Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 25 April 2016

I'm a fundamentalist

The Church of England official prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (last Sunday the 17th April) was

"Risen Christ, faithful shepherd of your Father's sheep; teach us to hear your voice and to follow your command, that all your people may be gathered into one flock, to the glory of God the Father. Amen"
Of course as a Christian I agree with this wholeheartedly, it struck a particular resonance last week as on the previous day I had attended a meeting of the 2:23 group (Named for Hosea 2:23 as quoted in Romans 9:25 "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'loved one' who is not my loved one"). This is a a network of Christians, connected by LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues, who have discovered that God loves us just as they are. They seek to support, Christian families and friends of LGBT people, as well as those directly affected themselves. This is the second of their meetings I have been to, and I find them welcoming, genuine spirit filled people, and blessedly one of those wonderful LGBT groups that fully includes the T.

Sometimes it feels as though the Church is splitting more and more rather than coming closer together, sometimes this is portrayed as a North / South Split, sometimes as a Black / White split and most often as Liberal / Conservative split. I rather suspect that if we were all open to the Holy Spirit and truly listened to what he is telling us, rather than assuming we know what God thinks, then we would be modeling Christ's love rather than displaying the World's hate.

I come from a Charismatic Evangelical background, but am not exclusive, in conversation one day with a good friend who is an Anglo-Catholic we decided that although we come from teh opposite wings of the Church of England we were both fundamentalists! Since the fundamental of Christ's teaching is love, we have to embrace love, for all, in everything we do.

I worry that so much of what I see being done in the name of Christianity seems to based on hate and intolerance, yet I choose to continue to display love where I can, and to pray for those whose views I oppose. I mourn the fact that although I am shown love and acceptance in many areas of the Church, there are some of the people who I should have most expected to display Christ's love who are causing me the most hurt. I cannot leave this and walk away, I cannot forgive and forget, I am trying hard to find forgiveness in my heart, but I also remember what Jesus said in: Matt 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

I feel that this makes it incumbent on us to reconcile ourselves with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We cannot simply agree to differ, We cannot go our separate ways and pretend they do not exist, At the very least we need to strive to understand, empathise and ultimately to agree. I will not pretend that this will be easy, or will happen any time soon but we should be trying
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