TEULU ASAPH

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Most of the problems in the Church in Wales can be summed up in that one word—Teulu; Family. A family that has closed ranks and excluded everyone else, even those (especially those) who have always thought of themselves as “brothers and sisters in Christ”. Who on earth wants to spend their life navel gazing, while leaving a genuinely tortured world to persecute fellow Christians wherever they find them. Many in Britain today are made to feel, if not persecuted, certainly bullied, side-lined and ostracised.

Just take a close look at that front page story again. Most people must have thought such puerile drivel was some kind of spoof or joke. But the Bishop’s article on the next page seems to endorse it, so we must assume someone wrote it with serious intent. Who wants to be part of a family like that?

Consider the story. For a start God is outside the church, not in there with the congregation. Why? What’s wrong with that church? What is the atmosphere like inside? Not terribly welcoming if God is keeping his distance.

Then the two couples. Are they so blindingly in love that they lose all sense? We’re told they see God standing there but what sort of God do they actually see? A sort of Father Christmas figure in a toy shop dolling out whatever a child demands. It certainly sounds like it. “Please God, can we have what we want. Some people say we can’t, but you’ll give us what we want, won’t you?”

Imagine you come out of church and you see God standing in the churchyard. Imagine what your reaction would be. This is God we’re talking about. ‘Almighty and most Merciful Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Lord God, Heavenly King.’ Surely you would bow down and worship Him. Unless you were suddenly all too clearly and painfully aware of your sins, in which case you would throw yourself on the ground in abject shame and misery.

Moses got closer to God than anyone, but even he only saw God through a thick darkness. And when he comes down from the mountain after his encounter with God he finds the people worshipping a golden calf!

What about Elijah? That’s another wonderful story. Did he go charging up to God, gleefully asking for something he wanted. No way. He waited. He waited while a hurricane tore through; he waited through the earthquake, he waited through the fire. And because he waited he was able to hear the still, small voice of God.

If those so anxious for Same Sex Marriage in church at any cost would cease their strident yelling and listen for that still, small voice they might have a better idea of what the Almighty, the Holy One is truly saying.