20 July 2009

By love are we thus bound, darnit

The way of Christian charity is not always clear, for charity is foreign to us. For example, it is not actually charitable to say (especially publicly), "Charity constrains me not consider the brother with whom I am in disagreement to be evil and faithless, as anyone who is disagreed with me on this matter of faith must be. I thus determine him to be a benighted fool, and I magnanimously forgive him for his stupidity."

Christians disagree about rather important things. Each side feels maligned by the other. One side is accused of binding consciences, the other of unfaithfulness. One side can say nothing right, the other can do nothing right. Each person is concerned not for himself, because he is secure in his beliefs, but for that trump card in dogmatic debates, the storied and tractable "weaker brother" who is sure to be confused by the misleading and faithless words of the other side.

We will not all be agreed. But we must be reconciled: because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. To be reconciled, we cannot pretend that public personas are not real persons, flesh and blood brothers and sisters to whom we are organically bound by the true Body of Christ.

To be reconciled, we must mortify our flesh, force our ears to hear words which burn them (not the words we would put in our opposed sister's mouth which allow us to kindle our hate). Our tongues must suffer the vomitous taste of confession (not the sweet defense of ourselves). We must be open to the possibility that we will not receive charity in return. And indeed we will not on this shadowed plain, for also do the confessions and charity we offer on it fall short.

This blog is not a ministry or a political stump. It is a hobby for three women without a lot of pocket change who rarely leave the six-block radius around our respective houses.


Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Sounds like we have some theology of the cross going on here. Nice.

Please for the record let me state that I have not attacked anyone on this blog for practicing Perpetual Partuition, nor have I attacked the principle of PP. I can't say our family implements it, but I very much respect it. I don't believe you ladies are binding any consciences.

I need to think more on the advocacy issue and how good practice can be reintroduced. There are indeed a lot of weaker brethren out there that must be strengthened. Your examples lead to that, and I thank you for the patience you do muster.

Liz said...

I like you because you ladies sharpen me. Though you don't consider us a ministry, I am blessed.

Thanks and smiles!

Susan K said...

Very true. Sadly, the internet makes it so easy to forget basic humility.

(Btw, I want to thank you for your comment on my blog. I am touched and honored, as I have been reading this blog for a while and would love to count myself as a CSPP. And all that time I had no idea you were following my story! How fun we have the same due date. :)

Anyway, your eloquence is a gift to these internets.

Rebekah said...

Susan, hi! I didn't know you were lurking here either. Shoot us an email if you get a chance; I've got a couple of qs for you.

lisa said...
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lisa said...

My husband just notified me of my poor grammar (last paragraph).
The CSPPers are not legalists.