‘The Church must know the difference between order and disorder, and be wise enough to contextualize disorder with grace and truth.’ Dr. Ray Anderson
I recently had a conversation with Courage Leader Father Paul Check. He recounted a conversation with a fellow priest who asked him, ‘Will the Catholic Church ever alter its anthropology?’ (He referred to how the Church defines humanity as made in God’s image in the duality of male and female. Altering that ‘image’ could open the door to the Church blessing homosexual unions.)
‘Not a chance’, responded Check. Praise God. To uphold the dignity of sexual love within one context–one man committed to one woman—is a merciful mandate. It means that the Church calls all humanity to something higher, truer, and more honorable in human relationships than what comes ‘naturally’ in our lusts.
I recall a host of confessions I have made regarding lustful thoughts and actions. In exchange I received drafts of ‘living water’ that washed my soiled heart and renewed my commitment to loving Annette, family and others aright. Hail the holy mandate that reveals the path and clears away its debris!
The Church’s mandate makes mercy sweet for the broken. Without her clear witness of what our sexuality is for, we leach mercy of its meaning. In seminary I recall a theologian who sought to alter the meaning of God’s image: she said that ‘love, not gender, was the defining characteristic of God’s image in humanity.’ She went on to speak of loving monogamous gay unions that we can now honor on par with straight ones. She leached the light of a holy God right out of the room.
Thank God for merciful guides! Hail the words of Karl Barth who upheld ‘the radical duality of male and female as the root of all other fellowship…The command of God shows that humanity irrefutably that man can only be genuinely human with woman, and woman with man.’ Or blessed John Paul ll who declared: ‘Humanity only discovers his/her true self in a sincere offering of that self [to the opposite gender.]’ Or my professor, Dr. Ray Anderson, who wrote: ‘To deny the fundamental distinction of sexual orientation in regards to one’s own identity as male or female is to conceal the imago dei itself.’
Pity those who defy God’s call for each of us to work out our humanity in the inspired, exasperating duality of male and female. Such blind guides forfeit the mercy that could be theirs, and lead others into a similar deception. Hell on earth. Hail heavenly guides, who uphold the truth and invite us to wash our hearts and bodies in the waters of mercy.
‘The flight from one’s gender is a flight from God.’ Karl Barth
- Desert Stream/Living Waters: Pacific Southwest: California, Nevada, Hawaii, Don Sciortino, Regional Coordinator. Please pray for the new work beginning in Hawaii.
- Restored Hope Network: Pure Heart Ministries, St. Louis, MO. Jim Venice, Director. Specialty: men and groups for parents; also professional counseling for women. Help4Families, Waynesville, NC. Denise Schick, Director. Specialty: transgender and SSA youth, men and women.
- Courage: Healing and conversion for all priests and ministers struggling with SSA and relational issues.
- Cor Project: Please pray that we have the spiritual resources necessary to fulfill our mission.