Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bonhoeffer and Gene Robinson

In an irony that perhaps only the Church of England could conjure up, the gay Bishop Gene Robinson, had his sermon interrupted by a hecklers call to repent and was rescued by the congregation singing of 'Thine be the Glory'. You couldn't make it up.

Anyway, in his sermon he said:
"You know, whatever you think makes you unworthy, I don't think God wants to hear it any more. All you have to do is turn up and open up your heart."

Today I read this from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, it seemed remarkably apt:

"Is the price that we are paying today with the collapse of the organized churches anything else but an inevitable consequence of grace acquired too cheaply; we performed baptisms and confirmations; we absolved an entire people, unquestioned and unconditionally; out of human love we handed over what was holy to the scornful and unbelievers. We poured out rivers of grace without end, but the call to rigourously follow Christ was seldom heard. What happened to the insights of the ancient church, which in the baptismal teaching watched so carefully over the boundary between the church and the world, over costly grace? What happened to Luther's warnings against a proclamation of the gospel which made people secure in their godless lives?... Cheap grace was very unmerciful to our Protestant church."

From The Cost of Discipleship

So whatever makes you unworthy doesn't matter? Have we absolved ourselves from the responsibility to repent for sin before a holy God?


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