I made my own meme in a truly middle-aged fashion; I typed my thoughts using Word in a typewriter font, screenshot it, drew some snazzy bright arrows, and posted it as an image. It was quite the tech accomplishment for this lady who googles Google in order to google a question.
Pretty nifty, yes?
What I wrote is provocative. It was meant to be. It was also heartfelt and, for me, subject to fair consideration and prayer before publication. But truth is truth. As a society we are wrestling with the efficacy, relevance and justice of our institutions–government, workplaces, communities, and yes, churches. And so I ask, how just, efficacious and relevant is your church?
I can no longer worry about who will be offended by my view, who won’t be my friend, who won’t like me. It is just that timidity that has led to so many of our institutions being impotent and feckless. And I’ve been a part of it.
I won’t be a part of a church that refuses, due to fear or willful ignorance or apathy or PR concerns, to speak out against evil, that worries about rich white donors who will withhold capital or not-rich white pew sitters who will spew disapproval. I won’t give to or attend any church that ignores the pain of its congregation of color, whether dwindling or burgeoning. It’s wrong. It violates my well-formed conscience. And I won’t do it anymore.
Today I got an email from my parish priest and the director of communications at the parish. It started with a caring note and then provided challenging content that was bold and, more importantly, necessary to my continued discipleship. And I know I will hear discipling preaching this Sunday. It shouldn’t be any other way.
May I never go back to being a consumer of cowardice from the pulpit. My part in that may have been considered benign, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t.
A church that lacks discipling content and opportunities that meet the relevant issues of modern day society, including topics of racism and the othering of segments of society, is feckless and impotent.
In short, a cowardly/apathetic/willfully ignorant/PR-obsessed church is an irrelevant church.
More the affiant sayeth naught.