G. K. Chesterton was right.
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."
Apparently this is still an accurate observation.
Yes, you heard me. I was just visiting over at Mark Harris' Preludium, and found a discussion about a video aimed at swaying the so-called "Windsor Bishops" to the Proper Course of Action at the next House of Bishops' meeting in September. Of course, it is also available over at other, more virulent blogs to which I generally decline to link. Nor will I post the actual video here. Go to Mark's place, and link from there if you like.
What I'm addressing here is the tenor of the attitude reflected, both in the clip and in a goodly number of the comment posts, from supposedly faithful folks in both camps.
Hear me clearly. I have no patience -- NONE -- for any of it. Not for the emotionally manipulative propaganda, nor for the back-biting, the sarcasm, the name-calling, and the general ugliness that I see displayed as justification and/or response. It turns my stomach.
To the video producers: Do you honestly feel justified in using the horrors of martyrdom in such a fashion? And further, do you not realize the connection that gays and lesbians make between the image of burning at the stake and the origin of the pejorative term "faggot" -- the actual threat of abuse and murder that still exists for them in this day and age? How can you even begin to justify the horrific spectre that raises?
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, both "conservative" and "liberal": Can we back off the mean-spirited self-righteousness and try for some modicum of respect and civility? What possible excuse do we have on either side for the arrogant dismissal of profound theological concerns of other members of the body of Christ?? Can we not at the very least acknowledge the possibility that some of those with whom we disagree are honest, prayerful, committed Christians, trying to live intentional, biblically grounded lives? Remember that a great number of those who were once banished, flogged, or killed as heretics-- including Latimer and Ridley-- are now heralded as orthodox, and foundational mothers and fathers in our faith. Do we really want to repeat that sort of grievous error?
The Real Live Preacher offers a much better starting point:
“You reading the New Testament? Trying your best to understand it?”
“Are you trying to follow Jesus as a disciple, trying to understand what he said and live the way he did, where possible?”
“Yeah, I’m trying.”