a safe place for the LGBTQI community – the Home Office’s own figures showed a rise in homphobic hate crimes last year. The church should be a welcome haven that affirms the humanity of every individual, not fuelling homophobia.
As a starting point.
It’s not just about welcome; it’s about feeling at home.
As Dianna E Anderson writes, if your church is not for the marginalised, operating on the margins, then you’re doing something, but it’s not church; “If your church is not of the marginalised, then you are not of the church”.
Addressing the complaint that from some quarters that the church is becoming marginalised in popular culture she writes:
Here’s the thing: I believe that the church is the haven of the marginalized. It is not the powerful seeking to maintain power. It is the world of those outcast by society, the poor, the hungry, the destitute, the spurned. Jesus himself decried political and statist power within the church, and focused on the margins, calling women, working class men, tax collectors, lepers, and the disabled. Church is – or should be – the home of the marginalized.
Although her post if focused on the American Church, I believe there is a lot that’s relevant to the debate here.