Sunday, December 22, 2019

Non-binary. . .

Survey the social media and you find all sorts of memes suggesting that a generation which cannot decide if someone is male, female, or whatever, probably should not be giving advice about much of anything to or sitting in judgment over those who fought fascism, brought down communism, and have battled terrorists throughout the world.  But you already knew that an age which cannot describe gender in binary terms might have more than a few problems.  What you might not have known is the Archbp Justin Welby has decided to expand the realm of things also non-binary.  He has added truth to the list.  To view truth is to move away from a binary right or wrong attitude, a binary of them and us, a battlefield of ideas and loyalties. At least so he preached a month or so ago.

It occurs to me that the Gospel whose birth we soon will celebrate at Christmas is precisely framed in binary terms.  Man and God, sinner and Savior, death and life.  There is no truth that is not binary.  Oh, to be sure there are plenty of things that are non-binary but God gives them no credence.  The Lord on high who came low into the womb of the Virgin does not come for the sake of good feelings or high esteem or even grand reason.  He comes cloaked in mystery to meet sinners in their sins and the dead in their death.  His is the truth that is true whether we notice it or give our consent to it.  He is that truth.  Apart from Him there is no truth -- only illusions, falsehoods, and lies.

What will become of a non-binary Christianity?  There is not much of a future in it for the Lord has seen such folly parading of wisdom before and was not moved.  But where sinners see the Light dawning in the darkness of sin and its shadow of death, there hope is born to draw shepherds and angels together.  Where we will allow God to meet us where He has chosen, there is more than emotion and more than judgment.  There is redemption for a people willing to behold it with the eyes of faith and to trust in its promise more than anything else in life.

The Church confesses this truth before the world but she must also judge and condemn error that masquerades as truth.  If we confess where God is and what He has done, we must also confess where God is not and what we cannot do.  It is not about good will or good feelings but about faithfulness.  This truth may well go in and out of style with the times but this is the one truth that endures forever.  Apart from this truth and this Christ, there is nothing left worth our attention.  It is precisely a battlefield of ideas and loyalties that we find ourselves today.  The vagaries of the word smith and the carefully crafted language of diplomacy cannot suffice.  This we believe.  This we confess.  This we teach.  Or nothing at all.  Think about this when you go to Church on Christmas.  And if you get the same gobbledygook Welby offered up a while back, get up and leave and find yourself a Church where the Word reigns and it is the only truth spoken and worth knowing.

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