25
Aug
09

who is in and who is out: membership

I subscribe to Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation emails. Today’s message, Is group affiliation more important than personal transformation? struck a chord for me since my denomination is currently twisting and turning on the subject of membership inclusion or exclusion of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-gender individuals and couples. My partner and I have personally and painfully met this divisive issue during 2008/09 when we were invited to membership, then uninvited after a raging storm capsized our boat and we found ourselves paddling to shore with a few broken bones.

Now in the aftermath, I stop and turn the words group affiliation over in my minds a few times. We humans are pack animals. We want to belong…I believe God desires this for us. I believe Jesus gathered in the lost and lonely, but the church continues to stumble over who to include and who to exclude. I offer this quote from today’s meditation—better stated than I ever could:

Membership questions become an endless argument about who is in and who is out, who is right and who is wrong? Who is worthy of our God and who is not? This appeals very much to our ego, and its need to feel worthy, to feel superior, to be a part of a group that defines itself by exclusion. The Country Club instinct, you might say. That is most of religious history. The group’s rightness or superiority becomes a convenient substitute for knowing anything to be true for oneself. Where did Jesus recommend this pattern? It has left Christian countries not appreciably different than other countries, in fact, sometimes worse. The two World Wars emerged within and between Christian countries. We can do so much better.*

*Richard Rohr – Daily Meditation: Is group affiliation more important than personal transformation? Aug 25, 2009


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2 Responses to “who is in and who is out: membership”


  1. 1 ordinary (mostly)
    August 25, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Yes – I found this meditation to be on the mark, as well. I love the question, “Where did Jesus recommend this pattern?” I think that’s very important.

    • 2 Naomi
      August 25, 2009 at 3:36 pm

      Startling, actually. Let’s all wake up and smell the coffee…or hot chocolate or whatever. Oops, I forgot you are fasting. I am cruel 🙂 Thanks for your quietly insightful comment.


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