Saturday, March 15, 2008

Measured Out

It has been well speculated, around the web, that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church cannot reasonably be called a 'Christian'. Besides at the very least embracing and propogating these heresies, she doesn't seem to be able to affirm the most basic of Christian doctrine and teaching on the Church's Holiest Day.

But lots of Christians are muddled, harboring quiet heresy (often unintentionally) or being confused about the importance of the feast we happen to be celebrating. I am discipling someone right now who is clearly Christian but who still cherishes a lot of crazy ideas. What's the difference?

Well, this Friday I happened to read Luke 6:20-42. One difference is under the very nose of every lovely liberal who cries out for the Spiritual Proof of Spiritual Fruit. Christians are known not only by their beliefs but by their lives and even more by the quality, content and capacity of their forgiving. For every person who waves a 'Meet Gene' flag, I wave a 'Meet Katherine Jeffords Schori' flag. So far from acting (whatever she may feel) in love towards her 'enemies' she is going out of her way to hurt, humiliate and persecute them.

I am constantly impressed and delighted and encouraged to see the power of Forgiveness in the lives of new believers. It is a power beyond them (and me too). We've had whole family circles and systems come into the church, group by group, and have to forgive each other of immense wrongs, immense sin, immense heartache. I have looked at stituations that seem completely dead and wrecked, situations that are so beyond human hope that if it was me, I would probably forget God and despair. But these new Christians, fresh in the astounding forgivenes and power of God, square off their jaws, make the decision, and forgive. So much that sworn enemies now sit together, pew by pew, in God's church.

If KJS imagines herself persecuted and set upon by all bad things, even with an empoverished view of the Holy Scriptures (am I wrong, doesn't Luke 6 show up in the Lectionary?) her behavior towards her 'enemies' shouts like a megaphone.

As for me, I pray for mercy. A good measure of mercy, pressed down, shaken together, running over into my lap.

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