Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Redefinition is the Church's Business" by Michael Hopkins

It will not be news to anybody who has known me more than about 20 minutes that Michael Hopkins is one of my favorite people on the planet. I think he's one of the smartest most faithful priests in the church and a brilliant writer, savvy strategist, great pastor, kick-butt preacher, fabulous friend and ... but I digress.

Here's Michael Being Smart about Marriage-in-general and Marriage Equality-in-specific ... from his blog in response to yesterday's marriage equality in New York.

"Redefinition is the Church's Business"
by the Very Reverend Michael Hopkins

I am struck by the loud cries over the past few days and weeks about the state "redefining" marriage, this, of course, largely from religious leaders. A statement from the Roman Catholic bishops in New York last night decried that the state government had changed “radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage.” That is, frankly, just so much rhetoric.

The "understanding" of marriage has been evolving from the beginning, the chief record of which is the Bible itself. Search for a single "definition" of marriage in the biblical record and you will search in vain. You will find various understandings at various times and in various cultural settings, including Jesus' own. The church has even chosen over time not to follow Jesus' understanding, allowing for divorce (or that Roman Catholic divorce-by-another-name, annulment) in virtually every circumstance. One could argue that allowing for divorce changed the "understanding" or "definition" of marriage far more than allowing the partners to be of the same gender.

The church's job, in "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit," is constantly to be the agent of the new thing the prophets taught us God is always doing. That means "redefinition" is in our portfolio. It's the business we are in.

I am reminded of something the then Lutheran Bishop of the Washington Metro Area said to our Diocesan Convention in Washington many years ago. "Progressives in the Church need to remember that God never changes; traditionalists need to remember that God is always doing a new thing." I think this paradox is true today. In terms of marriage, it has, in fact, not changed, and we have, in fact, done a new thing.

See what I mean?


Caminante said...

I can't figure out what happened to your blog (as well as the Lead) but they show up on the screen in microscopic fonts that are unreadable whereas this page is fine. Dunno if anyone else is having this problem, if it is a Firefox thing.... Other blogs show up fine.


Bummer. It looks fine in my browser ... which is Explorer.

wdg_pgh said...

Caminante: See this Firefox help page for info about changing the text size. The changes affect each page individually.

Bill Ghrist

IT said...

The change of font size is also apparent using Safari on my iPhone so it isn't just a browser setting.

IT said...

Okay, I wonder if this has something to do with how Susan posts her blog. If you write it in a separate document and then copy/paste into the "Compose" tab it often brings along different font values depending on the style of the text from which it was copied. Her recent posts look fine to me, but this one and several ahead of it have an abnormally large font.

Reading the page source, the ones with the unusually large font have a style of "post hentry uncustomized-post-template" so it appears something happened on the composition side, either within blogger or ....?

In any event, not the reader's browser.



So is it happening for you on ALL the posts or just some? I'm wondering if it's a "when I cut and paste" as opposed to "when I type in the template" thing ...

Also, I had some complaints about the text being small to read so have been using the "large" font option ... maybe that's messing things up.

Hard to say since it looks good to me so I don't know what I'm looking to fix! :(

IT said...

It hasn't been apparent in the last few posts, but was a problem on the 25th, 24th, and several preceding posts. It could be the "large font" option, especially ifyou have not been consistent in that. It could be cut and paste. I am not sure.

Here's a hint. If you cut and past, paste it in the "HTML" tab of blogger, rather than the "COMPOSE" tab. That way the text you add will be converted to your standard text size. You can always flip back to "compose" if you like to work there.

Now, if someone doesn't LIKE your standard size, they can change it in their browser setting, as most browsers allow the end-user to over-ride the settings.


OK ... just for fun (and because I like a challenge) I went through this post an removed all the "large font" code from the html. See if it still comes up whanky for you.

(And I usually do either compose or paste into the html template ... over the years I've learned it saves a lot of fiddling with it to start there.)

IT said...

Yes u fixed it as far as I can tell from an iPhone in line for a plane in Chicago!