That doesn't excuse use from trying. Some people are badly broken.
Unless you are a Pelagian (in which case one is a heretic denying the Truth), you know that all people are badly broken.
I refuse to condemn them for not measuring up to your standards of "effort".
I haven't said a thing about, let alone condemn, anyone meeting any standard. I just point out that anyone who refuses even to pay lip service to the standards Christ-not I-set in the Church consigns himself to utter failure.
Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. Your denying virtue its due tells me that you do not have a problem with anyone failing to reach for that standard, you have a problem with us who will not lower-or worse yet, will not eliminate-the standard.
The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world precisely so that the unlovable would be loved.
To give His unconditional love, not His unconditional approval.
When the Church fails to minister this love in Jesus name, it is a dereliction of the Lord in favor of the evils of being religious, much like the Levite and Pharisee in Jesus parable of the Good Samaritan.
You will-or should-notice that the Good Samaritan didn't let the man's wounds fester: he poured wine on his wounds. An astringent, it stings, but not as much as pus putrifying the limbs and causing death. Just pouring the oil, which soothes but doesn't clear the wound, wouldn't be love.
Jesus said, in the Sermon of the Mount, "unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, you will in no way enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Go tell Him about His "dereliction."
To be with the unlovable is to stand at the foot of the cross.
At the foot of the Cross was Our Mother and the Beloved Disciple. Neither were known for their lax standards.
It is ugly, painful, and challenging. This is demanding but you are the one emphasizing perfection.
No, that would be Christ, as quoted above. I haven't made any such demand, but you have denied the existence of perfection.
Letting people wallow in their sin is simply cowardly and unloving. Do you think this is the Episcopalian approach?
The group you seem to have fallen in with, yes. Definitely the Spong-Robinson strains.
Go read people like the Reverend Fleming Rutledge some time: her approach to homosexuality is pastoral, culturally relevent, but hardly sentimentalist and very much respecting of the biblical wittness.
I respect adherence to the biblical witness. As for relevance, I don't have much time to waste on the preacher du jour: I go for what will stand a century from now, indeed for eternity.
Should I judge the Orthodox Church by the same standards, by the fact that most of it clergy live under an aura of xenophobic nationalism and superstition? Or should I recognize that in every age there are wheat and tares in every flock, and that none of us get it all right all the time?
You should recognize that you are in no position to judge Christ's Church.
Modernism is a superstition, a xenophobic nationalism which privileges itself over the Apostles.
There is a difference between judging people for their sins, and calling sin what it is. It seems you have lost that with your drift into Episcopalianism. Have you had any meaningful contact with the gay community, listened to their stories?
First, what would have to explain what does that have to do with whether something is a sin or not?
Second, define "meaningful."
How can you possibly minister to people when you have an agenda to set them straight, but can't yourself afford to be straightened out in the process? Do you think you are without sin and better off?
No, but you seem to think you are.
I recommend you read a book, "Love is an Orientation", by a young man named Andrew Marin, to understand how little influence conservative Christians have within the gay community.
I think about my own sins alot, thank you. I often am aware how much I fail God. But I have a clear conscience on that matter because I keep my eyes focused on God despite my failures. I really don't think you know what you are speaking about.
Oh, you do. De Nile isn't just in Egypt.