Sunday, January 11, 2009

Crumbs from the masters table

Matthew 15:25-28
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

From Crumbs from the Master’s Table by Paul W. Egertson
...only two options are ... available. On the one hand, we can do what the first Christians did. We can continue to discuss this matter in Christian love with one another and if it seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us, we can remove both our rejecting attitudes and policies and announce to the world that for us all means homosexual people, too. Since there are many who have been taught from the Bible by the church that such acceptance is unthinkable, we will all need to be sensitive to those whose religious conditioning will not allow them to embrace the change.

On the other hand, if the church cannot believe the Spirit is saying this for our time, then it should quit being so sloppy in its table manners and stop allowing crumbs to fall where those not qualified to receive God’s meal might happen upon it. If white Christians really wanted to keep black people enslaved, they should never have allowed them to sit in the balcony of their churches and hear the gospel. If Christian men want to keep women subordinate, they should not only insist women keep silent in church, as the Bible clearly commands, but also insist they not go to church at all, lest they hear the gospel and be set free. And if the church wants to keep gay and lesbian people from sitting or serving at the Lord’s table, it should not drop them any crumbs from the table or otherwise allow them to overhear the gospel.

Why? Because the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Any underclass persons who eat its crumbs, even from the floor, will be transformed and empowered in such a way that they will finally find their place at the table of God. It is to that table that Christ now invites us all, regardless of sexual orientation. Amen.

Delivered to a congregation of the United Methodist Church - but apropos to the LDS church as well. Note that he does not suggest that the church needs to change its doctrine - only its rejecting attitudes and policies.
I love what Z i n j said in a recent blog post
In the mean time I'm obedient but not exactly being nice about it.


Anonymous said...

AS a UM that has found and is appreciating your blog, AMEN and AMEN. While our theology is different I wonder how different is the practice of our denominations in reconcilation with others that we don't "feel are appropriate" to serve in leadership roles within the church. Maybe someday it will change in both and we will be welcoming of all persons,

Anonymous said...

Enigma, are you okay with your wife being married to a queer man? Do you believe she has the right to be in a relationship with a partner who loves her in ALL ways? Or do you have an open relationship where both can have your intamacy needs met? As they say, too often Mormon women are sacrificed on the alter of male vanity. I hope that's not the case for your wife.

Anonymous said...

It all presupposes that you have a "true" master, and you accept the notion that you have to settle for crumbs. So much for god not being a respecter of persons.

Abelard Enigma said...

Anonymous II (as I assume you are not the same person as the first commenter) - I appreciate your thoughts

are you okay with your wife being married to a queer man?

Hmmm, it's interesting that you put that into the context of me being OK. I don't know - gonna have to chew on this one a bit.

do you have an open relationship where both can have your intimacy needs met

No - frankly, I find open relationships kinda creepy - as does my wife.

So much for god not being a respecter of persons.

It's men who tell us we have to settle for crumbs - not God.

Jodi said...

Would you be okay with your daughter living in a sexless , incomplete, and unsatisfying marriage?

Mariah and Byron Edgington said...

Our only comment is that we feel it's too bad that the entire discussion, as it always seems to, centers around the sex act itself, and not the whole of sexuality which is so much deeper and more human than the other. We were raised Catholic, and the Catholic Church, too, seemed almost obsessed with sex and its bodily function, and dismissive of the kaleidoscopic spectrum of human sexuality. How sad.