Wednesday, February 23, 2005

"non serviam"


The Reverend Richard Kirker says,

"The Primates Meeting has only been in existence since 1978 and in no small way we feel the responsibility for the current impasse is due to the failure of this newly created group," he said in a statement today.

"It is amazing to us that we should now be looking to the Primates to solve a crisis that is mostly of their own making."

He adds that previous experience has shown the primates to be unable of "setting a good example of how to engage positively with lesbian and gay Christians", and that this lends the meeting a "doubtful value".

Lesbian and Gay Anglicans are not expecting much of this meeting. We hold to our position that we will not be the sacrificial lambs in the pursuit of some short term unity," Kirker said.

This article amazes me. I am continually reminded of the insidiousness of the gay agenda. Note I said "gay agenda" and not "homosexuals" nor even "homosexual activity" or whatever. It is the attitude of the activists within the Church that I take to be so sinful. And this attitude is not the exclusive prerogative of Christian homosexuals, nor even mainly their prerogative. This sin is primarilly that of the (largely) heterosexual hierarchy.

Fr. Kirker says that the primates have proven themselves incapable of setting an example of how to "engage positively with lesbian and gay Christians." What could he mean apart from "the primates have not adopted my position,"? Therefore no position or action is acceptable until it is conformed to our own. Is this a Christian attitude? Is this an attitude of humility and obedience?

The language of refusal to be a "sacrificial lamb" is, I think, most telling. Isn't being a sacrifical lamb exactly that to which our Lord calls us? May we specify under what conditions we are willing to offer ourselves? May we say "I will offer myself if I deem the cause just,"? Was that the attitude of our Lord on the cross? May we hold back those portions of our lives, our sexualities, to which we are particularly attached?

Today is the feast of the martyrdom of St. Polycarp. His witness in dying ought to be borne in mind, for he held nothing back, even though the cause of those who demanded his life was anything but just. St. Polycarp did not assent to the agenda of those wicked men who killed him, and yet he offered himself willingly. Here, then, is the prayer he prayed when he was bound and brought to be burnt:

O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of Thee, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before thee, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast fore-ordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.

If it was not too much for blessed Polycarp to pray that his burned-up flesh might be "accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice," how can it possibly be too much to offer one's political agenda, to say nothing of one's sexuality?

The progressives have got to stop acting so shocked and offended at the response of the traditionalists. The progressives have got to realize what they are asking of the traditionalists: to abandon two thousand years of consistent teaching, not only about right behavior, but about the source and nature of Godly authority. The progressives need to understand, in short, that they are progressive, and that what they are asking, even assuming that their cause is just, is no easy thing. Therefore if they are really seeking to follow the example of our blessed Lord, let them begin with patience and humility, sincerely trying to understand what it is they are asking of their brothers and sisters on "the other side," rather than arrogantly assuming the rightness of their own cause and the intractable wickedness of their interlocutors. For it is this latter attitude of arrogance and self-righteousness, much more than any sexual behavior, in my mind, that shows them to be bound to this world and its conception of justice-as-selfishness.

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