Monday, September 01, 2008

On the Metropolitan Community Church and being different

If you hang out in some evangelical circles and the Metropolitan Community Church comes up, you'll probably hear it dismissed as a false church, or at best as a church that has it all wrong on matters of sin.

For those who have never heard of it, the MCC is a Protestant denomination that identifies itself with the gay, lesbian and transgendered Christian community. It's a place for people who are outcast because of their sexuality or gender identity can find shelter from the storm and be welcome.

My friend Shelly, who is transgendered, visited one on Sunday morning that is local to her. I've never been to one, but I like what she has to say:
I also remember when younger all the hostility aimed at Metropolitan Community Church and the "gay Christians" who obviously were so deluded, as they were described in my evangelical circles. When I was there, all I heard was people who put God first and considered themselves humbly and really sought to be Christlike and accepting of wherever God put them. It didn't sound any different in terms of "kingdom living" than the conservatives who had good hearts, despite any theological differences.

I think the MCC church, however, understands suffering and sacrifice in ways that I never quite felt like the middle-class white evangelicals do. When you're found yourself rejected and abused and put down because of who you are and feel you can't change, when you feel constantly excluded because of what you've determined after years is your identity, you either become insanely bitter or you learn how to minister to the broken-hearted and hurting without judgment. These people were not bitter; they really found joy in knowing God.

This is a church that does sound like it has something real to offer even us straight folks -- if we're willing to listen.

Copyright © 2008 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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