Thursday, August 16, 2012

Errata

In Part 1 of my Open Letter, I feel that I made two important errors, and I need to own them here.

The first was a lack of clarity on when I was asking that Christian Friends should take pains to discern the will of Spirit in sharing based on the Bible or Christianity.  I was not as clear as I meant to be that I was not talking about when Christians speak among themselves, or when established friends within a spiritual community are speaking to one another.  My caution applies to cases where Christian Friends--within liberal meetings, where it is relevant, as it is not in the other branches of Friends--speak in meeting for worship, or on behalf of their meetings or one-on-one with non-Christians they don't know.  In those situations, the dangers from outrunning our Guide is great, and a good way to avoid hurting one another unnecessarily is to stay low to Spirit while speaking boldly and confidently what Spirit gives us to share.

Some took my words to mean that every mention of the Bible and Christianity needed to be subject to a discernment process, and that wasn't my intention at all.

The second error was more serious, because it wasn't just a place where my writing was unclear, but one where I lost my own ability to do exactly what it was I was asking others to do: I did not stay low myself, and I outran my Guide. 

My Bible scholarship is also questionable, but that's really almost beside the point; if it had been solid as steel, it was still not mine to say, and I regret posting it.

I've changed the copy of Part One to strike the two paragraphs where I feel that I did this, but because so many people saw the original, it feels wrong not to acknowledge my error, so I'm doing that with a hyperlink to this post.  You can see the bit that I cut, with its context around it, below.
As I am obligated to stay low and faithful in my listening to you, you are equally obligated to stay low and faithful listening to me.

Your Jesus didn't choose his company based on their theological purity.  Do you really think that the non-Jews he cared for were mere charity cases and hangers-on?  Did he never listen to their words, consider their perspectives on the world?

Try not to be more arrogant than your god, when non-Christians speak.  You never know--we might be how That Spirit is talking to you today.

Some of you--most of you--understand this very deeply.  For that especially, I am grateful.  You did not only let me through the door--you sat at the table with me, and we have shared that particular spiritual communion.

1 comment:

Joanna Hoyt said...

I am humbled and instructed by the very high standard to which you hold yourself.

Whether or not it was yours to say at that time in that post, I believe that I have heard That Spirit speaking in your voice.

Thank you.

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