Skip to comments.The Truth of Our Experience: Tales from Diocesan Convention, Chapter 1
Posted on 03/02/2005 9:06:28 AM PST by sionnsar
Stand Firm has asked those who attended the 174th Diocesan Convention in Birmingham to provide us with perspectives on what occurred there. Ive called this first perspective The Truth of our Experience. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold included this phrase in his response to the Primates Communiqué. In parsing this statement, we see the usual failure to see the issues threatening the communion as anything more than deep differences which have been brought into sharp relief around the subject of homosexuality. We also see the characteristic language about the communiqué making room for a wide variety of perspectives. And dont miss the beguiling sentence that assures us of how the Episcopal Church has worked, and continues to work, to honor the different perspectives very much present within our church.
But I found the most insidious phrase to be where he says we will have the opportunity to speak out of the truth of our experience. This phrase is the essence of pluralistic truth based on experience, as opposed to absolute truth found in Scripture. Under the working theology of the Episcopal Church, one hundred experiences equals one hundred different truths, a thousand experiences are a thousand truths, and so on. What a chaotic, confusing and ultimately lethal end this brings! As Proverbs 14:12 says, there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
I saw this theology presented first hand by a woman who approached our Stand Firm Alabama booth at Diocesan Convention. This deacon, therapist and psychiatrist politely asked me what we were standing firm for. I told her we were orthodox Episcopalians standing for the truth of the word of God. That made her smile, and she immediately began citing all the scientific evidence, telling me about how she knew that all homosexuals are born that way because hundreds of them told her so.
Incidentally, she brought it up, not me. Why are these reappraisers so quick to accuse Stand Firm of focusing so narrowly on sexuality? The answer to that question is downright chilling, but that will come in another post.
Anyway, she dismissed the studies I showed her that refute her studies. She had no ears to hear when I explained how the authors of her studies later refuted their own studies. But fair enough, since both of our sets of studies were simply two different experiences. The two truths did not match, and we could agree to disagree on that. But she also dismissed my telling her how I found freedom from sexual sins through promises in the Bible. So in her view, the experience of a mere human being trumps even the word of God. Thats a lie, and I will not stand on it.
We all have experiences, but they are not truth by themselves. Experience validates the truth of Scripture. Personally, I have developed a habit of writing tried and proven and the date of proof in the margin of my Bible. For example, we may see the truth of you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit when we want to forsake Jesus but he will not let us. Other experiences are proof of how we suffer consequences when we act in ways that are inconsistent with Gods design for us as revealed in Scripture.
This woman may never give Gods word more weight than her own experience. Please pray that one day she will, because here's a promise and a warning to her from God himself: Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6
good work. remember that Roman did not convert because of Peter. Keep it up. Plant your feet- tell the truth.
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