The Church is a Whore

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I know firsthand how cruel Christians can be.

After all, it was Christians that told my Dad that he made me gay. It was Christians that asked me to recite a creed—out loud, that said that it was the devil and not God who gave me my attractions. And just last spring, it was a Christian that said all the gays should be killed while another called for fathers to beat their effeminate sons.

Shouldn’t forget yesterday, when the Christian media machine screamed “for shame!” over a speech in which a man told me I mattered.

And, obviously, this sucks. There are many moments when abandoning the faith completely is only a breath away.

But then I remember my brother—an employee of a church here in Minneapolis, saying something to me that at the time, changed everything:

“The Church is a whore, but she is my mother.”

These words from Saint Augustine carry the reminder of a debt owed. For all of her thistles and weeds and bullying and whoring, she kept the gospel from flat lining. She kept its’ essentials fresh.

And I love her too much to let her destroy herself. I love her for who she truly is- the body that is e pluribus unum. The one that is organic and diverse and skeptical, just like all of us.

But does this mean we simply, live and let live? Leave one another alone? Let the space between us grow larger?

Hell no. There is a far better way.

And it’s found in my story.

And yours.

And theirs.

Stories are so sacred. They put flesh and bones beside unchallenged beliefs so we have to deal with this life directly. We exchange our jagged caricatures for real faces and names and narratives.

As a consequence… the Kingdom expands a few acres.

Every one of us has a story, and until we share them, our projections of the other will dominate the dialogue. Stories bridge our souls over what once kept us apart; letting those things flow away like the water beneath us. We all share this space, this hallowed ground, where different lives meet on the floor of grace.

Here, we pay attention to one another and we affirm one another even when we diametrically disagree with one another. Here, we understand that Christ’s call for Kingdom Come wasn’t a command for top down conformity. Here we know that picking and choosing the conscience of our convenience is not the echo of a pursuit for truth. Here we listen and we learn and we walk together towards wherever God is leading us on this.

We share this space because it’s God’s.

And God isn’t the guest list type.

RR

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7 thoughts on “The Church is a Whore

  1. What a great post! Like you, I’ve been burned by Christians far more than by non-believers. The church often seems – and IS – unsafe. But, like you, I stay.

    • Survivor Girl- I love you. We have to stay because we know who the church really is, and isn’t always how she is portrayed in the NOW (ask Galileo). The space she offers is so redemptive and enamoring… and realizing that, on a whole community level, is going to make the difference for us all.

  2. I just love coming to your blog. It is such a beautiful reminder of hope and love. No matter how much I am burned by those who call themselves followers of Christ, I come here to dwell in the light of the Truth — that God still loves me, and that is a truth those people can never take from me. They make me feel unsafe and unwelcome in their Churches, but they cannot make me unwelcome in the eyes of God. So thank you for that reminder.

    • Aibird it is always good to hear your voice shared on this forum, and even better, to hear that it had an impact on you! Don’t ever ever ever forget how much God loves you.

      I hope to hear from you again soon!

      • Thank you. I’ve been super depressed of late, so that reminder is always so welcome. It can be hard to remember that in the darker moments of life.

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