If those are the most significant issues on the spiritual agenda for the church, I guess we should pray for them.
With both issues the underlying assumption is that allowing women and gay men to be office bearers in the church would in some way offend God. But at the same time the church tells us that God created everything. I do not quite understand how God can be offended by Her own creation.
Oops, I assumed that God is a woman. Is that wrong? What if God is a woman? What if God is a man at the same time? Oh dear, now I am implying that God is a hermaphrodite. Now I have really done it ;-)
Does God's gender really matter? Does gender really matter? Consider that we are spirit and that we choose to inhabit our bodies at the moment. Does our spirit have gender?
Try this: rub your hands together quickly until they feel warm. Now take your hands about shoulder width apart, palms facing. Close your eyes. Bring your hands closer to each other very slowly until you start to feel resistance.
That is spirit. That is who we really are. We just inhabit these bodies because when we are born into this world we lose our consciousness of who we really are. We make it easier for ourselves to experience one another by inhabiting a suit with two arms and two legs, a head, fingers, toes, and some really intricate organs that as a whole form a body that does astonishing things without us even being aware of it.
It appears that the Church of England says the container is far more important than what is in the container. Is it OK to have rotting food in a collection of fancy bottles that look alike no matter what the contents are, or is it more important to have fresh food with or without a container, or in different containers, some prettier than others?
Why is it that men who preach tolerance and forgiveness show the opposite by publicly displaying intolerance towards those that physically look different than they do, and by showing a complete lack of forgiveness towards those that act in ways that are different than theirs?
And I need to say here that my understanding of forgiveness is not turning the other cheek, because that is often a sanctimonious way to say 'yes, I will forgive because I am superior to you, but I will never forget, because I am superior to you'.
Forgiveness is about acknowledging the lessons that we learn from those around us, and feeling gratitude for that.
When the church forgives the gay members of their community, they will in fact be thanking the gay members for teaching them that spirit is not the body.
Spirit lives in the body, and spirit does not have limitations such as sexuality or gender expression. That is what gay people and woman preachers teach all of us. If we can understand that, we can forgive the gay people and woman preachers (i.e. thank them for our understanding), forgive ourselves (i.e. understand who and what we really are), and forgive those that judge the containers rather than the contents (e.g. understand that God created all of us, and that those who judge others are facets of the same massive diamond that we are part of, and therefore as necessary in this world as we are).
We can also be sanctimonious and pray for the church elders, or we can go inside ourselves and establish where we are in terms of forgiving any issue that distracts us from our spirituality. Charity begins at home, i.e. with our own spirits in our own bodies.
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