This is what I’ve decided:
I am done believing the lie that all anger is sinful. I am done being told that I am disagreeing with the Bible when I disagree with a preacher. I am done sitting still in a pew while a person on a stage tells me to cheer for him, to make him feel great for “just preaching the Word.”
I will no longer encourage the worship of leaders and pastors. I won’t cower in the back row while someone tells me, under a guise of loving redirection, that God has not called me to do certain things because I am a woman. I won’t accept the notion of “equal, but different.” That idea didn’t get us far the last time we tried to make it true. So yes – I will continue to sit in my seat on the bus.
I will lean into this anger, because I love the Church and I love Jesus more. And I can’t sit still and quiet when the ones I love are manipulated, deceived, or oppressed. I will call for context, details, and interpretations from across the aisles. I will praise God when truth is spoken, and no one else. I will hold leaders accountable. I will challenge those who have power, even if I am afraid. I am so tired of being afraid.
I will unclench my fists, because while quick heat lights fires, only steady oxygen keeps them lit. I will refuse to give in to bitterness. I will refuse to let anger become me. I will refuse to close my eyes and ears. I will loosen my grip, too.
I will create a disruption. I will overturn tables in the Temple. I will read the Word aloud. I will sit at the feet of Jesus and learn, a passionate rabbi-in-training, then I will go out and preach. I will give people water, I will see them as people, not projects; I will relinquish my souls-saved tally, I will invite those who have been turned away, I will beg forgiveness for the sins of my people. The Gospel does not offend because of who it leaves out. It offends because of who it lets in.
I won’t close the gate. I will push aside the guards and I will pry open the wrought iron bars, even if no one comes to help me. Even if everyone does.
This is what I’ve decided.