(This note was posted on the House of Bishops/ House of Deputies list on /12). It responds to a thread of argument concerning calling evil good and good evil.)
I have been following the thread on calling evil good and good evil with wonder. Part of the wonder is to think what our first century companions in the faith would think of our musings at the close of a century of massive wrongs so horrible as to be clearly evil.
Modern examples of our sin abound, the most pressing of which (for me) has to do with the inordinate ability of Christians to kill one another in astounding numbers, which is an attempt at fratricide, to kill others to the point of near extinction, which is genocide, and to practice the giving of alms while practicing the advancement of capital greed.
Although I don't believe the bible contemplated the sort of warfare in which baptized Christian of several nations would attempt to bomb one another into oblivion, I don't think our first century companions would find such sin unthinkable. But I suggest they would be very surprised that we do not grapple more with the reality of our having attempted to do so.
I think our companions might well be surprised that there are in these days committed and stable relationships between two persons of the same sex, much less ones in which there is sexual intimacy. But given how hard it is to find committed relationships in any age among any peoples, I think they might well think it odd that we grapple with the issue as to whether sin is the sum of such relationships, as opposed to offering every support we can for the sum of good in them.
Most of all I think our companions would be astounded, and scandalized by our inability to denounce out of control national and economic interests, and the warfare that derives from them, and our inability to affirm the possibilities of loving kindness (with sex) in a world of monstrous hate (with global rape.)