The Church of England is having its synod – its AGM. And the bishops had submitted a report to synod recommending LGBTC peeps were officially befriended but not accepted (my take on a long article). Below the Facebook post were almost 200 comments and a zillion sub-comments.
(if the link won’t work: http://www.facebook.com/archbishopofcanterbury/)
There is no common ground and little love on display in the comments. But why is that not a surprise? Why is that the “Culture of The (established) Church” … ? Division, dissent, name calling, dogma dissing, verse-offs, sin and “love” all mixed up in an online comments bloodbath. And from reading elsewhere, it seemed the actual (synod) debate might have been a tad more restrained but no less ugly.
And in the comments I stumbled over this little gem: “The 2C obligation” (just how “street” does that sound?).
The 2C obligation refers to “the greatest of all is this – and …” (with “obligation and duty” now added – obviously). The 2C obligation comment was an attempt to have others “cool it” – “We are Christians and commanded (club house rules again) to love each other!” (the club was having none of it!)
At which point God Soft Hands Jesus piped up: Why do you concern yourself with such things, Paul?
And I was whizzed back 2000 years. To the “global” Temple church. How GSHJ knew He was being watched, politicked against, stitched up, set-up and to be nailed-up. Yet He moved through it all with … compassionate ease. GSHJ was not distracted. He accepted all – even those who used the bible as a tool.
Jesus was not afraid of sin. Jesus never had any “2C obligation”. Jesus calmly and with compassion moved amongst the “church” whilst they used the bible to rid themselves of it’s author they never even knew He was. And Jesus who is God and the Holy Spirit never once fried their sorry asses! And today we have that very same God and that very same bible (plus a dollop of Good News and letters).
So just how have we changed?
Last night I saw “us” doing “them” again. “We” are still using the bible as the tool it isn’t. A tool (it isn’t) to justify excluding, to compartmentalise, and to condemn. Using it with such vigour that the head of the Anglican church took to social media with a new and horrible sounding sound-bite.
What’s that old sound-bite … “A bad workman always blames his tools.”
The bible in written form can be used to support any belief at all. And “The 2C obligation” is perhaps the least offensive. But the bible is not a tool. It never has been, it never will be, and if you think it is – then please stop reading it right now.
Because (and I have this on good authority) if you can’t hear the voice of God in the bible then you are a “bad workman” blaming “a tool” (that is not even a tool). And my “good authority” on this certainty … ?
God Soft Hands Jesus. He said that to “the church” (again and again) just a few short 2000 years ago.
And that is in the bible.
I really like God as a role model. He cuts through the crap. And he keeps it simple. All I have to do is hear Him. So here’s another “neat sound-bite” …
If I allow.
(or does your bible get in the way of that?)