Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pariahs No More

The Rev. Dr. Alvin O. Jackson, senior pastor of Park Ave. Christian Church in New York City, a progressive church affiliated with the Disciples of Christ and the UCC, describes his journey through chaos toward acceptance:
Many of us, myself included, had a worldview out of our understanding of biology, theology, culture and tradition that caused us to look upon homosexuality as an affliction, a sin, a punishment, something not to be desired.

But then we had an experience that challenged that worldview. Maybe we got to know a gay or lesbian person and we saw their struggle. We saw their humanity, and that experience disturbed and dismantled our worldview. And we found ourselves in a state of chaos.

We can deny the reality of the experience or we can come out on the other side with a revised and transformed worldview that takes the new experience into account....

Suppose for a moment we could see one another, not as mere mortals see, but as God looks upon the heart? What would our difference look like? Could we see them not as deficits or deficiencies, but looking upon the heart, see the divinity in our difference?

Many folks are in a state of chaos around this issue of homosexuality and they are struggling with the question of how boundless; how bountiful; how abundant; how ample God's love is. I believe many folks are trying to be faithful. They are not intending to be mean and measly and meager in their love, but they are genuinely struggling with the question of how boundless; how bountiful; how abundant God's love is?

When we can see not as mortals see looking on the outward appearance, but looking on the heart I believe we see a God of abundant, bountiful, boundless, extravagant love and we see a world of pariahs no more!

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