5/14/2009

Kissing off the Blame Game.

Simon Mein posts lamentably infrequent posts to his blog, SimonSurmises, but when he does we are usually in for a treat.

His most recent posting "As We Forgive," ends thus:

The Way Forward

So it is crucial for Christians not be drawn into the “blame game”, seeking retaliation on others or blaming God. I think a poem of R.S. Thomas, in a collection called Frequencies, 1978, catches something of what I want to say about our way forward. It suggests a coming to maturity in our theological speaking; precise statements ‘falsify’; ‘God’ explains everything, and when things prosper, God is praised: it is a different story when disaster strikes. So we need to be much more reticent, more tentative, and much less certain that we can produce a blueprint of the inner workings of the Godhead.

Waiting

Face to face? Ah, no
God; such language falsifies
The relation. Nor side by side,
Nor near you, nor anywhere
In time and space.

Say you were,
When I came, your name
Vouching for you, ubiquitous
In its explanations. The
Earth bore and they reaped;
God, they said, looking
In your direction. The wind
Changed; over the drowned
body it was you
they spat at.

Young
I pronounced you. Older
I still do, but seldomer
Now, leaning far out
Over an immense depth, letting
Your name go and waiting,
Somewhere between faith and doubt,
For the echoes of its arrival.

Read the whole piece HERE.

The whole essay is a remarkable reminder of how we might proceed to deal with such matters as Anglican Covenants, inter-Anglican canon law, etc - dancing lightly and with less the sounds of jackboots and more that ol' soft shoe.

1 comment:

  1. "...we also have to read the New Testament with all the tools that scholarship has given us in the last two centuries. One of the dogmatic readjustments that is paramount is how we understand God’s action in the world..." (Simon Mein)

    Mark,

    Thank you for sending me over to Canon Mein's essay. Just a personal opinion: the bit I quoted above is a treasure hidden too deep. I think the reason why we find it difficult to forgive each other in Anglican-land is that we see God's work in this world in completely different ways. Disagreements about the ordination of women, consecration of openly-partnered gay bishops, and acceptance of same-sex marriage are the consequences of our differences - not the root cause. And they are painful consequences indeed; the human toll is great on those directly affected, and those of us that love them so very much.

    But I know that the consequences for those that disagree with what religious scholarship has taught us feel damaged, too. People like me attack the core of their faith. They have seen questioning people look for answers, do the reading and research - and then lose faith altogether in the confusion. I certainly was warned off many times - but I had different questions.

    So, how do we find forgiveness, bless the space between us? That space is wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

    ReplyDelete

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