Bracketing

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7a/El_Greco_-_El_Espolio.jpg

Here is Laura K, who wants to tell the gay man that God loves him, rather than that God condemns his sexual activity as sin. He will then convert to Christianity, and she will be able to explain to him what God has to say about his sexuality.

Mmm. I think this is better than making the first message that God finds homosexuality sinful. While moral philosophers have evolved many reasons why something might be thought good or bad, people who believe the Bible is self-consistent, inerrant and inspired can only say something is good or bad because a capricious God says so; and gay marriage is a case in point. What on Earth reasons could there be for finding it immoral, apart from that The Bible, Koran or whatever, condemns it?

The trouble with this is that I have grown and matured in the Church all my life, always self-identifying as Christian, and I disagree about the content of morality and the effect of the Bible verses. I am uncomfortable with Laura K appointing herself my teacher about sexual morality.

I contacted her through facebook, and she asked me to email her. I would love to hear your faith story, and how you came to know Jesus. I appreciate it when others share their honest walk- including struggles and victories. I am not sure I want to. Certainly not by email, which may be misunderstood so easily.

What I want to do first is build animal trust between us. Holding off on the things we disagree about, which are important to both of us, I want us to take communion together. I remember the sentiment from the Church of England Eucharist, but it is 1 Cor 10:17: Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

I would like us to take it very slowly, and explore our areas of agreement over months sharing a church. These will be many, even if our disagreements are very important. If we could do something together, perhaps serving the coffee after worship together one Sunday, that would be good too.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fd/Jan_Bruegel_d._%C3%84._009.jpg/640px-Jan_Bruegel_d._%C3%84._009.jpgThen we might approach our areas of disagreement from a position of trust, respect and friendship. We might, after so long disagreeing, accept that we might continue to disagree after these discussions, but that there would be enough good each could perceive in the other to make continued fellowship worthwhile.

If we can make that leap of trust, and take on faith that there is that sufficient good in each other, then the dialogue on points of disagreement might start earlier.

One of the curses of Christians is that we hate disagreeing. It seems that if we disagree, at least one of us must be wrong, and we ascribe dreadful consequences to that wrong, perhaps even as dreadful as damnation. We used to burn each other at the stake so that the heretic could not pervert others to his evil falsehoods, imperilling their souls. If we become like little children we are less desperate for agreement on everything.

4 thoughts on “Bracketing

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