I read the transcript of the Pope’s interview on the plane yesterday and I have looked at the mainstream media coverage of his response to his call for the Catholics to apologize to the gay community. The transcript of the plane interview is here.
The pope talked about accompaniment. He often talks about accompaniment but no one asks him what is the end of accompaniment.
That would have been my follow up question!
I apologize for all of those bishops who didn’t bother to teach you the Faith, who didn’t give you a vision of what life would be if you embraced your crosses and rejected temptation, and who left you to your own devices to build your own “truth” which is contra to THE TRUTH and a twisting of reality. These bishops strove for fame and likeability over your salvation.
Embedded in her rant is this amazing testimony by a former gay activist. If the Catholics James Parker encountered in his spiritual journey are an example of what Pope Francis means by accompaniment, then I am all in.
The kind of non-judgmental welcoming that gently exposed him to solid, Biblical teaching, with patience, grace, love and friendship is similar to what I experienced when I came to Kanata Baptist and it was so healing. There is a way to do this that trusts in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about transformation, rather than rushing in with a rule book.
Broken people like I was or this man was—because if you listen to his testimony, we are all broken in some way—cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps by trying under our own power to live out the demands of the law. But God in His mercy and His love can heal our brokenness and give us the power to live as we ought. It is up to us as Christians to make Him so attractive that those who come visit us then hunger for a personal relationship with the Lord that launches them on their healing journey.
People shoving the law in our faces at this stage only drive us away. That does not mean the law is of no importance. But let the Holy Spirit determine the timing, not ourselves as busybody rule givers.
It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Freedom to have the power to be the person in Christ we ought to be, fulfilling the law without having to strain because the Holy Spirit gives us the power.
Sadly, accompaniment too often sounds like enabling and when there is no supernatural faith and deep healing in the lives of those who seek to accompany, that’s what happens. People get confirmed in their sinful natures and are deprived of the hope and joy and freedom Christ’s transforming love brings.