Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
What would really happen?
Would it be the end of the world as we know it?
Would the Bible fall and cease to be an endless source of wonder and challenge, bewiderment and blessing? Would folks no longer turn to its pages to see a mirror in which the horrors and hopes of the human journey are reflected? Would the 23rd Psalm no longer sing in the heart? Would the ageless promises of God's faithfulness and love no longer thrill the beleagured soul and tired traveler?
Would the gospel cease to be of value? Would the cradle and the cross become meaningless? Would the Apostles' Creed no longer tease and torment the proud human soul with a vision of life and God beyond our silly presumptions and arrogance?
Would the truth of Christ crucified, buried and risen no longer hold the heart and spur the imagination of humankind? Would no one ever again stand in the temple and proudly assert their superiority, and would there never again be sinner beating the breast in sorrow?
Would people stop praying and singing and loving and serving?
Would women and men no longer be called to ministry? Would there be no more deacons and elders and pastors and priests and rabbis and imams?
Would folks stop writing theology? Would there be no more sermons? No more worship? No more love?
What would really happen?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It's been some years since I worked my way through the questions and relevant Scripture and all things pertaining thereto ... well, not all, but a lot.
I made my decision prayerfully and, I hope, thoughtfully.
Yet, I find, upon reflection, that the values and experiences of my life played a role. For a number of reasons, I've always felt myself on the "outside" of things - as a child, we moved a good many times, I had a lot of allergy-related issues, I was overweight and a lousy athlete.
Oh well ...
Out of that was forged a sensitivity to the "outsider." Whatever else has shaped my life, this awareness has played a huge role in how I think and feel about justice and kindness and humility (sound familiar?).
Yes, yes, I know - some will suggest that I am giving much too much credence to my story, while they give the greater weight to Scripture and tradition. Yet, I disagree. For everyone I've ever met and known, the personal story is huge. To suggest that we surmount and transcend the personal is to engage in some slight-of-hand, and a contradiction of the manner in which God works in our very real lives.
My earliest memories are of God, and then, like C. S. Lewis, Christ became a part of that that mix in high school and was deepened considerably in college and seminary.
My life has revolved around God for ever, and Christ stands in the very center of my thinking and living ... though I very much appreciate Abelard, Anselm, as per Tillich, has the guts to address some of the deepest issues of the heart - alienation.
That we might no longer be alienated from God, and from one another.
So, without belaboring the point, I made my decision, and though not particularly adamant about it at first, the growing voices of ordination-opposition prompted me to speak out, because I wanted the world to know that Christians have a variety of views on this, and that some Christians favor GLBT ordination even as some oppose it.
I love the Lord and give thanks for my salvation.
And with that selfsame love, I try to welcome all who come my way.
I hope and pray that "my" church can resolve the issue - don't know how it'll be done, but I think the word "welcome" says it all for me.