When we picture Christ as a white male heterosexual Christian we have projected our culture’s hierarchy of dominance upon the whole universe. Historically, the church has then moved from that image to discrimination against women, persecution of non-Christians, defense of slavery, attacking gay people and service to whatever empire it happened to belong to.
When St. Paul taught that, in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free, Jew nor gentile, he was calling us to a new kind of religion and a new kind of language for humankind. St. Paul was calling us to be bigger than our culture’s gender roles, its race or class distinctions and even beyond sectarian religion itself.
As long as we use the language of domination in our creeds and liturgy we should not be surprised when the church persecutes. The white male leadership of the church is trying to judge fairly, but we cannot be fair because we are unconsciously using ourselves as the measuring rod.
For Christianity to answer Christ’s call to love we must surrender the idea that we are better if we are male, better if we are white, better if we are heterosexual and even that we are better if we are Christian. When the church does not purge its liturgy of sexism, classism and racism, then our worship hypnotizes us (and our children) into our culture’s hierarchy of dominance.