How does a person "discern"? I find it easy to live with unanswered questions. Many people don't. I used to drive Mom crazy with questions and I'm sure plenty of others as well. Yesterday I asked some questions of an Episcopal priest. He hasn't answered yet. I wish I would have thought of using the word "discern".
He said, for him the Word of Godde (using my spelling) is Truth. For him Truth is of the utmost importance. Godde's Word is the Bible. I didn't ask which translation. He doesn't trust the APA - the topic addressed in his original message was the usual homosexuality - because it is too political. He apparently believes that only the Word of Godde in the Bible contains Truth without political implications. I asked if perhaps the men who chose the writings to include in the "official" Bible weren't also very political. I find it difficult to believe that a group of men who could have their control of the church wrested away by others would really listen to the Holy Spirit. How does one "discern" who is being political and who is responding to the Holy Spirit? Perhaps I'm too cynical? Earlier I wondered about the difference between worshipping the Word of Godde and following the Word of Godde. For me it is an easy "discernment". I am curious to know why others are so tied to words and rules and what may be only the writings of men who had a good thing going and want(ed) to preserve their privileges. Yes, I believe that many of those/these men believe they were/are faithful to Godde and Jesus and were/are good people. I believe many of them try hard to be good servants and shepherds. I question how they "discern(ed)" they were/are so "right" to the exclusion of all others.
And how does one "discern" a call to the priesthood? What if many roadblocks are placed on the path? How does one "discern" whether the roadblocks are trial by fire or serious? What if everyone "discerns" one path for a candidate for ordination yet the person "discerns" and pursues something else in spite of roadblocks?
I'm afraid I don't have much love for "discernment". I do not believe that I am better at "discerning" than anyone else. Or that I am any more right or wrong than anyone else tho I wonder about people who use their Words of God to abuse, exclude or otherwise denigrate other people. I believe that those of us who take seriously the admonition to love everyone unconditionally, even when it seems impossible, have better, calmer, happier lives. That isn't "discernment". It is experience.
"My friend spent her last years suffering not only the pain of cancer but the indignity of having to worry about how she was going to pay her rent and feed her child. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer 2½ years ago, and was able to get Social Security disability payments only nine weeks ago."
If there is one Christianist out there who wants to keep as many pennies as possible without helping anyone else except those s/he chooses, may I suggest s/he go read the Bible s/he worships, especially the things the Bible says Jesus taught. People without health care will bankrupt the system eventually as they flood hospital ERs then can't pay. And their illnesses are far more expensive than they would be with early intervention. This is not a Christian nation. It is a cruel collection of individuals who will donate huge sums to international disasters while allowing their neighbors to die.
This has been a nasty day.
But Sotomayor is a bright spot. Too bad the uglies are parading their venom all across the media. Ugh.
This was my third year to march in the Memorial Day parade with Women in Black. It seemed to be an odd parade. One band - MASH - then lots of cars and firetrucks with some very loud cannon blasts or something - fortunately way ahead of us. Many of us carried 4 flags but there weren't nearly enough of us to carry all 193 flags - one for each soldier from Pennsylvania killed in the Iraq war.
After the parade I had a delightful lunch of tube steaks and macaroni salad with friends. He has three cats. This is Lexie. She has a brother Nicki I've never seen.
After a brief absence, PuddyTat returned this morning so here is her portrait. I was getting very worried about her and was happy to see her in the annex - where she still is. She is not an early riser.
There is an interesting article in Church Times called "The Word is made of flesh and blood, not ink". For me it addresses the essence of much of the turmoil in Christianity today. What is the difference between the Bible being the Word of Godde and Jesus being the Word of Godde?
Are Christians to obey the rules set down in the Bible as dictated by Godde through the Holy Spirit? Or are Christians to follow what Jesus taught which is "Love Godde and love your neighbor"?
If our neighbor is doing something we believe is wrong, is it our duty to tell the person in order to "save" him or her? If so, what justification do we have for naming the sin? By what authority may we warn the neighbor? If the person continues in what we perceive as sin, should we walk away?
Or is it our duty to love all people unconditionally as Godde loves us? If so, what responsibility do we have toward and with the other?
For Margaret and Joel who are true disciples ministering to the people on the poorest Native American reservation in the US. And especially for Margaret who has more funerals in a month than most priests have in several years. And thanks for allowing the children to call her Grandma. She is the best possible person/priest in her position. For Peg and Jim. For all those who believe that guns can solve our problems. For our dysfunctional Congress. For Christ Church Meadville. For R and D especially for R. For me. For Ward. For Bro John. For Jim, especially. For those in the church who are distressed. For A as she deals with dysfunction. For Ginny. For Amelia. For Julie Anne. For Danny. For Amy. For J's mom. For Art and Mary. For rain in California. For Jeri. For Caleb and those who research RA. For J and D. For Tim and Ruth. For Ted. For VC and N. For Lee. For S and P.
Translate the blog, please
This blog supports the Gospel of Indiscriminate Inclusivity as preached by Jesus.
But if we must, then accept it and force the schismatics to make uncomfortable decisions
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