Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stand Firm in Faith: Theft of what does not belong to them

I am kibitzer on the House of Bishops and Deputies email list. There are few rules on that list: Be Nice and ask permission before you use elsewhere that which has been posted to that list. Every once in a while one of the so –called Progressives writes that someone has lifted, without permission, something someone wrote and posted it to the blog, Stand Firm in Faith.

The people of Stand Firm in Faith represent themselves as being the real Episcopalians. They believe they hold to the truth of the Gospel and the rest of us are misguided or deluded. The question I raise is this: if they are such good Christians, why is that they steal the material they lift from HoB/D? They consider themselves more pure than those of us who would deny no baptized and confirmed Episcopalian from any office or rite we have. So why is it that the rules don’t apply to them?

What I also don’t understand is why those who run that blog, Stand Firm in Faith, tolerate the theft. I don’t understand why they don’t remove the posting privileges of those who disrespect the rules of HoB/D.

The other thing that gets to me about the Stand Firm in Faith people is their stinginess with the grace of God. It is God’s free gift, offered to all of humanity. They steal the email to HoB/D, quote out of context, twist and distort the text in order to continue to attempt to deny every baptized and confirmed Episcopalian from any office or rite we have.

Some wrote to me recently of a desire to keep listening to see if there is any way inside that Stand Firm mindset that can unravel the maze of the way they think. I too have often been amazed or appalled at the huge differences in the way we think about issues. It’s as if we have at least 2 different paradigms at work and they are so different that we can’t find the common ground.

Sometimes it seems to be the very bottom line is anthropological. How we view humanity. I think there are 2 basic ways to do this and they involve what we think happened to the Imagio Dei at the Fall. Now, I don’t know if there was a literal Fall or not, but it is a useful metaphor.

There are those that believe the Imagio Dei was shattered and will only be restored on Judgment Day. This is pretty much the Protestant or Reformed view.

There are also those who believe that the Imagio Dei was distorted, sort of like the mirrors in the so-called Fun Houses. This is the catholic view. The image of God is there and it is intact but it is bent outta shape. As we live our lives as Christians, the Image is always being put back into shape.

These two views of what happened to the Imagio Dei are fundamental presuppositions which determine everything else. Yes, I've over-simplified but it seems valid to me. Which view one adheres to will determine how one prays, preaches, and treats other people. They are so opposed to each other that I don’t know if any reconciliation of the two paradigms is possible.

The Stand Firm in Faith people are among those who believe the Imagio Dei to be shattered. Those with Reformed views believe it is possible to lose one's salvation or to discover that one was never among the elect in the first place. They have their propositional truths, true Truth, their Systematics, all to find a way to reassure them that they are among the elect and who is not. This is why they seem stingy to the rest of us. I am convinced of it.


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