Saturday, April 25, 2009


A while ago Father Harris wrote his 1000th blog. In the post he tripped through about 15 or 20 items that he had "learned" over the course of his writings. At that time I asked him if from time to time I might "springboard" from those various items and, at least at that time, he agreed. This is my second posting from that 1000th blog post of Fr. Mark's.  I am hopeful he still is in agreement, especially since my last post over at Real Anglicans.

"2. Not enough attention was paid to the Kuala Lumpur statement on Human Sexuality and on the wider distress with innovative theology. Had more attention been paid to serious dialogue then, we might be in a different place now."  Fr. Harris

I will start with my own "spin" on what was written.  This speaks to issues surrounding our LGBT brothers and sisters -- and perhaps to a lesser extent issues surrounding adultery, divorce and other sexual "misconduct" issues.  Let me posit something not terribly novel.  

Suppose, just suppose TEC were to make a blanket statement that everyone who comes to the Episcopal Church will be welcomed and able to participate to the fullest extent.  Call it "The Episcopal Church Bill of Rights".  That is correct, a bill of rights for all Episcopalians that allows for an open door through which one steps and when one does so it permits the person to fully participate in ALL aspects of the Episcopal Church of the United States.  We, as a church from the very beginning of our days, have always thought that and acted, for the most part that way, now we actually voice the truth.  Then, we go on to conclude this statement with the following words: 

If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous; and he is the perfect offering for our
sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole

Now, that ends the argument/discussion on this issue.  I am unclear why the issue of "sex" in any way shape or form continues to fascinate so many people for so long a time.  Be that as it may, it is time to get over it.

This Bill of Rights is nothing more and nothing less than what we as a a nation and as a church are founded upon. It is the bedrock of our existence and a baseline beneath which the Episcopal Church should not go.  We have for too long and for too many people talked a good talk but never walked the walk.  We have excluded women and handicapped and poor, and culturally different and LGBT brothers and sisters from some or all of our great Church opportunities and now is the time to make it right.  Actually, now is the time to walk the walk.  How can anyone not subscribe to the basest of human requirements, that all persons are created equal and demand to be treated accordingly.  In God's kingdom we, each and everyone of us, needs each and everyone of us.  We are all broken before the Lord.  We are all entitled to fully participate in all aspects of God's saving grace here on earth.  We have denied it for too long to too many.  This Bill of Rights allows for the Episcopal Church to reach out to everyone and say with an open heart and an honest mind "Come here, we have a place for you at the Lord's table."  (If nothing else it relieves many of the burden of having to read peoples minds to determine whether they have sinned and to what extent. ;-})

It is time!

1 comment:

Cany said...

Fabulous post! Thank you.

We struggled, as a church, as you well know, with the early issues of equal rights for African Americans. Later, and still, with the issue of women. Now lgbt folks, our friends, family and fellow pew sitters.

We either take the step, or we're back in the pool. There IS no middle ground. How could there be?

In terms of a season of reflection, I think we have "seasoned" out. It is time for the season to welcome all, and I just LOVE your idea.