Friday, July 10, 2009

Inside/Outside +VGR

Bishop Gene Robinson was practicing his "narrative" the other day at the 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church. After he said, “...the god that I worship is a god that wanted the outside of me to agree with the inside of me…” I couldn't help but think of this song from The Who's Quadrophenia album.


"Why should I care, why should I care?

Girls of fifteen
Sexually knowing
The ushers are sniffing
The seats are seductive
Celibate sitting

Pretty girls digging
Prettier women.
Magically bored
On a quiet street corner
Free frustration
In our minds and our toes
Quiet stormwater
My generation
Uppers and downers
Either way blood flows.

Inside outside. Leave me alone.
Inside outside. Nowhere is home.
Inside outside, Where have I been?
Out of my brain on the five fifteen.

On a raft in the quarry
Slowly sinking.
On the back of a lorry
Holy hitching.
Dreadfully sorry
Apple scrumping.
Born in the war
Birthday punching.

He man drag
In the glittering ballroom
Greyely outrageous
In my high heel shoes
Tightly undone
They know what they're showing
Sadly ecstatic
That their heroes are news.

Why should I care?"

I have to pull out the old LP to double check those lyrics, but for the most part they seem accurate.

(Update, I had to change "gravely" to "greyly," I knew something was wrong.)

Of all the comments at StandFirm on this subject, I liked the following best:
"Good lord I hope my inside never agrees with my outside (or vice versa). I am such a mess, I need to put the whole thing in control of God and ask Jesus to help get me there through the power of the Holy Spirit. There was a time in my life when 'I was in control'. Never, ever want to go there again!"
[22] Posted by Capt. Deacon Warren on 07-10-2009 at 12:32 PM


This comment by #28 Eddie Swain was good too:
"God wants us to have Jesus on the inside and then to work towards making
the outside agree with that. But, when the inside and outside don't agree,
it is because of our own lack of integrity (and, more precisely the
existence of sin in our lives.

VGR's viewpoint is that because he percieved himself as gay inside, that
must be how God made him. Therefore, he needs to be open and honest about
his homosexuality, else he would be accusing God of not having integrity.

The fact is that, for someone like VGR who grew up in the Church, he had
this nagging thing called the Holy Spirit on the inside that was conflicting
with his external desires for sinful pleasure (just like all of us sinners).
The difference is that VGR decided to achieve personal integrity by giving
in to the outside desires and then projected the whole 'integrity' stuff
on to God to justify his behavior.

Now, he thinks he is living a life of integrity because his "inside"
agrees with his 'outside.' The ironic thing is that by claiming that God
is okay with this (blessing his sinful behavior), he is actually portraying
a god that has no integrity. The God of the Bible is clearly opposed to sin
(including homosexual behavior)."

We won't be fooled again!


  1. Episcopalian Sage8:45 AM

    Yes, but,

    If the God of the Bible is really intransigently anti-homosexual-genital-contact,

    How much more so is He against female ordination, divorce, birth control, masturbation, and anything else not open to life?

    I don't find a gay prohibition in the Bible. What I find in the Bible are a few stray comments that add up to virtually nothing--USED by social conservatives to justify their prejudice and allay their troubled conscience.

    Whereas, God speaketh most clearly on the other issues aformentioned.

    What should I do, brothers? I'm very strongly traditional, indeed conservative on most issues. Yet I experience myself as homosexual, and do not find this a problem.

    Well--it's a problem insofar as YOU make it a problem. That much I'll grant you.

    So, fire all the "lady priests" and indeed demote all females in TEC who have any authority over men whatsoever.

    Refuse to ordain anyone who chooses to live the divorced lifestyle (ie, non-celibate, non-remarrying).

    Make sure your sons turn in their shorts every morning, and check for stains.

    THEN and only then--once the beam is out of your own lustful eye--may you come and examine the speck in my own.

    Till that day, Matthew Shephard hangs on a cross, not of my devising, but yours.

  2. E. Sage, may I inquire which Bible you read, because mine seems pretty clear on these issues?

    Either certain conduct is sin or it is not. The moment we seek to justify sin by invoking the love of God, who is indeed most merciful, as a sanction for our own behavior, is the moment we begin to worship a graven image: our own failed human-ness.

    As for Bishop Robinson, given that he was married and has children by his wife, query whether "God's" plan, included breaking the vows of matrimony as well, in order to be a "whole" person?


  3. Dear Sage,

    I know I have a beam in my eye and chains around my ankles too. The things you mention "and anything else not open to life" (whatever that means) are among the innumerable things of life that we hold to or engage in for which we are called to give up and turn to repentance. There comes a time when one realizes that the speck you thought was in your eye is not only a beam, but the whole tree, roots, dirt, and all. The realization that we are hopelessly entwined in the world. No matter what you do, we cannot rationalize away sin. We are all sinners in His sight.

    Self-justification is not the answer. On our own, we are unable to cleanse ourselves of our sins.

    I commend to you Psalm 25 from today's morning readings.

  4. In an exegesis of Romans 1, Cambridge scholar Simon Gathercole notes that Paul is teaching that God gives humanity over to homosexuality as a result of the deliberate suppression of the truth (idolatry, cf. vv. 21-32). Now, he does not say that a homosexual person today is that way because he/she personally has suppressed truth; rather, it along with a broad catalog of sinful and ultimately destructive behaviors are part and parcel of humanity.

    The question is not how one became gay (or, in my case, an intemperate backbiter among many other horrible things), but rather, what is the way out?. The first step on the road to renewal is always repentance, the acknowledgment that I am on the wrong course and need to get out. God meets us more than halfway if we're serious about it (James 4:6-10).

    And so Jesus, as always, is correct. If we do not believe in Him -- and why do we believe if not to be delivered from our sins? -- we will all likewise perish.