I then went to Reyes-Chows web site where he had posted an explanation of why he was speaking at the rally, I pleaded with him, as did others, to apologize to those he had insulted. And then when he put a poll up asking if he had gone too far in his speech I pleaded again several times. (I didn't vote-love and concern are not something to vote on.)
This was Bruce’s answer to me.
" … in reply to Viola Larson...
Viola - I am afraid we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. We sit so far apart on some understandings of faith that in all honesty, i do not have the energy to engage with you about these things. I have watched you and others try to hammer out some really tough issues on your blog and you are far more dogged that I when it comes to this engagement. For this I admire you greatly. I am sure there will be a blog post coming - where you will no doubt get a far different set of polling numbers- but I will say this, even though we differ greatly on content, delivery and assessments . . . I trust that even in these brief and rather impersonal interactions, somehow you are part of God's unfolding plans for my life. I trust God and will believe no other about people who are faithfully engaging the world through a lens of our triune God. That's the best I can do for you in particular right now. - Peace, Bruce"
This has been unfolding in my mind and heart over the last two days. C. S. Lewis speaks of the Inner Ring and how the desire to be a member of an Inner Ring, be it large or small, is bad. He writes:
Of all the passions the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.”
One can understand people standing up for their convictions and speaking out. But when we come to that place where we are so intent on others hearing us and including us into their midst, into their activity, applauding us, that we spew ugly language at those who uphold the Bible something has gone amiss in our activism.
The Inner Ring is growing. The leadership among those who want ordination and marriage for gays and lesbians is beginning to overflow. Leaders of all kinds are pressing for this, including the clergy. But if the ugly language aimed at Bible believing Christians grows, and it is growing, some will need to make a choice. This has happened over and over in Christianity. It is not new. The choice is between hurting brothers and sisters with ugliness and insult or maintaining unity with the universal church that has existed in the heart of our Lord before the beginning of time.
Some will grow in beauty as they allow God to shape them in the crucible of our times. Some will struggle to maintain the kind of love God calls us all into.May God’s mercy be upon all of us.
“I also know that many of my people have influenced this particular journey in non-positive ways. I stand before you also confessing for the Christian church for too many times in our words and actions have created pain and violence. I stand before you confessing for those who have proclaimed a message of Biblical literalism and cultural narrow-mindedness that has oppressed rather than liberated. I stand before you at this time to confess for far too many of us well meaning straight allies who have not spoken out for justice that we need to step out now more than ever [applause]. This is a time of great celebration. This is a time when Christian around the world who will continue to push for justice must come out and stand, stand long and advocate the message of God to those Biblical literalists who have poisoned our understanding of marriage, sexuality and love. We will no long stand and allow the message of hope, compassion, justice and love to be drowned out by the screams of hatred, oppression and injustice [applause]. We will no long stand and see our friends, our family, our congregations members and strangers be denied the same civil rights that so many of us have been granted for a life time. There is a time that we must each embrace our call to speak out, act out of our place of privilege, risk our power, our authority, our comfort and assure that justice, compassion and love prevail. This is such a time. This is now. Thank you and God bless.”