Friday, June 26, 2020

Being right in the com-box

I felt rather sorry for the administrators of a certain Sarum-based Facebook group.

Consider a parishioner asking about the Sarum Rite in behalf of his female priest in ECUSA. All goes very well until some smarty-pants comments with "She?"

The meaning is very clear. Smarty-Pants does not believe that women can be ordained. As far as I am concerned, he is spot on: women cannot be ordained Catholic priests - the Church has spoken authoritatively on that. Yet there are those who believe otherwise for the best of intentions if not the best of reasons. The point is that Smarty-Pants has missed the point. So monoscopic is he that he wants to be right in every single com-box, even when it is not the issue.

The question was about the Sarum Rite and its execution, not on the finer points of Catholic Dogmata.

What irks me most about Smarty-Pants is that I know that I am little different and am just as likely to derail an com-box conversation in order to press an unnecessary point. 

I saw another post in a Gary Larson cartoon group in which a DIY-evangelist posted a picture of Samson along with a form of sermon. The reaction was as expected and it seemed many were driven away from Christ rather than invited to come to him.

This is the difference between invitation and coercion. From what we understand of the parable, we are invited to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. God does not force us to the feast with a battalion of angels armed with red-hot pokers. At all times, we are respected and the context of our social intercourse is due that respect. If we want to invite people, then we have to invite them at a time in which the invitation is appealing, in a way in which makes the invitation appealing. Treading on people's conversations shows a level of contempt for their integrity as human beings.

But then, perhaps social media does not help. it provides too much anonymity, too many hiding places and too little accountability for our words. I saw another FB post which said, "only num-skulls post in com-boxes" and I have some sympathy with that.

The main ingredient in being an ambassador for Christ is humility. The moment that we cultivate a certain smugness for being right, the moment we believe that we are the champions for orthodoxy, the moment we assume the prophet's mantle, the further down the ladder we descend into the grasping hands of the Evil One.

We are living in a world in which polarization threatens to tear us apart and destroy the love that we need to have for our neighbours. We can be more orthodox than St Athanasius but if we have no love and spew our orthodoxy into the face of everyone in every situation and in answer to every question, we are nothing, have nothing and will receive nothing from God because we will have shut Him out of the temple of our own idol of our smugness.

God save us all from com-boxes so that we might become human beings again!

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