I am worried that too many of us seem to be treating the entry of Bishop Gene Robinson into medical care for alcoholism as an opportunity for making political advance for “our cause” – i.e., for “the orthodox” against “the revisionists.” It seems that our model for dealing with those we oppose in the ECUSA is too often the way that the activists and publicists for one political party use the failures, errors and misfortunes of members of the other party for political gain. We have seen plenty of this very recently concerning the accidental shooting in Texas of a friend by the Vice-President.
Surely, as Christians, it is not for us to gloat over the tragedy of what has happened to Gene Robinson. We all know how disastrous can be the effects of having the disease of alcoholism and in his case these are surely intensified by his commitment to the life of same-sex relations.
Rather, it is for us to recognize that each and all of us are weak creatures when it comes to resisting temptation and we are sinful creatures when it comes to gaining salvation. We are all greatly in need of the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the presence and power of His Spirit within us, to prevent us from falling and to help us live victoriously in faith, hope and charity. We are not in a position to judge anyone who has fallen! God in Christ is the Judge.
Should we not be praying that this painful episode in Gene’s life will be the occasion for the Spirit of the Lord Jesus to minister to him (and his partner), so that he is given the will to be and do what is necessary, in order to be raised from his descent into disease and depression into a life of total consecration to our Lord Jesus Christ in holiness and sanctification, as he is filled with the Spirit of the same Lord Jesus Christ.
We cannot believe that God has written him off completely and judged him finally, ahead of the Last Judgment at the end of the age. The blood of the Lord Jesus was shed for him and the pastoral love of the same exalted Jesus reaches out to him now. Let us pray that the Father’s will for this bruised and sick sheep will be done in Gene, and that he will become another of the long line of persons, who are being saved, healed and sanctified by the rich mercy and gracious love of God the Holy Trinity, so that he lives by faith in faithfulness to our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, relying day by day on the healing of the same Jesus, the Physician of soul and body.
Lord have mercy upon all of us, and especially Gene.
firstname.lastname@example.org February 18, 2006