On Being Liked

James Alison says that when the Spirit falls on Cornelius' household already before Peter had finished speaking

… we see the dawning realisation that God likes the impure people, that God wants them to be on the inside of God's story just as [Peter is.] God is not confronting them to get them to repent, or even inviting them to be something else. God is possessing them with delight, and they are delighting in being possessed. They are starting to tell a story, which in theory is an impossible story, of how they have come to discover themselves liked by God.

This is

… a rupture in impossibility. It is theoretically impossible for there to be a Christian story told by a gay man or lesbian woman that is anything other than a somewhat penitential account told by someone who agrees to be a semi-impure outsider.

This is what is being foisted on LGBTI people by those of us who say they must remain celibate. The theological theories of the ACC define LGBTI people as forever semi-impure and half-outsider.

The irony and tragedy of this is that while I do this to people, I can never fully accept that God delights in  me! I am myself in a place where I must always work to be pure before God; there are rules to be followed, or God will not like me. Preaching grace, I can never fully accept it for myself. And, in the end, I place yourself under the burden of the semi-impure half-outsider! I live not as one loved by God,  but according to the rules of some other person; not free, but enslaved by someone's rules.

As someone who comfortably fits into the white male privilege definition of heteronormativity, I nonetheless feel the other rules the grand theory of the ACC seeks to place upon me. Unless I fit their theories, enslave myself to their theories, I am forever a semi-impure half-outsider.

No wonder we so often hate LGBTI Christians. At a deep level, despite ourselves, we intuit that they live a freedom many of us deny ourselves through our slavery to what turn out to be merely cultural rules. We resent them at a level we do not begin to understand because we do not fully know, yet, that God simply loves us and delights in us.

It is only the manifest sense of [the] impossible… space being occupied which will cause it to become clear that the theory is wrong [and that we can come to] a non resentful understanding of forgiveness.

(Quoting James Alison On Being Liked pp x-xi)

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