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January 13, 2009

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Charles Johnsen

Funny how not following the news in the church for a few days can hollow out one's peace and comfort. Thank you, Fr. Theron, for outlining in a fair way from a more traditional point of view what the Bishop has been saying and doing.

A few observations:

One, the judgments and interests that seem to motivate so much of TEC's elites today are personal, internal, and emotional. Why is the effect of policy and doctrine and practice on society, the next generation, other communions and unbelievers ignored? In short, why is it all about me (my sexuality, my life, my needs, my love, my relationships)? Are we not called, from the Ten Commands to the Sermon on the Mount, to live our lives for others and for the common good? The point is clear with homosexual service to the church. All of us who service the public ministries of the church sacrifice something of our personal desires and interests for the sake of the common good and the needs of the whole church, not just our parish or diocese. So is it too much to ask for celebacy outside of a lawful marriage? The state of Colorado issues licenses to marry only to one man and one woman at a time. Until that changes (God help us!), I would ask that homosexuals follow the same rules that heterosexuals do: lawful marriage or celebacy. That does not mean one slip and you are out (as long as there is repentance!). But it does mean that we owe everyone alive today and everyone born tomorrow the witness of true love, which is NOT whatever we want it to be, but rather what our God wants it to be.

Two, why is it that I, who long to return to the priesthood, am having such a hard time with the red tape but others find ordination possible?

Three, why is it that our parish is trembling at the thought that our building will be taken from us but those who reject the tradition are confident in their safety?

Four, what a stick it in your face way to do this. Could not we find an outed gay person who remains celebate to ordain? No, we have to begin with the most radical case. This seems needlessly arrogant.

Five, why is that no doctrine of the church is sacred in the TEC except the episcopal authority?

Ops, I have been at this too long. I have work to do.

Charles Johnsen, the Faithful Heretic


Theron Walker

Charles:
On point four: I am actually friends with a priest in the diocese who is a gay man, and is celibate. The problem here is "outed." Do you mean, equates "gay" with "created gay", or "gay" and continually seeking the grace and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit so he may remain obedient to the God and Father of Jesus Christ? My friend does not believe God "created" him gay. He accepts the concept from Genesis, reinterated by Jesus in his statements on marriage, "male and female God created them". (If one really follows the "created" logic, if one really goes Politically Correct, one has to deal with all the sub-sexualities claiming "god made me this way"--including transgendered and bisexuals. So, we move from "created" male and female (complementary difference of two), to at least six different phylum of "created". In which case, one of these modern bible translations should just change Genesis, and the Gospel of Mark where Jesus says "male and female."

Where this is headed is, to paraphrase Locke, "every person's sexuality is orthodox to one's self." It all becomes a matter of private opinion, over which no public or ecclesial discernment can take place. This just highlights the inherent problem with classical liberalism. When dealing in generalities, its really great. But when things get specific, it falls apart. (For example, we as a society don't "tolerate" religious practices/traditions that involve female genital mutilation; we don't tolerate peyote use; we didn't let Utah into the union until the Mormons accepted marriage as One man and One woman).

On point five: Episcopal authority isn't the only doctrine that is sacred. The doctrine that the diocese and national organization holds ultimate ownership to the property is also immutable.

robroy

Thanks, Theron+, for allowing us to peek into the back smoke filled rooms.

The diocese lost 10% of its ASA last year alone. The budget...well, who knows about the real budget, because it contains a small footnote: "This budget does not contain legal expenses." Yet, Rob O'Neill decides that this is a good time to press on with a course that has only had disastrous consequences wherever it has been tried. Diocese of Colorado: meet the definition of insanity.

Charles Johnsen

Ironic that the text "...one as I and the Father are One..." it used to excuse hierarchy. The episcopal tradition persisted in the West in the church for two thousand years because the bishops were the physical presence of the TEACHING of the Apostles. Teaching of the Apostles first, ecclesiastical authority second. For in the Trinity the separate persons are as important as the single divinity, love proceeds from free will, from personhood, to free will, to another person. The freedom is not to decide what love is but to love and whom to love and who's love to accept. Of course we argue about doctrine and practice. But we do NOT decide, not by vote or dictate or political tactics. For truth is truth, goodness is goodness, and all we can argue about is if we see them clearly. Our freedom is not to decide right and wrong but to inquire by reading, study, discussion, and debate just what is true and right. Who decides? The Holy Breath of the Lord, the Logos, the Living God among us. Bishops and prophets may declare and publish His decisions, but no human agent dare make those decisions.

Charles 3

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