Monday, July 14, 2008

Pre-Lambeth News Round up

Jim Naughton has been on rumor control over at Episcopal Cafe ... well done, Mr. Naughton! (Methinks this is only tip of a VERY large iceberg!)

Walking With Integrity has posted the BBC 5 Live radio show from this morning that featured the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Black ... member of our Integrity team ... doing a most excellent job of explaining the whys and wherefores of our planned witness at Lambeth Conference.

Some very interesting "reviews" of +Gene's Putney sermon in The Guardian ... and then there's Giles ... Giles Fraser, that is.

His "Here's to you, Mr. Robinson" (also in The Guardian) is a keeper:

The emails have been coming in all day. My favourite begins: "Dear sodomite supporter, you are nothing but a dirty sodomite-loving ugly stain of a man who is a disgrace to humanity." It ends "Burn in hell, Mr K."

Well, thank you for that, Mr K. I have had a fair number of letters and emails from people who think like you. One suggested that I ought to be executed at Tyburn. Another graphically described the details of fisting.

My crime had been to offer the Bishop of New Hampshire a pulpit to preach the word of God. I usually have the emotional hide of a rhino, but even I was upset by the unpleasantness of the reaction, hiding my hurt in a few too many vodkas at lunchtime.

How on earth does Gene Robinson cope with the disgusting abuse to which he is subjected most days – the protester who interrupted his sermon in my church on Sunday being a pretty mild example? Day after day, buckets of spiritual shit are thrown at him, sometimes by fellow bishops, and he just keeps going.

Spending some time with him over the last few days, I have discovered how he does it. He is the real deal. He is a believer. Responding to attacks that he had a "homosexual agenda", he insisted: "Here and now, in St Mary's Church, Putney, I want to reveal to you the homosexual agenda. The homosexual agenda is: Jesus." He went on to preach a fiery, almost revivalist, sermon, calling on Anglicans to take Jesus into their heart and to allow Him to cast out their fear.

What makes this person so interesting is that he has lost any sense that he is able to support himself spiritually through his own effort alone. His recognition of his "failure" to cope is precisely his strength. The theology is pure Luther: only when you recognise that you are unable to make yourself acceptable to God under your own steam can you collapse back upon God as the sole source of salvation. Later in the sermon, he described going from a meeting of the US House of Bishops to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, and being relieved that, at this second meeting, he could at last speak about God.

Forget what you think you know about Gene Robinson – his is Gospel Christianity of a very traditional kind. This is what Christianity looks like once it has got over its obsession with respectability.


And now I'm off to bed with me.


uffda51 said...

My favorite bit - Gene Robinson, describing "going from a meeting of the US House of Bishops to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, and being relieved that, at this second meeting, he could at last speak about God."

After fundamentalism had driven me away from God for 20+ years, Al-Anon brought me back. Everyone welcome, straight, gay, Catholic, Jewish, you name it, we found God there. No creeds, no doctrine, just God. I didn't think I could duplicate the welcome and spirituality of Al-Anon - until we found All Saints Church.

Jim of L-Town said...

As a sinner saved with the help of Jesus and AA I too always felt welcome. But as a Christian I often missed Jesus at the meetings.
AA frowns on the mention of Jesus and those of us who attended mostly respected that.
But while AA was a major part of my rehabilitation, it was Jesus that changed my life forever.
It is a sad fact that many bishops are so focused on their power and position, they forget that everything they have and do is under the authority of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.

A sinner saved by (the amazing) Grace of God.

Jim of Michigan

Andy said...

"Buckets of spiritual shit" -- now, that is brilliant.