Posts Tagged ‘Mlalal Yousafzai’

Brave New Voices

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Brave new voices.  Have you noticed some brave new voices?

We live in a time that appears more shrill, more shallow, more lean, more sensationalist.  Example … Ebola in the US … two cases … receives far more coverage than 1,000′s of deaths in Africa.  So we fear monger.  One recent pole noted that 55% of Americans now favor sealing, completely, all our borders.

And in that shrillness, brave new voices are speaking.  Malala Yousafzai.  Pope Francis.  And many others.

After having spoken of Malala and her growing legacy I want to speak for a moment of Pope Francis and the immense shifts he is stewarding in. These shifts will not just benefit Catholicism.  They will benefit all of Christendom.

One case in point was the declaration at a recent synod,  “that homosexual persons have gifts and talents to offer the Christian community and that pastoral outreach to them is an important educative challenge.”  While clearly not an advocate of church sanctioned same sex marriage in Catholic churches, Pope Francis with this statement opened the conversation around ENGAGEMENT.

Churches and denominations that refuse that engagement with any number of groups around any number of issues will find themselves out of step with broader trends in the Christian world.  Engagement takes work.  And engagment take courage.  The easy solution is to always cordon ourselves off, building clerical walls of rightness that we mistakenly see as walls of legitimacy.  They are not.  Take stands we must.  And one of those stands must be engagement.

In a famous Biblical passage God offers, “I stand at the door at knock.”  Sometimes He stands at the door at knocks to get in.  And sometimes He stands at the door and knocks to get out.  I see these brave new voices reflecting the latter, and reflecting what Emanuel Swedenborg called true faith.

“Faith is more than knowledge… First and foremost it is obedience to everything that faith teaches; and the primary thing faith teaches and requires our obedience to is love – love for the Lord and love for our neighbor.”  Secrets of Heaven, 36