Thursday, September 08, 2005

Time to Go Back and Read Matthew

OK. So here we have the Salty Vicar:

Granted, for some, life is so challenging that following directions is the best thing they can get from the church. And if my parishioners want that, I have plenty of advice. Sometimes they won't get what they want to hear. But most of the time I can just listen, and people figure out their lives on their own. I think of the Episcopal church as a "listening" church, and for the last 25 years, it's been listening to Gay people. There are plenty of places in scripture where this is exactly the kind of spiritual practice individuals are supposed to have. People are made in the image of God, and by listening to them, we have a clearer understanding of what and who God looks like. Whal Al misses is not that we have a "cavalier attitude" but that we have decided to focus on practice first. And when the tradition is wrong, we change our minds. What are you supposed to do?

So, I go out and visit the Gospel According to St. Matthew (courtesy of The Unbound Bible, I find The Mission Statement (and folks, why does anyone put anything else on a church website?):

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

The difference? Jesus' mission for us is about talking, not listening.

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