Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Phil Snyder on the Presiding Bishop's visit to Dallas

From The Deacon's Slant [boldface mine]:

I've returned and reflected a bit on the clergy Q&A with our Presiding Bishop. Here are my impressions of that meeting. Because I have not run this by anyone else, I will only name myself and Bishop Shori.

There was a mixture of reasserter clergy and reappraising clergy - including some from Fort Worth and NW Texas. Oddly enough, the majority of rappraising clergy sat on the right and the reasserters sat on the left. This is not a word for word or blow by blow recounting. It is only the highlites from the meeting.

We started off with prayers. The Presiding Bishop then opened with the story of Jesus' baptism. She said that Jesus rose from the water and heard "You are my beloved. With you I am well pleased." (Note, she did not use the word "Son" as in "You are my beloved Son." Jesus then went to the wilderness to be tested. She said that she felt these to events recapitulated the first two ceation stories where God creates man and it is "Very Good" and then the second story with its tale of broken relationships. We then spent 5 minutes in silent reflection on hearing God say to us "you are my beloved. With you I am well pleased."

After that, we shared in pairs or groups of three about our experience. We then shared (as desired) with the whole group. I shared that I heard God call me His beloved and that He loved me just as I am, but that He loved me too much to leave me that way. "Follow Me" He said "and I will make you Righteous - I will Justify You for your life is not your own. You do not know yourself. Only I know you and your life lies hid with Christ in God."One person shared that being God's beloved involved some ethical changes. We need to know that we are God's beloved, but we also need to know that being the beloved involves living a certain way.

After a few more people sharing, the floor opened up to questions. One person asked about how we could rectify hearing that we (and everyone else) were God's beloved while at the same time bringing lawsuits against them. Bishop Shori mentioned her fiduciary responsibility because the property was given for the Episcopal Church. The questioner then asked about our responsibility to keep the faith and that the church buildings were given first to further the Gospel and we, as the Episcopal Church, have changed that. She indicated that she felt that all people on this issue honestly believe that they are following and proclaiming the Gospel.

Another friend of mine asked about how she decided what was holy living (living as God's beloved). She turned the question back on him and he pointed this out, but went on to talk of the importance of Holy Scripture to determining what is holy living. She said that we are not a "Sola Scriptura" church. For her Scripture is the primary source of our authority. A couple other questions were asked, then I asked my question.

First I thanked her for saying that Scripture was the primary source of authority. I said that we bless marriages, not because they are pretty or fun or we like marriages or married people, but because of four reasons:

1. God ordained marriage in Creation
2. Jesus adorned marriage at Cana
3. Paul indicates marriage represents Christ and the Church
4. Holy Scripture commends it to be honored by all people.

I asked here where, in Holy Scripture, any of those is true for blessing same sex unions. She (predictibly) asked me how I read the story of David and Jonathon and the healing of the Centurion's servant (she used the Greek word). . .

Read it all.

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