12 March 2007

Knisely: Called to walk ahead

Over on his blog, Nick Knisely has written a thought-provoking piece. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but here's the punchline:

...I’m finding that I’m finding that I’m drawn more and more to the parallels between the relationship of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion on one hand and the Joseph and the other 11 sons of the Patriarch Jacob on the other. Joseph’s brothers decided that they could not tolerate his presence among them and took actions which sent him away from the rest of family and into that region beyond. But God used that act and Joseph’s life in Egypt to create a place that ultimately saved the lives of his father and his brothers. Perhaps as the Episcopal Church is told to walk apart and to go forth into a new world-view, it will be our task to find ways that the Christian Gospel can be preached effectively to a people for whom the old ways no longer work. And that some day God will bring all the members of the family back together again in a way that causes us to recognize that we need each other and we are not meant to live apart.

I suppose Nick may be right. I must say, if we are called to walk ahead (or, as I like to remind people, if the Akinolites choose to walk behind), then this gives our separation some meaning. Personally, I'm still hoping that we can walk together.

(Thanks to Jim Naughton for pointing me this way.)


GroundedintheGospel said...

The comparison with Joseph is ridiculous. ECUSA tore the garment in 2003. Think Gomer, not Joseph.

Scott Gunn said...

Ah, grounded, I love that pithy spunk!

We always hear about the struggle in Anglicanism being about scriptural authority, and not homophobia. So why is 2003 the watershed year and not some earlier time? I'd really like to know. Seems to me that if the real beef is the perceived drift into liberal heresy, then you'd have to start long before 2003.

GroundedintheGospel said...

Yes, ECUSA started sliding long before that. But, as +Rowan remarked shortly after 2003, a bishop is a bishop for the whole church. This makes it a watershed, moving from laxity, false teaching, and often, silliness (Spong, of course), to an ecclesial endorsement via what is supposed to be in some sense either a sacramental office or a godly representation.

All the other arguments, you know, I am sure, esp the one that says we acted in advance of any clear theology supporting the action, and any corporate affirmation of that theology, against the HOB theological report, and against the advice of the Primates,to name just a few. But, hey, why should we think that VGR's consecration was such a big deal?

Now, if you're going to advance your cause, please don't use the word 'homphobia' which, as you know, means 'irrational fear of homosexuals' indiscriminately, or really, as a kind of emotinal outburst, or . . .labelling! Are you saying that everyone (and many of us who may have supported homosexuals in countless ways even as conservatives) who thinks sex finds its fullest expression within the traditional norms of Christianity is homophobic? That seems to be the a favorite tactic of those who worship the golden calf of inclusivity. Well, you'd have to include a lot of very, um, saintly people, almost everyone in the history of Christendom really except the cognescenti of this present age in ECUSA.

Pithy and spunky enough?

Next time I bother to get dragged into this I will ask about why your side never listens to those who've stepped out of the homosexual lifestyle, or talks about them.

Scott Gunn said...


Your point about "homophobia" is well taken. I did not mean to imply that homophobia is always the problem, or that you were fearful.

Some (both right and left) use that homophobia vs. Bible dichotomy, but I don't find it helpful at all. On either side, actually. There are, I hope you'll grant, gay and lesbian people who are trying just as hard as you or anyone else to live biblically.

As for your final point, I'll listen to nearly anyone who is willing to have a conversation.

It seems to me that if we engaged in more of that -- listening, talking, hearing -- we'd be in better shape. Assuming, of course, that we're willing to take each other seriously.

Lastly, I did enjoy another round of spunk, though I found your first comment pithier. (I hope you are reading this with the humor it is intended to convey. I mean pith and spunk as compliments!)