So, my husband shares the link to my blog about how hard it is to be a woman pastor but how I'm doing it anyway.
And a gentleman who had previously seemed to enjoy my husband on twitter replied: "PREACHING NOT FOR WOMEN, LUKE WE UNFOLLOW."
My immediate thought: "Well, sir, 'WE UNFOLLOW' to you as well."
But, we don't unfollow. As with any justice-related rift within the church, the best way to make sure we don't grow is to 'unfollow.' the voices we don't want to hear. We grow when we work for unity rather than splinter in pain. We grow when we commit to learning from those we might want to "unfollow."
This is why I'm excited to be a Disciple of Christ or a part of the Christian Church...because it's both names. They couldn't even agree on a name but they wanted to stay one. The only things the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has really agreed on is Jesus and communion as a weekly practice. They don't even agree on what exactly happens with communion. They just agree that we should do it.
On pretty much everything else: we disagree well. And when we continue to disagree, when feelings are hurt, when wounds are made - in theory - we continue to "follow" one another. (Again, in theory...there is certainly some "unfollowing" and there was a historic "unfollowing" because of church organs among other things) But - in theory, and let's lean into that aspirational theory - we continue to "follow" even when we want to "unfollow."
Following means listening. It means curiosity. It means I might entirely disagree with you on one thing and possibly not even respect your way of dealing with it - but I still have an eye for the image of God in you and Her thumbprint in your work.
I really really wanted to say to that man "WE UNFOLLOW right back at ya!" But, instead, I followed him. (I hadn't been before).
I went to his feed and saw that he is pairing faith with a strong reaction to injustice in Ferguson. I have trouble tracking with anything he says. But amid broken english, he's asking hard questions of others because of Jesus.
So to my brother in the Kingdom of God's Love and Justice: We don't unfollow. We disagree. We don't enjoy. But we don't unfollow. And in the Jesus we're both spending our lives following: we love. Blessings in your work on behalf of God's love and justice.