Tag Archives: personal piety

The bitter truth

Just as in the case of slavery, women’s suffrage or anti-Semitism, those people currently blocking women in the LCA from ordination (or perhaps their descendants) will one day claim that they weren’t to know any better.  They will assert, just as those who apologise for the torture of Galileo in his support for the Copernican understanding of the Solar System, that the level of knowledge in society was insufficient for them to understand how much they had erred.

It seems to us that no-one can know all things and so ignorance should not be condemned.  However, in Jesus we have the principle of love, which guides who we are, what we say and how we act.  This principle guides us in how we interact with our loved ones and adversaries.  It is a principle that would have us embracing each other in our hurts and disagreements.  It is a principle that would have us working to respect and build up our adversaries, while clinging to our own beliefs.  If we cannot do this what can we take from Jesus, apart from personal piety?  If that’s what it is to be Christian, we shall be called shallow indeed.

The small clip from Intelligence Squared makes the point succinctly.

Here is the full debate on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good.  Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry argue passionately that the Catholic Church is not a force for good.  They are both atheists and argue convincingly that the Catholic Church has much to answer for.  We’ll leave it to the reader to find relevance for the LCA

If the Church is to be a force for good it needs to be leading the way, reconciling adversaries, living with difference, living with tension, accepting contradictions, embracing multiculturalism, embracing different metaphors for the Creator God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and living with different perspectives on the place of women within the LCA.

We cannot hope that this issue will disappear.  It’s not going to happen.  Would Jesus tell his sisters to be silent?  There is only one option.

Equality will continue to be an issue until it is so complete that it ceases to be an issue.


Posted by on September 17, 2013 in politics, sociology, women's ordination


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Do something

From the Naked Pastor, a Canadian artist pastor

What is the future of the LCA?

It involves turning suffering around, by doing something different than what we are doing now. It’s about improvement.  It’s about moving forward.  There is nothing divine about being frozen in time, in ice.  There is nothing necessarily holy about our structures at any given time.  Not the length of the working day, not the way people are used, not embedded racism, not the lack of suffrage for women – these were all institutional issues in Australia that have changed over time.

Jesus engaged with society, he turned it around and upside down.  Things would not be the same once people encountered Jesus.

Jesus continues to come to us today, to turn our lives around, in our Church. Not just to create a powerful, prayerful, personal piety, but also to turn the system upside down, to bring about justice – even to create a system that works out of compassion and brings about justice.

Of course, Jesus was never a politician or another power-wielding character.  That work has been left to us.  We are “to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8)

How might we act justly, when the structures around us breathe injustice?  One person can’t tell another what they must do, but action is the key.  Whatever happens, action is needed.  We need to take charge in some way.

Turning around injustice usually involves changing power structures, and is usually met with resistance from those whose interest is served by maintaining those power structures, even from within the Church.  We’re going to need support.

Whatever the issue, there are people who need our support, there is a stand that we might take.

How might we serve those who are suffering in our circles?  Who might we ask to help us plan our action? How might we change the face of the LCA by turning suffering around?

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on April 18, 2012 in sociology


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