Thursday, January 07, 2010

Acts 8:14-17

Epiphany 1 - Year C

Acts 8:14-17

This dualism of the "word of God" and "Holy Spirit" presents a number of difficulties. It seems more institutional than experiential or helpful.

The same goes for a dry baptism in Jesus' name and a wet baptism of sweaty hands. Apparently baptism is not baptism is not baptism in the reverse of a rose, rose, rose. Again we get distinctions of particulars that will lead to division rather than a unity of integral growth in each life.

A social justice question rises here. Suppose you hear that someone has a new lease on life, a hope of freedom, are you going to go to them to say, "You're deluded about your new perspective on meaning, interpret it according to my experience and you'll be much better off."? Think back to the Civil Rights movement. Folks had a new word to follow and so many wanted them to add on another layer of work through the legislative means to legitimate their view.

Think ahead to the need for clean water in Cambodia. Through Deanna Shimko and others, a word of God had been heard and pumps installed. Can you imagine telling them that they they should hold off on that word and work until flouride can be added to the water?

This need to control experience was, is, and will be deadly, whether it is about G*D or sexual orientation. The Church gets both badly wrong when it operates from a "here's the way it happened to me and so this is the way it should happen to you" mentality.

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