The argument made flesh

In her presentation to the staff at Church Center in New York, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has argued that we need to accept the recommendations of the Primates to keep “the conversation” about homosexuality going in the Anglican Communion.

Tobias Haller, BSG (Brotherhood of Saint Gregory) and FOTB (Friend of This Blog) has written an extensive essay on the Episcopal Church’s failure to make a theological case to justify its actions in blessing gay relationships and ordaining a gay bishop.

Both of these people are much smarter than I am, and I urge you to listen to Bishop Katharine and read the good Tobias.

But—and you knew there was a “but”—I can’t help wondering if these two thoughtful, seminary-trained (and I don’t mean that as a slur) people and others like them aren’t missing, or at the very least under-appreciating an essential point:

Example is infinitely more powerful than argument.

If words were enough, the Incarnation would have been unnecessary.

We are being asked to provide no further examples of the gifts a gay or lesbian bishop might bring to that office. We are being asked, at least by some of the Primates, to deprive our Church, our Communion and our world of the example of gay men and lesbian women living in life-giving, Church-blessed partnerships.

How does acceding to these requests increase our chances of persuading people that we have done the right thing?

(Update: I have given another listen to the PB’s presenation. She explictly endorese the value of “incarnational encounters”, yet wants us to refrain from providing them. I don’t get it.)

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