Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. – Matt 19:14
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. – Matt 19:19
If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. – Matt 19:21
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. – Mark 16:15
And he said The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.to them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. – Luke 4:18-19
He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. – 2 Nephi 26:33
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. – Alma 7:12
For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all – Doctrine and Covenants 19:16
I quote all of these to make a point. There is no asterisk in any of these words from or about the One that I worship as my Savior and My God. In none of these, or in any scripture describing Christ’s atonement and grace, is there a line that says, “Unless you are LGBT,” “Unless you are of another race,” “unless you are from another country,” or another culture, etc., etc., etc. The Grace and love of Christ and our Great Eternal Parents is for all – Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Transgender, White, Black, Muslim, Atheist, etc, etc…We are ALL DEARLY BELOVED children of God. All. And we all get to come unto Him. ALL. There is a place for ALL at His table. Christ LIVED this as He ate with sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, and other unpopular social groups. UNFORTUNATELY, modern Christians far too often teach and live a doctrine of Exclusion. People who are different become the “other” and are excluded.
This brings me to my “Hymn of Social Justice.” This one is actually, factually, and truly a hymn that has been published in a number of Christian Hymnals, including the new Community of Christ hymnal, since it was first published in 2008. It is called “For Every One Born” and is by Shirley Erena Murray. Ms. Murray states that she wrote the hymn in 1998 while doing work for Amnesty International because “I couldn’t find anything to reflect a broad overview of human rights in any hymnbook.” She tried to write a hymn that discussed social justice and human rights in a gospel context. Speaking speciffically of the LGBT community in relation to her Hymn Murray said, “in places where exclusion by the Church is a source of injustice and pain, as with the gay and lesbian communities, (For Everyone Born) has been used to ask for a place at the table, along with every other believer.” Here is the chorus:
And God will delight when we are creators
of justice and joy, compassion and peace;
yes, God will delight when we are creators
of justice, justice, and joy.
Please enjoy this performance by the First Plymouth Church of Lincoln, Nebraska.