Queering the Church?

I do not see my ministry and its responsibilities as entailing either queering the Church nor churching the queer community. I believe my work is about demonstrating to both, in light of a long history of suspicion, persecution, divisiveness, and degradation, that God holds us both in love and favor for the gifts each brings to human life and joy. It is to our peril that we fail to recognize the gifts every human community, indeed every human person, offers without either holding up the Church as the only right model, or declaring that some expressions of love are less authentic or holy than others. It is my work to hold both my beloved Queer community and my beloved Church in tension with one another and to demonstrate that they share a common inheritance in God’s love, as do all the beloved creatures of God, and that they need not be opposed to one another. They are both inheritors of love. Healing and reconciliation are possible, and they have things to share with one another that both need. The Church needs a more truthful (by truthful I mean what IS) understanding of what God’s demonstrable, holy, self-sacrificing love looks like in the actual world; and the queer community would do well to embrace their truth - breaking open of the gift of their own expression of love that transcends the Church’s rigid ideas of what is acceptable. I am not in the world among my queer siblings to bring them to Church. They may do that if they wish. I am in the world to bring God - as I am able and willing - to those who wish for God IN SPITE OF the Church. To say God’s ways are not the Church’s ways, or my ways. 

And I am afraid to say that the Church doesn’t get to set the boundaries of what that love looks like. What configuration it takes. The Church doesn’t get to try to co-opt queer experience into her own rites and rituals to feel good about itself, or to pat itself on the back for being inclusive (all of a sudden) to those it has marginalized for centuries. And, likewise, the queer community would do well to understand that the Church has the means to demonstrate ways to show forth our lives to greater purpose than that which we have chosen for ourselves, having been taught by the world to expect no more than we’ve been given. Or having been taught we are worth less than who we truly are. The language of holy love is the Church's. Not that our love isn't holy, but that we too often lack language for it. The language of unadulterated and unapologetic love is ours. Not that the Church is in the business of apologizing for love. It doesn't. Love is messy and complicated and holy and exalted and unendingly and variously beautiful. And in God's love, there is surely room for all of it together; and the language that we need to describe it, to celebrate it, and to honor and sanctify it belongs to us all. Not just the Church. And no matter what you've heard, the queer community has it in spades. And it's not that we merely need to learn about it from the Church. The Church needs to learn about love from us.