A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A great on target quote from Hugoboy:

When we risk schism and international opprobrium, we do so because of a fundamental belief that we are obeying the Gospel. Straight folks make up the majority of liberal Protestants in this country; permitting gay marriage doesn't give us any new or special privileges.

Why then are so many of us in the Episcopal Church willing to argue, debate, and possibly get thrown out of the Anglican Communion all so that our GLBTQ brothers and sisters might feel completely included? Secular liberal conviction isn't enough to bring most progressives to the precipice of schism.

What brings us there is a quiet conviction that to love radically, fearlessly, and inclusively is to obey the will of Christ. We know, just as our conservative brothers and sisters know, that obedience has a cost. And we know as believers we have to be willing to pay it.


At 10:30 AM , Anonymous John B said...

Doesn't obeying the will of Christ include obeying the commandments of God?

The first and greatest commandment is to love God. We demonstrate this love when we do what God says to do and don't do what God says not to do. God said, "A man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home and the two shall become one." Show me anywhere in the scriptures where is says anything similar about two individuals of the same gender.

At 11:24 AM , Anonymous Dan Berger said...

Dwight, you might take a look at Chip's reply to Hugo, at the bottom of the comments.

To us orthodox, Christianity is not all about inclusiveness, or "affirming everyone in their OKness" as Mark Shea likes to put it. It's about showing people how salvation in Christ can change them.

At 1:56 PM , Blogger Dwight said...

Dwight said...

Dan Berger
I'd argue that both are not contradictory, that is, we experience God's transformative power through those who are different than us.

If our views, beliefs, practices are never challenged, never expanded in a way which includes those who are different, than the impetus for us to change is stiffeled.

John B
Based on how you phrased the question, I suspect we have some differences in how we understand revelation..But a moving passage of same gendered loyalty, friendship and yes love is found in Ruth 1:16-18:

"Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. I swear a solmen oath before the Lord your God: nothing but death shall divide us."

At 3:34 PM , Anonymous Dan Berger said...

Two points:

First, of course we meet God in the Other. "God is Other, People!" We meet God in the sinner, too, because all of us are sinners. But it does me no good to assure me that my laziness is not a sin (to use an example).

We can "include those who are different." We do it all the time. But "inclusion" for its own sake is not a Christian core value. "Conversion" is. That's true change, and it's not stifled by holding to the moral Tradition. In fact, if morality is mutable, conversion becomes moot.

Second, we need to stop equating "love" with "sex." Ruth and Naomi had a daughter/mother relationship; David and Jonathon, an intimate friendship. Your example is a red herring.

What John B was asking for, I think, was an example of an approved sexual relationship between two men (or two women).

At 8:37 PM , Blogger Dwight said...

I'd agree that inclusion for it's own sake does not work. It must be done for a purpose, ie cultivating an openess that can transform people to account of a wider world than their own valuations and experiences.

Otherwise their own sense of self and the world becomes an idol, one which too often can be re-enforced by the church, if the church is organized like most interest groups, grouping like minded individuals.

I think Griswold is right, the church is an intimation of a different way of organizing life, one called by God and not by our own similar interests. The communion table is the most apt symbol of that, as people of every walk of life is welcomed to the same table.

That is, the table fellowship of Jesus, the most intimate of acts is open for all, enacted as such by many churches around the globe. Such a rite is a powerful pointer to what we believe God has for the world to come.

As a side note, I wasn't suggesting that Ruth and Naomi were having sex. I was asked about same gendered love which is a much larger category. I just posted my sense of what the Bible does have to say about homosexuality.

At 8:15 PM , Anonymous grada3784 said...

I love that so many Christians stop all sinning prior to membership in their church. It does wonders for me. Churches should put up signs saying "Sinners not welcome here". I know I'm not.

Jesus said a lot of things, including something about setting up barriers to others seeking salvation and woe unto them who set up the barriers. He also hung out with sinners, because that's where the action is.

I hope the Christian community doesn't mind the neighborhood that is heaven, because Jesus was letting the whores and the traitors in at the head of the line.


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