Sunday, February 16, 2014

two views to an end

Presiding Bishop on LGBT rights

The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori
The Episcopal Church (TEC)
30 January 2014

"No one of God’s children is worth less or more than another; none is to be discriminated against because of the way in which she or he has been created."


We Are Not 'All God's Children' 

Matt Barber
8 February 2014

"Indeed, God both created and loves – in a way most unfathomable – everyone who ever lived. He wove us together in our mother’s womb and numbered our every hair. But God the Father has only one begotten Son. The rest of us, in order to become one of God’s children, must be adopted – in, by and through – the One Who is the Son: Jesus Christ. Those who are not adopted are not children of God. Christ and Christ alone is “the way, the truth and the life.”"


I cannot see any way around the plain assertion by the Most Rev. Schori in her January address on LGBT rights being exactly and unequivocally that:

  • Homosexual folk are created by God as homosexuals…
  • Any ideation that homosexuality is a behaviour, and thus must be regarded as a sin (and in need of repentance, turning, amending and the forgiveness of God), is tossed out the window irrevocably…
  • And the ideation that homosexuals were created by God as homosexuals both allows and mandates that to say otherwise violates their basic human rights and that protecting their identity/behaviour/sin is inherent in (and stated to be) the mission of the Episcopal Church.

It is in that lack of necessity to repent, turn, and be forgiven by God that the problem begins…

The love of God sets us free from license: it does not give us permission ("freedom") to live there…

And to claim that homosexuals are created as homosexuals is a most dangerous undertaking.

And I say it again: where does the love of God take us? It does not take us to a place where we can live in sin. Being set free from bondage to sin remains the freedom of the faith.

Because one sin cannot be forgiven, and it involves claiming the work of the Evil One as that of the Holy Spirit of our Lord, you can readily see why many of us are distressed…

And why the clearest comprehension of what the Most Rev. Schori is stating as the mission of the Episcopal Church is requisite.

The mission of any Church that claims to be under the lordship of Jesus Christ is setting out the Gospel of our Lord, who came to set the captives free.

If we assert that sin is acceptable as is to God, we are not working in concert with our Lord to see that the captives are set free.

I have been waiting, as have many, for the Most. Rev. Schori to exactly say what she has said in her January address, above.

I AGREE that the love of God in us will facilitate respect for the dignity of others. The question of what that dignity might be, however, needs the careful analysis.

Christ healed a woman who had had an issue of blood for eighteen years. She had hoped to have the illness privately healed, hence her touching the hem of His robe, rather than asking to be healed. Any woman who has nervously smoothed the back of her dress before stepping out in a crowd will know exactly what that woman was hoping to facilitate in her own personal idea of healing will allow me dignity

However, in the same sense that Light invades darkness, and overcomes (that is, replaces) it, the woman could not have been healed privately.

Light had come!

When the darkness was overcome, her privacy (the exact 'essence' of dignity, for her) got tossed with it: what is of the day is plainly visible.

Dignity, in the Kingdom, is that place wherein Light has overcome the darkness.

I BELIEVE that God meets each of us where we are: how could we be met, otherwise?

Certainly, we cannot ascend to His level, to meet Him there!

But God does not leave us where He finds us, and that is the precious and fragile wonder of the faith: that we can be made new, and that God who loves us made (and makes) new possible for each of us.

The old wineskin gets tossed, belov├ęd.

It is in denying our brethren the opportunity to be made new in Christ Jesus that the mission of the Episcopal Church is confirmed at its most dangerous—.

To be exact…

At its most damning (exact sense of that word intended).

If you have not sinned, you cannot be forgiven.

I will not presume to say that the Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori has veered into the place that will not be forgiven.

Just that I cannot go where she is going with her…

NOTE TO READERS: I have been veering into a sabbatical, of late, with Notes from the Dying City, and balance uneasily as of yet on whether to make it official, or continue vacillating. The necessary readership for the amount of work involved in producing a blog has not developed. Too, another project that may prove more capable of setting out what I had hoped to accomplish herein seems to be gaining strength.

In addition, the sheer volume of 'awful' that I read out there, daily, seems to increase now. Setting in the little that I have handed on is like trying to plug a broken dam with one finger in a hole…

We live in a time when such is no longer possible.

Whether others are observing the increase in 'awful' is not mine to know. Certainly, some days it seemed like all the news was old, and even ho hum.

No ho hum now…

And I am speaking herein of the last few weeks or so of my observing, within the frame of this blog's existence.

Too, the sheer rapidity with which the destruction of this country is being accomplished came home to me recently as I listened to a report on some event—I think it was the Super Bowl, but would not wish to be held to it.

The reports had been covering how 'safe' everyone would be: from snipers placed at strategic points to helicopters to the more 'normal' safety measures now de rigueur. This particular report encapsulated all (in thirty seconds or less), along with the reports from happy crowd members jostling each other as each joyously proclaimed how 'safe they had felt.'

Whoa babe.

This is America now.

This is our country. And scarcely the tip of the iceberg of horrors set in amongst us…

As analysis of the whole, however, I remain of the opinion that I have not been able to do what I had hoped. The distance from one corner of the faith to the corner on its opposite end is so relentless in its hugeness that it has not been possible for me to set in what I hear on that opposite side to the audience herein.

In that I concede I have failed. In the main, yes, many bloggers (and news sites) accomplish what I attempted here: the issue has never been, however, that the news was handed on.

It has been that the particular corner of the faith wherein I reside is not as prone to reading what I read, and the hope that I could 'reframe' into the language that 'we' speak was the driving force behind what I hoped to hand on.

Because to preach to the choir, as my dad is fond of reminding, accomplishes little.

To merely hand on what we were all reading anyway could scarcely have been necessary!

Whether or not particular elements of that 'other side' can be trusted, however, remains a lament tainted with agenda…

I came to less of an ability to trust a great many 'authorities' as I worked with handing on. Yes, the reality remains: I do not want to be blind-sided, and far better to have tried to get out some sense of the whole, whether any of it ever came to pass (conspiracy theory is to 'maybe' as traditional news reporting is to 'happened'), than to have gone along thinking nothing was afoot…

And then be swept away, unprepared for the flood.

A generic inability to trust as 'insiders' individuals who may not be (the ultimate outcome of agenda) as truth-oriented as we are, then, both remains and accelerated, over the short course of this blog.

In the end, however, it is not so much time that I need to 'free up' to work on the other project more fully. Many bloggers blog in addition to full-time jobs that are far more demanding than my own.

It is in freeing up heart that I will gain, in firming up a sabbatical for Notes from the Dying City.

And heart, in any enterprise, is vital…

If any readers out there read this post, prayer to the one Lord who calls us from darkness on behalf of the new project would be most humbly appreciated. Many thanks to all who have supported the blog, especially to our Anglican Curmudgeon, for listing it in his sidebar of Episcopal and Anglican blogs.

I will leave Notes from the Dying City online, as several posts are read at large, even now, and the reality remains that items that must be trumpeted, for the sheer indignation of their existence, will continue to develop.

It's just that…

So many have, and I begin to lift my hands, then let them fall, eyes glazed over…