Reading this helped me better understand problem with the code words, “radical hospitality” as understood by the liberal elite of the Episcopal church. The following is from Bishop Beckwith's address:
“So – what I see, is a diocese that dares to embrace the stranger; is willing to listen to the story of the stranger; to be transformed by the stranger – and through all of that to be brought deeper into relationship with God.
This is counter cultural. It may seem radical. So be it. It is what we have been doing; what we are called to do. It is what God calls us to be. Take a deep breath. We’re going deeper – with the hope and justice of Jesus.”
(To the uninitiated, "justice" is another Episcobable code word for the liberal agenda)
The problem I see is with the Bishop's "transforming stranger" analogy. He had earlier referenced the Benedictine rule of welcoming visitors and showing hospitality. He misses the point that the stranger was not going to be allowed to come in to the monastic life and change the Rule of Benedict. The hospitality of the Benedictine might transform the stranger, not the other way around. The Bishop leaves the impression that we are to take in the "stranger" (this is a TEC code name for GLBT person) and be transformed into acceptance of their radical theology. One of my problems with people who argue that Jesus, when going against custom and dining with sinners, demonstrated the radical hospitality of Bishop Beckwith, is the lack of insight into the direction of flow of transformational power. To be a sinner and to sup with Jesus is an invitation to be transformed by Him, not an invitation for me to transform Him.
I have an idea that runs counter to the prevailing liberal culture of the church. This is the thought that these liberal bishops need another invitation to sit down with the Bible and be taught the basics once again. Who is the bishops' teacher anyway?
From today's readings, Luke 9:28-43, we are reminded of the shortcomings of earthly pastors:
"On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, ‘Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.’ Jesus answered, ‘You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’ While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God."
Just who was Jesus referring to when he said, "You faithless and perverse generation," the crowd, the man from the crowd, or could it be that he was chastising His disciples?