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The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Fear of Controversy

Friday, October 20, 2006

We have some African Bishops vs. the Episcopal Church, USA. Then there are the Episcopal Bishops against each other over homosexuality and same gender marriage. We have lesbians and gays against those who want to control their sexual and marital activity. We have caucuses of women clergy fighting for good jobs and equal pay in the parish life. Abortion foes fight those advocating free choice.

Many fear the break-up of the Anglican Communion, hate our washing our dirty linen in public and despair that we are not loving and forgiving enough.

So what’s new? Christians have always been mired in controversy. Jesus preaching and teaching cost him his life. The disciples fled in cowardly fear. Some followers of Jesus thought there was no need for men to be circumcised Jews before they were allowed to be baptized. Is Jesus truly God or truly man? What is the meaning of the Eucharist? Do we need Popes, kings or even Bishops? Then we had crusades and pogroms in the name of Christ. Coming along were witch hunts, Lutherans, Calvinists, Papists, Anglicans, high Church, low church, Black rights and on and on. Now we are in the age of sex. Homosexuality, abortion, pre-marital sex, women Bishops, priests and deacons.

In the 1960’s, when Episcopalians went on freedom rides, marched in Selma and disrupted college campuses, many traditional church people were outraged. As the debates and demonstrations went on, most church people came around and wanted justice to be done. But it took years.

So now we are debating, threatening, anxious and polarized by issues of sexuality. This is healthy for the church. It stretches our minds, wrestles our faith, challenges our values. So let’s relax and get on with it.

And you know what? As soon as sex gets settled and we hope for peace and quiet, something else will come along to get us in controversy, polarity and new battles. God’s peace is the struggle for truth, integrity and justice.

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