Thursday, June 03, 2010

Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori Writes to the Episcopal Church

Stand Firm
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A pastoral letter to The Episcopal Church

Pentecost continues!

Pentecost is most fundamentally a continuing gift of the Spirit, rather than a limitation or quenching of that Spirit.

The recent statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury about the struggles within the Anglican Communion seems to equate Pentecost with a single understanding of gospel realities. Those who received the gift of the Spirit on that day all heard good news. The crowd reported, “in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power” (Acts 2:11).

The Spirit does seem to be saying to many within The Episcopal Church that gay and lesbian persons are God’s good creation, that an aspect of good creation is the possibility of lifelong, faithful partnership, and that such persons may indeed be good and healthy exemplars of gifted leadership within the Church, as baptized leaders and ordained ones. The Spirit also seems to be saying the same thing in other parts of the Anglican Communion, and among some of our Christian partners, including Lutheran churches in North America and Europe, the Old Catholic churches of Europe, and a number of others.
the rest/comments

First Things: Is the Holy Spirit a Relativist or a Colonialist?
...I realize I may be expressing latent colonialist tendencies and committing spiritual violence by imposing a singular understanding of basic logic on Bishop Schori, but it appears that she is forcing us to choose between two alternatives:

#1. The Holy Spirit is telling some people that gays and lesbians can be ordained ministers while telling other people that such a move is contrary to God’s will. Ergo, the Spirit is a relativist who imposes moral requirements based on cultural norms rather than on a fixed, knowable standard.

#2. The Holy Spirit is consistent and has expressed his will on this issue to one group; the other group is mistaken in believing that the Spirit has spoken to them. The group that he has spoken to are therefore justified in attempting to apply this standard consistently throughout the communion.

Schori seems to be implying that #1 is true, but what I think she really believes is #2. Assuming that she really cares what God thinks about the matter, she likely believes that she and other advocates for homosexuality are hearing the true Word from the Spirit. They are part of the small vanguard that is being told by the Spirit that, despite what he may have told millions of other Christians throughout history, God considers engaging in act of homosexual sodomy to be good and healthy (in certain situations) and in no way disqualifies one from being a minister.

The problem for Schori is that the implications of this claim conflicts with other parts of the liberal orthodoxy. If the Spirit has truly made such a revelation and clearly expressed his will, then why would they not push for it to be applied consistently throughout the communion?...

MCJ: Mother Load


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