It all started over at Titus One Nine, an Episcopalian blog, where my attention was grabbed by an article about sin and identity. I followed the link to a blog, run by an Episcopalian Lesbian cleric, where I thought I could contribute something to dialog. Wrong. Here's the meat of the contention:
But, theologically, [Behaviour-Identity separation] has always been a deeply flawed argument, predicated on several facets of a mind/body dualism which has always tried to make identity and behavior separate and distinct from each other.
Living a "compartmentalized life" - with my identity here and my behavior over there - is to live with one foot in and one foot out of the closet.
And, [target of criticism], my brother, you cannot say, on the one hand, that LGBT people are sinners because they act on their sexual orientation outside of marriage, and, at the same time, deny marriage to LGBT people because we are sinners because we are physically intimate and express our love outside of a civil right and a liturgical rite which is denied to us.
That's called "blaming the victim." It's also called "crazy-making" - for everyone involved.
As I was reading her comments, St. Paul's letter to the Romans sprang to mind:
" For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. "
I, like most others, am a sinner. I'm duly ashamed of my sins, and I realise that they damage my relationship with God. God created me to love Him and serve Him, not spend my life entertaining myself, and God expects obedience (while anticipating failure). I'm NOT going to demand that the Church validate browsing pornography or autoeroticism, because the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit, informs me that these activities are disordered.
So I decided to leave a comment on her blog:
[other commenter] beat me to it, as Paul to the Romans (7:14-) was called to mind whilst reading the author's commentary.
Our own desires and appetites should be completely secondary to obedience to the Father, His Will having been expressed in Sacred Scripture and validated by His Son, Jesus. Professing to following Christ requires complete obedience, not rationalizations of defiance.
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. "
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
aemulare ergo et paenitentiam age.
Okay, I'll admit, I wasn't expecting that spiritual musing to be warmly welcomed. This is the response I got from the hostess:
First of all [innocent bystander], [another commenter] and St. JimBob - are any of you Episcopalian?
I mean, the kind that has gone through some kind of course of introduction to the Episcopal Church: our history, traditions, Anglican Spirituality and/or Anglican polity?
If you haven't, that may explain your biblical perspective as well as your, um, reasoning.
And, just so you know - a simple "yes" or "no" will do.
If you're not Episcopalian, there's no need to continue this discussion.
And, if you are, well, there's still no need to continue this discussion.
This is a Blog. It's MY blog. I get to decide who prints responses here.
If you want to debate someone on these points, go find another blog.
If you are searching for information, go to a library.
If you want someone to agree with you, go to a conservative, or orthodox blog.
Ummm, alrighty then. Her description of herself, listed on her blog, says that she's "a passionate radical Orthodox, Anglo-Catholic with a joyful Evangelical spirit", so I assumed that a radically orthodox comment from an evangelical Catholic should be acceptible. WRONG.
She's entirely entitled to run her blog how she likes, and her tirade betrays how she likely runs her church: Lip service to tolerance and dialog, and hissy fits when challenged, especially with Sacred Scripture.
FYI, The current Episcopal Church is EXACTLY what Call To Action and other nominally catholic, dissenting groups want for the Catholic Church.