in response to the nashville statement
My teacher is famous for saying: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Which *isn’t* to say “Love your neighbor *as much as* you love yourself”, but love your neighbor AS yourself. As an extension of your own body; a continuation of your own flesh. I am you, you are me. There is only *we*.)
My teacher is also famous for saying: “Love your enemies.”
Love your neighbors, love your enemies. This covers everyone. A person will land in one category or the other, but the response is only always the same—which merges the human kingdom to a single category, not two. No separation, no disconnect. No camps. Just one big category called LOVE.
This is why I don’t recognize The Nashville Statement. Or even the responding Denver Statement, come to think of it—though I can tell you which of the two I’m in more agreement with, but that isn’t the point. These statements mean we have to pick a side. And picking sides divides the field even further, and makes the lines and lengths between us harder, bolder. More staggering. (Why do we beg for such things? Why do we *need* them?)
And to divide us is to divide myself. It is to cut my own flesh into different tribes. Dis-memebered. Dis-embodied. Fragmented. Frayed.
The opposite of home and whole.
I was designed as one, for ONE. Full unitive existence with you and you and you. Many expressions, same flesh and breath.
The Nashville Statement isn’t a person, it’s a statement made by people, based on their doctrine. Doctrine is man-made theory, it doesn’t have form or face or feeling. Jesus never told me to love doctrine at the expense of people. He never told me to love doctrine period. So, I’m not going to. I won’t love it tightly. I won’t even love it loosely. When I’m in the presence of a person, everything I think I know and believe melts to sum zero and what I’m left with is my own face. The face of Jesus. I’m left with Love.
This is my whole axis.
And this is why I disagree with the Nashville Statement. It’s factitious from conception. It was designed to separate the indwelling of our full mutual anatomy. It was designed to tear tissue from bone. And the people who wrote it feel like my enemies (read: any body who uses their energy to oppress another body; any body that separates the Body) because they want me to go to war with myself! Don’t they know that my neighbors (read: LGTBQIA+ continuum) live inside me?! ARE me. Must I make a battleground between my parts; head and heart, grit and guts?
As far as I can tell, Jesus kicked all over the constructs, fun-da-MEN-tals, rules and regimes we MAN-i-fest[ed] to separate clean from unclean. Holy from un-holy. Pure from impure. Inside from outside. Person from person.
I’m gonna go in the way of my teacher and say, if a statement must be made, let it gather. Assemble. Make us each other. Let it be like this:
Whether you’re my neighbor or my enemy, I love you. Have patience with me while I learn what that means. While I learn how to be. While I do imperfectly.
***Loving our enemies doesn't mean we don't speak out when they divide (oppress) our Body. In fact, if they'll hear it, I believe that is a way to love them. To bring them back to collective us.***