"At one time, church leaders had a lot to say about justice, but now there tends to be an emphasis on the virtues of unity and refusal to assert oneself. If some people feel contaminated by the presence of other ‘types’, especially if those trying to maintain ‘purity’ can quote verses from the Bible to rationalise this, should not those who it is feared might ‘pollute’ the church keep a low profile for the time being? Sooner or later, change will of course occur; cannot those already on the inside who feel unsettled by the presence of the ‘other’ be gently persuaded to rethink, rather than pressured? It can be tempting to go to great lengths to avoid offence to those whose privilege is threatened.
Patience is of course needed, and the wisdom to choose when to move slowly and when to move fast. Yet there are serious risks in accepting the human-made barriers and hierarchies which keep people apart. Apart from the harm done to those who are excluded, the spiritual harm people do to themselves when they marginalise or stereotype others should be considered, given the close connection between love of God and love of neighbour."
Read the rest of Savitri Hensman's piece at Ekklesia.