Skip to comments.When GRWS's Attack
Posted on 06/21/2005 6:55:09 PM PDT by sionnsar
ECUSA made its case before the Anglican Consultative Council today. Dr. Harmon liveblogged the presentation and ECUSA's theological case is here. A quick glance through it suggests that ECUSA simply recycled the usual arguments and threw in generous helpings of their "the Spirit is doing a new thing" mantra that Dr. Williams rejected yesterday. You can read all 135 pages of it if you want to but if you'd prefer a much quicker summary of ECUSA's case, read Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls' recent commencement address at Berea College:
It was only 600 years ago that we knew the earth was the center of the universe and the sun rotated around it. It was only 500 years ago that we knew that it was impossible to reach the east by sailing west. It was only 300 years ago that we knew that kings ruled by the divine providence of God almighty. It was only 150 years ago that we knew that slavery was an institution ordained by God for the good of all, including those enslaved. It was only 50 years ago that we knew that God intended the races to be separated. It was only 40 years ago, at least in my church, that we knew that people who had been divorced could never be remarried. It was only 30 years ago that we knew, at least in my church, that leadership in the church was intended by God only for men. It was only 20 years ago that a major American religious leader pronounced his knowledge that God does not hear the prayer of a Jew. It was only yesterday that we were taught the knowledge that material success is a sign of Gods favor and blessing. It was only yesterday that we knew that America was especially beloved by God. It was only yesterday that we knew that people who are constitutionally oriented to the same sex instead of the opposite sex were abominations in the sight of God, a threat to marriage as the foundation of civilization, and unworthy of being protected by basic civil rights.
What do you mean "we," Stace? I never knew that material success is a sign of God's blessing. If that's true, the Almighty must be mighty cross with ECUSA these days what with you bleeding all that scratch. And I still haven't seen any empircal evidence that there are "people who are constitutionally oriented to the same sex instead of the opposite sex." I basically have to take Gene Robinson's word for it. But how did "we" know all that stuff Stace says we knew? One guess.
And here is the most dangerous part of all. Do you know why we knew all those thingsthat the earth was the center of the universe, that segregation was Gods will, that some peoples life long love is an abomination to Godbecause the Bible told us so.
One wonders what motivated William Wilberforce to work so hard and so long to abolish the slave trade or why all those evangelical Protestant abolitionists in America labored as hard as they did to end slavery in the United States. That sure makes John Newton's conversion and subsequent life kind of strange. And it's hard to figure out why Charles Spurgeon, as orthodox a Christian who has ever lived, detested slavery as violently as he did. But I'd better not dispute Sauls too strenuously because he is a type of white person that the liberal culture reveres. The Guilt-Ridden White SouthernerTM.
It is the danger of what we know that scares me to death. As a boy, growing up in the American South of the 1950s and 1960s, I cherished the visits we made from our home in Atlanta to my grandparents farm in what was then rural Georgia. One of the things I cherished most was the mid-day meal, which was called dinner, never lunch, that my grandmother prepared for my grandfather, my uncles, and the hired help working in the fields. She would ring the large bell in the yard, audible even in the most distant part of the farm, at about 11:30. Everyone would come to the house. My grandfather and my uncles would come in, wash up, and sit down at the table. The hired men, whom we called colored, came to the house, washed up at the spigot in the yard, and sat on the steps outside. It was all I had known. It was never questioned. It was just a known fact that black folks did not come in to eat at the table with white folks. And what appalls me now, much more than the actual situation, is that it never occurred to me question what I knew.
Yeah I know. The first word Stace spoke wasn't "Mama" but the N word. Stace's high school, segregated of course, had one of the best black church burning teams in Georgia and he can still remember those Confederate Memorial Day picnics when he'd feast on his mom's cornbread(nobody made it better), all the ice-cold Coca-Cola he could drink and a big ol' helping of barbecued civil rights worker.
The South was hell on earth and every single white person south of the Mason-Dixon Line, from the oldest old person down to the youngest infant, was a racist. In racism did Stace's mother conceive him and it wasn't until he took ECUSA's anti-racism training that Stace realized what a racist slimebag he was. Blah, blah, blah. Having established the fact that he's Morally Better Than You, Stace continues:
It is funny, isnt it, how often we attribute what we know to the Bible when the Bible is a book about faith and not about knowledge at all. At least, that is what St. Paul said. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge (1 Cor. 8:1b-2). It is those with knowledge that Paul rebukes. He might as well have said, they think the know everything. He must not have been writing to the graduating class of Corinth College. Whatever rights come from the knowledge you have gained, whatever privileges ascertain to the degree you are about to receive, which are more considerable than you may yet realize, all of them are to be laid down out of love for the building up of the community. The fact that the Bible is the source of the knowledge makes no difference at all.
So the Bible "is a book about faith and not about knowledge at all," is it? And you got that from Paul? Where'd that guy Paul write again? The New Testament, wasn't it? Which is part of the Bible if I remember correctly. So by your own logic, your claim that "the Bible is a book about faith and not about knowledge at all" can only be taken on faith.
Here is the principle to which I implore you, not as a matter of practical advice, but as a matter of faith. Love first, knowledge second. As a matter of faith, love precedes truth. To be godly, all knowledge yields to love. For whatever else the word may say, even the word is subject to the reality that the Word of God has been made flesh in Jesus, and that Word of God, Jesus Christ, is love incarnate. Everything yields to that. Every knee shall bow. Every tongue confess. Every heart make room. Everything yields to love.
Actually, Stace, "that Word of God, Jesus Christ" is God incarnate. "For whatever else the word may say, even the word is subject to the reality that the Word of God has been made flesh in Jesus," seems to imply that your deity, assuming you have one, can change his mind whenever you want him to, as long you as you work the word "love" in a few times. You are right about one thing, Stace. Every knee shall indeed bow and every tongue shall indeed confess; they just won't do it to love. But there I go proof-texting again. Sorry.
All knowledge must yield to love. The 18th and 19th centurys knowledge that the Bible said that slavery was ordained by God was subject to the questions that faith asked in light of love. And indeed it was faith that asked that question in the person of leaders like Frederick Douglas and Harriett Tubman, and John G. Fee. It is in the best of the tradition of Berea College that knowledge, even that which claims the Bible as its source, be questioned by faith and subject to love. The knowledge of my parents and grandparents that God had said in the Bible that the races were to be separate was questioned out of faith in the interests of love. Leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., and even before them, the men and women of Berea College who challenged the State of Kentucky all the way to the Supreme Court over whether black students and white students could go to school together questioned what was known out of faith in the light of love. Even our knowledge that women cannot lead the church is subject to being questioned out of faith in the light of love. Even our knowledge that people who are oriented to the same sex rather than opposite sex are despised by God is subject to being questioned out of faith in the light of love. Knowledge, my dear friends, is not eternal. It changes every day. Only love endures.
First off, I do not recognize a category of "people who are oriented to the same sex rather than opposite sex." I do recognize people who commit homosexual acts and countless other kinds of sins. Secondly, I do not know that homosexuals are "despised by God." I do know that anyone who puts his or her faith in Christ's death on the Cross for the sins of the world will inherit eternal life but that anyone who presumes to decide just what sins Christ died on the Cross for is on very dangerous ground. Typical Sauls, arguing with a conservative position that doesn't exist.
One wonders what Stacy Sauls and his ilk mean by the word "love." Uncritical and unconditional acceptance? We won't get all up in your face about your public drunkeness or your porn collection. Don't sweat boinking that really hot housewife across the street. God wuvs you DIS MUCH so it doesn't matter in the slightest what you do or who you sleep with; go on sinning so grace might increase. Then it's hard to figure out why Sauls is so guilty about his childhood. Maybe some of those racists he grew up with were oriented to the same race rather than a different race.
My dear young men and women of the Class of 2005, there is no knowledgenonethat is not subject to faith and love. Knowledge left unquestioned by faith, like the colored men sitting outside on the steps, is a very dangerous thing indeed. There is nothing you have been taught, or that you will ever learn, that does not need to be questioned by faith in the light of love. Knowledge is always subject to faith and the standard of faith is love. And whatever sins against love, you may be assured, cannot be true.
We hear so much about the Bible these days. The Bible gets used for some really horrible things in the name of what we say we know. It always has, just like the picketers who visited Berea not that long ago as well as some of my churches proclaiming the most hateful things in the name of God about Gods gay and lesbian children. Jesus, on the night before he died gave his disciples a new commandment. It is the one and only thing that Jesus ever said that he said was a commandment. It is this, Love one another (Jn. 13:34). Love one another. I wonder why we arent trying to have that commandment put that up on courthouse walls. I wonder if the reason is that it might call into question just a little too much of what we think we know.
So buy your Bibles in loose-leaf binder form, Class of 2005. It'll be much easier for you to remove the pages we tell you to remove when we run across the next organized group of sinners that wants us to
reinterpret the Bible question our knowledge "out of faith in the light of love" in order to make them feel better about their sin. Oh and triple your ECUSA pledges because we really need the jack.
What Sauls' fails to consider here is that in this litany of former beliefs, only ONE IS FOUND IN SCRIPTURE. Homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of God, everything else was something mankind once believed and later disavowed.
One has to wonder if he's actually read Scripture. Perhaps he's only read about it.
Even from memory, I was pretty darned sure this wasn't in Scripture:
It was only yesterday that we knew that America was especially beloved by God.
It was only 500 years ago that we knew that it was impossible to reach the east by sailing west.
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