In-Sight: For the Bride (3)

My lament is leading me to pray for, and seek for, a new way forward in the current debate about homosexuality. I have decided to call the new way “the way of love.”

To do so is not an indictment, it is an inspiration. I know there are people who have taken sides in the homosexual debate who love the Church. To use “the way of love” as the name for the third way is only to choose what I trust all of us would agree is “the more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31).

As some of you will know, E. Stanley Jones has been my primary mentor over the years.  During Lent, he has become so again.  There are more ways he has been speaking to me recently than I can share in this blog, but here is one example from his book, ‘Growing Spiritually’….

“The greatest of Christians [St. Paul] said: ‘I am controlled by the love of Christ.’  This cuts deep.  It is possible to be controlled by the love of achievement, of success, of a cause, of one’s fight.  To be controlled by the love of Christ is different not only in degree, but in kind and quality.” (p. 124)

To be controlled, even by “a cause, of one’s fight”—when I read this, all I could say was Lord, have mercy!  Reading Jones’words was the end of something in me–a divine, “enough is enough.”  Now, I face the challenge of discerning what kind of “beginning” must arise out of the “ending.”

The Lenten/Easter metaphor is all I have to cling to in the first baby-steps of this decision:  I have gone into the tomb (dying) as one kind of person, but I must now come out of the tomb (rising) as another kind.  That is all I can say in the early dawn of a resurrection, and it is what I am trying to say when I tell you I have chosen “the way of love.”–for the sake of the Bride.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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