A more loving and inclusive church

February 2nd, 2024 in Church. Tags: , ,

This blog’s primary focus is faith deconstruction and reconstruction – ideas on how a postmodern Christian might find their way in 2024.

You may already know that I have split off ideas about the contemporary church into a separate blog, Let’s overturn these tables.

The latest post, Becoming a more loving church, outlines a few things I learnt at a recent Future Church conference. You may find it interesting.

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  1. Just interested if you are a member of the ‘traditional’ church (Catholic, Methodist, CofE etc) and you are trying to influence them to be more inclusive, or have you spilt off and started your own denomination?

    If the first, I think you are pushing the proverbial uphill, they are conservatives and will never change, if the second, I wish you all the best because inclusion should be what Christianity is all about.

    All the best to you.

  2. I have been a member of a traditional church most of my life (several different traditional churches over the years) but right now I am not. I certainly aren’t planning my own denomination, but I would be happy to be part of what someone else is doing. We also lead a small independent group of Christians that could be called a “house church” but certainly not a denomination.

    I think greater inclusion is inevitable and happening slowly. I used to think it was inevitable even when I wasn’t in agreement with it. There are reasons why well-meaning Christians oppose LGBTQI inclusion but while I have some questions about it all, those reasons no longer seem good to me. I think there is a good case to be made for letting each person make up their own mind. And I see more and more Christians I respect moving in the direction of full inclusion, even if they aren’t fully there yet. I read once that science progresses one funeral at a time, and I think change in the church can require generational change.

    I think other forms of inclusion (women, racial minorities, disabled) are further along the path, and very much should be.

  3. There has been generational change for 2000 years!

    Inclusion would seem to be two way. If LGBTI groups continue to demonstrate outside churches and disrupt services there may be reluctance to let them in.

  4. Yes, I think the Christian church has been constantly changing and adapting (and the Jewish faith before that – and since also). Many Christians want to believe that the Bible is fixed and nothing should change, but it has never happened, even among those Christians. The Bible text doesn’t change much, but interpretations are always changing. If Christianity couldn’t change to suit the times and culture, it would be dead.

    Are there many occasions where queer groups have demonstrated or disrupted? I don’t recall seeing many, but I may easily have missed it. But I agree, change is more likely to come from personal relationships. It’s hard to demonise someone when they have become your friend!

  5. The demonstrations were around the time of the same sex marriage debate so it would have quietened down since then, although you get occasional demonstrations by pro-abortionists (sorry, pro-choice) against the Catholic church, possibly more so in the US than Australia.

    The abortion issue would be harder to reconcile I think, you are either for or against, there would seem to be little middle ground.

  6. Yes, I’m sure there was some protest at the church’s stance onthe same sex marriage proposals, but the churches were attempting to control other people’s lives, so probably should have expected pushback.

    Abortion is an interesting one. I have always been personally anti-abortion in the sense that I wouldn’t want to support what might be (and I think likely is) the taking of a human life. But my views have become tempered by a number of things:

    1. Not everyone sees it as taking a human life.
    2. There are something like 4 times as many natural miscarriages as human-induced, so we ought to be addressing that issue first.
    3. In the US, abortions are more common in states which prohibit them, I think because those states tend to have patriarchal laws that don’t encourage or support contraception.
    4. Some parts of the anti abortion crowd seem to be so ugly these days.

    But on the other hand, when a woman miscarries, they sometimes name the child and have a funeral service. But not for an abortion. That seems inconsistent. Does it mean that our choice makes the child human or not?

    So I remain personally anti abortion, but I’m not willing to tell someone else what they should think.

  7. So I remain personally anti abortion, but I’m not willing to tell someone else what they should think.

    My sentiments too.

    Do you think the church will adopt that attitude eventually?

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