Tuesday, 19 October 2010

When enough is enough!

One of my Facebook friends draws our attention to this post of Bp John Spong who opens with the gambit that he has decided he is no longer going to dignify the discussion about homosexuals in the life of the Church by trying to convince bigots that they are wrong. (see here)
The good Bishop does have a point.
There is much of what he writes that I do not agree with, but I have always admired the way he makes people think, myself included.
I therefore have some reservation about a 'manifesto' that says there will be no more discussion; but I can understand how one can get to this point. There is too little time to waste it trying to convince people who just aren't even prepared to listen constructively to another viewpoint.
I got to this point in the debate in the Australian Church about the ordination of women to the priesthood.
For two decades we were told that we should all be open & listen to those of differing viewpoints. That culminated in a whole series of toings and froings and pseudo church legal proceedings which seemed to resolve nothing (see a time line here) Finally when the Bishop of Canberra was ready to go ahead an injunction was taken out in the NSW Supreme Court to prevent him from doing so. I felt deeply saddened, and wondered why those who kept saying that their opposition was 'scriptural' seemed to have forgotten the scriptural injunction to not take your fellow Christian to court (see 1Cor 6:1-10 for St Paul's very strong teaching on this ).
This was a watershed experience for me, I realised that however tolerant I and my ilk were prepared to be the other side were not playing by the same rules. Indeed today, 20 years later, they still do not appear to have shifted. Indeed in the Diocese of Sydney it appears that things are worse. Even though ....but that's a whole other issue :)
My point?
Like the good Bishop, I can understand there comes a point when you realise that continuing on being 'tolerant' and 'fair' is actually aggravating the situation.
I am not quite at that point with the gay issue, but pretty close!

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