Yes, it's annoying when our words seem to fall on deaf ears or -- worse -- are twisted to mean something we hadn't intended. And that seems to happen more and more.
It also seems to me we have a couple of choices when it happens. Jesus gives us the "shake the dust off your sandals" opt out in Matthew ... and I guess the 21st century version of that is "hit delete." And sometimes that's the best thing to do.
But there's another option -- and that's to help them. Get it.
I know, I know. You've done it a thousand times. You've told your story a million, you've defended your position in hundreds of venues and variations ... it does, indeed, get VERY wearying.
I totally get it.
And yet ...
"Proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ Jesus" doesn't have an * followed by
*to those who will listen to you, get it the first time and agree with you about everything.SO ... here's an example of giving it one more shot. My recent exchange with Cheryl Wetzel over on Anglicans United.
(I double checked. Just a couple minutes ago. Not there.)
She'd posted Ruth Gledhill's piece about the Archbishop of Canterbury not being so amused about the election of Mary Glasspool, along with an "Ed. Note" that included this commentary:
Finally, the Rev. Susan Russell, former president of Integrity said: "I've never been prouder to be an Episcopalian or a daughter of the Diocese of Los Angeles — where we are ready to turn this election into an opportunity for evangelism." Silly me. I thought the point of our evangelism was Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead. We will celebrate this phenomenon again in three short weeks. Gay incorporation is NOT the focus of our faith and continued statements of that fact by Integrity - or our bishops - cannot make it so.Bless her heart, I guess I wasn't CLEAR enough about what I meant by evangelism. So I decided to try again, and posted this comment [which is "awaiting moderation" and might never see the light of day, so I'm posting it here:]
Cheryl,Now not EVERY moment is a teachable one -- that's why we have the "shake off your sandals/hit delete" option.
Thanks for the “ink” and for the chance to clarify. The evangelism to which I refer is — believe it or not — the old fashioned kind: the proclamation of the Good News of God in Christ Jesus made available to all. The mystery of faith: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. Jesus’ call to us to go therefore and make disciples of ALL.
Well, I think you get my point.
What the election of Mary Glasspool allows us to do — empowers us to do — in the Diocese of Los Angeles is to reach out to those yearning for spiritual community and thinking they already know enough about being a Christian not to want to be one based on what they think they know about Christians: Narrow. Bigoted. Judgemental. Sexist. Homophobic.
Well, I think you get my point.
Thanks again for reposting the article. I’ll bookmark your blog for future reference. Lenten Blessings, Susan+
But if we're looking for them, we can find them -- sometimes in the MOST unexpected places!
UPDATE: My comment did indeed get "moderated" onto the site ... and I got a nice note from Cheryl Wetzel advising me of that, along with her response:
So, boys and girls: for the record ... THIS IS WHAT ACTUAL DIALOGUE LOOKS LIKE. I certainly don't agree with Cheryl ... and in a second I'll post my reponse to her reponse ... but just because I don't flatter myself that I'm going to "change her mind" doesn't mean we can't be in conversation.
My reply is that is has ALWAYS been available to ALL. From those who repeatedly tell "little white lies" to the most craven murderer: Jesus Christ and true spiritual communion is available to all. One difference is that the Biblically orthodox talk about Jesus and the woman at the well, remembering the final phrase of that story, "Go and sin no more." It is NOT enough to merely say that Jesus spoke with her and drank water from her ladle and then omit that final phrase. We all sin.
The gay community, as far as I can tell, as demanding a pass on their sin; equivocation that it is NOT sin. There is no Biblical foundation for this demand. There are some modern theologians that are trying to make this stick, but their work is thin and has not been validated by authorities in that field. I have had good friends who are gay since the early '70's. Their salvation is no less important to me than my neighbor's. -- Cheryl M. Wetzel
At the end of her email to me, Cheryl included this (I think) important addition to what she posted above to the blogsite:
It seems to me that our difference is in the definition of sin and how encompassing that definition is. Good to hear from you. Cherie WetzelAnd so I replied:
Thanks for this and I think you have hit the nail RIGHT on the head about the "sin" part. In point of fact, we are not "demanding a pass on sin" ... our faithful reading of scripture and our lived experience of the holy in our relationships convince us that sexual orientation is morally neutral and it is indeed not only possible but optimal to live a life in alignment with God's love and authentically as LGBT people.And now I need to step away from cyberland and get going in laundry and errand-land ... more later!