While everyone else was freaking out about Serena Williams and gaping at Prince Charles’ beautiful birthday pictures, the Episcopal diocese of Albany took a valiant stand on behalf of the gospel. In light of TEC’s general convention resolution to test and ultimately publish blessings for same sex unions, Bishop Love has forbidden the clergy of his diocese from performing any such rites, and has re-articulated the biblical gospel as the standard for all his churches. In response, the bishop of Central New York made this remarkable declaration,
“All human love is a reflection of God’s love…”
She goes on, in the usual way, about marriage being open to anyone in the Episcopal church regardless of sexuality or gender expression, and then reminds us all that Episcopal clergy marched in Pride parades in Binghamton and Syracuse this summer, and that full inclusion for everyone regardless of political, social, or theological views continues to be the “loving, liberating, life-giving way of Jesus.”
Which is a curious, as ever, head exploding set of propositional statements, the kind that, if you think too carefully about them, will make you give up and wander away to the internet to find more pictures of anything, including that incredibly weird and creepy cat (I can’t link it because of all the profanity, but trust me, it is so weird and scary).
I don’t have a lot of time, so let us just name three human loves that do not reflect God’s love, shall we, because that’s the easiest thing in the whole world.
Two, humans love to love themselves rather than God.
Three, humans love to love themselves rather than each other.
So, um, all human love is not in anyway a reflection of God’s love. Human love is actually the anti-divine love, the opposite of divine love. It points inward. It is grasping, controlling, destructive, devouring, selfish, bitter.
God’s love, by contrast, points out, gives life, keeps the cosmos spinning round, is full of light, is a free gift, is not selfish, is not a resounding gong, does not contradict itself, is not arrogant or rude, etc.
The great thing about God’s love, of course, is that has the power to turn over and restore our broken and useless loves. God doesn’t leave us to ourselves. He restrains us. He gives us glimpses of his own good love. He gives us foretastes of his divine perfection. So some of our loves are sort of properly ordered. The way parents love their children is usually ok. The way husbands and wives get on with each other is often basically functional.
But if you’re looking for dysfunctional and broken human love, look no farther than your own black heart. Examine your motives, your desires, your mind, honestly, and you will discover that you need the merciful love of Jesus to break in to redeem and restore you to right-ordered affections and loves.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a cat video begging for my attention.