Friday, April 17, 2009

The Road To Emmaus

In light of all the happenings around the Anglican Communion including the RCDC Covenant and the GAFCON meeting in England and the slef-recognition of GAFCON and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and all that whoop-de-do I wish to go back to Luke 24:13-35 and the disciples encounter with Jesus along the road to Emmaus.  As you may recall Jesus slips up on a couple of disciples (unbeknown to them).  They talk about the happenings in Jerusalem a couple of days ago.  Then, Jesus begins to warm up -- I will let Luke finish the story:

And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

When the disciples discovered it was Jesus, he vanished, but they went to the others with their hearts burning and could not keep still nor could they keep quiet.  The Episcopal Church, when we discovered women's ordination and LGBT rights did our hearts burn and could we hardly keep quiet?  I think not!  We have tried to hide all these things under a bushel basket.  Our timidity has been our worst enemy.  Yes, too some extent we have brought the last few years and the last few days upon ourselves.  And we continue to be timid and "hopeful" about these issues.  Those who would supplant TEC have neither been timid nor quiet.  They have mistaken our kindness for weakness and have taken full advantage.  In fact today, who stands up for Bishop Robinson?  Do we see or hear clear and unequivocal response to all the evil that has spewed from the mouths of Iker and Duncan and Schofield and Venables and Jenssen and Orombi and Akinola?  Each time they speak does someone immediately answer with clear and certain terms?  Does the rest of the Communion know, really know, where we stand and how firmly we intend to hold that ground?  No, why do I say that?  Look at B033!  Listen to those that speak of these issues.  Heavens, we are still apologizing for women priests and bishops!  No one in TEC seems to be willing to take on the primates on the issue of LGBT rights!  We are still arguing about the rescission (or not) of B033!  

Did we encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus or not?  I think we did.  Everyone is wringing their hands over these events and yet we caused a portion of them ourselves.  We need to create empahtic statements that leave no room for discussion or dismissal.  We need to show the Primates and the FCA and GAFCON and anyone else that these are baseline issues and we do not intend to allow rights to be taken away from classes of people simply because someone in Argentina doesn't like women.  Someone in Nigeria hates gays!  Someone in Fresno or Forth Worth or Pittsburgh takes advantage of TEC's kindness.   Let's start talking and acting and working like these issues are baseline issues -- remember, lukewarm Christians get spit out.


Elizabeth said...

Your point is well taken. I would argue about the lukewarm Christian part. At least in my case, I finally realized that there was no discussion possible with these folks, and there is too many hurting people who needed us in our communities to keep trying. What I didn't take into consideration was the wider audience. I do agree that we need to be clear with the Anglican Communion that we aren't backing down even it it means they kick us out.

Remember: "They'll know we are Christians by our love". Some people think loving people are weak, but while we might not fight fire with fire, we won't go away.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I´m not a clergy person...but I am Episcopalian and a member of The Episcopal Church...I never back down, I never pretend, I always answer the viscious lies and distracting tactics and selective Scriptural twisted turns the thieving Gafcon folks deal out.

I´ve never seen such spiritual sickness, and that covers quite a lot of seeing and being with some very emotionally/spiritually sick people as this Gafcon lot.

This dangerous gang of non-pure puritans ignorantly spew out lies and filth upon fellow Episcopalians and Anglicans clergy and laity! They mislead, they boldface lie.

Sure, sometimes we stand still and sometimes we ¨listen¨ or ¨fast¨...fasting is what we´ve done over and over again...I think we´re ¨fasted¨ out...but I don´t think we´re afraid of TRUTH!

These men, mostly men, don´t even know the personal character of those they attack. They lump together and trash LGBT people like Southern folks once did to those they called ¨n¨...they assume plenty of filth, they look for it, they cultivate it and all the while ignoring comparable behavior amongst heterosexual hedonists (how many diocese are departing because of ¨heterosexual¨ adultries or divorce?). These toads attempt to damn us to LIVING Hell! But you know what? We TRUST God. Fear is generated by fear and hate-mongers at the Body of Christ and beyond.

Religious criminals...we´re not talking Apostles or ¨stand up¨ guys here...we´re talking about extremists operating from the depths of their fear, greed and hate...there will be many ugly lessons and unfortunate, yet true, ¨stories¨ along the road...wait and see...¨they will know us by our love¨...they will be needing all the love, and spiritual nourishment/support they can get.

Meanwhile, we will keep saying NO to injustice, persecution and flat our bigotry...afterall, we´ll do our best to remove all of Gods children from being run over by a oncoming cars as they dangerous cavort on the Freeway to Hell.