Out of the silence: an address by the Revd Dr Sharon Moughtin-Mumby

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When we seek to resolve disquieting passages in the Bible, are we saying that life with God can involve no ambiguities, no times of darkness or absence, no times of difficulty or challenge? Are we suggesting that we would prefer the story of God and God’s people to be a triumphalist narrative of prosperity, where the voiceless and the marginalised have no place, and the abandoned are an embarrassment?

What kind of Christian hermeneutic are we talking about if we say that God cannot be present among the silent, the battered, the rejected; that the voice of God simply cannot be speaking there? Surely, from our collective experience, it is in these places that we should be pricking up our ears and waiting expectantly? In short, I believe it is vital for us to explore a hermeneutic that refuses to skip over the difficult and challenging or awkward passages of the Bible, just as in the Inclusive Church we are hopefully committed to refusing to skip over those who can be made to feel like the difficult, challenging or awkward members of the people of God; a hermeneutic which resists avoiding passages because they are painful for us to hear, just as we are committed to hearing all people’s stories, no matter how uncomfortable they might make us feel.

In reading the disquieting passages of the Bible, the vital question is ‘where is the voice of God in this place?’ And it is important to begin with the recognition that it may not always be straightforward to perceive God’s voice within the pages of the Bible (just as it is not always straightforward to discern God’s voice within life). One of the great modern fallacies proliferating today is that we can assume that God speaks opaquely within the Bible. There is little within tradition to suggest this. As good Anglicans (!), we may be keen to affirm Article VI of the 39 articles: ‘Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation’. But as that important Anglican voice Richard Hooker stresses, affirming this belief does not mean that we must act like those who (quote) ‘grow unto a dangerous extremity as if Scripture did not contain all things in that kind necessary, but all things simply’. God’s voice will not always be simple to discern within the pages Bible. Indeed, if we are to look at the Bible itself, it suggests nowhere that the ‘voice of God’ will be easy to locate and interpret: rather it frequently suggests the opposite.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* TheologyTheology: Scripture

Posted November 28, 2007 at 7:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Hakkatan wrote:

Another case of “Has God really said…?” from Gen 3:1.

Or ways of putting a comma where God has put a period.

November 28, 9:28 am | [comment link]
2. Philip Snyder wrote:

The “voice of God” can indeed be heard among the lost, the downtrodden, the sick, ” silent, the battered, the rejected” and those in prison.  I’ve heard it myself there several times.  But the Word of God is found in Scripture and in the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.  Since we no longer have the incarnation among us, the only “fixed” Word of God is found in Holy Scripture.  It is against the Word of God that we must test what we hear as the “voice of God.”  If we are going to speak of Article VI, let’s not forget Article XX “...yet it is not lauwful for the Chruch to ordain anything that is congrary to God’s Word written….”

So, the Church needs to be “inclusive” of people and call all people into relationship with the Holy Trinity, but it should not be “inclusive” and accepting of those behaviors that are contrary to “God’s Word written.”

Phil Snyder

November 28, 9:53 am | [comment link]
3. yohanelejos wrote:

And doesn’t it seem that the further you get away from the Vincentian standard, that believed by every body at all times, the more you have to complicate your approach to Scripture?

November 28, 9:54 am | [comment link]
4. Milton wrote:

This statement alone shows either a total ignorance of the actual content of Scripture, OT, NT and Gospels, or a wilful setting up of a straw man:

Are we suggesting that we would prefer the story of God and God’s people to be a triumphalist narrative of prosperity, where the voiceless and the marginalised have no place, and the abandoned are an embarrassment?

Reading the Psalms alone gives the lie to that ridiculous characterization, also the charge to aid widows and orphans, “a bruised reed he would not break, a dimly burning wick he would not extinguish”.  Read all the words of Jesus in the Gospels and see how mercy and grace do not abolish justice and truth in Him alone.

November 28, 10:26 am | [comment link]
5. carl wrote:

God’s voice is to be heard not in the black print of the Bible’s pages set so clearly before us, but instead in the silences and margins of the text.

Except there is nothing to be found in the “silences and the margins of the text” but the vain imaginations of our own mind.  Recognizing that Jesus was silent before Pilate does not give us leave to insert ideas wholesale simply because they have popped into our heads while contemplating the whitespace at the margin.  The author recognizes this for at the end she says:

Such an approach is, of course, open to a certain amount of risk, just as every reading strategy carries with it its own dangers. ... In seeking to hear God in silence we must, as always, guard carefully against only hearing our own echo in the ‘voice of God’.

Yet she provides absolutely no guidance on how to do this.  But then what guidance could she give really?  Once she trips herself of the only standard which can constrain her meanderings, she is left devoid of any sufficient reference capable of guiding her course.  She possesses no criteria by which she may separate the voice of God from the echo of her own voice.  In the end the only voice she will hear is her own echo.  If you speak in an empty room, there is no one else to hear. 

Perhaps she should remember why Paul commended the Berean believers.


November 28, 10:44 am | [comment link]
6. carl wrote:

Once she trips herself of the only standard

should be

Once she strips herself of the only standard

November 28, 10:47 am | [comment link]
7. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) wrote:

Christ is always present in the poor and downtrodden. We not only hear the voice of God in their midst, we experience his Presence. If she knew her Scripture, she would know that. I pity her. If she can not hear God through Scripture, as she apparently can not, then her plight is sore, indeed.

Perhaps she should take a break from her job and re-approach the Bible through the eyes of innocence. Then she may find out what it is really about.

Such a fresh approach would almost certainly cure her of Orwellianisms like ‘deproblematizing’.

November 28, 11:25 am | [comment link]
8. Phil wrote:

The whole thing is one big straw man.

November 28, 11:52 am | [comment link]
9. awakened wrote:

I am probably way off base here, but if God does not speak to us to help us understand then why did my brother, a priest, hear his calling at the age of 5?  I dunno, maybe God wrote him a letter and sent it in the mail, that way, its in black and white.

November 28, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
10. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:

Ah…the Calvinist (or maybe Muslim—the Bible [Qur’an] dropped right out of heaven and is perfect in every way) hermeneutic is hard at work here. Even Richard Hooker didn’t hold that all of scripture was equally transparent in delivering the Word of God or always relevant in all passages at all times. What we need is a discernment method that is adequate in determining the voice of God in holy scripture.

Good article!

November 28, 12:35 pm | [comment link]
11. Philip Snyder wrote:

#9 & 10.  No one is stating that God only speaks through Holy Scripture, but that what we thing God says today must not disagree with what we know He said in Holy Scripture - if it does disagree with what God said in Holy Scritpure then we need to find out why and we can’t simply say “well, this verse doesn’t apply.” 

So, awakened, your brother heard a call from God to become a priest at age 5?  Great!  That doesn’t conflict at all with what Scritpure says generally or specifically.  If your brother now hears a call from God to leave his wife and children and to move in with another man, then that does conflict with Holy Scripture both specifically and in Scripture’s general sense and cannot be from God.

Virgil, You could feed a herd of cattle on the straw used to compose the strawman for this article.  We do need to continue to research and study Holy Scripture to better understand all aspects of Scripture, but we also need a study method that recognized what we are studying is different than the words of Plato or Shakespear or any other author/collection of authors.

Phil Snyder

November 28, 1:34 pm | [comment link]
12. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:

I see no strawman in the remarks. I do see a call to a broader interpretive approach recalling the Jewish midrashic tradition. where we don’t just accept what is written, but we question it in search for a deeper understanding (which may be paradoxical to what is written).  We must engage the text; not reducing it to our presumptions (whether feminist, fundamentalist, or even historicist).

The New Testament is rich in this type of interpretation of the Old Testament. Often it finds in the OT the antithesis to that which is written.

What is said in the article makes sense in regard to the narrow (and apologetic) approaches we take today.

November 28, 2:26 pm | [comment link]
13. Stuart Smith wrote:

#12 Re-read the article and see if you don’t note (as others have in comments above), a tendency to argue from silence that which is not only absent from the immediate text, but clearly contradicted by numerous others texts which treat the same subject.

See also the tendency to build on a single verse (Gomer nursing…weaning…her child) something clearly unrelated to the biblical point.  Gomer represents unfaithful Israel.  Hosea the prophet is living out the relationship with her which parallels God’s relationship with unfaithful Israel.  God’s turn to mercy and the renaming of the child is all about God’s tender mercy…and Gomer’s breast-feeding of her child is unrelated to that narrative. 

A lot of this essay seems like the preacher who prays: “O Lord, please give me a text to go with this wonderful illustration!”

November 28, 2:48 pm | [comment link]
14. carl wrote:

Virgil in Tacoma

Ah…the Calvinist hermeneutic is hard at work here.

Why, yes it is.  Thanks for noticing.  (And yes I did delete the gratuitous ad hominem about Muslims.)

What we need is a discernment method that is adequate in determining the voice of God in holy scripture.

Ok, so then enlighten us.  How do we do this?  No vague generalites about ‘engaging the text’ and ‘the search for deeper understanding.’  The author dared not venture out into this quagmire.  She just threw in her qualification as a throw-away line at the end of her article.  She did so because she hasn’t a clue how to separate her own voice from God’s voice.  She didn’t go too deep becuase she couldn’t.  And she knew it.  But she could see the obvious objection so she added a little arm-waving and hoped no one would stop to ask the obvious question.  So will you dare to tread forward when other shrink back?  If so, then enlighten us.  What should we do?  Read sheep entrails?  Consult an Astrologer?  Meditiate while navel gazing?  I am open to suggestions here.  I just never hear any. 

Well, to be honest I do consistently hear one suggestion.  We should use Reason to separate the voice of God from the voice of man.  And it is ever so pleasing to do so because we become the de facto standard.  God becomes conformed to us.  Yet is reason affected by sin?  Might it lead us to willfully wrong conclusions in our engagement and search for deeper understanding?  Might it perhaps lead us to cast out those parts of Scripture which offend us - like say for example the whole idea of sin?  Not corporate sin, but personal sin - sin which offends a Holy and Righteous God; Sin which for the sake for justice must be punished.  Might it lead us to conclude that God is love and nothing else becuase we would much prefer Him to be that way?

Oh, dear.  I am showing my Calvinist colors again.


November 28, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
15. awakened wrote:

(#11) Wow, no wonder my brother heard his calling at age 5, not only could he read but also understood scripture!~
And, as a wise man once told me, who I still greatly admire even though we do not agree, adultery is a grounds for divorce.  So my answer to your question is up to you to ponder- esp. if your a catholic. (unless one may have abandon their confirmed religion b/c of the struggle b/t human desires and their calling to serve God.) 

But what do I know, I came across this blog seeking lollipops and gumdrops. Not an understanding the Word of God, which btw, was denied to me by orthodox priest (who, ODDLY ENOUGH, has given me about as much respect for understanding as you).

November 28, 3:53 pm | [comment link]
16. Philip Snyder wrote:

Carl - you are not showing your Calvinst colors again, you are showing your catholic colors.

Virgil, the straw man is the choice between a wooden literal interpretation of Holy Scripture in the “Word of Faith” model God blesses those whom He loves with material blessings of wealth and health and the writers position.  The author doesn’t accept that intrepretative model and neither do I.  But that is the model that the author seems to be decrying and offers her position as the alternative.  That is strawman logic.  There is a whole world of faithful engagement with Holy Scriptures where God is holy and divine and loving that does not fall into the fallacy that God loves what He has called sin.  Yes, I know you don’t believe in the “love the sinner, hate the sin” tripe, but that is exactly what God does and what we are called to do - with ourselves especially.  In reading the article, I don’t see any difference between a preceived “voice of God” and the “Word of God.”  Without that difference and without the Word of God as a control on the “voice of God” we will end up worshipping ourselves and our urges and desires as the “voice of God” and forgetting the Word of God completely.

Phil Snyder

November 28, 3:56 pm | [comment link]
17. Philip Snyder wrote:

awakened (#15) - I don’t see any disrespect for your or your brother in my #11 and I intended none.  There may be lack of understanding, but that is to be expected in a medium such as this.  I merely indicated that hearing a call from God (at whatever age) to the priesthood (or diaconate or as a lay evangelist or any ministry) does not conflict with Holy Scripture - it actually agrees with it.  But to ascribe to God a call to leave a hypothetical marriage to move in with a hypothetical man in a hypothethical homoerotic relationship would be wrong.  God does not call us to do things that He has forbidden in His Word, written (Holy Scriptures).  I did not mean to indicate that either you or your brother had done any of those things. 

I suggest that you read these comments (not just mine, but all the comments here) with a little more charity and strive to give the same understanding that you seek.

Phil Snyder

November 28, 4:02 pm | [comment link]
18. awakened wrote:

on a happier note, my 9 month old daughter will come home today from her 8th extended to the ICU! Need I mention she was presumed a still-born, proclaimed a medical mystery, survived 6 major operations (and lots of minor ones) and defeated her most recent bout w/ pneumonia where an ICU became her home for 3 weeks & nurses and doctors once again, became her caregivers.
So, #11, if your daughter survived this and her mother abandoned her completely, then yes, I would expect that you understood “the little voices” in your head.

November 28, 4:08 pm | [comment link]
19. Philip Snyder wrote:

#18 - May God be praised that your daughter is coming home today and that she is alive.  I hope you receive a lot of joy in your struggles with her.  My own daughter has her share if issues - not to the degree that your daughter does, but they are a struggle to my family.
I rejoice that you have your daughter to hold again and can show her God’s love and care.  May you both be a blessing to each other.

My whole line of argument is that too many people do not correctly hear the “voice of God” and ascribe to God “the little voices” they hear.  There are several ways to discern the “voice of God” but the ultimate is does that “little voice” violate what Holy Scripture (the Word of God) says?  If we are not acquainted with the Word of God, then we are are much more likely to hear the “voice of Phil” (or John or Jack or Betty or Joan or whomever) as the “voice of God.”

I don’t know if you are speaking hypothetically or biographically about your wife abandoning your and your daughter.  If that happened to you, then I am truly sorry.  I know what it is like to be abandoned my your mother as mine abandoned me several times growing up and finally left when I was 11.  How would you feel if your wife first told you that she heard the “voice of God” calling her to leave you and our daughter so she can be more fully fulfilled as a person?  If that happened to me, I can assure you that I would be angry and call “bullsh!t” on my wife, knowing that God does not call people to abandon their responsibilities like that.

Phil Snyder

November 28, 4:38 pm | [comment link]
20. Philip Snyder wrote:

that should be “you and your daughter” not “you and our daughter”

November 28, 4:39 pm | [comment link]
21. mortalhippiechic wrote:

#19, you state:  How would you feel if your wife first told you that she heard the “voice of God” calling her to leave you and our daughter so she can be more fully fulfilled as a person”?...
I guess I would be thinking “first wife, what do you mean, but I thought He only allowed but one” (according to a friend of mine who UNDERSTANDS the Lords written word).

but I would ANSWER- who are we to question ones judgment of the “little voices” in someones head.

I would also be thinking hhmmm, why would a wife leave a husband?  He must have been spiritually dead, consumed with obtaining tangible desires (maybe corvettes, big houses, golf club memberships, maids,  ya know, whatever floats his boat).  or MAYBE she realized that she made a BIG mistake and did not marry the one God intended, so does God forgive or does she have to find a LOOPHOLE? (maybe switch religions and become a catholic)

#20- no worries.  I still UNDERSTOOD what YOU meant…  but someone else out their may have interrupted it differently so, thank you for clarifying.

November 28, 5:15 pm | [comment link]
22. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Often [the NT] finds in the OT the antithesis to that which is written.

Virgil in Tacoma, that is flat out wrong.

I challenge you to pile up all the direct and implied references to the OT in the NT and still presume to come to a description of often to your [mis-]characterization of these reinterpretations.

Further, I would be willing to challenge you point by point on any NT verse which you would consider to be the antithesis of its quoted OT text.

November 28, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
23. Philip Snyder wrote:

Mortalhippiechic (#21) - I said “wife first, not “first wife” but I suspect you recognized that all along smile.

On your secong point (“who are we to question ones (sic) judgment of the “little voices” in someones(sic) head”) we are the Church - the Body of Christ and it is part of our task to discern between what someone perceives as the “voice of God” from the Will of God.  there are all sorts of voices and all sorts of spirits and all sorts of will that compete with the will of God.  Discerning between them is a very hard task and is a task both for the body of Christ and for the individual.  In the Diocese of Dallas, I sit on the Commission on Ministry and (as part of that body) it is my task to help people who think they have a call to ordained ministry, discern if that call is from God or if it is for ordained ministry. 
Regarding your third point, you show exactly why marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly.  We, as humans, are prone to making mistakes and hearing the call of ourselves to be the voice of God.  Either we are great ventriloquests (or we think we are) or we are lousy hearers (or both).  A woman may leave a man because he is too self centered to be part of a marriage or a woman may leave a man because she is too self centered to be part of a marriage.  If we allow the “I no longer think God intended me to marry you” defense, then marriage is meaningless and determined by the whim of the least stable and mature party.

Phil Snyder

November 28, 6:17 pm | [comment link]
24. mortalhippiechic wrote:

I found this little ditty on another blog, carlos sarler: “of course children don’t need their fathers” 
Just wondering what your thoughts on the (re)marriage issue.

13.  awakened wrote:
Deaconjohn25:  I “lived” the situation described in your first paragraph of #5.  I have 3 girls and I know I would do anything in my power to protect and nurture them (because I have) because it is a “selfless” love.  The thing I do not understand or as you so nicely put it (have not gotten over) is why my father did not love me as I love my own children.  Was he just a selfish man or spiritually weak?  Probably a little of both… to quote him “outta sight outta mind”, (that took a long time to understand).

However, I fully agree that every child deserves a man worthy of taking care of them, by worthy I mean spiritually- a spiritual man will protect and honor his family.  As far as the topic of divorce and remarriage goes- I believe God loves His children and wants the best for them.  So, I ask one (& directly to the person who posted something about a mortal hippie dude) where would you be without the guidance and love of OUR HEAVENLY FATHER?  My guess- is that you’re probably against the remarriage of one who is divorced (even if children are involved & the dad is not).  So my question is this.  Since Adam and Eve were created by God to take care of His creation, to populate the earth, and to have a relationship with Him, are we all illegitimate children since there was no one else on earth to bless their union?  Or is it the reason why a marriage is not valid until two bodies become one flesh, spiritually.  Though probably misguided in my understanding, I believe that is the way God intended it to be- unfortunately, sin was bestowed upon mankind. So I guess it’s better to just live together, never marry “symbolically” in a church and engage in a spiritually recognized marriage where the children are legitimate. Either that or remain a catholic b/c annulments are allowed, (a voided marriage) - yet the children are legitimate… hhmmm.

November 28, 6:35 pm | [comment link]
25. Philip Snyder wrote:

Here is my position on remarriage (albeit this is a bit off topic).  God’s desire for us is to live in relationship with Him and with each other.  The closest relationship we should have is between husband and wife (btw, God blessed the union of Adam and Eve).  The giving and receiving of self in the ideal marriage most closely recapitulates the perichoresis of the Holy Trinity where each member gives himself to the other.  In the ideal marriage “we” comes to the lips much more than “I” and the two persons become one.  Divorce is the sundering of that bond.  It is a ripping and tearing apart of one flesh and no one can be whole after divorce - they will always be scarred (as will those around the divorce, such as the kids).  Divorce is never God’s will, but sometimes it is the least worst option available (such as when one party abandons the other or when there is physical/emotional abuse and the abuser shows no signs of stopping or seeking a true way out of his/her enslavement to abusing others).  Remarriage is an attempt to, once again, live in that perichoretic life to which God calls us.  But, since the person being remarried has shown a history of a failed marriage, the remarriage needs to be entered into very carefully after much counselling and soul searching and instruction and seeking forgiveness for how the past marriage failed.  Thus, I support it in a limited fashion.  I think the Eastern Orthodox churches have the best way on this.  A second marriage is allowed to almost everyone (after counselling by the priest and other things), but that marriage is not celebrated the same as the first marriage.  TECUSA is far too free with its divorce and remarriage guidelines (and that is a large part of why we are in the situation with SSUs that we are today).

I hope this helps you understand where I come from.

Phil Snyder

November 28, 6:54 pm | [comment link]
26. mortalhippiechic wrote:

#23- Yes, oh brilliant one, I noticed- little pink fairies just happened to land upon my shoulders & whispered in my ear the “invisible text written between the lines”, (or was the text on the side of the page? I dunno, I couldn’t see it)
I will respond to your other questions when I get back…  I am leaving now to go pick up my daughter from the hospital. Praise God.
peace & understanding.

November 28, 6:55 pm | [comment link]
27. mortalhippiechic wrote:

mh- for short for mortal hippie, nothing else.

November 28, 7:04 pm | [comment link]
28. robroy wrote:

Phil, did you hear Tutu justify his stance on homosexuality because of widespread divorce and remarriage in the Church. Basically, Tutu said “Jesus is wrong about divorce!” Now that takes brass cajones.

I think that Jesus’ words in Mark are signficant, “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.” Well, we are sinners. Divorce is a reflection of this. It is not the intended or desired outcome. But it can be the lesser of two evils.

November 28, 7:14 pm | [comment link]
29. Philip Snyder wrote:

Mortalhippy (mh #27) - are you the same person as awakened?  It would seem so or there are two people on this thread who are picking up daughters from the hosptial.  I am sensing a lot of anger and sarcasm in your posts and I am wondering what I have done to deserve such a response.  I believe I have been open and honest and respectful of you and your views.  Whence comes the anger.

In your post (awakened #18), you alluded to your wife leaving you and I asked how you would respond if, before leaving you, your wife attributed her actions to hearing the “voice of God” directing her to do this.  I did not mention a first wife or second wife or any other wife.  I put out another hypothetical to show the difference between the “voice of God” that some perceive and how we do not correctly perceive it because God would never tell us to abandon our spouses or children - especially when the children are in such need as you and your little girl who is coming home today from the Hospital.  I don’t think of myself as a wise person, but as someone who is grounded in Scripture and the Tradition of the Church.  I look to them to hear the “voice of God” and to discern if the direction I think may be from God. 

Phil Snyder

November 29, 12:37 am | [comment link]
30. Philip Snyder wrote:

Rob (#28) - I did not hear +Tutu’s defense, but I’ve heard that so many times I’m sick of it.  That’s like saying that I should get to steal money because others have stolen money and gotten away with it.  I don’t know about +Tutu or anyone else, but I was taught that two wrongs do not make a right.  Because the church erred with one sin, other sins should now be sanctioned?  That sounds like a five year old’s justice (It’s not fair!!!!!!!!!!).  The solution is to strengthen marriage, not to further weaken it.  As I have said before, homosexual “marriage” (or blessing SSUs) is not the downfall of marriage, it is the result of the downfall of marriage.

As I said in #25, divorce may be the least worst option available, but it is never a good option and it is not God’s design for us.  It is yet another sign of our own sinfulness and enslavement to sin.

Phil Snyder

November 29, 12:41 am | [comment link]
31. mortalhippiechic wrote:

(#23)  Interesting.  Just the other day an orthodox priest explained to me that what I had been experiencing was not “weird” but spiritual discernment.  Something I have denied for a very long time b/c as you state,(and I completely agree with this) “there are all sorts of voices and all sorts of spirits and all sorts of will that compete with the will of God.”  Discernment is a dangerous gift to have if not properly understood or used. It has literally put the “Fear of God” in me. So I may be a little to light-hearted about “the little voices” and I apologize.  However, I am fully aware that they exist.

You interrupted what I stated as “the one God intended” to mean it as “I no longer think God intended me to marry you.” I said my vows and meant them, unfortunately, he did not.  I do not believe He would want me to be in a marriage where we, as one, were not fulfilling our purpose for Him.  But thats just my opinion.

November 29, 1:01 am | [comment link]
32. Larry Morse wrote:

The central problem with this extended - and exhausting - exercise is the emphasis she places on the silences, the blank spaces outside the page. This is now, as it always has been, the rationale for filliing in the blanks with one’s one wishes and desires. Those blank spaces become a Rorshach Test, which is precisely what any good feminist wants them to be. After all, the great trouble with the written word is that it means something; the blank space is a quodlibet.

  In short, this is a worthless essay dressed up in academic pretentions, the sort of thing one expected at a meeting of the Modern Language Association, all to justify an agenda.  And another reason why I do not want to fall into the hands of a female priest.

November 29, 1:10 am | [comment link]
33. mortalhippiechic wrote:

#29- I was wondering when you would pick up on that? (glad ya did)
When engaged in conversation, sarcasm is used when one feels the other is speaking to them (or the group) as if they were blubbering idiot(s).  I am seeking to understand and embrace the viewpoints of others which will ultimately make me a better Christian. 
I have reached out to everyone I trust and have been denied, Hence, the latter part of my comment below… (#15)
“But what do I know, I came across this blog seeking lollipops and gumdrops. Not an understanding the Word of God, which btw, was denied to me by orthodox priest (who, ODDLY ENOUGH, has given me about as much respect for understanding as you”).

November 29, 1:29 am | [comment link]
34. mortalhippiechic wrote:

#32- I should be offended, but I agree.

November 29, 1:33 am | [comment link]
35. Philip Snyder wrote:

AMCH (Awakened Mortal Hhippie Chic) #33
First, I think I found one source of the problem.  Your first handle (awakened) does not connote a gender.  So, when you said “if your wife abandoned you” I assumed that Awakened was male speaking of a wife abandoning him.  When you changed to mhc, I didn’t pick up on it because I had this image of awakened as a male and mhc denoted a female (at least to my reading).  Additionally, my history of my mother abandoning me resonated with your #18, so I project another masculine image of you.  You, however, knowing yourself to be female and knowing me to be male, turned your problem of the husband leaving you to a problem I could identify with of my wife leaving me and probably didn’t suspect that I thought you male.  That’s all bits under the keyboard.

Second, I am sorry that everyone you trusted has denied you and I am sorry for your hurt and ask forgivness for any part that I had in that. 

Third, the ideal solution when two people are in a marriage where they are not fulfilling God’s purpose is to begin to fulfill God’s purpose.  But that often does not occur.  I can sense the pain and anger you felt by being abandoned by your husband.  I agree that God wants us happy and joyful. It’s just that our perscriptions of what will make us happy and joyful often differ greatly from God’s.  As the old joke goes, if you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans.

Anyway, I hope and pray that your daughter continues on the path to health and wholeness and I pray that God will give you the strength and resources to meet the trials and problems that will come to you as a single mother and I pray that you will find someone you can trust and that will care for you as God does.

Phil Snyder

November 29, 2:05 am | [comment link]
36. mortalhippiechic wrote:

Although many women in my “situation” would feel abandoned, I feel relieved.  I would not be able to fulfill whatever I was intended to do with the man I married.  So it was my conscience decision to leave him after many failed attempts at reconciling.  The path he chose was not what he vowed to me it would be. 
So I am once again seeking to understand- all viewpoints- all opinions- all interpretations- of how people understand His word.  I know what I believe but just don’t understand why. It seems people get so wrapped up in what they believe that they want to tell you how to believe instead of keeping an open mind, listening and objectively critiquing another persons perspective.
With everything I have going on in my life (some would say out of control) I am very much at peace and consider myself blessed.

November 29, 3:25 am | [comment link]
37. John Boyland wrote:

Here’s a comment that I posted on the original website:

An excellent essay/sermon. But, I would caution against filling in the silence and/or inventing voices to counteract what the text is saying (which is what is couseled several times in this essay, despite an explicit claim to the contrary). I’m also surprised that the fact that the father in a patriarchal culture is in charge of naming children is unknown to the writer/speaker.

I’m very happy to see us recommended to read and learn from everything. I find it a scandal that in my province (TEC), all of Romans is appointed to be read in the service at one time or another EXCEPT for two verses. (No points for guessing which ones!) Same for 1 Corinthians. The irony that the proponents of inclusion in TEC started their march to power by excluding unwelcome Bible verses is a sorry spectacle.

The “eat it” hermenutic recommended for Ezekiel is very well described, and echoes the Collect which charges us to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the Holy Scriptures. Eating something makes us vulnerable to its power. In doing so, “digesting Scripture” opens us up to questioning our presuppositions, be they “inclusive” or “orthodox”. I think that’s why so many want to cut things out of our Scriptural diet.

November 29, 12:02 pm | [comment link]
38. mortalhippiechic wrote:

#37- “I’m also surprised that the fact that the father in a patriarchal culture is in charge of naming children is unknown to the writer/speaker”
Can you clarify this statement, not sure how it fits in with the previous sentence! 
mh- (short for mortal hippie- nothing else).

November 29, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
39. John Boyland wrote:

Re #38, the essay writer seemed surprised that Hosea was naming his children, not Gomer.  I was making a mild criticism of the essay.

November 30, 12:24 am | [comment link]
40. mortalhippiechic wrote:

(#37) Just wondering your opinion (b/c I am seeking to understand all perspectives) when does one succumb to the overwhelming desire to spiritually consume (“to drink” or “eat”) the Word of God?  When they seek or when they are found?

November 30, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
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