AH, BUT THERE STILL IS, PAUL!

‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.’[ Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him… (1 Kings 19.4-5)

 

‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’  (Galatians 3.28)

still small voice

I WAS asked this week if I would marry a couple in church, two people who would very much like to bring their love before God and be bound together sacramentally, according to God’s will and purpose. Sadly, I had to tell them that the Church in Wales will not allow me to do that. Why? Because these two, who love each other and want to love God, happen to both be women.

This discrimination, with which I am by my priestly association with the church complicit, makes me angry, sad and deeply ashamed. I am ashamed that the church, for all claims to the contrary and pretty words designed to compensate and placate, persists in the bigotry of an elitist perception of created order. The church of today is still “no better than my ancestors”, and I, of priestly line within her, can only accept my own share of the responsibility. I long for a church that takes seriously Paul’s words about slave or free, male or female. I yearn for a church that does not disown the very teachings and Spirit of Jesus Christ but rather stands up according to her name in Him. Bishops, priests, lay people, please stop wallowing in past societies’ festered prejudice; please, just rise up and be counted. You are Christ’s body! The church is supposed to be a gift to the people, walking with them, hand in hand, in the Way, the Truth and the Life.

There is hope yet. Its fruition will, however, need the church to lie down, like Elijah, and be ready to die. Only then, may the noise of self-importance and inflated ego finally subside, and the still, small voice of JaHWeH, the One Who Is, LOVE her/him/itself, break through the conscience barrier.

‘…and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind…’ (Luke 8.35)

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~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on June 18, 2016.

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