Do You Believe Now?

texasrainbowIn January, our Emeritus Pastor Rev. Bill McElvaney announced that he will perform same sex weddings.

Several weeks ago, George and Jack announced their plan to be married this coming Saturday by Rev. McElvaney.

Today, a federal judge strikes down Texas’ ban on same sex marriage.

For several years, I have been saying that the movement toward same sex marriage was picking up steam, in terms of civil marriage. I’ve been encouraging you to believe Nate Silver, if you don’t believe me.

I’ve also said that this is not just a political or social movement, but like the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s, this is also a movement of God’s Holy Spirit across the land today.

To those who wanted to believe, but could not bring themselves to, I have a question…

Do you believe now?

Because all these things are true. Same sex marriage is even coming to Texas. Count on it.

And whether you believe you are ready, or that the Church is ready, it’s coming to the Church too.

On days like today, we can’t help but see that this is so.

Thanks be to God for Texas’ “King Cyrus of Persia,” Judge Orlando Garcia, who is doing God’s work of justice through the judicial system.

Do you believe now?

You should.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

2 thoughts on “Do You Believe Now?

  1. “I’ve also said that this is not just a political or social movement, but like the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s, this is also a movement of God’s Holy Spirit across the land today.”

    The comparison you are making here is an offensive and inappropriate one on several levels. I seriously doubt, at least I have never seen the gbltq community ever subjected to water cannons and German Shepherds, discriminatory voting laws or Jim Crow laws. I do not recall any issues with being ripped away from their homes, shipped across the open seas in ‘slaver’ ships, packed in like cattle, chained down, thrown overboard, being sold or held as slaves on a plantation with the gbltq community. I do not recall any mention of water fountains being labeled as Straight versus lgbtq. I do not recall anyone being told to go to the back of the bus because of their sexual orientation. I do not recall any separate but equal issues with lgbtq education standards (one school for straight one for lgbtq). How many lgbtq families were lynched in the state of Mississippi or Alabama or Georgia or in any other state of the union? or lived as a whole community in the ghettos?

    The two do not, DO NOT compare on any level! lgbtq of today are NOT the new black.

    Tom Meyer

    1. I absolutely stand by what I’ve said, Tom. And I suggest that it’s you who have grossly over-reacted. Please read carefully what I said. I said the movement for LGBT inclusion, in both church and state, is “like” the Civil Rights movement. Further, I said it was like that movement, because it was a “social, political” movement, and also a “movement of God’s Holy Spirit.”

      That limited sense is the sense in which I suggested there were similarities, and in no other way.

      Likening the two movements in this way in no way diminishes the African American experience. Had this been a longer blog, I could have, and would have, made that clear.

      In fact, I preached about this similarity on Sunday, and I also took great pains to point out precisely the kinds of differences you are raising here.

      However, I stand by my “likening” the two movements. This does not mean they are morally equivalent by any means. Comparing two things never means they are equivalent. Surely you well know that.

      But the similarities are well-admitted by folks both outside and inside the church, including some African Americans and “Civil Rights Leaders” who were involved in both struggles.

      I will go further….
      While I did not suggest direct equivalence of the movements, it’s you who show your lack of understanding when you say, and I quote, “the two do not compare on any level.”

      Whatever your feelings on the current movement for LGBT rights, and recognition within the UMC, to suggest that there is no comparison whatsoever, or “on any level,” shows your own misunderstandings of the situation.

      For a good example of African Americans who do see the similarities of the struggle, please see Bishop Talbert’s essay here:
      http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20140228/EDIT02/302280038/OPINION-Use-love-to-cast-out-fear?&nclick_check=1

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