Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What if.....

What if all this ugliness, this posturing and accusation going on in our church right now has very little to do with LGBT inclusivity, or that dear +Gene Robinson is lovingly living in faith the wondrous gift of his 15 year patnership with Mark?

What if God is simply using us, God's LGBT sons and daughters to God's greater purpose?

To break open the hearts and minds of the frightened, vested interests in all branches of organized religion to live an even larger, more inclusive engagement with the true and living God.

To learn that this same true and living God is not limited by a 2,000 year old document or any other construct 'edited' or 'administered' by men.

To allow our sisters to assume their full and equal voice within their respective faith communities.

To lead organized relgion beyond the panicked limtations of dualistic thinking.

To call each of us into a larger, less conditional engagement with God and God's wondrous gift of Life.

'Lovingly, patiently called out of fearfulness' might almost be the name of this current Divine effort.

For some time now the physical and psycho-social sciences have shown us the damaging and unproductive effects of dualistic thinking: most often a fearful, often delusional reaction which labels 'other' or 'bad' to temporarily mask one's own feelings of inadequacy or terror.
Other academic writers have shown just how implicit this same binary thinking is necessary for the continuation of most organized religious models. i.e. there always has to be an 'other' for there to be an 'us,' a 'evil' to define 'good,' a 'loser' for 'victory'.

The littered battlefields of history, the inordinate costs of privileged Western psycho-social support systems & the ravages of our planet bear more than sufficent proof of the cost of such limted, fearful thinking.

As the planet chokes on the fruits of humanity's arrogance, we can no longer afford to 'conquer' it.

As the effects of pharmacological excess create ever-widening gyres of unfulfilled dependency, 'managing' the suffering of others is no longer a viable luxuary.

And as life-obliterating nuclear arsenals proliferate. the objectification of others and the invention of 'enemies', is a fearful arrogance Life can no longer countenance.

If the universe is indeed the loving creation of God we have to start recognizing it for the incredible, wondrous blessing it is.

If indeed we are the children of this same God, there can be no man, woman or child who is not my kin; worthy of the patience, compassion and understanding I would want for myself.

Acting on these values is no longer a 'virture,' but simply a recognition our our essential interdependence.

And why the Anglican Communion now?

Perhaps because it, unlike many spiritual traditions has not only embodied the faith and principles of its source, but over time it has achieved a wondrous and rare polity where all baptized have an equal role and responsibility in its life and futur.

Perhaps because of our dear church's historical talent for embracing diversity- not only in our interpretive traditions, our liturgies and cultural origins, but also in the breadth of Anglican scolarship.

And bearing all of this gratefully in mind, I can only be deeply concerned over the fruits of Tanzania. Not only because certain Anglican brothers have chosen to use my LGBT brothers and sisters as a weapon to seemingly change the 'balance' within our unique communion, but even more so because of the powers some of the primates would assume for themselves at this time, with the new oversight structures being proposed.

Which only confirms my profound sense that what's going on right now is a lot bigger than the issue of LGBT inclusivity, or the validity of +Gene's wondrous consecration to the episcopate.

Something I learned long ago on my journey of faith, is that God at times is only able to reach us effectively by resorting to the Divine sense of humor. And I believe, as noisy and confusing as it might seem in these days, there's at least a Divine chuckle beyond all this man-made noise and recrimination.

Once again, it would appear that God is using the greatest fear of the patriarchy, to call it out of the shackles of dualistic terror, thereby calling all of humanity into a larger, more authentic & unconditional engagement with this awesome gift of life, we so often treat so shabily.

And that God is using our LGBT tribe to accomplish this is nothing short of wondrous!

Just as it was when our Afro-Canadian & Afro-American brothers and sisters were the instrument to end Afro-Centric salvery and to put an end to legalized racism in both of our countries.

Just as it was when our sisters refused to settle for anything less than their true vocations within our Communion, only to so powerfully bless us with the fruits of their ordained ministry and witness.

Almost as if the principle at work here might be 'Obectify, and God will Gorify!' Praise God!

Not that this understanding makes it any easier for me to read much of what has been written or said in the painful days since Tanzania. The accumulatve toxicity of much of it wore me down, such that for more than a week I took a personal fast from church news.

One thing however, I have not, and will not do, is to despair over the course of current discussions or the future of our precious Anglican Communion. After much silence and prayer I cannot doubt but that the true and living God is working something wondrous- not ony through Anglicans- but perhaps most clearly here because of the unique heritage cited above.

This post, is most particularly offered in heatfelt thanks for one particular sweet brother in life and faith, who reminded me during this past week that we are in this for the big long haul, and that we are indeed a people of hope. And in that same hope, I would close with the Scripture which blessed our exchange:

I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor thngs to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord Romans 8: 38,29


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