Thursday, January 14, 2010

Church's identity crisis goes back to '79

From Charleston SC-

The problems besieging the Episcopal Church in this country are complicated because there are no readily convenient solutions. The church has moved left in recent years, and now the bull in the living room fundamentally involves elevation of acknowledged homosexual clergy to higher levels of office (as was the case with Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire).

Conservative elements of the Anglican Communion are trying to figure out ways to juxtapose rigid interpretation of scripture against looser interpretation, with the realization that Christian Bible study has evolved over 2,000 years and will continue to do so.

How, then, does one oppose elevation of gay clergy to higher office (assuming individual nominees preach the gospel and not their lifestyles) based on certain literalist interpretations, when there may be no room for literalist interpretation?

After all, "literalist interpretation" is oxymoronic. How can one "interpret" anything that inherently requires the absence of thought? So the issue is not so much disagreeing with the idea of having gays preach as it is justifying the banning of it without appearing prejudiced and exclusionary. It would be difficult to move forward with the rest of humanity under such circumstances if one is interested in so doing or believes in it at all.

On the other hand, and not that I'm a biblical scholar (anything but, in fact), but a lot of Scripture seems fairly straightforward and not really amenable to that much intellectual machination.

So it's a really divisive conundrum, and I can appreciate the arguments on both sides. On the one hand, some people feel as if the church is leaving them and should separate from those (i.e. the Anglican Communion) who wish to impose unwanted policy. Others want the policy.

More here-

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