Thursday, June 3, 2010

Things to like about the PB's letter

Some things which are good in the pastoral letter sent by Presiding Bishop Schori in response to the ABC's Pentecost letter:

(1) Not falling into silly errors of logic: example, "The Spirit does seem to be saying to many within The Episcopal Church that gay and lesbian persons are God’s good creation, that an aspect of good creation is the possibility of lifelong, faithful partnership, and that such persons may indeed be good and healthy exemplars of gifted leadership within the Church, as baptized leaders and ordained ones. The Spirit also seems to be saying the same thing in other parts of the Anglican Communion, and among some of our Christian partners, including Lutheran churches in North America and Europe, the Old Catholic churches of Europe, and a number of others.

That growing awareness does not deny the reality that many Anglicans and not a few Episcopalians still fervently hold traditional views about human sexuality."

Note that ++Schori does not say that those in disagreement with TEC are being led by the Spirit. There is only one Holy Spirit and ++Schori understands that. In fact this understanding of a singular Spirit permeates these lines as well:

"Above all, it recognizes that the Spirit may be speaking to all of us, in ways that do not at present seem to cohere or agree."

"The Episcopal Church has spent nearly 50 years listening to and for the Spirit in these matters. While it is clear that not all within this Church have heard the same message, the current developments do represent a widening understanding."

(2) A certain humility: example,

"We openly admit our failure to achieve perfection!"

"In all humility, we recognize that we may be wrong, yet we have proceeded in the belief that the Spirit permeates our decisions."

"We do not seek to impose our understanding on others. We do earnestly hope for continued dialogue with those who disagree, for we believe that the Spirit is always calling us to greater understanding."

(3) A theological gem: "the Spirit is always calling us to greater understanding."

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