18 June 2006

"I believe in ... um ...."

Found this exchange reported at The Cafeteria is Closed:

Dave Hartline I just spoke with Bishop Chilton and she was pressed for time so I was wondering if you could answer the question the conservative folks are asking. Is the Episcopal Church following Scripture.

Herschel Hartford You know scripture is more than the meaning of words. It is the meaning of the word. I believe we are following the overall word of God. We are accepting people as God sends them to us. How anyone can say, that they can’t accept a person who has certain feelings contrary to their own, is beyond my understanding. Where in Scripture does it say we should have a blessing of the animals, or boats and houses? We bless all of those things. I am a heterosexual man who is married and has six kids. I don't understand how anyone could be against blessing a consensual relationship.

Dave Hartline The traditional side says 2,000 years of Christian tradition is being altered. How do you respond?

Herschel Hartford Who are we to tell someone how to live and think?

Dave Hartline Do you think there is any black and white in the Episcopal Church?

Herschel Hartford Yes, we are against poverty, racism, sexism and bias against sexual orientation.

Dave Hartline Is abortion black and white?

Herschel Hartford No, it is in the eye of the beholder. It is a very complicated issue.

Dave Hartline Is human life black and white?

Hershel Hartford Again, human life and its beginnings are a very complicated issue.

Read the original article here.

When I came across the following passage from Isaiah during morning devotions, it reminded me of those people, and all leaders of the flock who, when put on the spot, do not first talk about our Lord and his Way, but about intellectual concepts. In reading it I was graced with a sense of the infinite power, and strength, and care, of our God:

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?

13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?

14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?

15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.

16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.

17 All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

18 To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.

24 Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.

25 "To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?" says the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God"?

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired
His understanding is inscrutable.

29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.

30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

31 Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

(Isaiah 40)

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