Friday, May 13, 2011

An Easy Essay*: On Sojourners

*The "Easy Essay" was a form of communicating academic conversation in an idiom accessible and clarifying for the laity - a means of democratizing intellectual discourse - pioneered by Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. The following is an experimental attempt at emulation, as well as an act of admiration and tribute.

Sojourners, the nation’s premier progressive evangelical journal,
recently refused to print an article
affirming homosexuality.
Suddenly, Sojourners is no longer
the nation’s premier progressive evangelical journal.
I do not personally recall
the place in scripture
where affirmation of everything
(except those who do not affirm everything)
was declared a mark of the true church.
I do seem to recall, however,
the final judgement of all
being indelibly linked
to the church’s treatment of the poor.
Therein, I think, lies the dilemma:
can we subvert a clear command of Christ
to one less clear?**
Can we denounce a group, despite commitment
to the plain sense of Scripture -
and care for the poor could not be plainer -
while casting them down
for treading cautiously - or even
taking a difficult stand -
where there is less clarity of imperative?
I think Sojourners could remain
the nation’s premier progressive journal
if it were to do so.
I do not think, however, that Sojourners
could any longer remain
the nation’s premier progressive evangelical journal.

**I should note that I am someone fully committed to the fullest possible inclusivity of homosexual disciples of Christ that the Gospel allows; that being said, I believe the Gospel, and not societal standards of relevance or inclusivity, ought to light the way. It is a tension in which I continue to live, trusting that the Spirit will reveal a way forward that honors both the experience of homosexual Christians, as well as the foundational reality of the grace-filled sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

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