The Company You Keep

I think that I have reached somewhat of a milestone on my faith journey. Last week, Rev. Anita Cadonau-Huseby, a very nice lesbian lady ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) , publicly included me among some bloggers who were “able to navigate beyond the hot topic (homosexuality) and onto the essentials ” because we “shared sense of respect for the other, recognition of the other’s faith in Christ, and appreciation for the person they were without judgment”. What prompted her remarks was a moving series of articles by John Shore

rainbow pasture

She also recommended folks visit the sites on her blog roll (many of whom are also on my list of friends) saying:

These are blogging communities where you can contribute your wisdom and insights as a Christian and they’ll be received with respect by the blogger and by the majority, though not all, of their readership. While I hope SisterFriends will be your home base, I encourage you to visit these other blogs and get involved, but not only in conversations involving homosexuality. When we’re on the journey to reconcile our faith and sexuality, our focus can understandably become somewhat myopic but it’s good to occasionally lay that all aside and get engaged in other faith questions you feel passionate about or are interested in. Please check out the BlogRoll on the right column for additional blogs and websites.

Ditto.

If you had asked me five years ago if this recognition would not only please me but humble me as well, I would have said you were nuts. Thanks for counting me as a friend, Anita. I am honored.

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  1. #1 by Christian on April 29, 2008 - 6:45 am

    or pretend not to see in fellow believers.

    No, Love, not pretend not to see – but ignore. As Steve said, we do need to deal with sin in this ‘post-modern’ age – our own. We should be evangelizing, which is not to mean that we should be proselytizing. For me to point out what I see to be Anita’s (or your) “obvious” disregard for God’s word is hypocritical if I do not do so with the all other sins, even those that we have stamped with cultural approval. But it isn’t enough for me to concede that I am a sinner to allow me to say that there is no need to take offense – that we are all in the same ‘boat’. It is truly hypocritical if I have not yet removed ALL the beams from my own eye before I start picking at the motes in others.

    I think there is a difference when we point out the corporate, systematic sins of society and the church, those that are done in the name of God and the better good, especially when we recognize our own implication and culpability, all the while maintaining compassion and empathy for those we are criticizing.

  2. #2 by Steve on April 29, 2008 - 4:25 pm

    Christian,
    I’m not sure if this horse is dead or just unwell, but here goes.
    I think there is a difference when we point out the corporate, systematic sins of society and the church, those that are done in the name of God and the better good, especially when we recognize our own implication and culpability, all the while maintaining compassion and empathy for those we are criticizing.

    How is that different from denying/ignoring personal sin? It sounds like you’re saying that it’s okay, and even beneficial, to point at corporate or national or societal sin, but not personal. That’s a pretty slippery slope.

    Michael Patton at Reclaiming the Mind had an interesting, well-reasoned post entitled, How Many Beliefs Can One Abandon and Still be Called Christian? It’s a valid question, and the longer I watch the ‘emerging church,’ the more I’m convinced that we are abandoning biblical Christ-centered Christianity, one doctrine at a time.

  3. #3 by Christian on April 29, 2008 - 9:45 pm

    I don’t know. How is this the same thing as denying/ignoring personal sin? Seriously, I don’t see your point. By all means we should acknowledge sin and reflect upon it and repent. But I am hesitant to call you to repentance, or anyone else, as I am still working out my own.

    It is definitely beneficial to point out corporate sin – look at the work of the prophets. That was the bulk of their message. The sins that Jesus pointed out were more often of those of the religious, who did not hesitate to point out the sins of others while they ignored many of their own. Christ compels me to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, not to work out yours or anyone else’s. Of course when someone’s behavior takes advantage of or hurts others then we have a responsibility to address it.

  4. #4 by lovewillbringustogether on April 30, 2008 - 12:50 am

    All – i hope ( but have some doubt) that none of you see me as ‘proselytising’ – i have been careful in my choices of words so as to not accuse anyone of a direct sin – but trying to point out what God and Scripture says on certain issues that each might look again at what is written. and give all due thought from more than just one persepctive (that of our own egos).

    I feel Anita may have read more in my quote than was intended – or missed the MAIN theead of what i said there – that we ALL do what ‘salves’ our own egos more than what we think others ‘want’ for us. I would never wish anyone do what others want us to do by reason of THEIR own ego needs. Those who offer us advice based upon their knowledge of God’s Love are always welcome to engage my ego in communication that i may be awakened to my own personal sin.

    I desire to remove ALL of my own ego in order that i can Live Eternally IN HIM.

    Chris/Steve does the above give another perspective for you to view the ‘pretend not to see/ignore – corporate vs individual’ ‘sins’ we see sometimes in others – even through our own ‘beams’ (or perhaps expecially because of same?)

    When we realise the beam that is in our own eyes it becomes a thing we see VERY clearly when it is in another – although in eqch of us the reason for that beam being there may well have individual differences.

    <B

  5. #5 by Steve on April 30, 2008 - 11:15 am

    Christian/lovewill,
    Christ compels me to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, not to work out yours or anyone else’s. Of course when someone’s behavior takes advantage of or hurts others then we have a responsibility to address it.

    You’re dead on, and I think I may have been reading too much into your earlier comments. I am a lifelong sufferer from advanced plank-in-the-eye-ism. It hurts when you start smacking others with that plank, but for some reason I keep at it. My point was that sin is still sin, whether it’s corporate/societal or personal. I think my horse is dead now, so I will stop flogging it.

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