Monday, July 25, 2005

I Need a Church, for God's Sake!

It's Monday, and in most Black folk's lives, that's the day to discuss Sunday, better known as Church Day. The convo usually goes something like this:

Preacher was too long, preacher was too short; I was just gettin' my praise on
Visiting preacher was boring, he didn't have a word for me
Choir needs a new director
Choir was off tha chain
That girl's dress was just too tight
That brotha was fine, but I think he's on tha DL

Blah, blah, blah. Having been a church musician and choir director for most of my adult life, and having walked away from it about two years ago, I miss the immersion in church life. I miss the sense of community. Okay, maybe I don't miss people all up in ya business, and I definitely can live without the politics and check writer's power games. I miss a sense of communal focus on God. Period.

A friend of mine is an incredible musician and choir director. He's well sought-after, and deservedly so. He's considering a post with a church, whose denomination I won't share. He asked me to consider serving as a backup for him, and I gave a conditional yes. Boy, was I glad I did that. A little research later, and I found this gem:

Homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity.

Ah, there it is. Several denominations believe it, which is no surprise. And, it leads to my own conclusion:

I can not simultaneously be a Christian if I am homosexual, I must choose one or the other.

Heavy sigh. Well, at least I figured out why I have a headache. I thought it was caffeine withdrawal. So, essentially, any church that espouses the incompatibility belief, is not one that will welcome me unless I change. And, if I choose not to change, they won't put me out, but will do their level best to help me seek change, even pray for my change. And, churches that do not support the incompatible thing, are seen as not really Christian.

Heavy sigh again. So, do I, then, simply give up Christianity until they get it together? I mean, on the surface, most churches have publicly condemned racism. How long did that take, about a hundred years? Many churches support and encourage women clergy. How long did that take, maybe 85 years? I'm only 40, I guess by my hundredth birthday, Christianity will have sorted the gay bit out too. Problem is, I need a church now!

I miss the community prayer. I miss having a spiritual guide. I miss the music. I miss the lowering of vulnerability just enough for catharsis to take place. I miss the lessons in what God may want us to do and be (sorry, I can't yet believe that one person knows exactly what God needs me to do; I don't buy that "maybe God is trying to tell you something" crap, because God is talented enough to speak for Him/Herself). I miss being in a room with people who have the same questions and concerns I have.

It's not as if I don't have gay-friendly churches at my disposal. They're just a mess, or they're boring, or uninspiring, or just a mess. I know too many of the key players in the game, and know too many details about their inner workings. I need to be anonymous. I need a church where I don't get involved, and nobody makes me get involved.

I'm always pissed off when I encounter cool churches with groovy members, interesting music ministries, only to find that the door is open as long as I change. We're all sinners, and have fallen short. It's like being a drug addict, they argue. Or a murderer. Or a prostitute. Repent, and turn your life over to Jesus. Excuse me? I've never had sex for assets. I've never been a drug addict, nor have I ever taken a human life. My committed relationship with a woman isn't at all comparable, so save your conditions-for-Christ. What happened to come unto me, all you are a heavy-laden?

Essentially, this is a long rant about the sad state of spiritual affairs. I'm feeling a little lost, and the state of the world isn't helping. As corny as it sounds, it does ring true -- if people spent more time appreciating how differences are unifying, and not separating, things might be better. Until then, heavy sigh.

1 Comments:

Blogger Hollambeeee said...

i just wanted you to know that i really appreciate your message and that you have allies...i feel u on so many levels regarding the church and acceptance of a diversity of sexual expressions...

10:40 PM  

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