Friday, April 11, 2008

A Question of Poison?

Father Mark Harris, a priest in the Diocese of Deleware runs a well put together blog that goes under the handle of Preludium. I have to conclude, based on his posts that he falls somewhere in the spectrum between moderate to liberal. Though I find myself in disagreement more times than not with his posts and the bulk of his commentors, I have no reason to suspect that he is nothing less than a decent and earnest man who gives 100% to his vocation and his flock. His posts aren't made in a mean or mocking spirit, and his ideas have clearly been reasoned through. Mark+ has a recent post entiitled, "A Question of Poison". This post gave me pause for a moment as I considered what he was addressing.

To say that the election and seating of the current Presiding Bishop has been a source of angst and stomach acid for conservative Episcopalians and Anglicans would be the understatement of the year. She has made any number of statements that have set folks teeth on edge, especially in the realms of historic Christian orthodoxy, biblical understanding and human sexuality. The latter has generated enough voltage to power several major cities. This said, there have been some unbelieveable responses shot back across the bow from the armada of the reasserters. I've taken the time to read and ruminate over many of these and see them as ranging from the unhelpful and petulant to the ugly and Sub-christian. In the interest of honesty, I have in the past made a statement or two that brushed against being catty. I apologize to anyone I may have offended in those remarks.

Now having said this, I want to set down a nonegotiable principle; the truth in and of itself is not poison. If one makes a declarative statement of truth and if a hearer grimaces at the sound of that truth, its a response to conviction rather than a reaction to poison.

Here's a second nonegotiable; Truth must be declared in the light of Ephesians 4:15. Think about it; When Nathan looked David dead in the eye and said "Thou art the man", was he doing it to get under the kings skin or put a finger in his eye? Heck no, He did it because he loved the king enough to see him repent from his error and be restored to fellowship with the Almighty.

Whether he is wearing an AAC/ACN lapelpin or a Rainbow Stole, a bomb thrower is still a bomb thrower and in the end game does nothing to truly help their cause. Though they may bring brief attention, its usually dismissed. Reasserter, we make no hay in tossing out clever digs that make others snicker. The Presiding Bishop of TEC may well be dead wrong, but she's not the devil in a loud cope and mitre.

May all our words be spoken in love and seasoned with salt...

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