Monday evening I was a guest speaker at a fellowship/support group for LGBTQ United Methodists and their allies in Lewisville. They were all delightful people and provided me with warm hospitality and some of the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever tasted!
I shared with them some of my journey and struggle going through the ordination process. One of the attendees, who was the disowned son of a Baptist pastor, asked me whether I encounter more resistance from being gay or from being a woman when it comes to being in ministry. For me, hands down, I have faced far more prejudice from being a part of the LGBTQ community than I ever have as a woman.
This question remained on my mind when I started hearing the news that author John MacArthur had recently slammed popular Bible teacher Beth Moore for simply being a woman in ministry. (https://relevantmagazine.com/current16/john-macarthur-told-beth-moore-to-go-home-for-having-the-audacity-to-preach-the-gospel-and-help-people/). Beth Moore is actually quite conservative compared to United Methodists, but within her denomination (Southern Baptist Convention) she is a trailblazing pioneer of progressivism.
Each of us has our struggles, and for many of us that includes the extra burden of sexism, racism, heterosexism, agism, or any of the other “isms” we may encounter. The important thing is that we offer grace and support to others as they try to navigate their lives. Whatever privilege we may be granted by our culture, we must use our influence to enable the voices of the marginalized to be heard. I try to remember that, other than being gay, I am the picture of privilege. That gives me a responsibility to be a faithful steward of the advantages I have been given.
We all are recipients of both blessings and burdens. May we use them both for the glory of God.