Following Aslan: Calling the Church to Radical Inclusion

Metaphors.

They are powerful symbolic narratives that have the ability to soften our hearts, expose injustice, convict us of our culpability, or reveal profound truths.

I recently came across a compelling one in C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian.

The Metaphor

The four Pevensie children and Trumpkin the dwarf are trying to make their way across a gorge to get to the Stone Table. Peter has been leading them, choosing a route based on his intimate knowledge of Narnia from his days as High King.

Only that was hundreds of years ago, and the terrain has changed dramatically.

They end up completely lost.

Suddenly, Lucy catches a glimpse of Aslan in the distance, convinced that he wants them all to follow him. Not having seen the Lion themselves, the rest of them doubt Lucy, skeptical that he would appear to just her and not all of them. Plus, he was in the opposite direction of the way that seemed the most sensible! They take a vote and Peter decides to continue down the gorge as planned, ignoring Lucy’s vision.

Predictably, they run into trouble and are forced to backtrack, realizing a little too late that they should have listened to Lucy in the first place.

That night, Lucy encounters Aslan face to face and receives a gentle rebuke for not coming up to him alone when she saw him, even if it meant leaving the others. 

Then he gives her a task:
“If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me—what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”

“Wake them up.”

So why am I telling you this story?

Because I am Lucy, and this is me finding out what will happen…

 

The Meaning

I am LGBTQ affirming.

It began years ago, when I started listening to the stories of those who were faithfully LGBTQ. I grieved over the pain they experienced at the hands of the Church. I saw their deep love for God and their profound faith despite the Church’s efforts to exclude them. I heard their desire for community and companionship even though the Church limited and prohibited relationships. And much to my surprise, in spite of everything the Church told me, I saw God there. I had been taught that God could never show up in a place like that, but there He was, plain as day before me.

But instead of following God, I reluctantly followed the course that the Church set—a seemingly reasonable path based on past tradition, but one that was leading us astray. I submitted to the majority vote cast by the Church—the belief held by the elders who asserted that one could not be both gay (or gay-affirming) and Christian. I tried to stay together for the sake of “unity,” occasionally voicing my dissent. But I was just little ol’ Lucy, and it was Peter and Susan who had more maturity, experience, and authority to make the calls.
Then… God had a little heart to heart with me.

And I now know what I have to do.

I have to follow Him, even if it means leaving my brothers and sisters behind. I have to be willing to part with the Church so that I can stand with those whom she persistently rejects, but whom Christ radically welcomes.

Some might label me
mistaken,
delusional,
divisive,
or downright “naughty,” as Susan said of Lucy.

But now more than ever, I am compelled to follow God rather than man.

 

The Call

I could just sneak away and leave while everyone’s sleeping. It would be easier. But I can no longer quietly dissent.

No, like Lucy, I’ve been tasked to wake everybody up and call you to join me in embracing, welcoming and affirming LGBTQ people.

Join me in saying “No” to beliefs that only bring about
Rejection.
Bondage.
Denial.
Self-hatred.
Death.

Join me in saying “Yes” to beliefs that offer
Faith.
Hope.
Love.
Freedom.
Fidelity.

“God is there! Can you see him?”

I will go alone, if I have to, but I do hope you will come with me.

It may seem reckless at first, following after something you can’t see. But pretty soon, like Edmund, you’ll catch glimpses of His shadow—proof that you’re on the right path.

There may be times when it looks like He’s leading you off a cliff. But then you’ll find that what appears to be complete folly is, in fact, the only path across.

The way that seemed utterly apostate in the beginning will end up being the only way to reach the Stone Table—a picture of the cross of Christ.

The cross,
where every dividing wall is demolished,
where all are invited into His presence,
where those who were far off are brought near.

That’s where I’m headed.

I’m following Aslan. Will you join me?

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2 thoughts on “Following Aslan: Calling the Church to Radical Inclusion

  1. I love the challenge of doing what God calls us to do despite the road others in the church may dictate. I’m still unsure of what you mean when you say affirning. Yes, God wants us to welcome the LGBT community into the church to experience God’s love and foegiveness, but once they have committed their life to God and choose to submit to God’s rules and not rules of their own making we can’t say that God accepts homosexuality just as we can’t say that God accepts lying or hating others. So I’m just wondering what you mean by affirming LGBT community

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    1. Hi Bryanne! I would say that I affirm homosexuality the same way I affirm heterosexuality. Not in sweeping generalizations that reject or validate all forms and expressions, but in encouraging choices that bring about the fruit of the Spirit in that person’s life. It’s not a one size fits all, in my opinion. I can affirm a person who chooses to remain celibate out of personal conviction (as opposed to being told by the Church that celibacy is their only option). I can also whole-heartedly affirm same-sex marriage for those who so choose. And then there are those who actually choose to be in heterosexual marriages. My question would always be: does it look like God?

      I do not see homosexuality as the same as lying or hating. In fact, denying one’s sexuality rather than embracing it seems to be more dishonest and hateful. Rejecting it has led to a lot of deceit. And the events of the past few days only goes to show how certain views just breed hate.

      Here’s an article that was helpful to me. https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

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