XXXX asked: > Louie, > > Are you saying, "If you're not gay, you have no say"? Certainly not. If I had felt that way, likely I would have joined the Metropolitan Community Church. I felt called to found Integrity within my own church. For more than three decades gays and lesbians have born witness to The Episcopal Church of God's redemptive work in our lives. It would be far easier to bask in God's love privately than it is to tell people about it. especially if most of those have been taught that such love cannot be. I am a catholic Christian and believe that while the Holy Spirit typically works on us one at a time, the Church should proclaim corporate understanding, not just private revelation. Serving two terms on our Standing Committee, I was moved by candidates' descriptions of God's call, but I did not view the Standing Committee as a rubber stamp. We too needed to discern that call for the diocese. In some we did not. "Jesse, have you no more children to show me?" Samuel asked. > Are you saying that there can be no questioning of arguments or > methods as long as they lead toward a desired end? Of course not. I am a professor, albeit at this point only emeritus. All arguments and methods must submit to close scrutiny. That is why again and again and again and.... lesbian and gay Christians submit to the scaffold. I hope that I do so as an act of Christian service. > But, we are Christians who must inevitably do theology. And some > theology is better than other theology. Indeed. That's why I left the Baptist religion. I doubt that three of our seminaries would have given me honorary degrees if I trashed theology. I have never suggested that we have no need to do theology. All of us need to do it well. Neverthess, I look to Jesus, not to theologians or the Church, for my salvation. I have been saved by grace, not by argument. I may be wrong in my understanding about sexuality; I am not wrong in my understanding about God, whose name is love, whose property is always to show mercy. Theologians presuming to be gate-keepers need to know, not just know about, Jesus the gate-keeper. Perhaps that is why Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom to lay fisher folk, not rabbis or theologians. As a sinner I experience mercy and kindness from Jesus far more readily than from most theologians. > I am straight, so I can only imagine your weariness. But I do try to > imagine and sympathize with it. I rejoice yet urge you to accept the bigger challenge of empathy, not just sympathy. I am gay and so can only imagine how difficult that challenge might be. I do pray daily that God will use the same standard in forgiving me my trespasses that I use in forgiving you any trespasses against me. > I rejoice in the mercy and joy you have known Thank you. > and [I] pray we both continue to know it all the way to glory. > > Grace and peace, That is my prayer for us all. Louie Newark lay deputy
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