Saturday, August 16, 2008

James, over at the "Three-legged Stool" held up a Pittsburgh rector's blog as one we might read. It is entitled Three Rivers Episcopal and is written by Jim Simons. While it is an "interesting" blog I keyed in on a coupled paragraph that I borrowed to post up here:

The Bishop asked us to do two things: first, not to speak out against the resolution and secondly, to vote for it even if we didn't want to realign. His reasoning was that a strong majority vote would provide an impetus for the Presiding Bishop's office to negotiate with him, especially over issues of property.

Even though the group was prepared to issue a statement before the vote, stating our opposition to it, when the Bishop's request was taken back to the group we decided to honor the request. None of us spoke out against the resolution to realign, either before or during convention, and I assume that some in the group voted for it as well.

I wonder how many of our clergy got the same "pep talk". I really have a very difficult time with this kind of twisted, insidious, underhanded logic. We do not engage in political campaigns (though it may seem that way at times), this is not a work setting where we are out to get to the top as quickly as we can and this is surely not some game where the winner gets to take home a new Chevrolet.

Why would a Bishop not ask other clergy to simply pray about the decision and then vote your conscientious? Bishop Duncan is asking those who cannot truck his "realignment" to lie. Plain and simple, please lie for me because I am your bishop and you owe me?*! Because "we can out maneuver the Residing Bishop? And what about the clergy that elected to do that? Do you suppose they felt like they needed a shower after the vote? How dare you play with the lives and the souls of those in your charge! What would possess a clergy member to do this? I truly hope that at least in the Diocese of San Joaquin none of this "nonsense" happened. Isn't there something in the scripture that WE ALL read that says something like, thou shalt not lie? Interesting way the Bishop in the diocese of Pittsburg works his pastoral flock.

Enquiring minds and people want to know

JAMES said...
When are we going to get a good update on what is going on in the Diocese of San Joaquin? Enquiring people want to know, y'know?
August 15, 2008 10:28 AM

GOOD question James and you're not alone in seeking quality verifiable information. As I see it there are a couple of unanswered questions.

1, Where are the clergy in relation to the Aug, 5th deadline to make a choice.

2, Where are we with Schofield’s reply to the charges against him. I read he asked for more time to respond but that was several months ago.

YES, Enquiring minds and people want to know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Facebook group

Image uploaded to Facebook by Randy Knutson

Are you on Facebook? If so, come join our new group, "Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin". We currently have 27 members. And photos. You don't have to be in the Diocese of San Joaquin to join us, either. (And while you're there, you could join one of my other favorite Facebook groups -- "I want to be banned by Gafcon, too", presently with 1,015 members!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mass at the Pacific Ocean

by: Aghaveagh
Nearly a hundred people from Holy Family Church, in Fresno gathered on the beach at Cayucos, for our annual Mass on the Beach--a celebration of fellowship, fun, family, and food. We piled into the buses early this morning for the nearly three-hour drive to the California coast and the chance to escape the Fresno heat. Loaded with sunscreen, beach chairs and (for the youth, at any rate) boogie boards, the two buses left our church and headed for the open road. Some slept, some read, many took the opportunity to converse at greater length than one normally can at Coffee Hour. We climbed the rolling golden hills of Highway 41, descending into the green valley with its many vineyards, and when the first magical mists of the ocean were seen, a collective cheer rose forth.

I think my favorite part of the mass was listening to the
gospel reading with the roar of the waves breaking on the shore in the background. One felt, with Peter, the immense power of the water, and marveled at the thought of Jesus walking on the choppy water. The Mass was conducted by the Very Rev. Keith Axberg as Preacher and the Rev. Michele Racusin as Celebrant. The Holy Family Choir was supported by trumpet and guitar.

After the Mass we had lunch, feasting on wonderful things. Then, glorious free time to visit, swim, walk along the beach, sit and read, whatever one wished. Fresno Mark played his guitar and sang. The young ones buried each other in the sand and rode the waves. Many dozed in postprandial bliss.

Too soon, it seemed, it was time to pack up and head for home. A sandy, sunburned, but contented group of pilgrims boarded the buses. What a splendid time it was, though, to come together and rejoice as a family, a “Holy Family” family.

I can't wait until next year.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


There is by now, an old saw that says that politics makes strange bedfellows. We know that at least one group that is "in bed" with GAFCON, CANA, AMiA, Greg Venables, Peter Akinola, Henry Orombi etal is the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Here is what IRD has to say about the current Episcopal Church:

Anglican Action promotes orthodox social witness, teaching, and practice within the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We labor for an effective Anglican witness to Christ in our nation and our world—a witness grounded in Scripture, rooted in tradition, and informed by reason. That witness has been marred by conflict arising partially from left-leaning social and political stances. For example, a recent denomination-wide survey revealed that nearly half of all Episcopal parishes reported “moderate” to “very serious” conflict over the Episcopal Church’s “inclusive” actions on homosexuality taken at its 2003 General Convention.
Such stances often take root in the soil of a “progressive” theology that downplays or denies the authority of Scripture and disregards traditional Anglican theology. Consequently, thousands of Anglicans—in some cases, entire parishes—have left the Episcopal Church.

Here is what they say about the evangelical movement:

A good number of the IRD’s friends and supporters, staff, and board members would consider themselves to be evangelicals. Some are members of explicitly evangelical denominations. Others belong to independent evangelical churches. Still others are in the oldline Protestant denominations, which historically have had a large evangelical element.

Regardless of their church affiliation, evangelicals in the IRD share a high view of the authority of the Scriptures, the atoning work of Christ as sole Savior of the world, and the call for all to trust and declare that saving Gospel. And they understand that in saying “yes” to the Gospel, the church must say “no” to any political agenda that might be substituted for the Gospel.

Here is what the IRD says about it's mission:

Reforming the Churches to Renew Democracy

The Institute on Religion and Democracy is

> an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians
> working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic teachings,
> thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.

If you ever wonder where some of the most outspoken bishops throughout the world get the idea that it is okay to tell each person what they want to hear we have to look no further than the company they keep (as well as the source of funding). BTW, Jeff Walton, a member of Falls Church, Falls Church, VA is a key player in this organization. But you Virginians probably already knew that!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Everyone must know this saying by now. Well here is what the Institute for Religion and Democracy is saying about Lambeth 2008.

The Anglican Communion has foundered and is ready to sink beneath the waves, bishops attending the 14th Lambeth Conference tell the IRD.
Charges of dishonesty and ignorance were exchanged during the first week of the conference, a gathering of the bishops of the Anglican Communion in Canterbury, England, that occurs every ten years. Attempts by the leader of the 80-million member church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, to steer the church clear of the shoals of schism appears to have failed.

The person/people that funded GAFCON have already declared the communion dead! And this was only a week into the conference. Here is a quote from Mr. "let's go to breakfast and have a frank discussion about raiding provinces" Venables:

“I’d like to expect a miracle,” said Bishop Gregory Venables of Argentina, a leader of the evangelical alliance at Lambeth, but said he feared the prospects for the church holding together were slight.
“Humanely speaking there is little hope for even a peaceful separation,” Bishop Venables noted. A split had already taken place, he said, adding that the best course was to work out the terms of the “divorce.”

Keep in mind that this quote was given before he had gone to breakfast.

From the letter that Bishop Mathes has posted on the diocesan website:
"Over breakfast, Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Church of the Southern Cone, apologized for not contacting me before making incursions into the Diocese of San Diego. Over the past two years, Bishop Venables together with Bishop Frank Lyons of the same province, have made numerous episcopal visits to our diocese without my knowledge or consent. I was heartened by his apology and relieved to hear him say he had not received either of the two letters I had sent protesting these actions and outlining the harm they caused to the church here in San Diego. Previously, I had taken his silence to mean his actions were intentional.

This is the same person who told Mr. Schofield that the Archbishop of Canterbury may have recognized him as a bishop in the Southern Cone.

When the money people say the game is afoot and those that seek power have the opportunity to take money and grow their power nothing is sacred. For those of us that thought there was hope it is now time for Plan B.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori - live webcast

Presiding Bishop to conduct post-Lambeth live webcast August 7August 06, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will conduct a live webcast to talk about the Lambeth Conference on Thursday, August 7 at 2 p.m. Eastern time (1 p.m. Central, noon Mountain, 11 a.m. Pacific).

Originating from the Episcopal Church Center, 815 Second Ave., New York City, the webcast will be accessible through the homepage of the Episcopal Church's website at

Link to web cast

Questions will be accepted from the live audience and via email at Phone-in questions will not be accepted.

The 2008 Lambeth Conference concluded on Sunday, August 3.

The Lambeth Conference is a meeting of the bishops of the Anglican Communion held once every 10 years at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The 2008 Lambeth Conference drew 670 bishops from 37 of the 38 Anglican provinces; about 135 bishops of the Episcopal Church registered.

For more information about the webcast, contact Neva Rae Fox, program officer for public affairs, at


Well our beloved and befuddled deposed Bishop has started a new line of thinking. Mr. Schofield, who believes he is a bishop in the Southern Cone and a strong supporter of the GAFCON Jerusalem statement has decided that the Archbishop of Canterbury has accepted his "roll/role" in the Southern Cone. Let's take a look at he most recent missive from Mr. Schofield:

We, the Bishop, Standing Committee and Diocesan Council of the Diocese of San Joaquin, receive with gladness the recognition of Bishop Schofield by the Archbishop of Canterbury "as a full member of the episcopal fellowship of the Province of the Southern Cone within the Anglican Communion, and as such [he] cannot be regarded as having withdrawn from the Anglican Communion."

Now, compare that statement with this from the Jerusalem Declaration:

While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

or this from Archbishop Akinola (a major member in the GAFCON movement, one that JDS subscribes wholeheartedly to),

The Archbishop of Nigeria accused the Western Church of apostasy last night and attacked the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for leading it into error.

Here is what was REALLY said, not be the Archbishop of Canterbury but by ++Venables:

Over the weekend I received the following message from him (ABC):

“I understand that Bishop John-David Schofield has been accepted as a full member of the episcopal fellowship of the Province of the Southern Cone within the Anglican Communion and as such cannot be regarded as having withdrawn from the Anglican Communion.

He, Venables has also said this:

“I’d like to expect a miracle,” said Bishop Gregory Venables of Argentina, a leader of the evangelical alliance at Lambeth, but said he feared the prospects for the church holding together were slight.

So the righteously indignant Mr. Schofield and his minions have decided that the Archbishop of Canterbury, a person/position that they no longer recognize as at least being important to the Anglican Communion has recognized him as a bishop in the Southern Cone. They use as their source, a person who also does not recognize the Archbishop of Canterbury as a person/position of import who sent a letter to Mr. Schofield stating that the ABC had "told him" that Mr. Schofield was recognized as a bishop in the Southern Cone.

Yahoo buckeroos! I would write more but I am late, I'm late, for a very important date!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


This is from the Global South
Statement at the Lambeth Conference 2008

The statement has been responded to by use of scriptures. I am not very good at this legalistic type stuff but I thought I would give it a try. (This is just what some poor schmuck found. Can you imagine what might happen if a real biblical scholar decided to respond.)

It starts with this:

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).

Lambeth 2008 Statement
We the undersigned Primates, Archbishops and Bishops and our Episcopal colleagues from all over the Communion are gathered together at the Lambeth Conference 2008 to seek the face of God,

and this --

Lambeth 2008 Statement
in particular, “the Pastoral Forum should be empowered to act in the Anglican Communion in a rapid manner to emerging threats to its life, especially through the ministry of its Chair, who should work alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury in the exercise of his ministry. The Forum would be responsible for addressing those anomalies of pastoral care arising in the Communion against the recommendations of the Windsor Report. It could also offer guidance on what response and any diminished standing within the Communion might be appropriate where any of the three moratoria are broken.”

‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all’. (Mark 9:34-35)

Lambeth 2008 Statement
We are consciously mindful of the absence of our fellow Episcopal colleagues from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and elsewhere, who, for principled reasons could not be present at this Lambeth Conference. We thank God for their costly faithfulness and vigilance. We acknowledge the issuing of the Jerusalem Declaration which deserves careful study and consideration. At the same time, we also stand in solidarity with all the faithful Bishops, Clergy and Laity in the United States and Canada and elsewhere who are suffering recrimination and hostility perpetrated upon them by their dioceses and/or national churches which have not unequivocally complied with the specific Windsor proposals required of them in full.

Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem then came to Jesus and said, ‘Why do your disciples break way from the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat food’. ‘And why do you’ he answered ‘break away from the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said: Do your duty to your father and mother and: Any one who curses father or mother must be put to death. But you say, “If anyone helps his father or mother,: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is dedicated to God”, he is rid of his duty to father or mother. In this way you have made God’s word null and void by means of your tradition. Hypocrites! It was you Isaiah meant when he so rightly prophesied:
This people honors me only with lip-service,
While their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless;
He doctrines they teach are only human regulations. (Matthew 15:1-9)

Lambeth 2008 Statement
4. We gather at a critical time when the Anglican Communion as a communion of ordered churches is at the probable brink of collapse. … 5. We fully affirm the Windsor process in the Anglican Covenant Design Group proposals and the Windsor Continuation Group presentations. We urge the official endorsement of the proposed Anglican Covenant by ACC 14 in May 2009. We further urge this Lambeth Conference to give clear endorsement and immediate implementation of the interim proposals of the Windsor Continuation Group on the swift formation of the Pastoral Forum with the terms of reference as set out: 6. We expect the Lambeth Conference, as a significant instrument of unity of the Communion, to give vital leadership towards resolving the present crisis over faith and order. This should be effected only on the agreed consensus of communion and moral commitments made in resolutions of successive meetings which provide the proper framework and basis towards addressing and resolving the crisis:the Lambeth 1998 Resolution I.10; the respective Communiqu├ęs of the Primates’ Meetings of 2003, Dromantine 2005, and most explicitly Dar-es-Salaam 2007: in particular, on the complete cessation of (a) the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions, (b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships, and (c) all cross border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction, as the Windsor Continuation Group rightly observed.

What is good has been explained to you, man,
This is what Yahweh asks of you:
Only this, to act justly,
To love tenderly
And to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Lambeth 2008 Statement
In this, the Holy Scripture – which, as the testimony to God’s work given by the Spirit of God is the written Word of God – is the final authority for Christian belief, teaching, life and conduct.

So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

Lambeth 2008 Statement
In the midst of the current critical crisis in the Communion we strive faithfully and honourably to ensure the Communion remains and continues steadfast in and to the faith once delivered to the saints Authentic traditions of doctrine and practice acknowledge its supremacy. It underpins all bonds of affection, expressions of fellowship and shaping of structures in the Communion.

“The real strength of the ties between the Churches of Britain and Ireland and the Episcopal Church and all those Churches which derive from them lie in the very real personal and continuing bonds of study, friendship, identity, and mutual discipleship which still sustain the life of the Communion. (Gregory Cameron, Hellins Lecture).

Lambeth 2008 Statement
8. However, we greatly rejoice that the Word of God has unleashed its saving power and has breathed life in our churches and peoples. God has preserved for the Communion his saints and testimony of their faith and our forebears throughout the Anglican Communion not least in the southern continents for its common good. We thank our Lord, in the midst of our current crisis, for increasing in us the conviction and confirmation of the prophetic and priestly vocation of the Global South as a precious gift to the Anglican Communion.

‘It is not those who say to me “Lord, Lord”, who enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven., When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?” Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me you evil men!’

Lambeth 2008 Statement
10. We are committed to work together with one another in the Global South and with all orthodox groups in the United States of America and Canada: to listen together to what Lord Jesus says to his church today, to draw strength and insights from one another, and to take fresh initiatives in upholding and passing on the faith once delivered to the saints.

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle;
They shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn,
They shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:
They shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful:
They shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart:
They shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers:
They shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3-10)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Beware of the morality of legalism

by: Giles Fraser
When a Christian crosses the Slough of Despond, he encounters the first temptation of John Bunyan’s spiritual classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Christian meets the smooth and persuasive Mr Worldly Wiseman, who directs him towards a village called Morality: “there shalt thou live by honest neighbours, in credit and in good fashion.”

It seems an odd sort of temptation, and perhaps it is unsurprising that Christian leaves the straight and narrow path, and settles down in Morality.

One of the most vigorous exponents of the view that morality has little to do with Christianity is the poetic genius and eccentric theologian William Blake. According to Blake, the problem with the way most people read the Bible is that they understand it as a manual for moral uprightness.

By contrast, in the Gospels, the moral law is associated with those religious teachers who first want to judge and accuse one another. Blake notes that Satan is the great accuser. For Blake: “If morality was Christianity, Socrates was the Saviour. The Gospel is Forgiveness of Sins & has no moral precepts — these belong to Plato & Seneca & Nero.”

In a remarkable new book by Christopher Rowland and Jonathan Roberts, The Bible for Sinners (SPCK, 2008), the authors take this understanding of the gospel message, and apply it to the current crisis over homosexuality. Conservatives insist that this row is all about the Bible — and they are right.

Yet too many conservatives have become so narrow in their reading of the scriptures that they miss the remarkably creative ways in which Jesus and Paul themselves read their own scriptures. Jesus and Paul did not read the scriptures literally: you could almost say that they took hermeneutic liberties in the name of the Spirit. Thus, for example, in Galatians, Paul defends the new idea of open table fellowship, of Jews and pagans eating together, even though such a practice was evidently “unscriptural”.

The Bible for Sinners argues that the Windsor report and the idea of a Covenant seek to unite Anglicans by closing down the possibilities of biblical hermeneutics, and turning gospel faith into moral uprightness. What is at stake here is so much larger than what gay people do in bedrooms: it is all about the creation of a set of rules that will systematically make gospel faith all-but-impossible for Anglicans in the 21st century.

Blake would have seen the Windsor report and its children as a form of tyranny, in which legalistic religion (the “stony law”, as he called it) triumphs over the creative religion of the Spirit. And so do I.

Submitted by:

--The Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian, Interim Vicar Grace Episcopal Church, Bakersfield Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies California State University Bakersfield

Friday, August 1, 2008

"Love Thy Neighbor": A Conversation (Nedra Voorhees and Beryl Simkins

Jesus said, “The first commandment is this: Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment than these.” Mark 12: 29-31

Nedra: To love your God is almost a given, but it seems to be connected to the second commandment here almost inextricably. It is as if in order truly to love God, we must also fulfill that second responsibility. To love you, I can surely do. But some others I can think of--- there begins the problem. How far does this neighbor concept extend? Who do you think is that neighbor?

Beryl: This is quite a question, and we may not always like the answer. I believe that the neighbor is anyone who comes into our “neighborhood,” or our locale. It certainly includes Christians in our midst, but also those in our midst who are not Christian. The dictionary says a neighbor is one located or living near another. So our neighbor is anyone who is located near us for whatever the reason.

Nedra: In this world, today, we can’t be that limited. It must be global, if we consider just our impact on others throughout the world by our American demand for what we consider to be our share of the world’s goods. Or if you look at it from a gentler perspective, the impact we can have when we respond to the world’s needs as we can in the MDG’s. But even if you narrow it down, how can you love all those people with the same care and concern you reserve for yourself?

Beryl: Well, the expectation of love may be limited to those who are here, now, in the same situation I am considering now, so that brings it down to the human that I am. Here and now I may be dealing with my spouse with whom I may be angry, but whom I certainly do love. But when I am angry, will I listen to what he has to say, or will I be concerned with proving my own point, whether or not I am right. Treating a neighbor as self happens in all the situations around us, and with all the people we encounter. I think the way we regard others around us has long reaching effects that go out into the world.

Nedra: I think the spouse may be easy (though maybe not). But what about the other with whom you might be angry, who happens to have no concern for your thoughts, your ideas, your beliefs and can only see the world from his/her point of view? How can you extend that love to that person when there seems to be no concept of love for you as a neighbor? Isn’t this a two way street or does the responsibility rest solely with you?

Beryl: Well, with my spouse it is a two way street, and that builds relationship. However, there are those, fellow Christians even, who disagree with me strongly, with whom I have argued on the blogs. I find that they reply to my comments without even hearing what I have said, and that they minimize my views and twist my words. My inclination is an angry reaction and in some cases just to sign off and ignore them. So is this my neighbor?

Nedra: That is exactly my concern! I think they are your neighbor. And if they are, then where does that leave you and me? WE can join them at the Communion rail, but will they be willing to join us? I think there is a strong possibility that they would exclude us, unless we were ready to capitulate and join their point of view. If that love does not reciprocate (like your two way street) how can it then be love? There is an unbending rectitude that is almost tangible among some who are purported to be our neighbors that troubles me.

Beryl: So how do we respond to that in a loving way? For me, probably not while I am still angry or hurt, but after I walk away from the matter a while. There are things that I should not do, because it is not what I would want done to me. (And that is what some of this is about, treating others as you would be treated.) So I would not go out and rail about the person to several others, especially if the person has no way to defend himself and might feel misrepresented . I would not “label” the person reducing him to a one faceted individual. I would recognize the humanity of the other who has come to that point of view through many years lived and many experiences that are very different from mine. This might be all that I can do.

Nedra: So that’s it? That old concept that we teach in pre-school. Walk Away? Is that all? Just leave and be silent? What if they happen to be ones who rail and misrepresent you? I had a priest tell me once that the other cheek concept applied only if the other was Christian and knew the concept. Is it the same with loving your neighbor? It only applies if both parties agree to the idea, or is Jesus demanding something more of us here? Can we afford to be silent as the world looks on?

Beryl: Well, I was just saying things I should NOT do. And that was just a start. And I think what we are discussing here is beyond turning the other cheek. This is about LOVING your neighbor. It is not about giving up my principles either, because in loving myself, my principles come out of my lived years and my experiences, (as in the case of the other), and out of a lot of thought and prayer and some choices made about what is right. I think the loving response is not in walking away. I may do that, but I may come back and truly and lovingly engage the other.

Nedra: I cannot help but think of +Gene Robinson and his role (or non-role) at Lambeth. Isn’t this the very experience that he shows forth to the world? He is there, willing to love and be loved. Of all who carry that crozier, he does the best at remembering the symbolism of the shepherd’s crook as he shows forth the love of the One who loves him. Maybe it goes back to your previous post about being more than the Body of Christ, being Christ in the world. If you can love with that intensity and purity, perhaps you come closer to what Jesus would do.

Beryl: Certainly it is it! Loving my neighbor as myself, tries me, sometimes, to the soul of my being. It takes humility, and also strength and tenacity. It is being right there by and among the individual/s who do not love you, not walking away, but being available to engage, and somewhat vulnerable. So is this what we are to do, being Christ in the world? How are we to respond? Does +Gene give us an answer?