Go there! Read it!!
There are only two possible lifestyles: Gospel and not. Full stop.
And the people will respond, "Thanks be to God."
A reading from Paul's letter to the Ephesians:
"Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband."
This is the Word of the Lord.
, . . . That the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church declares its unchanging commitment to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the only name by which any person may be saved (Article XVIII); and be it further
Resolved, That we acknowledge the solemn responsibility placed upon us to share Christ with all persons when we hear His words, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6); and be it further
Resolved, That we affirm that in Christ there is both the substitutionary essence of the Cross and the manifestation of God's unlimited and unending love for all persons; and be it further
Resolved, That we renew our dedication to be faithful witnesses to all persons of the saving love of God perfectly and uniquely revealed in Jesus and upheld by the full testimony of Holy Scripture.Never mind the very bad theology and soteriology in that ill-conceived resolution. Mostly, it’s just bad because the people who took it to General Convention wanted to embarrass The Episcopal Church much more than they wanted to glorify Christ. OK, that’s their schtick. Let it be upon their heads.
I am not sure what's happening. I was working on sidebars, when suddenly it told me it can't prcess my request. Since then, I can't view my site at all!!!! I can get to the post screen and it says it has published, but I can't pull up any other screens!! GAHH! What's going on?The reply came in from another blogger:
Apparently you weren't alone. There must have been some glitch in the past couple of days that caused the same behavior on other blogs that we saw on yours. At any rate, I'm just glad its working again. Being blogless is a lonely place to be. (I think there's a song in there somewhere)Well, I just bet I know what was going on. I bet it was the IRD! [Lame inside joke!]
. . . it is being reported that the Diocese of El Camino Real has changed the charge to its Nominating Committee from:Wouldn’t I have liked to be a fly on the wall in those conversations?
"At this time in our history and in view of General Convention Resolution B033, the Search Committee shall not nominate any homosexual person as a candidate for bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real."
"The Search Committee shall be mindful of General Convention Resolution B033."
I’ll confess this: Ever since The Episcopal Church passed resolution B033 in Columbus, I have been focused on what it meant to me and to other lay people, deacons, and priests whom I know in the U.S. But when “Leonardo” posted this question/comment from Brazil, it made me do a double-take.
However, for the "wider" communion, and especially for inclusive provinces, it would be very harsh if we didn't have a strong EC as our partner within the Communion.
I'll take my province as an example. Some years ago, there were two national consultations on human sexuality. A common statement was released, explicitly saying that "no one should have his (or her) sexuality exposed in order to take part of our clergy or laity" and that "our sexuality is God's gift, and should be lived in freedom and decency" (http://www.archive.changingattitude.org/
That means that a "Global South" country has taken a step forward in order to fully include its LGBT brothers and sisters.
But, if somehow, the Episcopal Church were "expelled" from the Anglican Communion? What would happen to those provinces and dioceses that are struggling to follow your path of inclusivity? Who would give us support? The Church of England?
I understand those bishops that have asked for B033. I don't agree with that resolution, but I tend to look at it as a means of keeping the Episcopal Church as a strong body within the wider communion, until other churches advance in those issues.
There are other LGBT Christians, living in countries where they are still persecuted and demonized. And I see the Episcopal Church as the only body within our Communion strong enough (and courageous enough) to help them.
“Some parishes now simply no longer ‘receive transfer letters’ from otherWhat??? Her conservative parish does not accept transfer letters from other Episcopalians until her high-and-holy parish determines – in its sole discretion – that the newcomers are sufficiently “Christian” and “discipled”??? My friends, are we living in the 21st century or in the Reformation??
parishes until they are certain that the Episcopalian in question is a Christian
and is discipled.”
“We still have not received a response concerning how one decides what in Scripture to take literally and what not to take literally ... including, for example, why the first half of Lev 20:13 must be obeyed but the second half doesn't have to be obeyed.”
Leviticus 20:13 --If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.My friend asks a valid question: If the literalists want to declare “homosexual activity” an “abomination,” how come they don’t do their God-given duty and stone us?
"The current mean-spirited tactic du jour is that one of them trolls the progressive Episcopal websites, especially the Comments Section, looking for tidbits to feed their voracious appetite for turmoil and mayhem. They need it, you see, to support their fervently held claims that The Episcopal Church is going to hell in a hand basket. These folk can create an entire banquet out of the tiniest little morsel of confusion – and, they are confused by anything that isn’t writ very, very large and plain – no subtly or innuendo, thank you very much. When they find one – no matter how tiny the scrap – they drag it back over to their websites and suddenly, a throw away line becomes bold-face headline. Within minutes, a veritable feeding frenzy ensues. It is the most amazing phenomenon I have ever observed in my life."As I get more plugged into the blogosphere, I discover that what Elizabeth described as their “mean-spirited tactic du jour” is true.
Einstein decided to trust in the report of the observer and by making that decision he was able to gain a radical new insight into the nature of reality.
He did the same sort of thing when considering the Eotvos experiment. He began by taking at face value the experimental result that inertial and gravitational mass were exactly the same. And from that he reasoned his way through the Principle of
Equivalence - that is the idea that underlies all of the mind-bending thinking of General Relativity.
Now – as to the experience of GLBT Christians:
I believe that people come into the Church by the graceful gift of faith and in entering the Church, the Holy Spirit begins a process of regeneration and transformation.
I believe that all Christians are being transformed into the people God wants us to become.
I believe that gay and lesbian people come into the Church as fully and as totally as I do through a relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus.
Gay and lesbian people report that they find themselves transformed by their encounters with the Risen Christ. But they do not uniformly find that their sexuality or sexual orientation is transformed.
If we believe this report, then what does this tell us about God's desires for them?
Knisely then argues that it's time for people in The Episcopal Church -- and folks throughout the Anglican Communion -- to enter into the kind of "listening" that Einstein brought to his explorations.
His essay is way too intelligent to get traction throughout our Church! But ... wouldn't it be nice?
I am tired -- sick unto death, if you must know -- of having "conservatives" just now waking up in 2006 and asking me to explain to them our church's stance on the ordination of gay people or the blessing of gay/lesbian relationships. I'm just not going to do their homework for them.
Today conservative Episcopalian Brad Drell brought a whole bunch of folks to my and Elizabeth Kaeton's blogs, because of some things we had written. [No, I am not going to give you a hyperlink to his hate-pandering site. Google it, if you want to go there.] Predictably, several commenters who came from his blog to ours (but mostly to Elizabeth's) posed the same old tired questions – most centered on the hackneyed “Where in Scripture do you find a defense for homosexual behavior?” Elizabeth+ did a marvelous, restrained job of replying to those questions at Telling Secrets: After Columbus, and I salute her ability to exercise restraint.
Generally, people who pose such questions on blogs are not really coming with questions in search of new information. No, they just lob attacks posing as questions. But Elizabeth was calm in her replies, and directed the commenters to several, widely available resources, which these people could have read over the past three years.
I’m going to post several of those resources here, because I am not ever going to reply to those questions. If I keep writing here, I'm sure some of the radical WingNuts will come here to do that so-called "speaking the truth in love" thing that they seem to enjoy. But I am not a theologian. So when those people come here, I will simply refer them to these resources:
2. To Set our Hope on Christ was prepared as The Episcopal Church's first formal response to The Windsor Report. That written report, To Set our Hope on Christ, was presented to the Anglican Consultative Council in June 2005. You can download audio and video files of the in-person presentations to the ACC here.
3. Integrity prepared study materials for parishes and other groups studying To Set our Hope on Christ. A portal to those materials is available here.
4. I just found this page at Religious Intolerance, which analyzes the 6 “clobber verses” in the Bible that are most often cited by those who argue that, without exception, homosexual behavior is sinful. It has many other links enbedded in it. [Edit: This link added 08.02.06]
This pretty much says it all for me: At "Love Them Anyway," in a comment, Elizabeth+ tells this story of an encounter with an African-American woman.
Folks, the Episcopal Church has spent 30 years engaging in dialogue on this topic. We have created our theological statements. Many haven’t bothered to engage them yet. But most importantly: It’s your responsibility – not mine – to educate yourself about your homophobia . Go read, mark, and inwardly digest the materials that have been provided.
This is probably going to sound harsh. I do not mean it that way.
Once I asked a good friend who is African American about a particular aspect of racism. She signed deeply and said, "Look it up." When I looked confused, she said, "Listen, your education about ending racism is your responsibility, not mine. Go look it up. You'll learn it better." "Besides," she said, "I have enough to deal with in my own oppression. Don't ask me to take on the additional burden of your education."
So . . . if you really want to know more, start reading. Then, engage yourself in a face-to-face conversation with a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person. Look for the Christ in him/her. Be in relationship with him/her. Then, do some more reading.
Besides, I have enough to deal with in my own oppression. Don't ask me to take on the additional burden of your education.