Thursday, 17 February 2011

It's My Fault

It is always my fault. Normally I don't like to reproduce what is elsewhere lock, stock and two smoking barrels, but for a change I was pressing on that Next button on top of blogger after my blog and this time they were all religious, and then five or so along, just after the Mormon one, I got this that included some poor soul writing in:

TED'S SADDENED LETTER

Hello,

As a pastor/church leader for the past 11 years, one who was fully schooled in the works of Hauerwas, Sweet, McLaren, & Bell, who grew up in a liberal-Mennonite church, I was deeply saddened by the advertisement I received for the Scott Alexander teaching series. I have watched the liberal-pluralistic-unitarian movement continue to try in vain to harness humanism to change the world. I have watched the world of evangelicalism, in it's attempt to put flesh on it's message, begin to swing towards this same tired, powerless belief system. I have watched wonderful friends leave for long term mission trips of mercy & service come back not with spirituality, but a social justice philosophy. I am so weary of seeing people trade in a gospel that has power for one that does not, & I am disappointed to see Work of the People propagating views that narrow the person of Jesus down to what we can do without him. There is such a rich expanse of Christianity that is not fundamental-right-wing-nonsense, but this liberal movement misses the kingdom of God in it's reaction. Both sides exemplify a narrow, lacking worldview. There is more than both of you realize. Evangelicals preach with words but no actions, pluralists/etc preach with work but no actual message (aside from humanism). When unitarians like Alexander feed a starving village but fail to address the issues of sin, hunger will always remain. Jesus provides freedom from the characteristics in people that cause hunger/greed/apathy/etc. Oh how I wish my compassionate liberal friends could see that they are leading the world into a place that is not free of problems & rejects the one who can alleviate them. I don't know what the point of writing this is, except that I'm bummed. So, please, stop spreading this stuff. Sigh.

Sincerely,

Ted

He wasn't, you know, so it was most unfair. And I do keep warning Rachel that all this postliberal stuff that excites her in college will get her nowhere. Fortunately her anchors are well embedded. It's my fault over there too:

On another blog, my views about marriage were regarded as narrow-minded and only worthy of ignoring. What I want to learn to do is listen whilst at the same time being true to what I think, without articulating anything other than an openness and I am finding it challenging.

She means here, of course. And then there was this change of photograph over on Lesley's blog entry. Being a bit thick I'd noticed the change but not the explanation:

Sam Norton said...

That's a shockingly unflattering picture of Jo - who happens to be a lovely lady - did you have to include it? (serious question)

As for the content - seems like civil servant boilerplate. I trust you'll reply pointing this out...

14 February 2011 13:09


Blogger Lesley said...

Hi Sam, I didn't think the photo was that bad - obviously too used to the Pluralist depicting me! I've changed it, hope that is better. I am sure she's lovely, as are most of the people I meet in the CofE.

14 February 2011 14:14


Blogger Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Oh I see, it's MY fault!

16 February 2011 19:44

Blogger Lesley said...

Most things are - surely you know THAT by now?

16 February 2011 19:53


It can't be my fault because I am most careful in the use of my drawings and pictures and always try to give a reasonable representation of the person I draw. My drawings pop up all over the web world and I'm quite happy about that. I even consider requests.

And as for Erika, I'm still warm from the last five or ten times she has put me on the bonfire.

2 comments:

Rachel said...

It's good for me, Adrian. It makes me think, consider, pray, try to learn. It makes me kind of miserable too. I do not quite know whether this is that 'persecution thing' Jesus goes on about and the word 'persecution' is, of course, way too strong. I live in a free country and experience safety on a daily basis unlike Christians around the world. I realise through it (this debate), I never want to be 100% sure about anything other than Jesus being Lord, everything else is secondary. The debate does weird things to me, it even makes me think about my little girls who will grow up into a world where there are so many choices. "A Man can marry a man, my girls, and a woman can marry a woman and yes, a man can marry a woman. It was not this way when I was young. It is this way now, you have just got to work it through."

I 'get' that it promotes monogamy, I really do and that is a good thing. I think I am finding it hard to reconcile myself to a different legal and faith-based definition of marriage. I get how it can work legally. I am yet to hear a really convincing biblical argument supporting same sex marriage. If there was one at least I could read it. If I have prejudices I want to become aware of them and do something about them. I suppose it impacts my imagination in my foreseeing being asked if I would marry a man to a man. I do not think I can. I guess I will get to say no, I wonder what the consequences might be. Will the Church of England advise on this issue specifically somehow?

Gary Paul Gilbert said...

There is no need to bring the Bible into this debate about civil marriage equality. All couples should be treated the same by the civil law regardless of the legal sex of the spouses. Rachel offers no rationale why sex-discordant couples should be privileged over same-sex couples in both civil and religious law. If the Church of England were disestablished, it would be easy to leave the church to itself but, alas, its ongoing discrimination against same-sex couples from within the language-game of religion sets a bad example for the rest of society. In the Marriage Act of 1949, marriage in the Church of England is the second thing that is mentioned, which is an unhealthy mixing of religion with civil law as well as ongoing privileging of a particular sect over all others.

I hope she never presides at the wedding of a same-sex couple until she begins to deal with her own problem of homophobia/heterosexism.

I wonder if she would feel the same if she had a child who happened to be LGBT or whether she would, like some heterosexual parents, abandon the child.


Gary Paul Gilbert