Church Talk

reclaiming worship music for the queers

reclaiming worship music for the queers

If there's one common thread that's been running through this entire year of 2018, it has to be the fact that everything about this year feels incredibly different and new than any other and in a different way than any other, something I've already talked a little about

Something that's been a big part of this unfamiliarity is perhaps how I finally found my way back to church and how it's finally become something meaningful again. I write a lot about being queer, and if you follow me at all on Twitter, you'll notice that I tend to float around the queer, progressive, #exvangelical circles. Those places have provided me virtual community I've never been able to find before, and at the same time, I know that my faith is still an integral part of my life and who I am. And for all the ways and times I've been burned by Christians and the church, there's something deep inside of me that reminds me that isn't who God is. And so I'm still here. I still call myself a Christian, albeit hesitantly sometimes, just because I know of all the different connotations and pictures people will get in their head associated with that word. But if there's been anything about organized Christianity that's been particularly sticky for me (anti-queer theology and the like aside), it's worship music and the often problematic relationship Christians have with it.

getting back together

getting back together

Something that you'll know about me if you've known me for a little while is my complicated relationship with the church. You could say that things have been on-and-off for the last several years since coming out, for all the obvious reasons. Calvinism. Complementarianism. Oh, and of course, the bigger kicker, non-affirming LGBTQ theology.

Just the other night, I was sitting in my car, talking to my sister in the driveway about how for about three or four weeks straight immediately prior to me beginning what would become my 3-year hiatus from church, the head pastor felt the URGENT NEED to sneak something into the sermon about how depraved or broken or lost queer people are, by virtue of existing. It didn't really matter that the sermon had been about Peter denying Jesus three times or the Great Commission or some other completely unrelated topic. Apparently, this particular pastor happened to be massively convicted that he had to speak against queer people. Cool. Not relevant. But I guess we'll go with it.

That was the last straw essentially. At that point, it didn't even feel like a pastor reiterating the church's established beliefs on sexuality. At that point, it just felt like a cruel reminder that at this particular church, queer people were certainly NOT welcome, unless of course they were willing to entertain notions of lifelong solitude or conversion therapy.

And so, I left.