Kendall Harmon: About Today and How to Receive the [Same Sex Liturgy] Resolution that will Pass

There have been a number of occasions over the years in TEC like this where a key document or statement has come out, and the response has been, shall we say, less than satisfactory. Therefore there needs to be some preparation on our part so as to try to react in a Christian manner. Herewith some suggestions:

(1) Please try to read the actual text of the resolution itself and concentrate on the language used. I am sorry if this seems obvious but my Mom was an English teacher–you would be amazed at how little it actually occurs. Who are the worst people to do a Bible study with? Seminarians. Why? Because they have the most deep seated ideas of what the text says before they read it. It is vital that the text be heard on its own terms.

(2) Try to draw conclusions yourself FROM THE TEXT before getting your head clouded with what others think. Be aware that some of the early reactions will be wrong.

(3) When you consider others reactions, read from a variety of sources. You should regularly be visiting reappraiser and reasserter sites, writers you agree with and authors who drive you crazy.

(4) Make your early evaluations tentatively. “It seems to be saying that,” “what I hear the statement saying is,” are the kinds of things I would prefer to hear.

(5) Be aware that every statement like this goes through a process of sifting. Give it at least three days. There is an earthquake, there are aftershocks, and then things settle down.

(6) Expect the discernment to be a corporate activity. We still seek to be part of the Church of Jesus Christ, and we need one another. We are. as Ephesians says (4:15), to speak the truth in love. May the way we respond demonstrate this–KSH.

By the way–anyone recognize most of the language here? It is from something I wrote in 2007. Nick Knisely wrote [now Bishop-elect of Rhode Island] at the time that he found himself “pretty much full agreement with [my]suggestions”


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Marriage & Family, Media, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC House of Deputies, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Theology: Scripture

7 comments on “Kendall Harmon: About Today and How to Receive the [Same Sex Liturgy] Resolution that will Pass

  1. c.r.seitz says:

    The BCP is now an Etch-a-Sketch.

    BTW, someone sent me a resolution from 2009 GC that sought to address this proliferating instinct of special liturgical rites not governed by our Constitution and Common Prayer life. What happened to it? This is now getting urgent.

    Also, btw, watch the [as they refer to themselves] progressives find out they have a provisional rite and not marriage equality, and a rite that no Bishop is constrained to deploy or permit. The cry of ‘second class citizen’ cannot be far behind. This is the present state of TEC political activisim.

  2. Stefano says:

    Hmmmm. Perhaps it is best to ‘receive’ them in light of the readings from this morning:

    [b] “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of shell as yourselves.[/b]

    Of course, that’s from the ESV, so maybe it doesn’t mean much.

  3. Stefano says:

    Footnote got inserted should read [b]child of hell[/b]

  4. Ralph says:

    #1 writes, “…watch the progressives find out they have a provisional rite and not marriage equality, and a rite that no Bishop is constrained to deploy or permit. The cry of ‘second class citizen’…”

    Indeed. Third class, perhaps. The resolution is about as strong as the one that they passed on the Ohl-Buchanon letter. I’ve observed elsewhere that the HOB have thrown Disintegrity under the bus. Full inclusion? Nope. All the sacraments for all the baptized? Nope.

    It exists in a category all by itself, a category created just for homosexuals. The rite itself cannot be used to bless the relationships of heterosexual couples. It’s just for homosexuals.

    Excluded. Marginalized. Not equal.

    Perhaps Disintegrity can fix all that in the HOD.

  5. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    “The cry of ‘second class citizen’ cannot be far behind.”

    That’s already been rampant for a while. Allegedly, we make them out to be “second-class citizens”, and thus we are “bigoted homophobes”. Inclusive language abounds… 🙂

  6. tjmcmahon says:

    Dr. Seitz- Do keep in mind we won’t really know what it says until the HoD is through with it, and it may then have to go back to the HoB until they come up with mutually agreed language.
    And Susan Russell (I think it was) beat you to it- posting last night that this was not marriage equality- but she seemed ecstatic anyway. This is the first step, not the end of the road. “Marriage equality” and “new prayer book” are already on the agenda for 2015, by the look of things.

  7. CJ says:

    Well, Stefano, that’s a good scripture, but the one I would have chosen is 2Corinthians, 15-17. Every time I try to post it here, though, those pesky moderator “elves” steal my comment away ! 😉