Monday, January 21

The Holy Hand Grenade of America

This is from a discussion on Stand Firm about the current confusion over the defections in the Episcopal church. Some people see it as a simple, political or "doctrinal" question. I'm not so sure.

There's one thing that continues to annoy me through all this. When the East and West divided 955 years ago the East got the music and the West got the prose (so to speak). When Leo chased off Martin about 490 years ago Leo kept the form and Martin the function. Zwingli and his followers then added an extra touch of humanism and started the trend in earnest of stripping away everything that didn't look like "church" at the moment to children of that moment. Every time there is a division in the Church each side comes away with part of the Message and leaves part with the other folks. A good, recent, example would be the splits in the earlier 20th Century over the "Social Gospel" question. The "Evangelicals" who saw evangelism as the Big Thing spent over fifty years refusing to do anyone any practical good for the lost for fear of being like the "Socials" who, in turn, still tend to consider "evangelism" as an ugly word.

Yes, by all means, Jadis is a blight and an embarrassment. A blight in how she is conducting her office, and an embarrassment in that the slide into such a state of affairs was allowed through the Episcopal Church's "orthodox" absentee membership. Greg Griffith said some good things about that kind of passivity in his "Crystal Ball" article which I think most of us have read. So now we (all?) leave the Episcopal Church, and take with us a certain preference for "orthodoxy." So then we wind up in a parish where "orthodox" means altar bells for some, or full-blown Calvinism or Positive Confession for others, and maybe another group wants icons in the sanctuary. Well, the Holy Hand Grenade has blown, hasn't it? Who can predict which way which bit of shrapnel will ricochet next?

I'm not saying everyone needs to stay in "TEC," because many people who have been in it for any amount of time are probably too conditioned by the milieu to stand up against it or ask the hard questions. But neither do I dare go with a popular, "Come ye out from among them" cry. There are people who need to understand the Truth of the whole Gospel, and we, each, need to get hold of just what that Gospel is, seek the Lord to fill and sanctify us by His Spirit, and carry that Gospel forth. Even to the end of the world, even to the Episcopalians. And be aware that though we reject the sins of those who are the current "poster children" of the Left, we deal with their sins never with anger or disgust, but with tears!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Don!

    Good words there. Surely no argument about Pike, et al. That was part of the legacy of the "absentee membership" like the absentee dads in our culture who may be present, but abdicate their responsibilities to Mom and the television.

    The ECUSA is fast becoming a "habitation of dragons" and the two challenges we face, I believe is, first, that those leaving not leave behind a sense of compassion and empathy for sinners (and not just "seekers:" Different topic!), and, second, to pray for the "dragon slayers" who either stay or return to rescue those held captive by the great dragon "Smug." A trap is every bit, or more deadly, if it's padded and perfumed like Home, Sweet Home!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Robert, great thoughts here, It's always nice to find fellow ministers ministering online. Living for Jesus is the most important and rewarding life one can live! I've been in ministry for seven years now and I don't ever plan on leaving the ministry, even if I do leave Panama one day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, then you've been in ministry since your teens, eh? That's pretty awesome! I'm actually a bit older, and doing a serious retread job here at seminary to gain a better view of the details of the Faith, you might say to get as many colors on my palette as I can, to paint all the better a picture of Jesus to the world. If you feel led to go back and do some serious study, check out http://wbs.edu. I searched, literally world wide in looking for a school that dealt with the living faith of Christ without being unduly bound to some favorite late position or private interpretation. The three I found were Wycliffe Hall at Oxford, Wycliffe College at Toronto, and Wesley Biblical in Jackson, Miss. The directors of Extreme Walk (OMS) in Colombia just finished here last term. There is a strong online program also, to at least get your feet wet.

    ReplyDelete

So what's your take?