Moving Forward

April 19, 2006

Original Post Date:  4/19/2006

I've been thinking lately more about reason.

For me, I think, the last few weeks of trying to use reason to "win" the argument of inclusion has not been helpful on my own spiritual journey.

My guess is that reason really does not do much good in the debate about inclusion.  Those who have their minds made up on either side of this debate have their reasons for their positions, and any logical or illogical argument presented seems only to further entrench their position deeper into their respective corners.

In the process of debating, the exchange sometimes becomes vitriolic and unhelpful for moving forward.  While perhaps it is possible that the discussion moves the "silent middle" forward in their thinking, my guess is that those folks are probably tired of the issue altogether and would rather discuss something else.

Maybe the better way forward is just to live out the message of the Gospel.  By living in love, by showing those who are living in places where they cannot feel the power of Christ's message because of the scars of their experience with the institution of the church that it is possible to come to the table for healing, by reinforcing to them the message that God wants them to participate as fully equal humans in this glorious creation, by proclaiming the truly Good News that "Christ stretched out his arms on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of his saving embrace," (BCP, p. 101), it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks.  It matters that we show to the "disenfranchised" of the church that God loves them and that they can be made whole in Christ.

If we do this, the "toothpaste will be out of the tube," so to speak, and once that happens it is very hard to put back in (I think it is already out).  The actions of the General Convention, will reflect accordingly in the fullness of time- maybe this year, maybe not- but it will happen.  The bitterness and hatred of exclusion will not prevail because God will not allow it to prevail.   Trusting God and working hard, we cannot lose hope.

Maybe bitterness and exclusion doesn't really even justify a response, other than the response of deep love and inclusion.

Look at that.  Lent is over and yet another epiphany.


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