In each generation, the real â€˜sacredâ€™ of the Gospel will emerge quietly and gently, usually at the hands of those whom the strongest supporters of the sacred regard as inimicable to faith and good customs.
â€“ James Alison in â€œFaith Beyond Resentmentâ€ page 181
James Alisonâ€™s many admirers will find in this book [Faith Beyond Resentment] . . . wit, clarity, depth and surprises.
— Rowan Williams
James Alison is the most fascinating theologian I have read for ages, both courageous and intellectually irresistibleâ€¦.
— Monica Furlong
Jesus may be calling the Episcopal Church to preach the Good News! How about that!
The Good News is:
EVERYONE IS WELCOME IN GODâ€™S FAMILY: INCLUDING WOMEN, GAYS, LESBIANS, BI-SEXUAL, AND TRANS-GENDERED!
We kind of fell into this after some ordinations.
First: After years of Anglican rejection of Florence Lee Tim Oyâ€™s ordination in WWII, some Episcopalians ordained the Philadelphia Eleven and the Washington Four. That still causes acid reflux at home and abroad.
Second: New Hampshire chose a well known diocesan priest as its new bishop â€“ and he was â€œone of thoseâ€ for heavenâ€™s sake.
The ordinations in Philadelphia, Washington and New Hampshire were done by Christian people following Jesus.
Why should we apologize or compromise or wait hat in hand outside the palaces of ecclesiastical monarchs?
Sure â€“ we owe those who disagree a full, loving explanation of â€œthe hope that is in usâ€ as Paul says. We should explain why we think this is what God wants.
Conservatives do not have to justify their continuing to follow the holy (or unholy) traditions of Godâ€™s people.
We â€“ those of us who have done a new thing â€“ we owe it to God who has inspired our action . . .
We owe it to our conservative sisters and brothers who are shocked by our action . . .
What we owe is this . . .
To explain how God called us to do this as part of Jesusâ€™ promise to â€œdraw all people to myself.â€
God has not left us without inspired witnesses. For instance: James Alison explains how the first chapter of Paulâ€™s letter to the Romans does not forbid gay and lesbian sexual intercourse. Instead it forbids Christians from going to pagan temples and worshipping false gods with gay and lesbian intercourse.
Our conservative sisters and brothers who grieve at our welcoming women and gays and lesbians and bi-sexual and trans-gendered â€“ they deserve our time for loving discussion with them about every verse in scripture that has been said to forbid women and gays and lesbians and bi-sexuals and trans-gendered Christians from 100% full membership in Godâ€™s Church.
Our vocation is to be truly evangelical â€“ proclaiming the Good News of Godâ€™s welcome to all.
Letâ€™s have some real prayerful Bible study â€“ with people of all opinions â€“ asking God to â€œopen our hearts to your holy will.â€
Iâ€™d like to study the Bible with you.
Would you be interested?
Iâ€™d like to hear from you.