Monday, August 13, 2007

More Reflections - Anglicanism and Christianity

I just ran across a blog post at Episcopal Cafe. The author says, in part, that when folks disagree with the Presiding Bishop or other official church teachings, they sometimes take the next step:
That step is to claim that since the Presiding Bishop has made a statement that the writer objects to, the millions of people who belong to the Episcopal Church are also therefore heretics and/or apostates who have materially repudiated Jesus.
Read the entire post here. The author, an Episcopal Priest for many years, makes an excellent point. Rather than assume that a handful of bishops, or even the Presiding Bishop, speaks for everyone in the Episcopal Church, might we assume a diversity of opinion on any given subject exists within the church? If that is so, then simply saying that The Episcopal Church is heretical, or apostate, makes little sense.

As I begin to wind down my Sabbatical (one month to go!), I am more and more attempting to cultivate that non-anxious presence that I blogged about earlier. This would seem to apply not only to parish life, but to diocesan, national, and international life as well. In a post-Christian society and a time of transition in the church, I see a huge amount of reactivity and tension in the church. Many people are reacting to it with statements and actions that may or may not be completely thought out or prayerfully considered. Discerning God's will takes time. In a world where we pace in front of the microwave, get our news in two or three minute segments, and are hyper-aware of thirty-second sound bytes, such discernment may seem to take a lifetime in comparison. Given that, perhaps a longer time-frame might be wise before making any final decisions.

Of course, it may be too late for the for some folks...but there is always repentance and restoration!

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