XXXXXXXX, thank you for your thoughtful and challenging posts. You wrote: > YYYYYYYYY, I don't consider affirming our faith, baptizing, preaching > the Good News, or celebrating the Eucharist as having fallen away > from the Faith once delivered. That is, not unless we recite creeds > which deny the Trinity, preach a gospel of affirmation which > neglects a call to repentance and transformation, and share the Body > and Blood of Christ with the unbaptized. In addressing lesbians and gays, some use the "call to repentance and transformation" as code for excluding us unless we transform our behavior to the norm of heterosexual marriage or abstinence. Would I be wrong to read that meaning into your caveat? Much of the HoB/D discussion of the formularies of faith has made me uncomfortable. As an academic I can hold my own with theory, but as a Christian, I do not stand before God expecting to debate my way into heaven. When the stakes are eternal life, I trust God more than I trust any well-made theology. How many first-century Christians could have understood or passed the tests posed by creeds formulated in the fourth century? Could the thief on the cross next to Jesus? Could the tax collector who prayed only 'be merciful to me a sinner"? Presumably he knew he would continue to be a sinner, as do I with each confession. In the baptismal liturgy, the celebrant asks, "Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?" Note that the celebrant does not say "IF you fall into sin" but "WHENEVER." I can pass the Nicene and Apostles' Creed with a lie detector test, but God does not reckon my theological correctness for righteousness. The only righteousness I can lay claim to is Jesus'. Is any other righteousness needed? Lutibelle/Louie, sinner saved by grace, amazing still Louie Crew Chair of the Newark deputation; member of Executive Council
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