on Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 10.00 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
John Pavlovitz Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving You. Part 1 and Part 2
Anna Norman-Walker It all begins, not with abandonment of the truth, but with the humility to accept you just might have been wrong ….
Giles Fraser The Guardian If this is real religion, then you can count me as an atheist
John Pavlovitz: “Church, …I really need you to tolerate me.” Um, no thanks. I really don’t want to be ‘tolerated’, in that “You’re sinning but I still love the sinner” way… which lets the ‘moral’ person off the hook for their homophobia or transphobia. That kind of toleration feels condescending and patronizing, and sort of “this is really good and magnanimous of me”, when actually it still feels like they can’t… ever… accept the deep and precious things of who you are. What I long for is churches and congregations that *celebrate* who I am, where I am. And that… Read more »
Susannah – Very well put. Thank you!
Anna Norman-Walker, I’ve been known to be wrong too! And I also don’t like labels.
‘John Pavlovitz: “Church, …I really need you to tolerate me.”‘
No, I don’t want that. If I’m screwing up, if I’m living a selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed life, I want to be called on that. I need to be called on that. That’s how I need to be loved.
So, church, if you see me screwing up, please call me on it. I got died of saccharine and warm fuzzies a long time ago.
Tim, I think we’d all fall into the ‘selfish,self-centred, etc’ category (even Ministers!). So, moving on from that, we should expect a high standard from each other and, when we don’t quite make it, a smile and a word of encouragement. Having said that, our best friend (who may not go to church) can often be relied upon to ‘set us straight’ more effectively. You know, God working in unexpected places.
First re Giles Fraser. After reading his article I dug out an old quotation attributed to Robert F. Kennedy, “Crime is a matter of criminals, its not a matter of race, color,or religion”
Second, re John Pavlovitz, more of a gut feeling after reading his article parts 1 and 2, interesting to find that one does not have to be a church supporter in order to present as self-righteous or push guilt buttons.
“Tolerating” doesn’t mean I won’t tell you you’re selfish, it simply means I won’t chuck you out. I won’t celebrate you, I won’t applaud you, but I won’t cut you off, either.
There’s a good deal of misunderstanding about “tolerance,” rather like “theory” or “scientific.”
Good point, Mark, and I was probably reacting to more than the word ‘tolerate’. I think (now that I read through the thread again) I was reacting to these words in Susannah’s post: ‘I long for the day when the Church really celebrates and endorses, affirms and blesses, people for being who they are… not just who the pious Christian feels ‘morally’ they ought to be.’ My response – perhaps a little more nuanced? – is that, yes, I want the church to celebrate the unique things that constitute God’s good design of me. But there are a lot of… Read more »
If it seemed I was “calling you out” – I didn’t mean it in a cruel or derisive way, I assure you. Believe it or not (given my online personality), I really respect you. The misuse of “tolerance” has usually come from the liberal side, who tend not to like the complementary term “discernment.” I think that being “who you ought to be” is very much a matter of discernment. I understand, for instance, the reasons certain conservatives have for insisting that homosexuality is a besetting sin from which I suffer. I have discerned that they are incorrect, entirely, and… Read more »
Mark, I did not receive it in a cruel or derisive way. No worries, and thanks for your kind words.