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February 14, 2006

A Slut for Faith

Jennifer on March 14, 2006 10:20 AM EST writes:
interesting

I wonder where I fall here? Got married last year in a UU chruch (becuase it was beautiful and because we wanted to get married by a woman), but I'm a very active UU pagan in my church. It just wasn't MY church that I married in :)

Jennifer
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Fr. Matt on March 10, 2006 07:29 PM EST writes:
well done

Excellent piece. I'm an Episcopal priest at the prettiest church in town, and oh yeah, we get lots of requests for "let's pretend." It's a judgment call for me everytime, and I have to make it quickly, while I'm on the phone with someone for the first time, whether I will even consider doing their wedding. Sometimes people who come to us with the intention of "pretending" end up actually finding what they had lost years ago and thought they'd never have again. People come to church for many reasons: to find a date, make connections, make friends. I'm not above putting their self-interest to work deepening their faith. Sometimes that works. Other times you're just beating your head against the wall and feeling like you've just massively wasted your time and you're being used in one of the most cynical games a person can play. I don't categorically reject anyone, but I give them about 5 seconds to convince me they might be worth investing in. Anyway, thanks for your great piece.
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Jim on February 16, 2006 10:29 AM EST writes:
a little closer to seeing the line to the "different" life. In essence our faith is not in our acts or pretenses, but in God's justice, steadfast love, and sense of right relationship alone.
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Jim on February 16, 2006 10:24 AM EST writes:
To exclude anyone from any act that approximates that goodness, for me, is much worse than inclusion. To include one in that practice no matter how seemingly false in a place which everyone who approaches admits to its "different-ness" is at least to give place for maybe, maybe not, a clearer channel for hearing the call of God. And who can assess his call in us, one flash of pure light in darkness can change a whole perspective, but maybe not in all. God has called us all to hypocrisy--to act according to what we believe God wants us to be while knowing that in us is no inherent capability to be so and do so. We must wait for God through what ever means, our acts, our thoughts, our prentenses, to write God's law on our hearts, something upon which the Torah, the Prophets, and the Christian Scriptures agree.
Our excluding someone of practice will less likely invite people to transformation, but our inclusion, with a realistic mind, will at least put one in a place (continued)
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Jim on February 16, 2006 10:09 AM EST writes:
Certainly faith is about practice. But practice only comes when there is a goal--in this case a line stricken off into the horizon that points to a life that is different from this and whose essence can barely be imagined, let alone fully lived today. So faith is practicing what we believe we will be, but in the final analysis, all we have practiced is likely to show up false along the way.
That a wedding may aspire to heaven on an earthy earth is an falsehood in itself--especially among people of faith who "visually" struggle against all that is organized against God.
But faith must start with seeing the line that points beyond us. As a Methodist pastor who delights in having anyone come to my church to wed, it is not in ritual nor human acts that I trust but in a God whose "voice breaks the cedars of Lebanon" and is relentless in performing works of goodness in the earth. (continued)
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