God’s Hand

“No one can ward off God’s hand.” – Daniel 4:35

The church I serve is near the Moody Bible Institute. Moody’s president signed the Nashville Statement condemning LGBT people and their churches. “It is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgender people.” Its author elaborates, “Anyone who disagrees, is rejecting Christianity altogether.”

We organized a protest in front of Moody’s president’s office. A pragmatic friend of mine said, “Why? You’re never going to change their minds. What do you think will happen?” I didn’t have an answer.

We protested on Monday. Fifty people showed up. We sang about Jesus and prayed with Jesus and confronted Moody students with gay piety, preached through a bullhorn.

But even as we marched my friend’s question lingered. I’ve always been suspicious of the self-righteous warmth protesting fuels. I felt out of place and I thought, “What am I doing here?” That feeling intensified when a young man stepped toward me with a confused look on his face. “What are you doing here?”

I began to explain and he interrupted me. “I’m gay. I graduated from Moody three years ago.” I asked him if he was out as a student. He said, “No! Of course not. I came out at my graduation party and moved to California the next morning. I haven’t been back since. But for some reason I decided to walk past the school today. And I see … this.”

He pointed toward our signs. One read, “God made me gay.” Another said, “God is Trans.” A third read, “Moody, Repent of Your Homophobia!”

He broke into a gigantic smile. “The timing is amazing. This is amazing.

I might not have known why we organized that protest, but God knew. That young man might not have understand why he felt compelled to walk past his old school that afternoon, but God knew. The authors of the Nashville statement may never know what real church looks like, but God knows. Christ’s hand is on them as well. I pray it turns them toward the light.


Dear Lord, thank you for using us. Amen.

ddauthormattfitzgerald.jpgAbout the Author
Matt Fitzgerald is the Senior Pastor of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago. He is the host of “Preachers on Preaching,” a weekly podcast sponsored by The Christian Century.