Offering pentecostal welcome

by Richard on May 28, 2012

Bishop Alan is on fine form this morning, going beyond sneering

1. I am in no position, as one sinner, to endorse or not endorse what another sinner does. The Lord does that bit. In God we trust. All others pay cash. I therefore have to be very careful and critical of my own perception. Only when I have removed the plank from my own eye can I help my neighbour see more clearly. It is comical if I, as a Pharisee prone to anger, contentions, party spirit and self-righteousness, all things Jesus taught are evil, rise up and denounce anybody for things Jesus said absolutely nothing about.

2. We need to assess, ruthlessly, our impact and its fruit as well as our intentions. The good Samaritan teaches us that our actual performance with real people matters more than our good intentions. This is the hardest discipline of all, perhaps. A second sign of toxic Pharisaism is laying burdens on others’ backs too heavy for them to bear. If our welcoming strategy is experienced as oppression it doesn’t work and we need to repent of our hypocrisy ten times more than the object of our welcome needs to divest themselves, even if they could, of whatever it was about them that disgusted us in the first place. By their fruits ye know them. Any policy of the Church that produces scarred, broken self-loathing or even the anger of feeling oppressed in the people it is designed to help needs to change. because either God has given up on all that “Love thy neighbour as thyself / do unto others…” stuff, which is unlikely, or it’s a pretty useless policy.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Pam 05.28.12 at 6:30 pm

Sneer: n. a contemptuous or mocking smile, remark, or tone.
v. smile or speak in a contemptuous or mocking manner.

“beyond sneering” - sounds like a pretty good place to be.

2

Richard 05.29.12 at 8:03 am

Quite so.

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