Monday, October 10, 2011

Choose This Day


I was struck this morning by these quotes from what can fairly be described as two ends of the Episcopal spectrum:
"God is always working with and through us to expand the circle of God's love until it includes absolutely everybody." -- The Reverend Canon J. Edwin Bacon, Rector of All Saints Church, Pasadena

"We face a multitude of false teachings which I have called the false Gospel of Indiscriminate Inclusivity.” -- The Right Reverend Mark Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina
So here's the question: What kind of church are we going to be?

The kind of church where the criterion for being included is being agreed with so it grows ever smaller as we find yet-another-thing to disagree about and divide over? Or the kind that is continuing to draw the circle ever-wider and include all those seeking to live their lives in alignment with God's love, justice and compassion?

I'll give you a minute to think about it. Needless to say: I'm Choosin' Inclusion!

7 comments:

uffda51 said...

It seems to me that the false teaching in question here is:

1. The “teaching” that there is a nexus between character and sexual orientation

and

2. The “teaching” that states that one person can determine the character of another without knowing them.

Count me in(clusive).

JCF said...

"false teachings which I have called the false Gospel of Indiscriminate Inclusivity"

Whenever you hear someone say something like this, remember: they're setting ***themselves*** up as gods to, um, discriminate exclusively.

Lord have mercy!

LGMarshall said...

Yes, God loves all his creation (humankind), but the Question is... will his creation (humankind) Obey His Word and stop sinning?

Disobedience has consequences. (see Bible for long list of His consequences) ... do you believe what God says about punishing sin?

Unbelief is calling God a liar. (which, is, the only unforgivable sin).

Matthew12:31 "every kind of sin can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven..."

musculars said...

James Carroll has a wonderful insight about the old salvation by faith or good works dichotomy. He wrote that we are not saved by faith or good works but by "being".
I find that is about as inclusive as you can get.

Jim said...

I read your post thinking about last Sunday's RCL Gospel. Consider this as a story outline:

The king invites the good people, who are not interested.

The king brings all the ruffians in, you know the sort of people Bp. Lawrence wants outside.

Most of them manage quite well.

When he finds the one exception he has him removed.

So, if as is sort of a standard interpretive framework, we suggest that Jesus intended us to see the king as the Father, where are we? God, you know, that guy +Lawrence claims to serve, invited, indeed commanded, "indiscriminate inclusivity." He found one bad actor, and had him removed. He sorted them out, AFTER he included them.

Which is precisely what +Lawrence misses. God is indiscriminately inclusive. Yes, as God did in the parable, we may include someone who refuses to act as though he is in the kingdom once included.

Let me see, we have one bishop who refuses to be loyal, inclusive (as we just said God is) and act like an Episcopalian bishop. In short we can suggest he is not "wearing the wedding robe (vestment)" as expected and promised. Now how was that one treated? Hmmm....

FWIW
jimB

(crossposted with a link on my blog)

Sojourner said...

"Will his creation (humankind) Obey His Word and stop sinning?" Not if obeying the law is the definition of not sinning. Paul says it's impossible.

"Disobedience has consequences. (see Bible for long list of His consequences) ... do you believe what God says about punishing sin?"

God said lots of things about punishing sin, especially in the Hebrew scriptures. If you do this, you will die. And Israel did those things and God says, "Well, I'm not going to kill you. Just don't do it again." The Hebrew God is full of surprise and frustration. To assume that their is a consistency in God beyond providing unending love and grace just doesn't match the scriptural record.

OBTW, consequences and punishment are not necessarily the same thing.

Sojourner said...

"Will his creation (humankind) Obey His Word and stop sinning?" Sin is the failure to keep the law. Paul says no one can meet the entireity of the law. Therefore, I have to give this one a big "NO."

" Disobedience has consequences. (see Bible for long list of His consequences) ... do you believe what God says about punishing sin?"

The scriptures are full of stories where God says, "you do this, and I'll do something bad to you." Israel does those things, and God says, "well, don't do it again." To believe that we can deprive God of God's ability and propensity to do what God will do, irrespective of our desire to capture God, is hubris. Consequences and punishment are not the same thing. So, I can't really answer the question.

All I know is that Jesus paid any penalty for mankind's failure to live up to the Law. It seems to me that God gave up on holding mankind with the threat of the law, and provided another way. This wonderful, unknowable, unpredictable, grace-filled God!