Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An honest answer

I took the opportunity to ask the question, "Do you think I am a Christian" on a germane topic thread at another (vastly more popular) Anglican blog. I got this answer from one of the regular, very conservative, commenters:

Hi Ms. Toepfer,

I do not know whether you hold a teaching position in the church. If so then, yes, sadly I would say you are a false teacher and/or heretic and I would hope and pray that you repent because you are leading others into the darkness and away from Christ.

If you do not hold a teaching position, I would say that you have embraced a heresy and that it is not an unimportant one. 1st Corinthian 6 is very clear that our sexual lives are important to God. To order your sexual life in a way that is displeasing to him will result in your spiritual and physical harm and I pray that you will not act on the false belief you have come to.

So the commenter didn't go so far as to say I'm not a Christian, but a heretic is probably as good as. No wonder we can't even talk about this. There's no where to start if the other person has to resist with every fiber of their being the possibility of being led into darkness and away from Christ. I'm not sure what to do about this but pray.

9 comments:

stephy said...

I get emails telling me to take the log out of my own eye. I don't think someone's ever called me a heretic, though. It might be a sign you're onto something good, who knows? I think that the best thing to say "I don't know what else to do is pray" - I think that's awesome. It's not about us or what others think, it's about God. xoxo

Lynn said...

Laura,

I'm so glad you posted about this here, because I so wanted to comment over at Mark's blog.

As you may have noticed :-) Matt Kennedy didn't even check your profile when he made his comment. I love that this very young priest is willing to advise you! Wait until he finds out about your position with Confirm not Conform. Ah, me, I had to put down my coffee cup before writing that.

I know we use CNC in our youth confirmation classes - I belong to a rather large parish in Northern Virginia. Everything I read about the program impresses me, so thank you for your good work. I hope the ultra-conservative types eventually realize that "not conforming" just means you don't have to be just like the members of your home church. Some of our kids may end up being much, much more conservative than their teachers. Or more liberal, or strict Roman Catholics...

Wear your heretic badge with pride. At least you aren't a Donatist.

And thank you for loving our kids!

Lorin said...

Oh, how hurtful. I'm so sorry. You're right, all you can do is pray.

On a happy note, yay for Vermont!

dhoyaia said...

I hear judgement in his response. I'm pretty sure I read in some book somewhere that casting judgement was heresy; that our casting judgement is in direct conflict with God's will. I could be wrong though. I'm thinking God's will trumps our opinions.

MadPriest said...

Don't panic. I think he's talking about a different Jesus.

Allen said...

What else is there to do but pray? Every now and then I get stirred up to write about the damage, "leading others into the darkness and away from Christ" if you will, that Matt Kennedy's teaching does to innocent people. I know that he is sincere in his belief that he is being faithful, but I am sure he is wrong. I hesitate to say this, but as a Binghamtonian I think Matt should look long and hard at 1 Corinthians 6:10 (and I don't think he's a drinkard.)

Laura Toepfer said...

Thank you all for your generous comments.

Laura

qoe said...

The best answer is "you cannot legislate love." It is the best answer because it is indeed the truth. If believing in the truth means someone else can feel justified in calling one a name and objectifying one and treating one with derision and double standards, then, perhaps this is how one is asked to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

I say, let them call me a heretic; I don't care. I could have told them that. I knew it before they did. I won't change to suit them. I will continue to support life and love wherever it manifests. That is what I believe I am asked to do as a human being and as a Christian.

God knows the truth of all of this silliness, and that is ultimately all that matters.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

Apropos of nothing, I do believe Jesus was also called a heretic. So you may well be in finer company than your critic realizes....