I’m a person who others look to for inspiration. In times of crisis and despair, I’m called on for prophetic truth telling. These are my gifts and my call. However, today I’m struggling with this call. I am trying to hold together seemingly disparate parts of myself. I’m trying to lead in the midst of coming to terms with some truths that have recently been revealed; truths that I’m ashamed of admitting.
But my journey as an Afro-Latinx human being also taught me much more than about what it meant to be Afro-Latinx in a country that doesn’t see us. Being Afro-Latinx taught me about the U.S.’s failure to reject (and in turn, the Church’s own difficulty to reject) binary ways of thinking and binary ways of seeing people. For most of my life, I felt like I had to go into a neat box in order to belong. A Latinx box. A black box. I felt like I couldn’t be both things at once. I could not be multitudes.
The Church needs to be okay with questions of why. Discussing them will make The Church stronger, not weaker. If you are a church leader and you are not comfortable talking about the why of your beliefs, maybe you need to rethink your beliefs. If you are a Christian and your stomach knotted up while you read this (like mine would have a couple of years ago), take a deep breath.
My conservative friends give me hope in a time when I really need some hope. They help me re-frame my liberal rants into something conservative people could hear. They engage with my ideas and don’t make it personal in a time where its so easy to get personal. And our faith is not on the line. We don’t accuse one another of being bad Christians. I’m not willing to trade these relationships that mean so much to me for a 12 minute political rant. Especially when the best part of talking about politics with my congregation is hearing from them.
Society tells me that all I have to do be safe is get an education, speak well, wear a suit, and I’m covered. But I remind society that Dr. King was well educated, well spoken, and was killed and buried well dressed. So sometimes I wonder if his living was in vain?
Virginity is not the secret of to healthy or good relationships. Evangelicals worship at the altar of purity and put resources, time, and theologizing into protecting it without teaching is people how to be Christians of sexual integrity and Christlikeness.