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Wednesday, February 21. 2007
As a one-time Episcopalian-Anglican before I was found, all of this both tickles me and saddens me. Is it what Dr. Bliss could term "the narcisissism of small differences", or is it about following Christ first and foremost?
Are the primates right? Don't ask me. I try to keep it simple, and I do not think about gays very much. Got many more important things to concern me in this brief life and I, in general, find other people's sexual predilections to be an unpleasant and inappropriate subject, which is best left alone. None of my business, and I do not care to hear about it.
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Although I'm not Episcopalion-Anglican it appears to me from watching this drama unfold that while the immediate issue may be about homosexuality, the larger issue is definately about following Christ first and foremost. Homosexuality just happens to be the specific example of the larger issue. Much of what passes as the practical theology of the old main-line prostestant churches are barely remotely Christian in terms of the traditional, orthodox understanding of Christianity.
I think the differences are actually quite large and important.
Oh dear. I agree with you--sex belongs in the privacy of one's lives.
However, I strongly disagree with you as to what this is all about. Homosexuality is just the bait. The real goal is the complete takeover of power in this country and the concommittant re-structuring of this nation. The people, who are running this particular coup d'etat are the same people, who have taken over our universities; the same people, who refuse to defend our borders; the same people who demand a nationwide value system based on non-meritocracy; the same people, who are constantly attempting to break the hold on power of European/Americans by destroying the values of their culture. Need I go on? The stealing of elections has just become one more fine art form in their arsenal. They stole the election that put elected the female archbisoph, just as they stole the election that put CHristine in the governor's mansion of WA state. This is the same group of people that demands the right to teach meeting management skills to young female undergraduates, but not the same right for young white men. awww geez folks, when are the conservatives in this country going to become effectively organized to be truly agressive in defending what is left of this democracy?
Similar things are happening with the UCC and Prebyterian churches.
Similar things are also happening with the Lutherans and the Methodists, who by-the-way walk around town telling people they come from a parish that has been "reconciled with the homosexual community." Meaning they have been forced into submission, or forced to leave their faith.
Agree with y'all. It is not about gay rights, but about faithfulness to the gospel. And whether one puts Christ or partisan politics first. I don't care what you do behind closed doors with another consenting adult, or who you vote for, if you are seeking God's direction in your life, and are trying to serve others in His name, that will unite us. And if we put Him first, He is the one we will be talking about, praying about, not politics...
These foul fights over side issues make God weep, I imagine. We are all sinners, so it isn't a matter of picking and choosing who is fit for the church, but rather whether the church will be a standardbearer for Jesus or for a particularly vocal bunch of His followers.
As a former Anglican/Episcopo myself, I once cherished the Anglican tradition of the Via Media between ferocious extremes of dogmatism, and of respect for tradition, the sacraments, scholarship and the free exercise of the intellect in the journey of faith. I still miss the liturgy--nothing like a solemn High Mass with bells and smells and a spectacular choir for jolting one into an awareness of the sacred mysteries at the heart of the world. I must say, tho, I don't miss the world's worst sermons. With the exception of Bishop Holloway of Scotland (who is now wild and woolly politically) who preached vividly when younger, I have never heard any good Anglican preaching in my lifetime.
The mainline denominations in this country were taken over 20 years ago by militant PC types and money-grubbing mediocrities. The former pandered to an assortment of malcontents who were a tiny minority of the congregations. The latter hoped to hold onto the rich endowments and perks of the mainline clergy, sustained for a while by nouveaux riches and divorces who left the Catholic fold or more humble churches they grew up in. This gave a temporary transfusion of money and members to the mainline churches, but eventually people with family values revolted and began bolting to more evangelical churches. A Savanarola would have been a welcome change from fat cat priests with the oily manner of former shoe salesmen...
I had my kid baptized and anointed by an African bishop who was alive with the spirit of God, and completely indifferent to the stupid bickering which is now rending the American church.
As an adjective, as in conservative Republican here's the definition.
I just looked it up.
By nature conservatives don't have million man marches (they should) they don't raise hell(they should), they don't confront loud mouth pushy radical socialist Democrats(which they should).
However you're asking for a group of sheeple to follow a leader, not to stray,not to make waves, just follow the leader. By and larger that's what 99% of the conservatives do....with the exception of talking to the TV set or their spouse or another member of the choir about how bad things are.
Comservatives are sheeple. Double locks on the doors,own a gun, which is usually unloaded with a lock on the trigger (for gun safety) and they never practice with it. They'd be better off throwing handfuls of Andes candies at an intruder.
Election day they sheeple to the polls in huge flocks, united behind the guy with the biggest staff. He's said all the right stuff, adjusted positions on a regional basis and usually gets elected.
When they don't sheeple off to the poll the other side wins and the sheeple are just absolutely beside themselves
Conservatives don't take over the dean's office, they protest mystery meat on the cafeteria menu. conservatives can be lead but they don't have any fire in their bellies that manifests itself outside the norms of behavior. Democrats carry an arrest record as a badge of honor, conservatives as a taint on their honor....doesn't matter the issue..avoid arrest at all costs..most parking or speeding tickets send conservatives paroxysms of guilt lasting weeks
There's is no such herd as rowdy sheeple.
On the plus side after an attack on out country, say 9-11 style we buy flags at a 75:1 ratio over the Democrats..we've done our duty.
I agree with what has been said here. It is all about faith. I worked and traveled in Africa and South America and the Anglican sermons I heard in those places were in general far superior to the pablum found in US churches. The question for me is -what to do now? Do I link up with a church affiliated with an African province? Do I swim the Tiber? Or strike out in some new direction? And yes, it is all very sad.
Remember how Rabbi Gamaliel taught that "if it is of God, it will endure..." Right now the mainline church hierarchies in America are in a sad state, but most individual congregations are still full of faithful Christians. The rot is mostly in the clergy and the governing bodies. Pastors who view themselves as servants of their flock, who are shepherds rather than wolves, are still out there.
The thing in a transitional time like our own is not to be swayed by denominational loyalty, past habit, or even family tradition, but to look to Scripture, pray for guidance, and trust in a Lord.
Looking on the bright side, at least nowadays we can just vote with our feet, leave the sidetracked churches and go to more faithful ones. At least nowadays we don't have to take up arms to settle it.
By and large, the American churches have been more vibrant to the extent that they do not live off their endowments but rely on pledges from their congregants. This means that old, dead or deviant ways will not be tolerated by the worshippers. The English churches, which were state supported, all but died. Nowhere is competition healthier than in church life. I am not being flippant. The average person in the pew has a better instinct for the difference between a decent minister and a fraud than the ordination committees and search committees for bishops.
For a beautiful Lenten invitation to prayer, try listening to this Taize CD
Nice work Retriever! Nice to meet you!
Habu--I needed that snicker!
I struggled with the same question of what to do now. I'm solving it by working through the process of joining the Catholic faith. I'd also consider the Orthodox faith, but there are not any churches close to me and I have a network of friends who are sponsoring/supporting me in the local Catholic parish that I've been attending. I grew up in a protestant church, but they seem so vulnerable and ungrounded...I need something more solid and connected to a long and strong tradition.
Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home. As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.
"You know" he said, "I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?"
The driver said, "No problem. Have at it."
Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway. A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.
The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone. The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.
The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving.
He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.
He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law... But I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."
The supervisor asked, "Is it the governor?"
The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."
The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the president."
The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."
The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?"
The young trooper said, "I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!"
This has been going on since the 80s, and really isn't about sexuality -- that's only the latest hot button. It has to do with orthodoxy (note the small 'o') of faith. In the 80s, there were whole Episcopal congregations who all became Orthodox -- the Orthodox had to create a Western Rite Orthodoxy for them. The movement has continued through the 90s to the present.
I applaud the Vatican and Canterbury for taking this step, but it's a very small one, and there is no chance for any kind of reunification with the liberal Episcopals.
RWP, there's a discussion of the very thing over @ Belmont--"Return to the Third World" at