tag : bright yellow-green apples: two sides to a cause

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Monday, October 25, 2004

two sides to a cause



figure 45.7. one bit, many missions

I’ve resisted the urge for a fair while, now it’s time to jump on the Windsor report bandwagon. From my own position here’s what most strikes me about the state of things: There are two concerns of equally great importance – and both come under the absolute need for the Church to be a space where people can live in loving regard and the pathos of mutual compassion.

On the one hand I believe the Church has to be open to people who happen to be homosexual. Christians should be actively seeking to allow them to share in it’s community life, and working to be with them where they are in the life of wider society. To do otherwise is to loose sight of our mandate to live relationships of love, and to bring that love into our world, where cultural perspectives and variety of self are all relative to this divine love. Furthermore if it’s going to be true to it’s mission of everyone being equal before Christ, there’s a blatant hypocrisy in closing off parts of Church activity and service to gay people who are in it or feel the call of God to join in the mission. Allowing gay Christians to be members and yet kicking up lots of dust as soon as one might be a bishop makes a minor mockery of the communion and priesthood of all people.

On the other we cannot just disregard the body of Christ and each go our own way of action and intention if something awkward comes up. Sectarian groups might make it easier for us to do what makes us comfortable, and allow us not to be too challenged by the other, but ultimately will do nobody much good. There will always be differences on anything and everything, and I’m convinced there’s a better way than either trying to make everyone the same or happily ignoring the other. The body is just a collection of isolated bits with no living dynamic unless our variety has some sort of integrated collective existence. To allow that to break down, in this case through the Anglican Church disintegrating on one cause, would be a crime against the holy spirit that moves us in relationship.

I hope that both these might be possible, despite the insistence of some that one or the other is the ‘real issue’ and should somehow be our chief concern. People matter, no matter their demographic. And this means the difficult reality that we cannot disregard anyone along the way to trying to bring about the kingdom of God, no matter which way we see that as becoming manifest.

2 Comments:

Blogger andy goodliff said...

Sorry to refer to Tom Wright again, but this short article from the Guardian, I think is helpful in thinking about these issues. I hear what you're saying, and would want to agree with it, but we need to be careful about embracing diversity for its own sake.

11:45 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

I wrote what I did, after being all the more convinced from reading his words on Saturday’s comment pages. I did nearly balk at what he said on diversity, but can appreciate the perspective. We all have different views on what constitutes divinely-inspired variety. As far as I can see, it’s the approach that’s important, focusing on particular concrete expressions (gay/no gay ect.) can distract from this concern.

3:53 PM  

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