Bishop Dan of Nevada has been engaged in an interesting conversation on how Christians are perceived.  Here’s the lead in to his post:

THE MR ROGERS POST: WHOSE FAULT IS OUR BAD REP?

Last week, I shared this Rollie Williams link in praise of Fred Rogers on my FB page: http://www.upworthy.com/the-nicest-man-in-history-had-a-shocking-secret-you-never-knew-about?c=ufb1 The basic point was that Fred Rogers was a great guy and his shocking secret was that he was a Christian. The author said Mr. Rogers’ message was the opposite of the  “lack of love and compassion” that characterizes most of Christianity. It praised Rogers for his caring, generous spirit (my words) and for keeping his faith secret (actually, he was not at all secret about his faith. See.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eliot-daley/fred-rogers_b_862976.html While proselytizing was not his ministry – and that could never have happened on publicly funded TV even if he had wanted to – Mr. Rogers’s religion was never a secret. He even concluded his acceptance speech for his Emmy, “May God be with you.”) I take the thrust of Rollie Williams’ post to mean that secularists should not despise all Christians because, although most of us are harsh, judgmental jerks, some Christians are ok – so long as they keep their relationship with Christ a secret.
Feeling my faith damned by faint praise, I shared the Williams link saying I was left perplexed. While Rollie Williams’ view of Christians is wrong on the facts, I still want to know how he came to think this of us.
If your interest is engaged, you can find his whole post here.
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That’s the title of a piece on Bishop Dan’s blog about new church directions and the emergent church.  I have to say that what he writes about doesn’t seem to reflect a lot of what I’ve seen and heard of the emergent church.  But here’s the start of what he said:

I was having dinner with a group of Episcopal Church leaders discussing “the emergent church” and a bold new proposal to ordain priests for the emergent church with minimal preparation, trusting they would pick up priesthood OJT. I said nothing, but it gave me pause to hear this idea, knowing we tried it in Nevada and other Total Ministry dioceses, sometimes with unfortunate results. (more…)

This comes whole from Bishop Dan’s Blog:

Last Sunday we said goodbye to Fr. Ed Lovelady who is retiring from All Saints, Las Vegas. It was a fantastic service. It was tri-lingual and multicultural. A packed house. Great worship!!!

Then came the party. One of my best friends, a Georgian of the gay persuasion, was visiting. At one point, I saw him line dancing, holding hands with Rose (Fr. Jun’s mother in law) a Filippina from the Nothern Mountains. Other dancers included Fr. Arsi and Benadette, Fillipionos of the South — different language, ethnicity, and piety. More of the dancers were Latino. And the music was: Billy Ray Cyrus — Achy Breaky Heart.

As I watched this wonder, even before I watched Fr. Ed whaling a pinata and scads of children scambling after the candy he broke loose, I thought to myself, “Sometimes the Church works. Sometimes the Church really is a Kigngdom event right here and now.”

Bishop Dan wrote the following to his flock in his blog (about what was done at General Convention with regard to inclusion of the GLTBI community):

Some people want to interpret the resolutions one way; some, another. There is some ambiguity that is open to interpretation. We are after all Anglicans and that’s how Anglicans talk. But there are reasonable limits on fair interpretation. I want to tell you how I see these resolutions. You may want them to be a great step forward. I do not want you to be disappointed if they do not live up to raised expectations. You may think they are the worst thing we’ve done ever. I do not want you to be more distressed than necessary. These are definitely resolutions intended to affirm and include gay and lesbian persons, but I do not believe they are as great a change as they appear in the newspapers, let alone the blogs. So let me tell you about these two resolutions.

He had much more to say about the nuances of what was done and the breadth of what was done at convention.  You can see the whole thing here.

Bishop Dan did a quick writeup on the most recent draft.  (This is a proposed document for defining the relationship between all member churchs of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church.)  I’d link you, but it’s all here:

I still haven’t digested the document. But it all seems to turn on section 4, the enforcement clause. And apparently the ACC has not approved that except as a discussion document. So the thing really isn’t even on the table yet for voting by anyone. It is more like a motion made so the subject can be discussed. We should therefore discuss — but as in the case of germ fears, don’t panic.

Bishop Dan writes on his blog:

A recent letter to our diocesan newsletter chided church leaders for failing to teach that homosexuality is a “sin.” I don’t want to tackle the question of whether homosexuality is a sin or not on a blog. It takes more words and more serious reflection than this medium affords. But it does raise an important question I want to ponder a little. What is a “sin”?

The letter to the editor sparks this question for me because Scripture does not define homosexual acts as sins. Only one specific homosexual act is prohibited and it is described as a ritual purity violation, which is quite a different matter. Ritual purity violations are in the category of planting two kinds of crop in one field or wearing a poly-blend suit, not the category of murder, theft, adultery, and other such moral issues having to do with justice and integrity. But if something is not defined as sin in Scripture, that doesn’t resolve the question. Scripture doesn’t say anything about “enhanced interrogation techniques” (torture), toxic waste dumping, or human trafficking – but I feel certain in my heart that those things are sins. So how do we know if something is a sin?

That’s the start of what I find to be a very interesting article.  You can find the whole thing here.

Bishop Dan from Nevada posted a sermon on a piece of what salvation is all about for him.  It’s probably only fair after his complaints in What Matters to Us.  He says:

There is always a part of us that just wants to be taken care of.
And God does take care of us.
But God also challenges us to grow up.
That is often hard. It can be painful.

It is like physical rehabilitation after surgery.
We need the nurse to take care of us for awhile,
but there comes a point when, in order to get strong,
we have to get of bed and work.
It takes courage. It takes determination.

Salvation is like that.
It starts with God accepting us as we are.
But, as the saying goes,
“God love us the way we are,
but because he loves us,
he doesn’t leave us this way.”

Salvation is more than being forgiven.
Salvation is being transformed.
Salvation is growing in grace,
developing the strength of character
we see in Jesus.

If you want to see more, you can find it on his site here.