Forgiveness

Some folks in the Church of the Fluffy Bunny (you know who you are) are wont to excuse any kind of immoral behavior in the name of forgiveness. After morning services, I was talking with an elderly parishoner about a certain bishop in a certain state that is to the right of Vermont on the map. She thought this was just ducky, because, get this, “we are in no position to judge another.”

I introduced this woman to the Bible, which she claims to have read. Apparently she never got past the part where Jesus forgave the woman her sins, and told the crowd, “let he who is without sin…”, well, we all know the rest about stones and all. This woman, however, never apparently got to the part where Jesus tells the adulteress, “you are forgiven; now, go and sin no more.” It’s that last part that the fluffy bunnies tend to ignore. Or, in the case of this woman, simply not acknowledge that any sin has occurred.

Gene Robinson has committed sins, as have we all. God may, or may not, forgive him. In the here and now, I believe we should adhere to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, Chapters 5 and 6. In these passages, Paul weighs in strongly against a variety of sins, including those that are sexual. The overarching philosophy, since I need to avoid proof-texting, is conveyed by 1 Corinthians 6:12, “Everything is permissible for me–but not everything is beneficial”. It should go without saying that Paul stands in the gap against homosexuality, and those who would defend it in the church must do some fancy lawyering and speechifying to get around the plain-text meaning of Paul.

I was accused of being “judgmental” when I stated that Robinison should never have left his family for a man. Not judging, I respond, merely predicting that without repentance, God will carry out His judgment. Another difference with Robinson is that he has committed what some consider the gravest sin, the sin of pride. He has placed his own view of what is acceptable treatment of his family, and his own sexuality and need to be in charge of things, ahead of the unity of his church.

You may believe that a person’s sexual orientation is their own business (I do). You may even believe that it is not wrong for two men to poke each other in their body cavities, as disgusting as these images are to me. You may even be strongly in favor of “gay marriage.” But one must not ever insist that one man’s view, if it contradicts black-letter scripture, and tradition, and the consensus of the Anglican Communion, is somehow worth celebrating.

Short version of this post: All sins may be forgiven on repentance. Absent repentance, try to convince us that 2,000 years of tradition, and scripture are wrong. You might be right; not everything in scripture is worthy at first glance. Usually, however, the Word is strong and clear; it is our perception that is clouded.

In the meantime, don’t spit in our eye and claim it’s raining. This is pride, and it goeth before the fall.

[Note: I first published this March 7, 2004, at life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. The just-published Eames Report on the pending schism in the Anglican Communion prompted the repost.]

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