Friday, November 22, 2002

Here's my question, now

This question is directed at me, and at you, and at anyone who argues with Church teachings in any area:

What wouldn't you give up for Christ?

That is, if you knew for sure that Christ wanted you to give up something, is there anything about yourself that you would say "Sorry, Lord. No can do!"? The story of the rich young man who comes to Jesus and asks what he must do is not principally about money. Christ looked into the young man's heart and saw the attachment--the undue attachement--the man had to his wealth and his belongings and said "This you must let go of."

So, what wouldn't you give up?

I ask it this way, because so many arguments about whether "Rome" is right about something (including those I engage in) really seem to me to be about what I do not want to give up, rather than what Christ is asking. If you can answer "Nothing" then all conversations can get much more civil and much less heated, because they then become an argument about facts--the facts in question being, "Do we indeed know that Christ does indeed want us to do or not do the particular thing in question"--rather than about the putative motives of "Rome."

So, next time you get worked up about your sexuality, or your wealth, or birth control, or women clergy, or married clergy, or anything else, put your conscience in the appropriate frame of mind, by asking "Would I give this up if I were sure I had to?"

Because, for me, the really awful thing is, I don't always know the answer to that question, and so I argue and I argue hoping that the facts will make the question irrelevant.


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