Saturday, September 22, 2007

The More Things Change ...

... the more they stay the same.

And the more the Church should hang her head in shame!


(Thanks to Paul Woodrum for this timely timeline -- and so much for "the faith received through the ages!")

1st Century:
Certainly Gentiles have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place Gentiles may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional theology of the church lets us move in that direction.

7th Century:
Certainly followers of Augustine have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about not only the date of Easter, but the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place followers of Rome may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the Celtic tradition of the church lets us move in that direction.

12th Century:
Certainly Anglo-Saxon people have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place Anglo-Saxon people may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far Norman church tradition lets us move in that direction.

16th Century:
Certainly recusants and dissenters have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place recusants and dissenters may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the Established Church and Crown lets us move in that direction.

18th Century:
Certainly colonials have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place colonials may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far Parliament lets us move in that direction.

19th Century:
Certainly slaves throughout the Empire have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral careand the place slaves may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far slave owners let us move in that direction.

1900 - 1960's:
Certainly African Americans have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place African Americans may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far white American tradition lets us move in that direction.

1970's:
Certainly women have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place women may hold in offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional patriarchial theology of the church lets us move in that direction.

Yesterday:
Certainly gay and lesbian people have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place gay and lesbian people may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional theology of the church lets us move in that direction. (The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, 21 September AD 2007, New Orleans, LA, USA)
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Gracious God, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.


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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What you're introducing at the end is the question of sin -- whether sinners, such as PRACTICING homosexuals, have a place in the church. They do, because we all are sinners. But in whatever area we are sinning, we must repent, an unpopular word, as sin itself is, but foundational. What is it about this you don't understand?

Anonymous said...

And what part of "we've heard your argument til you're blue in the face and we don't agree with you" don't YOU understand???

And I can just imagine righteously indignant anonymous commenters in centuries past mkaing the same arguments about African Americans not being fully human and whether women had souls or not.

We ARE all sinners. Given. But the Church is coming to see that homosexuality -- in itself -- is not sinful any more than heterosexuality is.

You don't agree.

Here endeth the dialogue

Fred

Anonymous said...

"Certainly the divorced have a place in the church...."

You conservatives can't put it all on gays as long as you are NOT CONSISTENT about biblical definitions of sin.


IT

Huw said...

Your first example is really quite good because for a religious Jew (and perhaps for a Jewish follower of Messiah, too) the idea that one could eat anything and not be circumcised - yet still serve God among God's people - was just as horrifying a sin as one can imagine.

But as a result of that first schism, the Church ended an entirely Gentile Organisation, growing up without contact with her Jewish Roots. We failed to find a way to include the people that disagreed with Paul. And we've spun that into some really horrid anti-Semitism over the last 2000 years. In some ways we're only *just* beginning (say post 1950) to overcome that problem.

It is the same old story all over again.

How do we find a way to include the people who disagree with us - even the ones that don't want us around?

Anonymous said...

Fred,

It's totally amazing how people can make up arguments, attribute them to others and then demolish them, all the while supposing that this passes for rational discourse. This has nothing to do with the absurd arguments about people being less than human or not having souls. It is because homosexuals are fully human that they are worthy of being taken out of harm's way-- spiritually, physically, and emtionally. -- J

Anonymous said...

J -- Make you a deal: if we decide to elect someone to "take care of us" feel free to run.

In the meantime how about you take a break from obsessing about our sex lives and worry about your own.

Fred

(Susan: I won't blame you if you don't post this comment but I am just so OVER this lame argument!)

PseudoPiskie said...

As a graduate of a music college, I've known lots of practicing homosexuals. And some who should have practiced more than they did. Oh yes, those who didn't practice often usually didn't do well in their recitals and sometimes repented. And some churches were not particularly pleased with singers and musicians who hadn't practiced as much as they should have. But what does practicing have to do with sin and TEC? I guess I don't understand the problem. Anonymous sounds like s/he has an allergy to cooties.

Felida said...

Thank you for the overview. You just helped me with Year 3 of EfM!

We're all practicing sinners. If we didn't practice we'd all be translated immediately to heaven, there wouldn't be any poverty, war, children going to bed hungry every night for months and years, etc. So why, please, is a homosexual in a committed, long-term relationship so much worse a "practicing" sinner than any of the rest of us? Jesus didn't speak of homosexuals but he sure as heck did of Pharisees, the greedy, the purity party, the ones with beams who looked for motes and the like.

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Did I just see you in line to be first, Anonymous 11:28 AM?

Anonymous said...

Felida --
"So why, please, is a homosexual in a committed, long-term relationship so much worse a "practicing" sinner than any of the rest of us?"

Good point. Therefore let's all depend on God's grace to overcome this tendency toward sin. The first step is to acknowledge it as such. Thank you for the question.
-- J

Anonymous said...

I always thought that casting stones, presuming to judge others, and something about trusting that you alone are righteous, and despising others...I always thought THOSE were sins.

In fact, I thought that the point was that God, not man, got to decide what sin was.

But Catechism was way in the last century, so OCICBW.

IT

Anonymous said...

Another sad realization, as I have been looking over conservative blogs, it that not only have they not come to terms with gay people in the church, a great many of them have not even come to terms with the presence of women in leadership in the church. We're worried about including them in 2007 and they have not even begun to be able to join us in 1976.

The Pilgrim said...

Fred said . . . .
"We ARE all sinners. Given. But the Church is coming to see that homosexuality -- in itself -- is not sinful any more than heterosexuality is."

Absolutely right: homosexuality, in and of itself, is no sin.

Unrepentingly practising and flaunting homosexual behaviour and acts is, on the other hand, a very serious transgression. And telling people that it is not a sin and they have nothing to fear on judgement day is the worst sin of all.

test said...

I do love the "quote" from +Rowan. I am just not sure if this is rightly attibuted to him. I have not seen this anyplace else and it is very revealing of the speaker's mind. I would love to know for sure if +Rowan said or wrote this and where i can find this speech.

mark

Anonymous said...

I don't practise. I've got it right.

I also don't flaunt. Mother didn't raise me that way.

Pilgrim should consider why s/he has such lurid fascination with other people's sexuality. For all s/he knows, many partnered gays are not sexually active!

IT

The Pilgrim said...

IT said . . . .

"Pilgrim should consider why s/he has such lurid fascination with other people's sexuality."

Oh please. Trust me on this. I have NO interest -- lurid or otherwise -- with other people's sexuality.

If you have a problem with gay sex being a sin, then you need to take that up with God. The real concern is TEC telling gays that their activity is not only not a sin, it is to be celebrated; that there is no need for repentance or atonement, and that we are all going to heaven because jesus loves us THIS MUCH.

Jesus did not tell the woman caught in adultery to go and celebrate her choice of lifestyle. He told her to go and sin no more. We all should do the same.

Anonymous said...

TOMORROW:

Certainly persons living together and having children out of wedlock have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place such person may hold in offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional sexual theology of the church lets us move in that direction, since "it can be held that more allowances ought to be made for young people who feel sexual urges very strongly before they feel able to marry." (1)

(1) From "What Anglicans Believe in the Twenty-First Century, by David L. Edwards, Continuum Books, 2004, p. 37.

Sidney (of T19)