Friday, April 17, 2009

Law AND Love

There's a pastor in Decatur, Illinois who's done more to strengthen and rebirth more congregations in the PC(USA) than anyone else I know, and you've probably never heard of him. His name is Jack Pitzer, and in his congregation's newsletter is a prophetic piece of wisdom that illuminates the way forward. Read it, and it will change the way you think about sitting on the fence.

The Church dies when it settles paradoxes that Christ means to be unsettlable-- and there is no greater paradox than the one of a Holy and Righteous God in relationship with sin-filled, sin-defined, sin-confined humanity. There is no easy way to keep these two opposites in the same place at the same time-- someone's going to have to die. To make the way to hold both, Jesus died; to proclaim and live into the way that Jesus opened, we must die-- die to self, die to pride.

In the conflict over homosexual practice, both sides are standing in path of lightning bolts when we settle on a solution of law or love. Law by itself kills, and has no ability to give life; love by itself rots, and fosters the corruption of the soul. Law AND Love practiced together are the narrow way-- rocks can fly from both sides. But life flows from those who walk the narrow way.

1 comment:

  1. Clay..I have been following your blog for a while and when I read this entry I was reminded of all the love I felt when I attended the Great Banquet...which Jack Pitzer founded...

    This scripture came to me later in the day..

    Passage 1 John 3:14:

    14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters,[a] it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.

    Since I do not belong to the Presbyterian church I am not familiar with the intimate details of the haggling going on within your church that you discuss in your blog...but I applaud you for doing the hard thing and taking a stand for love...

    Condemn or love? WWJD?