Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rights

Rights. The reappraising side speaks the language of "Justice" and "Civil Rights."

First "Civil Rights" and then Justice.

Before God, we have no rights. There are no civil rights in the Church - or there should not be. Currently, I am teaching a class on C. S. Lewis' book "The Great Divorce." In Chapter 4, Lewis hears the conversation between "The Big Man" and the saint sent to him (who murdered a mutual acquaintance). "The Big Man" says that he wants his "rights" and refuses to ask for "bleeding charity." The saint responds that only by asking for "the bleeding charity" can anything be given in Heaven. Only by not insisting on one's "rights" will we ever get anywhere. None of us want our rights - for by getting what we deserve, we will all end up in hell and alone.

As for justice, the reappraisers talk as if Justice and Righteousness can be disconnected, but that is a false dichotomy. You cannot be just and, at the same time, be unrighteous. I have been told by several men who know that the word "Justified" in Greek is a passive verb form of "righteous." The two are the same. You cannot be unjust and righteous. Righteousness is a right relationship with God.

The question on sexuality all comes down to what is sinful behavior and how do we determine sinful behavior. The Church has always taught that there are certain behaviors that are always wrong - theft, murder, adultery, fornication, idolatry, greed, lust, covetousness, etc. Homosexual sex has always been in that list of behaviors proscribed all the time - it has been an unrighteous behavior that (like all persistent sins) leads to a breach in our relationship with God and with the Church and leads to darkness of ourselves and our understanding of everything.

Now, a small part of The Church, catholic ( or universal) wants to change that. How do we go about changing it? What tools do we use? What is there for precident on making a change? It seems to me that the reappraisers want to simply declare that it has been changed and that we were wrong without persuading the rest of the Church (let alone the Anglican Communion) that their method for changing the moral teaching is acceptable.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

They will try anything to get full acceptance of their agenda. The majority of us are not buying it. They need to give up and leave because Africa and ABC calls the shots these days. They can get over it and move on. They have ruined the church.

Geohdeis said...

I totally agree with you Phil.

Matt said...

I also agree with you. I love the Great Divorce. It's a fantastic story.

You and I have crossed paths on titusonenine in the past, so you know my position. I just want you to know that I think issues of "rights" have no place in deciding orthodoxy.

Just remember that the same "rights" that are not to be countenanced before God are the critical to the proper functioning of civil society.

Please try to keep the two separate.

plsdeacon said...

Matt,

I agree that civil rights in society are required - and recognized by the Constitution and the primary purpose of government is to guarantee these rights and to decide between them when rights come into conflict (such as when my right to speak encounters your right not to be defamed).

But before God, we do not have any rights. We have grace.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Allen Lewis said...

Phil,

I like your point about not having and "rights" before God. I am afraid that those who are loudy crying for their "rights" and for "justice" would be very surprised to learn that they have no rights that they can demand from God. I also suspect they would not be pleased if He excercises His rights and gives them the Justice they deserve for their pride and unrepentance.

We should all be in fear and awe of Him who can kill both "body and soul." It is a terrible thing to be in the hands of a Righteious God.

I prefer Mercy and Grace, instead.