|Monday, 10 February 2003|
|I've been dealing with issues of holiness and the high-calling of priesthood, lately. I'm having a hard time dealing with some of my fellow seminarians and attitudes and actions. Not that I'm arguing with them or that there are outward problems in our relationships, but I just can't get past the fact that if we are to be priests - a high calling not to take lightly as just another step in life, as one would a career - and if we are called to be examples to those in the world, to be non-hypocritical, and to be as Christ is/was (be holy even as I am holy), how can we simply take on ourselves the same attitudes, actions, lusts as the world? We are to be different, first as Christians, and then even more so as Christ's representatives. We shouldn't presume to be "teachers," for it is a high position with great responsibility - the informing and molding of human life as God's instruments for their reconciliation - that results in our judgment in a more strict manner. As the author of I Clement writes, "it is written somewhere..." I think it was he who said that?? Anyway, the idea of we teachers being judged more severely by God because of the high-calling of that type of position (incumbent in the position of priest/pastor) is in scripture, I just can't recall the address right now.
We, then, do we act like hedonists at times? Why do we do the very same things as those in the world? Much drink and much food. Sex. Swearing and using God's name in vain. Not only in actions, but in thought, also. What comes out of the mouth reveals what is in the heart.
I understand fully that there are plenty in the Church, if not the majority, who look at my life and accuse me of being reprobate and beyond the call of God for priesthood because I am in a same-sex relationship. I understand we all come before God ourselves and are judged by God alone. I just wonder when those who have already formed opinions of the Church and clergy being not worth their time or consideration or respect, how a bunch of us getting drunk helps with issues of integrity - or with issues of in all our ability representing God? Are we willing to lay down our lives - everything - for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the reconciliation of all people to God? Are we able to say with Paul, I become all things in order to win others to Christ, or willing to give up all things in order to win others for Christ? Am I willing to give up my relationship if I honestly believed, through scripture, that God forbid me to ever be in a relationship of integrity? Are others willing to give up drinking? Smoking? Pride? Gluttony? Arrogance? Anything?
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