6. brentorrell wrote:
Thanks, Father Warren. I appreciation the clarification. At first, I thought that expression was in the document itself which would have been alarming. I am grateful to know it was not.
The section of the FAQ that addresses Rev. Baucum’s relationship with Shannon Johnston speaks of “coexistence, apologetics and evangelism.” One fair reading (certainly my reading) of this material is that it speaks more to the hoped for conversion of Bishop Johnston than it does to any accommodation to his errant beliefs and teachings. Conversion, by human measure, is certainly a far off goal but also a worthy one that resonates with faith in what God can do.
One of the problems we are dealing with here is that we are trying to understand words on pages rather than words incarnated in the lives of people. In the abstract, it might be possible to conceive of a Tory Baucum who is bent on compromise and reconciliation at any cost. The real person, however, is quite different. This is a priest who is armored against compromise by deep study and experience as well as innate stubbornness. He has invested enormous time and energy in bringing John Paul II’s Theology of The Body - a complete yet loving repudiation of the sexual revolution - to his parish. If anything, his stance against the teachings of Johnston and TEC is stronger, deeper and more complete, more affirming of God’s design for human sexuality, than what is typically preached in theologically conservative pulpits on Sunday morning. To my knowledge, he has never retreated an inch to anyone inside or outside his parish on these matters.
It is in this deeply rooted commitment to the well-being and flourishing of the human person that one finds the consistency between Rev. Baucum’s teaching and pastoral work at Truro and his outreach to Shannon Johnston. Beyond the office Johnston holds, and the appalling errors into which he has fallen, lies the person: glorious, filled with promise, made in the image of God, of infinite value. In short, Johnston, like you and I, is someone God might dare to die for. Seen through this lens, extending the hand of friendship can be understood, and I believe should be understood, as not just an extension of faith but an an imperative of faith.
There are many of who have doubts, and more than doubts, about the path Truro and Rev. Baucum are on. While I do not share these doubts, neither do I suggest that they are without reason or rooted in malice. Please be patient with us and pray that God’s purposes will be fulfilled in His time and in His way and that each of us will be faithful instruments of His will.
May 4, 11:35 pm | [comment link]