Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Custody Battle Rages

Family fights are the worst. No doubt about it. And the WORST of the worst are the custody battles that take on a life of their own and tear families so sadly apart. Reading through the reports from New Orleans this morning, as the House of Bishops settles into its agenda, it occured to me that what we're really engaged in IS a "custody battle" of sorts ... and that it may just take the Wisdom of Solomon to sort it out.

So, being the faithful Anglican that I am, my reason drew me to reflect on my tradition which called me to consult the scriptures we inherit as the Living Word of God to see what word there might be for us today.
And I turned to the 3rd chapter of First Kings ... verses 16-28 to be precise ... and read again how King Solomon in his wisdom determined which woman was the best custodial parent for the child in question: the one who was willing to let the child go or the one who was willing to have him cut in two.
(Perhaps you can see where I'm going with this.)
Even a cursory glance at the rhetoric swirling around the meetings just begun illustrate that there are two clearly oppositional positions in operation: the let's continue to build bridges and find common ground folks and those insisting that this is a "moment of decision" and if the baby gets split in half then the baby gets split in half.
How will the story end? Yet to be determined. But my money's on Ruach to eventually have her way with them! And that's where my prayers are going:
That the same spirit of wisdom that inspired our forefather Solomon might be present with our bishops in their deliberations.
That the truth that those willing to continue to walk forward together with those with whom they disagree are indeed the "true custodians" in this cutody battle over who owns Anglicanism might be heard.
And that, in the end, what unites us as an Anglican family will indeed be more important than what presently challenges us in this ugly custody fight.
For updates on unfolding events in New Orleans keep your eye on Walking With Integrity where John Gibson and John Clinton Bradley will be reporting for Integrity USA.


Ron Miller said...

Some of us may remember that in other translation traditions, i.e. New English Bible, Revised English, and some others, King Solomon prays for a "heart with skill to listen that he may govern [God's] people justly" Oh that both sides would listen that way.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid Ruach Chara/h (hot wind) is more like it.



Anonymous said...

Will you please spare everyone the Orwellian Newspeak about how you're a faithful Anglican who cares about the Gospel??!!


anonymous -- No, actually, I don't have any plans to change that anytime soon. I'm a cradle Episcopalian and the Gospel has worked for me for lo these 52 years so I'm not changin' now!

Jack Sprat said...


The living gospel that I "care" about is one that speaks through the ages. It didn't die as it was transcribed onto papyrus 2,000 years ago. To me, it's a wondrous, organic body of wisdom and inspiration that continues to have relevance to the evolving circumstances of modern humans.

In fact, I "care" enough about the Bible to open it up and read it. All of it. Not just little snippets.


Huw Richardson said...

I don't want a church without the Biblical grounding influence of Low Church or the Sacramental piety of High Church or the real-world context of the Broad Church. We need both Peter Akinola and our PB to be Anglicans. We need +Jack and +Jack, we need +John and +Gene.

To be honest: there are some on both sides willing to split the baby in half.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Interesting. You are using the image of a custody battle. I'm using the image of domestic violence.

It's all a power struggle isn't it?

Deep sigh.