I think I'm going to fight this. It seems ridiculous that Fuller would accept Episcopal students and then not allow them to do internships within their own denomination! Because you see, my denomination - at least my diocese - is inclusive. The churches where I'd want to do my internships are inclusive. And the people who would be my supervisors, even if they are not homosexual themselves, would stand in solidarity with those in our church who are. And those in the other churches who are. Which is every other church.
I'll do this and I'll take a big magic marker and blot out that part of the contract. And if Fuller doesn't like it, then they're going to have to give me responsible historical-critical analysis that supports their position. On most other social "issues", like slavery and women's rights, biblical scholarship has trumped proof-texting. So why are we still pulling verses out of context (both their Biblical and historical/cultural contexts) on this issue? I guess the same reason why people use Proverbs to support beating children (yet ignore the one about if you eat too much you should slit your own throat).
I've been taught well about why my church believes as it does. They came to this with much prayer and much study. They did not throw out the bible. And they did not bend to pressure from people who aren't ready yet. In 100 years, I want my great-grandchildren to be able to say I was on the right side of this. I don't want them to look back in shame, as those whose ancestors owned slaves now do.
My church is inclusive, and I want to devote myself to it. This church has given me life, it's made me a Christian. It's my link to the Almighty. I trust my church, and my bishop and my denomination.
Fuller is just going to have to accept that not all churches agree on this any more, and they either need to stop accepting students from denominations which are inclusive or they need to stop requiring this of internship supervisors. Because otherwise, they're kicking us all out of our own churches!
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Go for it!!
As many denominations stand on the verge of schism over this issue and the controversy sharply divides Christians in many other arenas, I think it is helpful for all to remember that there are those seeking sincerely to follow Jesus Christ on both sides of the issue. On each side then, the controversy is approached with a great deal of prayer and study (though unfortunately not by all). It is still possible, however, as has been demonstrated, to reach differing conclusions. Those who affirm a homosexual lifestyle have not necessarily "thrown out the Bible," while those who do not cannot always be characterized as unloving. If we forget this, then the two sides will simply continue to talk past one another.
You sound kind of self-righteous. I think you're looking forward to this fight, instead of dreading it. It's not appealing.
To me, the main thing is that work for good can be done here, regardless of the sexual orientation of the supervisor. To throw out the possibility of participating in this ministry because of a sexual orientation issue trivializes the good that can come out of such participation.
Do you truly think that Christ would have eschewed a ministry possibility because of a percieved sin? He would have ministered to all involved, regardless of cultural perceptions. We all need God's Word.
I echo Ryan's comment. As I've already said, I'm afraid I'm on the other side of the fence from you on this one. I'm rather aware of a number of very good arguments for your position, and feel you should feel free to converse with Fuller on it (and in fact, that you should persist if, as I suspect will be the case, Fuller doesn't give your arguments the consideration they're due). But you'll need to accept that there are many of us who feel that the verse you think are being "taken out of context" are, in fact, still legitimate pronouncements of homosexuality as sin.
As I indicated before, I think it would be good for Fuller to re-open a legitimate discussion on this issue. I'd like to say I'm prepared to hear arguments I've not yet considered. But getting too "self-righteous" won't help anyone.
Hey, all I want is for Fuller to admit that Christians are divided on this issue. My church has not made this decision lightly. I'm asking them to allow each side to coexist - just like Ryan and BW are saying. They are pushing for only one side of the argument. And we're no longer in a world where there's one side to this argument. Even for Christians.
I don't want to sound self-righteous. But then again, if you can't do that on your blog, where can you?
Clarification: when I said "they" are pushing for one side of the argument, I meant Fuller, not the folks commenting on here. Just realized that was poorly written.
You posting reminds me of an Associate Pastor I had years ago -- she was not yet ordained, and filling in for us as an Interim. She was in seminary, but did not attend a Presbyterian school (we are Presbyterian). She found herself to be a woman, headed for ordination, in a school in which the professors were opposed to women's ordination! Must have been strange for her!
for the last 3 years, i've found myself called out to the borderlands, caught in a place that is neither one or the other, yearning to be in those cracks between silos that we run to out of fear
there are not two sides - there are countless people, living out their image of god, co-creating a story that is plam sunday, good friday, holy saturday and the great vigil
my unsolicted advice: stay in comunity until you get thrown out, stay threaded up with the people who love you and the people who do not so much
don't run - stay in the borderlans, look for the wheat and the weeds, sow the seeds
prayers to you & all around you
Good luck as you try to fight it from within! I agree that the should at least work to co-exist with churches that are inclusionary.
As I have looked into the matter a bit more over the past week, I expect that, for the most part, Fuller will be able to "co-exist" pretty well. For example, I don't think they'll be so hard-nosed as to eliminate the potential for most Episcopalians to intern at Episcopalian churches, despite the fact that the Episcopal church has differing feelings on the matter of homosexuality. (This was feared, as you'll recall, last week.) The particular case of the internship Feminarian was talking about, where the would-be supervisor is openly gay, could still be an issue, although I am by no means an arbiter on this matter.
Incidentally, I would recommend that people on both sides of this issue check out the link on the left of Feminarian's page entitled "the bishop's commission on gay and lesbian ministry in the diocese of los angeles". It is a surprisingly balanced look at the issue. I say surprisingly, at least in part because I do come from the opposite side of the debate. Though perhaps I should not be so surprised....
It's too bad that the seminary puts you in such a spot - pitting their policies against the positions of your denomination. It really keeps students in the middle. You'll be in my prayers as you work out your internship.
Just a few things:
One, you write as if the Episcopal Church at large is on total agreement regarding inclusion. Obviously, given the current "unpleasantness" in the Anglican Communion and various Episcopal dioceses' response to it, we know it is not.
Two, I don't think the "study" on this issue is done.
Three, can you seriously say that, when you chose to attend Fuller, you had no idea what their teachings on such matters would be? You signed on with Fuller, so complaining now about their policies seems a day late and a dollar short.
But do, please, keep blogging and sharing. I check your site regularly and enjoy the exchange of ideas.
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