Monday, July 14, 2008

Be Not Afraid


Anonymous said...

A wonderful uplifting vision of the Church as it should be, welcoming all to the table. I regret that the media mainly picked up on that small snippet of the lone protestor and did not share the wonderful sermon the bishop went on to give afterwards.

Rick Millsap+
Trinity Parish
Reno, NV

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You know, I've been listening to Gene teach and preach for 20 years and, while he's never been better, he still preaches the same message about the same gospel.

He is to the position born. Never less of a doubt in my mind.

caroline said...

Dear +Gene
You are so brave, and we are here with you, every tear, every prayer, every grace. I know you know how much the people at home love and admire and honor you, but we will keep saying it and saying it.
With love, Caroline Fairless and Jim Sims

Dennis Folsom said...

Three times this week, in three very different contexts, I heard the sentiment that God chooses us.The bishop expanded the idea that we are on the welcoming committee. We must be open to all persons--to us gays, to transgendered, to women, to all "the others." This sermon emphasized "be not afraid." I can now live that out.

susan s. said...

Thank you, Bishop Gene. Thank you.

Being from the South and having been at those revivals as a young child, I remember the 'Jesus Fans.' Having heard those preachers, I remember the calls to 'Come to Jesus'. The call to Be not Afraid was never there, as I believe they were literally trying to scare the Hell out of us!

I believe that you have gotten the best part of those revivals and brought it to us in your preaching. Your kinder, gentler voice calls us to 'Come to Jesus, and Be not Afraid.'

Tom E said...


Thank you for your message of hope and thank you for teaching us like Jesus did "To Not Be Afraid" in this world of fear we seem to live in.

Peace in our world
Tom E

FranIAm said...

That was really inspiring and very hopeful. What a message.

Praise God for this and God Bless +Gene... God bless everyone.

Bp. Kera Hamilton, CoA said...


For countless people who have lived in the shadows for so long, you are functioning “in persona Christi." Thank you for your devotion, your courage, and your example. God's blessings on you a hundredfold!


Kevin Parkes said...

An inspiring individual to listen to. Perhaps his peers should listen to his wise words.

Donna McNiel said...

Could the Holy Spirit have devised a better object lesson of the damage which fear does and of the grace and power available when someone like +Gene refuses to cling to fear? It is so clear that his agenda is Jesus that he hardly needs to say it, though I'm grateful that he did.

Thanks be to God for +Gene and his ministry, and for the people of St. Mary's, Putney. May we all have ears to hear.

Anonymous said...

Awesome stuff.

I mean, just really awesome.

Nicola said...

I know grace when I see it, and when I don't.

Allan At Farcountry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Question of Identity said...


First I would like to thank you for the graceful way that you dealt with the interruption of your talk. I hope you have indeed prayed for that man, not so much that he changes his understanding of Scripture, but that he is able to show love and understanding to and of homosexuals.

I must now state that I can not go along with the idea that the church is in fear because it opposes practicing homosexual Bishops. Nor can I go along with the idea that conservative evangelicals necessarily by definition treat women and gay people as second class citizens.

I would however feel more comfortable with those who attended Gafcon if they each were able to first testify to their love of homosexuals.

In the same way that I feel some discomfort over the Gafcon, I too am very uncomfortable over your presence at Lambeth, which whether you acknowledge it or not is very divisive, as was the timing of the recent 'gay wedding' of two priests in London.

I have a couple of very loving relationships with homosexuals and yet am certain in my mind that God opposes the sexual act between two men or two women. Despite my conviction on this matter, they have loved me and I loved them.

Missing from your message is that those who Jesus sat with on the outside changed in that they (almost sorry to use this word in the event of the interuption of your talk)repented of their sin. The forgiveness that comes from repentance is the action of love that is shown by Jesus on the cross!

The woman caught in adultery is shown much grace but asked to sin no more.

Anonymous said...

I left my faith to completely dry years ago. Now, thanks to this Man that talks us about God I am on my way back to the house of My Father. I'm just a normal [gay] guy who felt "kicked off" the Church at some point and now is discovering again how much Jesus loves me. Thank you for bringing a fresh message of hope to the Church. Thank you for making me and many others feel the love of Jesus.


Anonymous said...

John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." - Jesus

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God."

Anonymous said...

The written comments are enlightening, but the video lacks a written translation. I assume there is sound, but I'm too hard of hearing to hear anything. Even if I could make it loud enough I'd still have to see the Bishop's face to read his lips and understand anything.

James said...

Bishop Robinson;
Seldom in my life have I been so proud to be an Episcopalian. We need more bishops like you. Thank you for the best sermon I've heard since Dr. King Jr.

And I remember those fans too; can we say "Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling...." LOL

Peggy Adams said...

Bishop Gene Robinson's sermon at St. Mary's was excellent. As always, he was genuine, real, and loving. I do think that Bishop Robinson represents "What would Jesus do and say if He were alive today as a human on earth."
I started my day with +Gene's sermon and his reflection on that sermon. My whole day was better as a result of that sermon.
+Gene, you delivered it well. Your concern and sadness over the heckler and his hate only enhanced your sermon.
Those of us on the American side of the pond are praying for you and your witness each day. We hope you feel our love. I know you feel God's love.

Peggy Adams
All Saints, Pasadena

Anonymous said...

Hi Gene,

After listening to your sermon, I have the following points to make:

*I commend you for your graciousness towards the protester, but would question whether he was acting purely in fear. I think conviction is more appropriate. This man in integrity feels that you are not teaching what is in accord with sound doctrine.

*Most of the NT epistles are warnings against false teaching. Even more contain warnings against false teaching. Paul, John, Peter, et. al., knew that false teaching will destroy the faith of some.

Commandments such as "fear God" should have been consulted in your sermon. There is a right fear of God's wrath that is present in scripture.

Likewise, this young man would have had in mind verses directed specifically to overseers - 'guard the good deposit', 'watch your life and doctrine carefully'. These verses speak about the important role of the Christian leader to both demonstrate and live out good doctrine. If someone does not live them out properly they are no longer worthy of Christian leadership.

As members of a church whose founding articles of faith include the 39 articles of which article XX is indeed relevant to our discussion. Of critical importance is how much can you change before the church ceases to be the church? Do we reject our history and constitution?

*I abhore violence or rudeness or any kind of mistreatment towards homosexuals. I would embrace any homosexual who would want to become my friend or become a Christian. I have no fear whatsoever of them or their effect on me. The Scriptures plainly call them to repent - just as this young man urged you to repent. I don't fear heterosexual couples living in a de facto relationship - but I would call them to repent also. I don't fear people who use pornography - I would encourage them to repent. I don't fear people who gossip - they need to repent though.

This man had a point to make, and it was not necessarily based in fear. I admit, I don't know the guy, he COULD have been acting in fear. Which isn't good. However, I would like to stand up for conscious objectors who don't fear or hate you, but are driven by Scripture to disagree for the sake of the church.

Yours sincerely,

John Bartik

David Morrison said...

What saddens me is people talking about grace and acceptance and so on while ignoring openly-acknowledged sin in their midst. When that sin involves church leaders who won't even recognise sin as sin it becomes something to weep over. A supposedly good sermon is really beside the point.

Anonymous said...


I undestand that you are appearing as a guest speaker at the The Modern Churchpeople's Union. This ulta-liberal group preaches that "nobody has all the answers and is open to the truth wherever it is found". But, based upon their own superior scholarly learning they reject the following: all miracles claimed in scripture, the virgin birth of Jesus, the bodily ressurection of Jesus, the divinity of Jesus (therefore the trinity), the substitution atonement, and all the "outmoded" supernatural ideas in scripture. They beleive that there are many paths to God and the pluralistic understanding of divine reality, they believe that only modern science and philosophy can be used to support any belief in God, and they firmly believe that their approach is right, human, true, and contains reasoned diversity. Their agenda is to try to get the Anglican community to accept these MCU truths and absorb them into their theology.

By appearing at this "strange" event you have have put into question your own (and your followers) Christian beliefs. Do you truly believe these things? If not, why are you speaking at this event? When you return to NH will you be pushing these ideas on your faithful there?

Mr. Clark said...

sort of overwhelmed here ... when you came to Pasadena it finally struck me that now "even I" was a full member of the church ... you know. Just be you ...

Tom in Durham said...

Bishop Gene ... The words of your sermon are most appropriate in light of this weekend's scripture where we are taught to let the wheat and the weeds grow side by side in the kingdom parable. God alone in the end will do the sorting out. For now we are asked for patience, tolerance and forgiveness. With these three, what do we have to fear.
~ Aboonatom

Anonymous said...


Gene, your sermon has shown myself and my loving partner the way to be free from the guilt of our special relationship that we now are in and that we need not be “fearful” of any vengeful God (or the church) for our actions.

We, my sister and I, have been in a loving, committed, relationship for the past 9 ½ years and are constantly living in fear of being discovered and ostracized by our peers and the church. Now we can openly proclaim, as you so eloquently proclaimed in your sermon that, “The God of ‘all that is’ doesn’t need to heal us of our homosexuality (or‘so-called’ special sexual relationships,) as that is not our sin”, You have made us aware that He accepts us as we are, and our special sexual orientation is a gift from Him for us to fully enjoy on this earth. You have now clearly shown us the way to our freedom and we are now ready to “jump for joy” and enter the temple (the body of Christ) with you and our GLBT brothers and sisters.

I hope that someday soon that you will be able openly include us, and those like us, and act as our “beacon of light” as you have faithfully been for our brothers and sisters of the GLBT. We consider ourselves part of your “… closeted, in-your-face, out, and not-so out…” lost and maligned souls of that old prejudiced and outdated book of Leviticus and want desperately to be part of your journey. We have followed your wondrous spiritual journey and have become a close “closeted” admirers ever since the wonderful speech that you gave at the Washington National Cathedral a few years back. (The quote above is a direct quote from that speech.)

You have truly been an inspiration for us and I hope that we, and others like us, will be able to meet you face to face in the near future.

Jane W. Van Zandt+ said...

I am so blessed and proud that +Gene is my bishop. He is a person of great courage and faith. I cannot imagine that anyone can meet him, hear him speak or preach, or just be in his presence, and not love him. May the protesters and dissenters continue to be changed, "one heart at a time".

david morrison said...

Or, perhaps better, let those who are living in open unrepentant sin, and setting a bad example for ordinary Christians, be changed one at a time.

Leslie Littlefield said...

May God bless Bishop Gene richly! This was an awesome sermon.

Anonymous said...

You really need to repent. And all you people who are taken in by Bishop can you be so gulable. He's such a smooth, fast talker. Going around, smiling, shaking'd think he's running for political office.

Anonymous said...

The only one Bishop Robinson cares about is Bishop Robinson. He has a huge ego. He has his one agenda..promoting himself, his book, and his documentary. He loves granting interviews and seeing his name in print. Such an ego boost. He certainly loves himself more than he loves God. He only seems to care about others. He really doesn't.

Anonymous said...

The way Bishop Robinson bad mouthed the Archbishop of Canterbury last year at the House of Bishop's meeting in New Orleans..and comments he's made's no wonder that he wasn't invited to Lambeth. And now he says he's only there to help. Really. He should have kept a civil tongue in his head before.

Anonymous said...

There's a word for people who leave nasty comments on a blog and don't sign any kind of name to them and certainly refuse to link back to any kind of blog: the word is "troll."

If you're going to leave provocative comments, at least have the gonads to leave a real signature and/or a link to some kind of blog where people can actually respond to you.

It should be very clear that Gene Robinson has considerably more backbone than any of the trolls coming to this blog.

I say this and I don't even know if I'm really a Christian. But it had to be said.

Christine said...

Your neighbors in Vermont are praying for you and in remembering you remembering our call to be a people for whom there are no outsiders. Know that you are loved and cared for. Christine, Vermont

Sue Whitlock said...

Dear Bishop Gene,

I'm a straight, elderly, British woman living in St Lucia, West Indies, where homophobia is rampant.

I knew nothing about you until Lambeth. Reading the blogs and watching the videos are showing me a warm and very human person who is bursting to share the love that God has for him and to enable others to feel this too.

I thank the Lord for sending to to The Fringe and pray that getting to know you will reduce people's fear of the Other.

I am astonished by your courage, your humour and your humility.

You give me hope that one day things will change here in St Lucia so that ALL will be truly welcome in God's house.

Do know that you have many unsuspected supporters in some surprising places - and all of us are praying for you.

With love and thanks,


Tpau12 said...

thanks for helping to provide some useful answers

Susan said...

I was churchless for 40 years, and straight. But for the past year and a half I have been a somewhat out gay and back to being an Episcopalian. I admire Gene and his doings and am happy to get postings from Lambeth through Integrity.
I pray for justice enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

This is such
a comedy.
Someone please encourage the Sudanese Bishop to go ahead and come out of the closet.
Biblical perspective is bereft of psychological insight,
he deserves the benefit of some sound thinks he "protesteth" a bit too loudly.