So last week I posted a little random thought on oppression in the Church.  Should have known I wouldn’t get off easy on that one.  My dear friend responded…

Watcha mean oppressed bro? Who gets to decide what is and what’s not oppression? That would be critical here in this wondering question. My vote is for folks who are on to something Good and True and full of Grace, pretty much before the crowd, but the crowd is standing in front of the Great door that leads beyond. I’d say in that case we got oppression. Those folks on the crowd side a the door get to be the oppressed. We should listen to them. They’ve obviously gone a far piece to be where they are, only to find the door blocked. Why would they make such an arduous trip unless they’re on to something? So let’s let them decide about the door and the path and the beyond. Just a thought in exchange.

So, first of all, no fair making me think.  Secondly, I’m a white, middle-class, heterosexual, Christian male.  I’m always the oppressor.

But getting beyond that… who gets to decide what’s oppression?  Tricky.  In theory, I tend to agree with your description of oppression.  In practice, I tend to get fearful of giving up my power as part of the big crowd (and we already noted that I’m always in the big crowd).  And we know that there ain’t nobody getting through the door until enough of the big crowd realizes that it’s part of the oppression.

But you know… it can happen.  It happened in Acts regarding the treatment of widows.  It takes some humility, some listening to the Holy Spirit, some willingness to apologize.

But it can happen.  After all, we’re talking about the Church, right?

Right?

Sigh.

Maybe there’s a window to climb through somewhere around here.  Then we can open the door from the other side.

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