Open and Affirming, though it carries a specific and important association with the LGBTQ community is so much more than making churches “gay friendly”; it is a call to the church to fundamentally reorient its understanding of hospitality and justice. The full inclusion of LGBTQ people only scratches the surface of the church’s radical vocation to love those who’ve been kicked to the margins.
When a church becomes Open and Affirming, it soon finds that welcoming LGBTQ folks is just the beginning. Pretty soon, if you’re anything like serious about your faith, you begin to ask,“Who else has been left out that the church should be welcoming in? About who elsehas society generally said, ‘You need not worry about those folks. We’ve got much more pressing concerns. Their stuff (even if we think they have a right to it, which oftentimes we do not) can wait?’”
Immigrants (legal and otherwise)? People of races different from mine? The poor? AIDS patients? Those who can’t get health insurance? The disabled? Drug addicts? Ex-cons? Prostitutes and tax-collectors? Lepers? You know, the disposable people?
Continue reading: Attention: O&A Doesn’t Just Mean “Gay Friendly” | [D]mergent.