March 7th: Forgiven

© Paul Jeffrey

Oh, merciful God
Forgive us, forgive us
Oh, merciful God
Forgive us, forgive us
For all the things we have done
And left undone
For all the things we have done
And left undone

These lyrics are from The Brilliance’s song Now And At The Hour Of Our Death. I struggled with what I would talk abut today, until I saw an Open Letter for Racial Justice Accountability and Transparency to the Reconciling Ministries Network Board of Directors. You can read the letter here.

We as a Church focus on forgiveness as a cheap grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” When we hear the gospel of cheap grace being preached we are hearing “Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness.” said Bonhoeffer. But, we can’t go on continuing doing the same thing. By continuing we are doing harm.

When we joined The United Methodist Church through confirmation we reaffirmed our Baptismal Covenant that said “Do you accept the freedom and power to God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves? Yet we fail, constantly with these vows. Today, I won’t be silent any longer. I stand with my queer colleagues of color who face oppression and injustice both inside and outside of the church. I will no longer be silent in the ways that my queer colleagues of color face oppression by lack of support through the denominal caucus Reconciling Ministries Network.

I will stand up and speak out for the lack of presence and commitment to LGBTQIA persons of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, and poor LGBTQIA people; will you?

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One thought on “March 7th: Forgiven

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  1. Thanks for writing your thoughtful blog and for including a link to the Open Letter, which I was unable to otherwise find. Almost thirty years ago, a black, lesbian friend of mine confided to me how she was on the very bottom rung of society’s ladder in the USA. She was a smart, funny woman who I liked very much and I didn’t understand what she meant, but years have shown me how right she was. Ever since that encounter, I’ve been mindful of just how incredibly difficult it is for LGBTQA persons of color to live and thrive in our world today. Your blog, and the Open Letter, reminded me once again of this, and the need for me personally to speak out when I have the opportunity.

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