True Zealotry Or Spiritual Realpolitik??
My dear brothers and sisters,
I have not only read about the spiritual warfare waged against us, I have heard some of the principal actors speak them to my face. The thread is interrogative and not rhetorical.
Do you believe that the spiritual leaders speak with a different voice than the secular leaders? Do you believe that those voices are blurring into a theocracy? ........is there any truth to the Dominionist concerns?
Do you believe that there is any difference between the Catholic, Anglican or Orthodox approaches to spiritual violence and the rhetoric and behaviours of the fundamentalist Protestant Christian?
Do all "gay-affirming" Churches sing from the same hymnal, pray from the same prayerbook, or offer the single or coupled gay or lesbian congregant the same pastoral care and sustenance as they do the rest of their flock?
Are they all just different manifestations of Elmer Gantry - in a simple suit of clothes, in academic regalia or liturgical vestments....or canonically, both :lol: ??
The classic positions on both sides of the secular and spiritual "culture wars" are well known. The "talking points" are repeated, ad nauseam it seems, to each other and to audiences, both hostile and sympathetic.
Is it zealotry, dear brothers and sisters, or is it merely spiritual realpolitik???
I PRAY :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: THAT THIS THREAD IS NOT IGNORED. I SO WANT TO DIALOGUE WITH YOU....YES,,,,,YOU.
Why would it matter what banner one flies one's words and actions under? Drop the gobbledeygook about whether it's Catholic, Anglican, or carrot-cake and look at the thing itself.
All division is divisive.
If I look at you and all I see is my mental label Christian, then I have not seen *you.*
I also believe the fear of a Theocracy, is always a fear of thier Theocracy, while I work to rename, defend and install my own. We on this site strive to spread our own version, considerring it a better alternative. Dominionism is merely trying to increase what one thinks is "right", making the world a better place. I can blame no one for the simple effort.
It is rare for me to request that someone talk down to me, but as I likely missed your point all together, you (and Emproph) are so encouraged...:o
Gobble Dey Gook Redux
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
Dear Z and A:
Thank you for your responses. All I wrote were questions, not opinions. Most sentences ended with a question mark (?). I do not comment upon your own definitions of what produces a " YOU " or your positive or negative image of a "Christian". I wanted to know what YOU THINK, FEEL AND SAY.
Christianity, not unlike the human race, including the LGBT community, is not a monolithic borg. There are both positive and negative images and realities of men and women who call themselves part of the community. There are thousands upon thousands of denominations in the United States and Canada alone. Persons joined one over another because along with emotion, individuals exercise reason and yes, their faith in that choice.
Z......I get it. You say that "all division is divisive", and A agrees to some point with you. Yet human existence is about choices that divide as well as unite. And as A proves, sometimes, dear Zerbie, some persons, like Awediot, accept what you say....." to some extent" :lol: :lol: :lol:
A.......I asked the question whether " gay affirming " was one encompassing definition. The United Church of Christ advertisement is a case in point. I think all their ads are brilliant. :cool: LOGO/VIACOM said no while a conservative station like HALLMARK said yes :confused: :confused: ?????
What is meant by " gay affirming "???? Are you suggesting that it means a total repudiation of all theology and catechism that condemns homosexuality and opposes sacramental marriage? Do some churches say that they love you, want you to sit and become part of the church family, but on a second-tier membership? Again, I ask what I initially asked?????
Some Christian denominations, like MCC, who alone changed the reality in Canada with their first legal marriages, and the United Church of Canada are perfect "10's" on the scale, while Anglicans in Canada, as usual, are divided and non-committal and the Roman Catholics, Assemblies of God, and the theocons are opposed and have used their considerable economic resources and political capital to wage a "crusade" against us.
So, that is what I meant so far. I accept the way that you express yourselves and wish only that you accept mine.:D :D :D
Well, I :pray: that you do.
As for "gay affirming", it is a broad a sentiment. I may be quietly tolerated and secretly prayed for in one accepting church. And have the bible blasphemously, carefully shreaded beyond its ability to affirm anything in another, just as the straight world. The extent I will allow cherry-picking of my beliefs is a quagmire well muddled through by now. The same "rules" apply as long as we all sit second tier to God. If class and particulars do not vanish at the door of the Church, leveling all to mere, glorious sinners there to grow, I'll not darken it.
Some fifteen years ago, the local gay bar hired a new doorman. He was nice enough, but a tad lecherous. Two or so weeks later, my first trip to MCC revealed him to be the minister. It left a bad first impression taste in my mouth. The subsequent return trips, fully desiring to give it another chance, left me hit on by aquaintences I usually ignored and over gay-hymned out... This is just my experience and I am grateful for and have witnessed the good work MCC does, 10 for me is a bit generous. I seek a Church past being gay.
It appears your list is in the order of political involvement and power. It is frightening to think that we make a common target and as thier vehemence grows, so does thier influence. If true, I would attribute it to easy scapegoating, not the vileness of our sin. The "lifestyle" saddled upon us is a great distraction from the day to day infidelities and deceptions and lust of those exaggerating it. It stinks of the ..."at least I'm not__________", Jerry Springer form of pride and justification. I tend to concern myself more with the crusade against Christianity in general, and view its crusade against us as a terrible justification to beat it down.
I wonder how often we play the gay card when the World at general is just being its nasty self.
Oops. That wasn't meant as a rejection either of your style, or of you, or of the legitimacy of your questions. Silly me, it must look like exactly that.
No no, I like having you here, glad to see you posting.
I found the sheer number of questions, each question covering a vast-ranging intellectual territory, overwhelming in size. I felt no way to just jump into the middle of all those subjects at once. I apologize for effectively sweeping away your questions, it wasn't what I was trying to do so much as try out a new context - Was trying to find what was basic beneath the questions, and since so many of the questions were about identities/titles/labels/theologies, I thought, let's start here. Was trying to get the conversation rolling.
Well, I got rolling. :rolleyes: Sorry, I thought you would come with me on that mental ride. Forgot to tell you where I was going, though. (Smacks head.)
Okay, editing this immediately just to clarify: The stage-direction 'smacks head' above, means, I am smacking MY head.
[quote Crozier]So, that is what I meant so far. I accept the way that you express yourselves and wish only that you accept mine.:D :D :D
Well, I :pray: that you do.[/QUOTE]
Yes. Of course. Certainly. Most emphatically.
Do I believe that spiritual leaders speak with a different voice than secular leaders? Well...that's an interesting question. I would respond that the matter rests with how far up the chain of command one is. The higher up one is, it seems to me, everyone starts sounding alike. The message becomes more political. Both go through a process which makes it hard to maintain an inner compass which is free from corrupting influences.
About differences in approach in the denominations and the Fundamentalists as regard to non-violence: I cannot say with any degree of actual ear-to-the-ground knowledge, but observe that: no- there isn't much difference between approaches between the churches you mention in so far as they are aware of non-violence. In many people's minds, this was something that was done in the 60's. Let's hope and pray that the efforts of SoulForce change that. Fundametalists? Having been one, I would say that they think non-violence is...well- you know- it was done by that Gandhi guy- and ya know- he was a---what do you call it---a Hindu! They're goin' to hell! They need salvation!
I dramatize for exaggeration perhaps. But for the 'classical' Pentecostal, not much.
On the similarity of gay-affirming churches. They are as different as people. They have all the same parts but look different.
May I veer off here?
You prefaced two questions with the word 'believe'. That caught me eye. A word, which, when I hear myself use it gives me pause. I could say that I hardly know what to believe, which would not be true. But having been a fundamentalist, I have become keenly aware of the ways in which the word, when uttered, brings with it a strong smelling perfume. (I remember sitting in church with my grandmother- she died this time last year at age 96- and her perfume and the perfume of all the other women would combine to make me quite ill by the end of ther sermon.)
Please don't get me wrong. It isn't you. I've just jumped tracks here.
What I mean to say is this: being gay and fundamentalist and then coming out took me to a place where I didn't give up my beliefs as much as I felt like I was able to pull the lid off the jar and look inside to see what was really there for once- both conceptually and emotionally. The head down into the heart.
I found, as a consequence, that what I 'believed' seemed the least of things to be concerned about, and, at times, even the very thing that held me back from investigating- and experiencing- what was. Much as in Zazen practice- the mind stops yakking away and whatever is there (though one hardly would call that kind of change in consiousness a 'there') and whatever is is. I'm getting loose with language here. Hard to follow perhaps.
Another way to say it: beliefs seem- when in meditation or deep prayer- rather hardly the point. They are formed after that fact and not the other way around.
Here's where I've gotten with this thought: I think all too many times our beliefs are a substitute for real experience. Is this a belief? Perhaps.
I'm glad you are here and look forward to more....
Daniel, You Make Me Both Think And Feel....
Last night, it was difficult to sit in a back pew with my family, as the three of us observed Maundy Thursday services. The Eucharistic celebration is made to remind one, especially in Holy Orders, of the special significance of this feast during Holy Week. ( I've outed myself by one third - for Orthodox Easter is a week later:pray: ). Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family.
The difficulty stems, of course, from a conviction that the political act of leaving was motivated by a journey that seeks to " own my truth" as a gay man. The pain is, of course, no longer presiding at the Eucharistic table. It speaks more to my sacerdotal role, as opposed to the right to confirm or to ordain - the exclusive rights of the episcopal charge.
I have always had respect for the more fundamentalist groups, like the AG's. Most Catholic and Anglican parishes in either nation were formed in the past several centuries. Pastors and rectors often become " caretakers" of a work begun long ago. They walk into a 9 to 5 gentrified pastoral reality.
The AG pastor knows nothing of this. He begins in his living room with " two or more gathered in His Name", and in the next instance, he builds an ampitheatre with thousands in attendance for several services on Sunday, and a host of differing activities during the week, especially Wednesday evenings. I understand completely how the Theocons targetted this group more than the Southern Baptists, for example.
The power of the Pentacostal movement has always held an interest for me. Charismatic movements both in Catholicism and Anglicanism have married Pentacostalism with Sacramentalism. - a "convergence" theology with lessening and limited appeal in both communions. Actually, Eastern Orthodox belief in the role of God the Holy Spirit is stronger, especially in their understanding of the epiklesis in the Eucharist or their insistence on the initial wording of the Nicene Creed without the "filioque" clause added by Rome in the eighth century. ( I will resist an explanation - unless one is needed:D ).
In conclusion, Daniel, I was especially taken with your last topic sentence...about belief as a substitute for experience. My initial thought is that a major difference between the English and Continental Reformations at the beginning, and certainly between the Schismatic Churches, is that experience is both physical and emotional.....and that the drama and theatre of liturgy and liturgical music with organ....is translated, rather than replaced, by more than a piano and modern music and dance....but by the emotive expressions and glosillalia of the believers. "Imbued by the Holy Spirit, zealotry achieves emotional expressions often missing in a faith steeped in academia and theological truth.
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