6.8.09

Christians told to stay away


It just leaves me aghast that Chris Sugden and Anglican Mainstream should advise Christians to stay away from Greenbelt this year. So are Christians not to mix with other Christians who they suppose are somehow sinning? If so then we are on seriously dodgy ground here. This is tantamount to a theology in which God measures sin; in which he considers some sins worse than others. So how would it have been if Jesus had decided that there were no go zones for his ministry. Worshippers at Greenbelt are not rejecting Jesus.

Jesus cursed Bethsaida and Chorazin, ‘Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Matt 11:21) Capernaum (also located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee) was cursed by Jesus as well. “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” (Mathew 11:23).But here the people rejected Jesus and worshipped false Gods.

What are Anglican Mainstream and Chris Sugden actually saying about the Christians at Greenbelt? I share AMs orthodox stance on issues in Human Sexuality but we share in the worship of our Lord and Saviour with our Christian brothers and sisters and surely watch for the planks in our own eyes before we remove the sawdust from our neighbours' eyes. Do we not have much to learn from one another in all our brokenness. God does not see us in terms of our sexual orientation, he sees us as his dear children. Should we not be doing likewise?

Are we, as Christians, becoming addicted to dislike and hate? Take care, this is not our Church, this is Christ's Church! Is this how we want to live? We need instead to be prayer-warriors. We need to wear the weapon of love. Love is specific, it has a face and that face probably belongs to someone whom everyone else dislikes, is that person your gay brother and sister? Are not these then the people we walk towards and not away from. Step out, go to Greenbelt if that had been your prayerfully considered plan. Step out, walk towards the people whom the Church is telling you to walk away from because the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE!!!! A Christ-follower walks towards and not away from people. A Christ-follower loves!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greenbelt was once evangelical, then it 'broadened', had the Nine o'Clock Service folk (remember them?) proclaiming their 'Planetary Mass' just before they crashed and burned, and has even had a 'white witch' in recent years. It's clear that Gene Robinson
(who evidently doesn't have enough to do with 'evangelizing' his rapidly shrinking diocese of New Hampshire) is making yet another trip overseas to gather disciples for his alternative 'Anglican' communion. Giles Fraser is helping him. So go if you think you can change their mind, or if you would like them to change yours.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Okay - white witches and planetary masses is unbiblical. However, I can not comment on your claims unless I do research to verify them.

I still hold though to the idea that it is not in the business of being a Christ-follower to deliberately pull out of certain situations - we are instead to step out and be salt and light and bring the news of God's truth into situations and places that might need it. Christiane should be in the business of making God's Kingdom grow and not restrict their presence.

After pretty much only just getting myself up on my feet after New Wine, I don't think I can afford to lie prostrate for much more of the summer, basking in my Lord's glory, he's got stuff for me to do and it is for that reason that New Wine is the only Christian festival I will go to this summer. I've been more than enough 'topped-up' - time to give out!
Thanks anon

David Ould said...

I think they're saying that when an organisation capitulates on the current issue which we are all struggling on, that it's a big deal.

Like it or not, the sharp pointy end of our current debate over the authority of Scripture is coming down to this issue of human sexuality. Greenbelt have deliberately chosen to take a particular stand. It's ultimately not about the sex issue, it's about the underlying stuff.

Now, we may not like the way that AM went about it, but I think the issue itself is vitally important. Greenbelt have backed a very diminished view of Scripture and thus chosen a side in our current tensions.

Anonymous said...

Rachel, I think the issue is to do with 'endorsement' or 'sponsorship', whether a group that provides financial and moral backing to a project also approves the basic message of participants. CMS UK, as a professedly evangelcial organization, is pretty uncomfortable with the platform being given to Robinson, an Episcopal bishop who was personally excluded by Williams from Lambeth because of his 'lifestyle' (tho' he showed up anyway, with camera teams in tow) and whose appointment has riven the Anglican Communion. Robinson isn't going to debate his opponents - he is a publicity hound, not a theologian. He should never have been made a bishop in the first place.
St Paul has some stern words for those he considers false teachers.

Rachel Marszalek said...

I think that we don't half make sexuality issues more about the gospel than they actually merit. I just can't see God as obsessed with our sexuality as we are. There is such Kingdom-building work to be done and we are all righteous by faith and not orientation. I just think that we make too much of it. I understand the problems with Robinson and endorsement. I do, however, just wonder if we are ever going to start really loving one another and I know that love means caring about another person's salvation, I just wonder though whether orientation is really a salvation issue. I don't know but I don't think so.

David Ould said...

hi Rachel.

To be fair, I don't think anyone is arguing that orientation is a salvation issue. But the Scriptures tell us that behaviour can be.

But more than that, sex is not the real issue. The real issue is the authority of Scripture in the Church.

Anonymous said...

"I just wonder though whether orientation is really a salvation issue."

But see, you've slipped into using (slippery) revisionist language. What does "orientation" mean? A more or less steady sexual *attraction OR sexual behavior? "Orientation" in the foremr sense has never really been an issue for Christians. (Heck, some people have a sexual "orientation" to children! That's - or should be - no concern to society unless they act upon it.) But today "orientation" has been used in a weasel way to slip from feelings to sexual relations.
I agre with David Ould: Greenbelt were wrong to affirm, under tne aegis of a Christian festival, a lifestyle that has been rejected by the Anglican Communion and the Church of England. Greenbelt has acted in a sectarian way.

Rachel Marszalek said...

But are Greenbelt actually encouraging homosexual expressions of sexuality or are they simply saying come and sit at the feet of Jesus with us, brothers and sisters together and we will wait for one another?

Is Gene Robinson actually teaching that homosexual orientation is Godly, which is of course at odds with what scripture teaches or is he saying come see how the Lord Jesus can inhabit me, a vessel, with his Holy Spirit and through me bring people into a living relationship with God because I preach the gospel? Aren't all vessels rude and poorly shaped but our Lord can use us, insufficient instruments as we are, to his glory. It is, afterall our faith which makes us righteous not our works. Of course, good works follow from faith as a testimony to it and the Spirit life within us but we are all on a journey!
Peace brothers and sisters
Thanking you for the conversation - Lord, give me a teachable spirit.

Anonymous said...

"Is Gene Robinson actually teaching that homosexual orientation is Godly..."
- yes he is, and he has taught so for many years.
"which is of course at odds with what scripture teaches..."
- I don't know that Scripture really talks about 'orientation' unless you mean desire; it focuses much more on actions.
"or is he saying come see how the Lord Jesus can inhabit me, a vessel, with his Holy Spirit and through me bring people into a living relationship with God because I preach the gospel?"
- You might be surprised how little of the orthodox gospel Robinson actually believes ex animo. He's very similar to Schori.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Interesting Anon
Perhaps I need to do my homework. I've bought Gene's autobiography, perhaps I should start reading it.
Thanks

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