“Your actions don’t justify you. No one is saying that your sex life justifies or unjustifies you.” Yes they are.
I am told that certain sexual actions or lifestyles are “not Christian.”
My sexual choices invalidate my candidacy for church leadership, whether ordained or lay. Even as a volunteer minister I could be stopped from leading if I am openly unmarried and sexually active.
Sinful. I’m told I’m being sinful.
Selfish. Following my own desires instead of the Spirit.
Improper. Indecent. Inappropriate.
Having consensual sex without being married, and not being secretive about it, is grounds for being labeled un-Christian.
If you are saying that my choices are un-Christian, you are policing the definition of Christian-ness, and questioning my full Christian-ness.
But I’m a fucking Lutheran. As Lutherans, we claim my Christian-ness is determined by Christ. NOT BY YOU. Not by my lifestyle choices. Not by any actions. Not by how I talk about God. Nothing I do can make me more or less of a Christian.
Through a super-formal (not really) Facebook survey, here’s a brief list of things that Lutherans have told me and my colleagues are not Christian, or inappropriate as Christians:
– marijuana use
– wearing jeans at church
– identifying as a gender other than the one assigned to you
– consensual sex
– short skirts
– living with roommates of another gender
– wearing open toed shoes while leading church
– consensual polyamory
– drinking coffee/tea/cocoa in church
– wearing “wild-colored” nail polish
– not wearing a dress to church
– sex with a person of the same gender
– promiscuity (even perceived promiscuity)
– talking about your sexuality, specifically homosexuality, especially around children
– chewing gum
– partying/ general hedonism or exploring what feels good for the sake of feeling good
– being asexual or relationally non-normative in any way
– listening to rap/metal/alternative/anything other than oldies, pop, and Christian music
– kissing your same-gender partner at church or holding hands
– living with your partner before you get married
– not wearing makeup to church
– wearing too much makeup to church
– looking too attractive
– speaking politically, prophetically, or critically of institutions
– identifying as bisexual
– being “too ambitious” in your career if you are a mother
– speaking of the feminine attributes of God (because it’s goddess worship)
– being a female pastor
– having a large body
– speaking about your mental illness
– analogia entis
– singing hymns written in first-person voice like God is speaking
– worshipping with your full self and all embodied identities
– being involved in the contemporary service
This is what I am pushing back on. These things don’t jeopardize my Christianity, or yours. I am fucking Christian. Fucking. And Christian. At the same time.