GO TELL IT ON THE POLE
A Great Commission
We’ve all heard the lovely Christmas song, Go Tell It On The Mountain. The song sings the great news of the birth of baby Jesus. The good news that ought to be shouted from the mountain top for all to hear. If you don’t know, the chorus goes like:
Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
A beautiful song (best done by David Crowder in my humble opinion) that tells of God’s presence entering into our world in human form. A song reminiscent of, what many Christians would call, The Great Commission. The command from Jesus to make disciples of all nations. A call to spread the news of Jesus as far as your voice can go.
Unfortunately, this verse has mainly been used to promote the practice of conversion theology. A theology centered around a humanity that is inherently broken and in need of being saved from their inescapable evil ways. The only way to “save” them is converting them into disciples, or followers of Jesus.
I was raised in the Church with a sense of urgency to share my beliefs in Jesus. I needed to have some kind of “elevator speech” ready to give at any time. God would present opportunities in my life, that could pop up at any time, to share my faith. I needed to be ready to share the Gospel and how it saved me at a moment's notice. And if I failed to present the Gospel in a transformative way, I might be the reason someone ends up in hell for eternity. If I cared enough or loved my neighbor, I would have this speech memorized and ready to go whenever I needed. I’d hear this message every time we heard about the Great Commission.
The Great Commission comes from the end of Matthew 28. Jesus meets with the disciples on a mountain after he was killed and resurrected. The Great Commission is the last thing Jesus had to say to the disciples, according to Matthew. Jesus said:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I have heard this verse preached many times to invoke a call to evangelize to anyone and everyone. To follow Jesus’ command and go make as many disciples as we can. Not to be afraid to share our faith, even with complete strangers. If I saw someone was about to be hit and killed by a bus, wouldn’t I at least yell out to warn them? Someone who wouldn’t warn someone of an oncoming bus is just like not sharing Jesus with those who don’t know him. If I loved them, I’d say something.
There is plenty of manipulative material to unpack in that one paragraph, but I don't want to focus on picking that apart. Instead, I want to explore how Matthew 28 might be saying something much more. Instead of focusing on Jesus’ call to make disciples everywhere we go. We have to understand that Jesus was not only asking his disciples to spread the good news as far as the East is from the West. Jesus was calling the disciples to share the good news inclusively.
Ancient Israelites had their hang ups just like the rest of us. They were a rather exclusive group of people that had their prejudices against others. Multiple times Jesus preached against this and lifted up the “outside” groups. Jesus taught the disciples to humanize Samaritans, Cananites, women, unclean, oppressors, and gentiles of many different types. When Jesus called the disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, he was asking them to include everyone. No matter how different, what their lifestyle was, or what they believed, Jesus calls for disciples to be made inclusively. Inclusive of all nations, all sexes, all colors, all bodies, all lifestyles, all people. What could this look like in the world of sex?
What if we made disciples in the kink community?
I imagine we might have a new sense of the value of a person’s body. Scripture teaches how our body is a temple and ought to be treated like one. With disciples in the kink community, we could learn much more in terms of how to care for our bodies as well as others we love and play with. Ethical kinksters practice informed consent to navigate kinks that demand respect, dignity, and love in order to engage safely. Kinksters could teach us of the incredible amount of trust people encounter when engaging in kinks that push people to their limits safely. Limits, that are otherwise dangerous and abusive, can be pushed with an agreed upon and 100% respected safe word. A trust that allows for someone to feel absolutely out of control, yet completely safe.
We need kinksters as disciples of Christ not to be converted to look like Christians, but to show us the healing that can come from kinky play. Kink is a potential vehicle to heal people from past trauma. Dominatrixes use BDSM practices to provide people with safe spaces to live out uncomfortable scenarios, ultimately giving them back the power they lost from a past abuser. We need inclusivity when making disciples so that we can learn of the life God breathes in places we aren’t familiar with.
What if we made disciples in the community of ethical non-monogamy (ENM)?
I believe we might learn ways to navigate our emotions around jealousy, resentment, and communication skills. While these things are pertinent to anyone, those who are in non-monogamous lifestyles have to learn how to regulate and address these things in a healthy manner as their relationships are exponentially more complicated than a traditional monogamous couple. Resources like the book The Ethical Slut or the Normalizing Non-Monogamy Podcast are great resources (out of many) that teach how to navigate these challenges. Disciples within these communities could show us the importance of autonomy. To break down the sense of ownership of another’s body, mind, and heart that often comes with the Christian understanding of marriage. How we assume that becoming one flesh is an exclusive act and lasts forever. Christian culture could largely benefit from incorporating these values into our faith in order to be better neighbors.
What if we made disciples in the sex working community?
I wonder if we’d have a much deeper sense of empathy. If Christians gave sex workers the time of day and the power to preach of the atrocities that permeate the sex working community. Atrocities that we allow due to our lack of legalization or even decriminalization of sex work in the United States. We criminalize the victims of sexual violence brought up by violent, misogynistic men who treat sex workers as nothing more than a pocket pussy. An object for his pleasure. We need disciples in the sex working community to bring to light the dangers and unethical practices within it it that continue to hurt human beings, God’s children. To help protect those within the community and to teach us the most effective ways we can help. Unfortunately most Christians, I know, point fingers at sex workers for monetizing their bodies and skills. To what end? How does pointing fingers help heal or love people?
We need disciples within the sex community to speak to the pain and suffering of their clients. How many sex workers have stories of sad and depressed clients who simply long for physical touch, intimacy, or simply someone to talk to. There is a deep hurt within our society that sex workers do the work to heal. Sex workers reflect the love of Christ when they listen to a sad man lay on the hotel bed and share his tearful woes into her comforting bosom. Sex workers bring new life to couples who struggle to find intimacy with one another and need the help of a professional.
And the Christian community misses out on all of this due to our lack in listening and only wanting to provide solutions that simply stop sex work from existing.
What if we had disciples in all lifestyles?
I’d imagine we’d have fewer blind spots when trying to love our neighbor. We could have a bigger and more encompassing group of followers that would bring all the more wisdom. Wisdom that would enable us to participate in God’s action better, ultimately making heaven on earth more of a reality every day. I don't believe Jesus was calling us to make disciples of all nations so that we could spread the news of Jesus to every corner of the earth. Or at least, not only that.
I believe Jesus calls us to make disciples of every nation in order that we create a diverse body of Christ. That we have brothers, sisters, and people from all walks of life make up the body of Christ and inform it to be the best we can be for those around us suffering. We can’t expect to all be the same. Just as the foot can’t expect to be the hand. Each body part has purpose and talents from God that are strengthened due to their diversity. We’ve got to begin to recognize these different body parts of Christ. Just because they don’t look like the part you may be skilled in, does not make them invalid.
Non-monogamists, kinksters, sex workers and any other ethical sexual groups of people ought to have disciples entrenched in them. So that Christ’s news of love may reach every corner of the earth AND that the body of Christ can work together in harmony in order to participate in God’s action in this world bringing heaven all the closer to our physical reality so that everyone’s needs might be met.
I believe our call to make disciples of all nations is not to simply make everyone like us, but to better our own community. To better equip us to serve our neighbors in meaningful ways by illuminating our blind spots when making disciples who are not like ourselves and living in communities we are not familiar with. We must be better at listening to those disciples in order to actually know what communities outside of our own actually need.
Christians, we must listen to those already involved in these communities. We must stop pointing fingers and condemning others because they are different from us. Learn from one another. Serve one another. Let go of the sense to control others
Shout the Good News from the mountain tops!
Go tell it in your local sex dungeon!
Go tell it at the swinger party!
Go tell it on the stripper pole!
Go and make disciples of all nations!
THANK GOD FOR SEX!
-The Dirty Minister