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Mary Glasspool: Anglicanism's first lesbian bishop

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William Crawley | 11:07 UK time, Friday, 14 May 2010

rev-mary-glasspool.jpgAfter her episcopal consecration in California tomorrow, Canon Mary Glasspool will become the second openly gay and partnered bishop, and the first openly lesbian bishop, within the Anglican Communion. She also becomes the 17th female bishop with The Episcopal Church. Predictably, her election proved controversial both within the United States and internationally.

LAConsecration2_md.jpgToday, in a jointly issued statement, the committees of the Church of Ireland Evangelical Fellowship, the Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy, New Wine (Ireland) and Reform Ireland said the "elevation to senior church leadership of a person whose lifestyle is contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture is both wrong and disappointing." That statement is published in full below the fold.

Update: The Episcopal Church announces the consecration of Mary Glasspool (shown on the right).

The ordination of Anglicanism's second openly gay and partnered bishop was immediately condemned by Anglican Mainstream, a traditionalist campaign group. They say, "Sadly, this shows that TEC has now explicitly decided to walk apart from most of the rest of the Communion. Since that decision by TEC has to be respected, it should result in three consequences. First, TEC withdrawing, or being excluded from the Anglican Communion's representative bodies. Second, a way must be found to enable those orthodox Anglicans who remain within TEC to continue in fellowship with the Churches of the worldwide Communion. Third, the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) should now be recognized an authentic Anglican Church within the Communion."

Those words follow a warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury, issued ahead of the consecration, that the move would further alienate traditionalists within the Communion.

PRESS STATEMENT from Irish Anglican evangelicals:

"As members of the Church of Ireland we wish to express sorrow that Mary Glasspool, a person who is living in a same-sex relationship, is to be consecrated as one of two new assistant bishops in Los Angeles on May 15. The elevation to senior church leadership of a person whose lifestyle is contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture is both wrong and disappointing.

The decision to elect and confirm Mary Glasspool to the position of suffragan bishop is a clear rejection of the many pleas for gracious restraint made from within the Anglican Communion, not least by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Windsor Report and the most recent Primates' Meeting. The Episcopal Church (TEC) has taken this provocative step despite knowing the division and difficulties created by Gene Robinson's consecration in 2003. This shows a deliberate disregard for other members of the Anglican family and suggests that TEC does not greatly value unity within Anglicanism and indeed throughout the universal Church.

We wish to express our support for the many people within The Episcopal Church who feel alienated and hurt by this development. We stand in fellowship with them and with those who have separated from that Church for conscience's sake, many of whom now face legal proceedings and financial sacrifices as a result.

Many Christians of all traditions and denominations will share our sorrow and see Mary Glasspool's consecration as a defiant rejection of pleas for restraint and, even more importantly, as a rejection of the pattern of holiness of life called for in Scripture and endorsed by believers over the centuries."

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Yuk! Another minority group effecting change for changes sake. There is no theological reason for this change, it is just the minority expecting the majority to give way to them.

  • Comment number 2.

    A well-reasoned view there, Greensleeves. What change is being effected? What theology is damaged by this appointment? How in tarnation can a right-wing faction in the Church of Ireland feel that it knows the will of some god or other in relation to the personal and private life of another person. "Pleas for gracious restraint" indeed - that's the sort of nonsense that was being peddled about when women priests were being considered for ordination, as if the histology of one's germinal organs had any conceivable(!) relevance to someone's leadership capacities. Personally I welcome Mary Glasspool's appointment, to some degree specifically *because* it upsets the sort of pharisaic right-wingers in the "evangelical" movement. It is perhaps a sign that even people within the theistic community are starting to take issues of discrimination, and the legacy of their outdated interpretation of "scriptures" seriously. Still got a long way to go to catch up with the rest of us, but we're willing to help.

  • Comment number 3.

    Irish Anglican Evangelicals have just demonstrated that they are not the very thing they claim to be: Christian! Such discrimination and judgmental attitudes are a million miles away from the teachings of Christ and a God of love that loves all equally and does not judge. Yes ....God loves the judgmental discriminating Christian just the same as Mary Glasspool. It is the Irish Anglican Evangelicals who are 'rejecting the pattern of holiness' ....not Mary Glasspool. Congratulations Mary. By their fruits ye shall know them.... :-)

  • Comment number 4.

    Surely just about every bishop is an individual whose lifestyle is "contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture". Should the fact that someone enjoys eating shell fish prevent them from being a bishop?

    Issues such as this make the church look a little ridiculous.

    DK

  • Comment number 5.

    I think that it is great that the anglican church is facing its fears head on and not sweeping them under the carpet. The world is not flat!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Is the press statement of the Irish Anglican evangelicals on Mary Glasspool's ordination at odds with the teaching of Jesus? Eunice seems to think so when she writes, “Such discrimination and judgmental attitudes are a million miles away from the teachings of Christ and a God of love that loves all equally and does not judge.” However, she does not appear to have applied her mind in a close and careful reading of the gospels and what they reveal of the God and Father of Jesus or of his teachings on marriage.

    Bishop Tom Wright recently made an incisive comment on the expected ordination:

    Many in TEC have long embraced a theology in which chastity, as universally understood by the wider Christian tradition, has been optional.

    That wider (Christian) tradition always was counter-cultural as well as counter-intuitive. Our supposedly selfish genes crave a variety of sexual possibilities. But Jewish, Christian and Muslim teachers have always insisted that lifelong man-plus-woman marriage is the proper context for sexual intercourse. This is not (as is frequently suggested) an arbitrary rule, dualistic in overtone and killjoy in intention. It is a deep structural reflection of the belief in a creator God who has entered into covenant both with his creation and with his people (who carry forward his purposes for that creation).

    Paganism ancient and modern has always found this ethic, and this belief, ridiculous and incredible. But the biblical witness is scarcely confined . . . to a few verses in St Paul. Jesus’s own stern denunciation of sexual immorality would certainly have carried, to his hearers, a clear implied rejection of all sexual behaviour outside heterosexual monogamy. This isn’t a matter of “private response to Scripture” but of the uniform teaching of the whole Bible, of Jesus himself, and of the entire Christian tradition.

  • Comment number 7.

    Parrhasios would commend Greensleeves on the authenticity of his/her "Yuk!"
    Parr seems to be caught up with an odd argument about Shakespeare on the Open Thread. I'm sure that normal service will be resumed once he has established that Shakepseare (a) existed (b) wasn't Francis Bacon and (c) was as camp as a row of tents.

    GV

  • Comment number 8.

    "both wrong and disappointing"

    "Disappointing" - harsh words. For an Anglican that's like an imprecatory Psalm!

  • Comment number 9.

    Michael in Dublin - for me the true wisdom is of the heart and not the mind and you will be aware that there are many references in the bible affirming that true wisdom is of the heart. So it is my heart that I use to feel whether what is written in the bible or anywhere else is aligned to the love of God that lives in the inner heart of each person. I have said elsewhere on this site that God is love and love is of the heart not the mind - so one can never know God by the mind - something that mind driven intellectual people do not like to hear. Thinking /believing are of the mind and lead to all sorts of false ideals and beliefs about God like those espoused above.....and that are indeed a million miles away from a God of boundless love.....who loves all equally irrespective of colour/creed/gender/sexual orientation/behaviour etc The bible was written by men after the time of Jesus and who did not live and love as Jesus did.....and whilst it has much wisdom it also contains folly. The wisdom of the inner heart can feel and know if what is written is from a true source representative of the love of God or if it is coming from the minds of men who have not connected to that source of love and wisdom. Rather than closely reading it with your mind ......I can recommend reading it with your heart and asking is this consistent with a God of boundless love that loves all equally.....if you feel to.

  • Comment number 10.


    Graham - I'm still here, still listening in, just too tied-up with a work-related project to comment much for the moment. As you would know I absolutely welcome the consecration of Mary Glasspool and whole-heartedly rejoice in the integrity and faithfulness of the Episcopal Church's determination to see right done. I entirely disassociate myself from the sentiments of my evangelical co-religionists while recognising that theirs is a statement of an authentic historic understanding of Christian theology and tradition. So, therefore, while "Yuk" is inelegant, yes indeed it is authentic - and on more than one level.

    With regard to my argument with Brian, my only interest really is to establish that the author of the plays was not an aristocrat and, incidently, I do not actually think he was gay, probably essentially heterosexual but what we might call homocapable.

  • Comment number 11.

    Promoting people who are gay in the church seems unusual but reasonable. I look forward to the next head of the orange Order being Catholic, the Grand Master of the KKK being a person of colour and a Pope from the Shankill Road. This religion stuff is not suppose to make any sense.

    Regards

    DK

  • Comment number 12.

    Sadly, David, this action of the Episcpal Church is far from reasonable, and - Parrasios - demostrates their LACK of integrity and faithfulness, which - if they purport to be Christian - is required to be true to the teaching of the Bible, which is the 'bottom line'as far as Christian belief is concerned.

    The arguments against Homosexuaity being compatible with Christian faith are well rehearsed (and remain unanswered), but if an individual is to be known as a communicator of the message of God - Who 'commands all men everywhere to repent' (Acts 17v30) - how can they do so whilst refusing to repent of a sinful lifestyle themselves?

    At best, it is inconsistent, don't you think?

  • Comment number 13.

    Pastorphilip: what happens if the 'bottom line' you refer to is flawed and is not really the bottom line? Jesus did not write the bible nor did God - it was written by men - some of whom were inspired by the love of God and some were not. Your bottom line turns the bible into God which it is not. As Jesus said 'the kingdom of GOd is inside you' ......the love of God is inside you ....how about using that kingdom of love as the bottom line?? In that kingdom you will find no Jew nor gentile nor christian (nor straight, nor gay).....but the equality of all men and women who are the equal sons of God.

  • Comment number 14.

    Parr

    Don't take my jibes seriously!! All with LOL's after them!

    "Homocapable" - is that the polite way of saying - "went to a single sex English Boarding school?"

    GV

  • Comment number 15.

    PastorPhilip

    I'm in the "conservative evangelical" camp. So no quibbles on the homosexuality issue. But isn't it a bit inconsistent for Evangelical Anglicans to tolerate heretical Bishops, but to draw the line at gay Bishops?
    Doesn't that suggest that "yuk" and not scripture is behind the opposition?
    GV

  • Comment number 16.

    Pastorphilip, perhaps i know a way you can answer the unanswered questions.
    Lets say anyone who cant accept gay/lesbian people are racists on the bases that they consider gay/lesbian people inferior to their own sexuality.
    And if u go back 150 years & substitute one racial problem for another look how unreasonable the argument seems now;
    "The arguments against "black people" being compatible with Christian faith are well rehearsed (and remain unanswered), but if an individual is to be known as a communicator of the message of God - Who 'commands all men everywhere to repent' (Acts 17v30) - how can they do so whilst refusing to repent of a sinful lifestyle themselves? "
    We need a new Evangelical William Wilberforce to start the change!!! Or have we already got one?
    (i guess this is easier for me to say as an outsider - still think its great the churches r starting to take up the hard task of catching up on some of the higher morals of an inclusive society supported by the secular world!!
    Though please hurry up - i havent got my kidz baptised for that very reason - )

  • Comment number 17.

    I agree with Eunice. The Bible (and NT in particular) was written by men as a way of evangelising and came with all their bias and cultural prejudice (as well as clear embellishments on the origional story recorded by Mark). The bottom line of Jesus's message was that of love and so as long as a relationship has genuine love it is clearly fine...after all the Bible says 'love trumps faith' and that in order to obey God (most important command) one should love ones neighbour as oneself. There can only be bigoted and unenlightened argument (as used by Christians arguing for slavery (as wedwabbit points out above) or the subservience of women) against the claim that homosexuality can't contain this.

  • Comment number 18.

    I would not go to a church with a woman priest or bishop presiding and yet I am a woman.

    Change for change's sake - not for a theological reason - were the apostles men or not?

    The apostolic succession, the laying on of hands in the catholic tradition which exists to this day even though the church was rent asunder by the Henry VIII for the purpose of his divorce.

    I do not see why you want to complicate things - bending over backwards to appease the rights of people outside the mainstream of society - does it make you feel good perhaps?

  • Comment number 19.

    Greensleeves - it's about recognising the inherent equality of all men and women.......all created equal by God with, in and from love. This is the simple truth of the inner heart. Complexity arises from the small minds of men and women who do not recognise these simple truths and instead prefer to label, categorise and judge people by false beliefs and perceptions that have nothing to do with the divine love of God.

  • Comment number 20.

    Greensleeves - OMG!!! a christian who hates the rights of people outside the mainstream of society!! Dont tell the gentiles, the tax collectors, the sick, the leppers,people being stoned to death,women with long hair who like to dry feet, carpenters sons who know more than they should know.i'm sorry but i think you feel u r superior to gay/lesbians and that men are spiritually more superior to women. Somehow i dont think this is a story u will be proud to tell your grandkids (when whos
    ideology will be outside the mainstream of society??)

  • Comment number 21.

    Women being allowed to preside at Church?!!

    They'll be allowing them to have children next.

  • Comment number 22.

    I do not hate gays or lesbians. I do not think they should not be equal.

    I am fed up with their issues being rammed down our throats as if we were all like them. We are not.

    Nature made men and women different. Women can have babies. Men cannot.

    We should be equal but we are NOT IDENTICAL.

    If you mess with nature, nature will mess with you.

    A lot of this nonsense is change for change's sake.

    The vast majority is hetrosexual.

    There are a lot of academic head in the sand types who may be very intellectual but they do not have instinct or common sense.

  • Comment number 23.

    I really hesitate to get involved in all this, but, here goes.

    To deal with this as a gender, inclusiveness, loving/unloving or equality issue is to miss the point:

    Scripture and the history of the church are littered with:-
    calls to believe in and recognise that God loves and values everyone equally in their uniqueness;
    instances of members of both genders and all states of maturity called into God's service;
    evidence that God desires to be in relationship with everyone;
    the offer that we can all be released & rescued, given freedom from wrongs and hurts of the past, both done to us and by us - in other words salvation and healing;
    the invitation to allow God's Holy Spirit to transform us that within our unique personality, the character of Jesus Christ will be grown (holiness);
    the challenge to live that out as a witness to a lost and broken world.

    Given all that, this is really down to an issue of where one finds the basis of the truth which under-girds right faith, thinking, attitude and action.

    Many conservative Christians misuse and abuse the Scriptures they claim to believe in and say they base their doctrines on - often reading the words and treating them as though they were written in heaven yetsrday; instaed they need to be viewed in their original context and once the message as orginally read/heard is understood, that menaing/interpretartion should be appled to today.

    However on the other hand, views such as Eunice's perhaps best encapsulated in the phrase "this is the simple truth of the inner heart" lead to the opposite danger; this error means we get judge subjectively what we "feel" is right/wrong best etc. Since (like those who wrote the Scriptures) we are people of our time and day, that means the basis of faith and action inevitably follows the current flow of society's opinion formers and the counter-cultural edge of the people of faith is completely blunted.

    Jesus utter commitment to truth, holiness, justice and love enabled him to mix with the despised, the poor, the rich, the self-righteous, the blamed, the alienated, the sick, the sinful and the misguided and in effect to say to them (and us) all, "Come and see", "go and sin no more" and "be holy as your Father in Heaven is holy".

  • Comment number 24.

    JabezBunting: following the truth of the inner heart is not dangerous and is consistent with the teachings of Jesus as you describe - the danger arises when we live and make choices that are not from the inner heart. The inner heart is pure love with no emotion whatsoever and it knows truth - it is the gateway to the soul and is the kingdom of God within. It is our disconnection and separation from this place of love and truth that has led to all mankinds woes - for in the inner heart there is no separation, no judgment, - there is the recognition that each human being is an equal son of God, created in, by, with and from love for love - to express love in all thoughts, words and deeds and that we are all one in that love. Of course our lived experience falls far short of this and we express in that which is not love on a daily basis by our words, thoughts and actions and then have the consequences of doing so in all forms of suffering. Living from the inner heart would enable one to 'be holy as your Father in Heaven is holy' if we were to do it on a consistent basis.

  • Comment number 25.

    I fail to understand. God/Jesus made his/her feelings very clear as to what christians should do to members of the human race who happen to be gay and it certainly wasn't promote them in the church. I do not understand why such words are not banned for inciting violence?

    DK

  • Comment number 26.

    The creation account recorded in Genesis reveals how God made man and woman for each other and of course it meant that they would be able to have children.
    If you take time to read what happened you'll see that they chose to disobey God (sinned) and from this God's creation was spoiled. Therefore, what God had made perfect was destroyed because of mans disobedience. As a result man/ woman laid aside what was 'natural' for unnatural. What God had created as perfect was rejected by man, however I must make it clear that it the sin issue is much larger...it not specifically and directly highlighting 'homosexuality'. Please read the early chapters of Genesis first should you wish to comment.

  • Comment number 27.

    JabezBunting; One can pretend to themselves that this is not a gender, inclusiveness, loving/unloving or equality issue... if it helps ones self feel comfortable with ones own prejudice & discrimination.
    Lets test the theory :
    Why dont those who feel like i am wrong about prejudice & discrimination go into their government jobs, their bank jobs, their council jobs and call a team meeting and say

    "I am fed up with their issues being rammed down our throats as if we were all like them. We are not.
    Nature made men and women different. Women can have babies. Men cannot.
    We should be equal but we are NOT IDENTICAL.
    If you mess with nature, nature will mess with you.
    A lot of this nonsense is change for change's sake.
    The vast majority is hetrosexual."



  • Comment number 28.

    Another disaster!I agree with Greensleeves! This another attempt to push minority groupings into every edifice and grouping so as to appear accepting! Change for changes sake! And for a Church to do so shows how far it's got!There are big theological reasons against this and anyone who argues against that obviously doesn't understand Christianity! And for those who say it isn't christian to bew against homosexuality etc. You haven't a clue about christianity! It's about God, about Christ and loving our neighbour and trying to fill our lifes on the Gospel out of love for Christ who redeems use by the blood he shed on the cross. By his cross and resurrection he has freed us from sin. But that does not mean we have to accept homosexuality etc. We love the person, we do not treat them badly, we ty to bring them to Christ, but we do not accept the sexuality!

  • Comment number 29.

    Youngtridentine: Jesus didn't say 'love thy neighbour' but only if he's straight, or only if his behaviour is the same as yours or does not offend you in some way......love thy neighbour means to love all people irrespective of their story, background, behaviour for all are sons of God, created equal by God.

    *By his cross and resurrection he has freed us from sin* ..... don't want to shock you too much but the only person that can save you is yourself! Every thought, word and deed (in your language sins) has a consequence due to energetic laws and that is not affected by Jesus dying on the cross. So even when someone writes on here in anger that has a consequence for that person..... Jesus death does not dissolve us of responsibility to live the ways of love......and when we choose not to live those ways there are consequences for us - not out of punishment or judgment - just the laws of cause and effect.....just the way it is. To free yourself = know who you are, know you are love, and live the ways of love, making choices in thought, word and deed from with and in love .....then you'll be truly free and saved. You will also know that God loves all equally and does not judge - the latter is very much a human behaviour that perpetuates the separation of the one humanity.

  • Comment number 30.

    this is for Orthodox-tradition should he drop by this way:

    hey OT, dunno if you'll see this but 1st up apologies for such long delay in reply. life's been hectic. but have been mindful i wanted to respond to you over on the other Glasspool thread. thought there'd be more chance you'd see it here than buried over in the archives.

    so,
    "I guess I do find it strange that you can place a strong emphasis on the two greatest commandments in Christianity as literal but then apparently set aside other teachings.

    How would you choose to treat the sermon on the mount for example?"

    i guess the answer is in the question... "strong emphasis on the 2 greatest" - if not strong emphasis on the greatest, then where? i treat the sermon the mount as an expanded version of those 2, specifically addressing those who are socially, politically, and economically marginalised.

    i don't treat these as literal in the sense that i think you maybe mean literal. i read the bible as literary and historical - by which i mean i understand it to be literature written in a historical context.

    i guess for me the reason i read the bible without literalism is because it so easily leads to some of the divisive and angry ideas expressed above in this new thread. it risks creating a self fulfilling or self justifying prophesy of sorts whereby others are be excluded to justify the insider-ness of oneself. it places God with the privileged and the power-holders, not the oppressed. and you can see it in this conversation - the judgment has to keep going further in order to keep justifying itself - it has then to be extended to anyone who disagrees because they see hope and liberation of the marginalised - and they are judged as 'lacking' faith because they won't judge. it's not a gospel of inclusion but exclusion. it sounds like people claiming they are on the inside with God throwing stones outside as proof of why they're on the inside. i think the sermon on the mount is Jesus going to the hills to place the heart of God with the people who are excluded and oppressed.

    anyways, i'm not wanting to engage in that kind of oppositional conversation that's going on above so i'll be staying out of it. i find it too energy sapping. but i know in our conversation on the other thread, you and i found we had commonality in terms of a shared desire to live out radical welcome of others, despite differences in our theological approach and Biblical interpretation, and for experience of intentional conversation of bridge-building - i am grateful.

    hope this finds you well. all the best,
    cary.

  • Comment number 31.

    Okay, let me figure this out ... God is perfect and cannot make a mistake. God made us so therefore we are His creations. If, by definition, someone is born gay (i.e. by God's design) does that mean they are imperfect? If so, did God make a mistake or get it wrong when he made that gay person? This would then mean that God isn't perfect and can make mistakes. Hmm ...

    What we are discussing here folks is our own prejudices. For all we know, Mary Glasspool could be the greatest living Christian of modern times but she isn't going to be allowed to be in some people's eyes because (a) she is a woman and (b) she is a lesbian. This is wrong. You cannot judge someone on those terms.

    If Bishop Glasspool spoke out against Christianity, re-wrote the Bible to suit her own agenda then - yes - berate her, have her removed from office, etc. She hasn't done this. Furthermore, you don't become a bishop by collecting tokens from cereal boxes. It takes years of hard work and dedicated service so you can't argue that she doesn't deserve her rank.

    We don't know how God thinks and it would be hubris to say otherwise.

    Remember Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

    My own favourite quote from the Bible is simply this ... Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge lest ye be judged."

    Peace.

  • Comment number 32.

    YoungTridentine,
    "We love the person, we do not treat them badly,.." your killing me softly with your words, killing me softly..

  • Comment number 33.

    youngtridentine

    Eight exclamation marks in one short post.

    Over use of the exclamation mark (sometimes referred to as 'banging') is considered poor writing.

    You will win people over to your point of view by the quality of your argument, not by shouting at them.

    Now you make a very good argument when you say that Christianity is about loving our neighbour. Well done. Unfortunately, on the Cardinal Brady thread, you rant and rave in numerous posts - again littered with exclamation marks - ordering your "neighbours" to get out of the Church.

    I'm sure you are not a loud mouthed, hypocritical baffoon, but can you see how some people may get the impression that you are?

  • Comment number 34.

    It has never been proven that someone has been born with a 'gay' gene.

    God, as has been said, is perfect. Sin has corrupted what was perfect in the beginning. We can't start blaming God for what was initiated through man's rebellion.

    Have a look around and see how much man has messed things up...there is none righteous but God alone.

    Romans 3, verse 23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

  • Comment number 35.

    Another example is politics. People indignant that there are not enough gay, black or ethnic minorities represented.

    In my book the person who is the best suited and has the right qualifications is the right person for the job. It must be pretty insulting if you are voted for because you are black or a woman or have a disability.

    For that reason I see Diane Abbott who was not remotely interested, is now standing for election as Leader of the Labour party.

    Why are people making life so complicated?

    The simplest things usually turn out to be better. There is an inordinate amount of stressed caused by those trying to re-invent the wheel when the wheel works just fine.

  • Comment number 36.

    The use of the exclamation mark is not "shouting". Shouting online is when one types completely in upper case - capital letters.

    The use of the exclamation mark is to stress the point, or to use a higher tone of voice so to speak.


  • Comment number 37.

    Greensleeves

    THANKS !!!

  • Comment number 38.

    "The inner heart is pure love with no emotion whatsoever and it knows truth"

    that's a neat trick! How does it manage that?
    You might mean something profound Eunice, but whatever it is, it isn't what those words mean.
    Is this yogacara that you're advancing, or Sankara's non-dualism? What do you mean?

    GV

  • Comment number 39.

    Graham - the majority of human love is emotional love - based on the unmet needs within ourselves that we expect another to fulfil.....they can't of course....hence relationship breakups and unmet expectations. Emotions are toxic to the human body and are not our true energetic nature. Our true nature is Love and the source of that fiery love is the inner heart - that fiery love does not need anything from anybody ....it just is and its impulse is to serve....it is a living stillness (Be still and know that I am God) and has the qualities of joy and harmony....we do not need to seek love from the outside for the greatest source is within us .....we just need to BE Love....and we can choose whether to join with another or not but we do not 'need' to. The inner heart knows truth - it is the seat of wisdom as testified in many ancient traditions and texts.... so those who are connected to the inner heart know truth .... this is a journey as we have become disconnected from that source of true love and wisdom due to religious teachings, education, culture, upbringing etc. It is based on esoteric philosophy /Ageless Wisdom .....esoteric here does not refer to anything secret or hidden but means coming 'from within' ....it is the teachings that come from our innermost, our inner heart and soul...and which are available to all who choose to re-connect to their innermost. The truth I refer to is the energetic truth ....it is universal and unifying and based on understanding the energetic nature of all things and energetic laws eg of cause and effect. Truth and love are closely interconnected and have a positive feedback on each other - the more truth we know the more we are love, the more we are love, the more we know truth and so on.

  • Comment number 40.

    It's truly sickening to see people relying on text that (certainly the NT) fails to justify itself as holy and inerrent (a church myth) but was simply the attemp by men to spread history as they saw it (right or not). It is thus intersperesed with the often culturally and personally biased views of men amongst any truth...and the disciples often missed the significance of the New Covenant.

    Love conquers faith - and in following the first command of God (love God - how? - Obey Gods commands) - one must turn to the second 'love your neighbour as yourself.


    Homosexual relationships can be born out of and contain at least as much genuine love between the people involved as hetrosexual. Only a person blind to reality would suggest otherwise. Imagine for instance a lesbian couple who are in a civil partnership with young children when they become Christian? Is it a sin and should that home be destroyed? Under the Good News Covenant the answer is clearly no - love trumps faith and where there is true love there is no sin for the law has died.

  • Comment number 41.


    Graham - I knew you did but jest. I was just assuring you that I hadn't gone away (you know) while reiterating my support, as is my bounden duty and service, for gay and lesbian fellow Christians every time the authenticity of their faith or ministry is challenged. I think you make a very good point about "yuk" - you hit the nail right on the head.

    Pastor Phillip - oddly in many respects I agree with you. A Christian who supports gay/lesbian ministry in the Church must deny the sovereignity of Scripture or be either casuist or hypocrite. Where I do disagree with you is about the Bible's being the bottom-line for the formulation of Christian faith and practice. I see it as a supremely useful tool but not an authoritative one.

  • Comment number 42.

    Eunice

    How did you come to this conclusion?

    Graham

  • Comment number 43.

    Graham: combination of life experience and study.....and putting the teachings into practice......the more I live the teachings that for me resonate very strongly as truth, the more it becomes my experience also.....fact is we are love and it is our lovelessness towards self and other that leads to all suffering.....self-love, being gentle, and ceasing the emotional ways of being are just some steps to heal thyself and know thyself as Love - that we can then just Be love and joy and serve others in and with that love and joy! :-)

 

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