Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More on "Reconciliation"

If we were on the TV show "The View" one of our "Hot Topics" this morning would be "Reconciliation." On this site, my reflections on reconcilitation last week generated some VERY interesting comments (from both "sides of the aisle" ... and Fr. Jake's May 12th Reconciliation Reality Check is up over 200 comments.

Meanwhile, over on Drell's Descants -- where Brad's reflections on the Reconciliation Seminar just held in the Diocese of Western Louisiana started the conversation going -- this is but a sample of the high quality of reconciling comments being posted:

"... if you are “progressive” then by definition you are faithless and apostate. This is not a matter of opinion, mine or anyone else’s, but of objective fact. If you are gay, support gay ordination or the gay lifestyle, then you are not a Christian, and will go to hell. Again, this is not opinion or a matter for conjecture: it is simply what the bible says. It is fact. And unless you are willing to truly accept that fact, and to live on the basis of it, then you are right: there is absolutely no point in your attempting to reconcile with any Christian. None at all. "

Reconcile THAT!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dawn McDonald
My name is Dawn McDonald, and I am the rector of Holy Cross Japanese Canadian Anglican Church in the Diocese of New Westminster.

My parents were missionaries in Japan. I have struggled with same-sex attractions for most of my life. My first attraction being that at 13, to a classmate. I tried very hard to ignore and overcome my feelings for other women, but I succumbed and entered a homosexual lifestyle when I turned 20. I lived in the lifestyle for a little over 13 years.

I thought I was happy in the lifestyle, and I was not looking for any change when I experienced God’s Unconditional Love in a supernatural way. It is in experiencing God’s deep love for me that I experienced profound healing in my inner most being, and I was freed of the same-sex attractions. I have now been married for almost 8 years to a wonderful man, and I have no doubt that my sexual orientation has been changed. While my experience is not unique, I also realize that such supernatural healing of sexual orientation is not the norm, but for the most part, a journey and a process. Although my sexual orientation has undergone change, today, God’s healing work continues in me, and I am still very much on a journey towards wholeness. God’s work is gentle, though His reconstructive surgery is not without pain. Yet, the reward is well worth the pain, for I know I am coming out a better person for subjecting myself to the Lord, and the peace and joy I experience in this process is out of this world.

I am one of the founders of Zacchaeus. And I would like to tell you why I worked to found Zacchaeus. To simply and blanketly assume that all who experience same-sex attractions would like to have their sexual orientation affirmed by the Church is false. Our personal experiences here is that there are many in the pews who struggle with same-sex attractions and simply want the Church to walk with them as they seek an alternative to living out the gay lifestyle. Sadly, many such individuals are afraid to speak out, for they are afraid the Church would either affirm them, or condemn them. Traditionally, we have been very lousy, and have come across as very condemning, while more recently, the pendulum has swung too much to the other way, with attempts being made to coax us to embrace same-sex attractions as good and God-given. We call such individuals “silent sufferers.”

My life has been full of traumatic experiences, but the darkest day of my life was when the Diocese of New Westminster (my diocese) embraced the blessings of the same-sex unions. For me, it meant that the Church was no longer in the position to support us in seeking an alternative, nor was it walking with us in our journey towards wholeness in Christ. Hope has been robbed from us.

Out of my deep concern for those silent sufferers who are still struggling with same-sex attractions but do not wish their orientations affirmed by the Church, I gathered signatures for the letter we wrote to the General Synod asking for our voice and stories to be heard. And when the motion at the General Synod in effect excluded us from the dialogue at the family table because our existence was simply going to “complicate things” we felt very insignificant. It was then that we realized we cannot stop speaking out, nor allow ourselves to be silenced in hopes that we would go away. If not for anyone else, for the sake of silent sufferers, we need to be the voice of hope in this Anglican Church of ours. And so, together, with some of my friends here, and some who are praying for us elsewhere, we founded the Zacchaeus Fellowship.

Anonymous said...

"If you are gay, support gay ordination or the gay lifestyle, then you are not a Christian, and will go to Hell. Again this is not an opinion.....it is simply what the Bible says." A major Part of the problem that we are having in our beloved church today is that some want to determine who is in and who is out. Like God needs advice on the subject. I find it so ironic that some people who take a hard stand against homosexuality neglect the things the Bible says about divorce, poverty, the Tithe, loving one another, etc. As one who attended the Reconcilation seminar in Western Louisiana, I thought it was great that liberals, moderates, and a large majority of conservatives could come together in prayer and fellowship and discuss their differences. What we found was that we have much more in common then what divides us. Our love of Jesus Christ as Lord was clearly demonstrated by all.

bruno said...

makes me want to sign up.
Sigh,

Milton said...

Rev. Susan, the comment you copied from Drell's Descants is by one "Sinner", well known to frequenters of Descants, T19 and Stand Firm in Faith as a reappraiser posing as an over-the-top reasserter. (to use Kendall's terms) He first commented as "Anonymous Coward", then switched to "Sinner". For some entertainment, search on Descants, T19 and Stand Firm on "Sinner". He sounds like Jesus if He had set the whip of cords afire before driving the moneychangers out of the temple! Some suspect Sinner may be the Admiral of Morality (www.admiralofmorality.blogspot.com IIRC). Here is Sinner's comment again that Rev. Susan copied from Descants:
-----------------------------------
"... if you are “progressive” then by definition you are faithless and apostate. This is not a matter of opinion, mine or anyone else’s, but of objective fact. If you are gay, support gay ordination or the gay lifestyle, then you are not a Christian, and will go to hell. Again, this is not opinion or a matter for conjecture: it is simply what the bible says. It is fact. And unless you are willing to truly accept that fact, and to live on the basis of it, then you are right: there is absolutely no point in your attempting to reconcile with any Christian. None at all. "
-----------------------------------

Anonymous said...

Dear Dawn, for much of the first two decades of my life, I struggled with the fact that I was not even remotely attracted to the opposite sex, even though I knew I was supposed to be. Finally, personal experience and God's grace convinced me that I WASN'T supposed to be, that's why I WASN'T. People who want to follow the heterosexual lifestyle, live in it, or what-have-you are welcome to it. I'm happy being gay and have been for over forty years.

--John G.

Anonymous said...

God's love, empathy, compassion, grace and mercy is so universal, so bounderyless. Why peole want to try so hard to be practicing exclusive sinners. Everyone who has a vocation for love, empathy, compassion, gracwe and mercy be excluded if they are colored, physically challenged, homosexual....

Anonymous said...

Dawn,
Sometimes God's work can go both ways. I was in the closet and in denial about my sexual orientation for years. I spent many precious years of my life pretending to be heterosexual. I had many straight friends and some boyfriends but I was still unhappy and lonely. Something was missing. At age 53, better late than never, I finally came to terms with who I really was and with much courage I came out of the closet to be who I was truly meant to be. Now I am whole again. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
Kathy