There is no joy in reading the headlines coming out of the convention of the Episcopal Church.Only sadness remains.
In my painful departure from the Baptist world I found rest, peace, and a place of healing in a local Episcopal Church, the Church of the Messiah. Evangelical, liturgical, charismatic, it was a haven for us and allowed us time to recover after the vivesection of life as a Baptist pastor.
But it was not to last.
For a while everyone could pretend and stay sheltered in the cool comfort of Messiah’s walls. Yes we knew that there were problems in the larger church, serious problems, but we were here
and they were there and can’t we all just get along. Yet the sad empty feeling grew stronger as each day the realization that the wolves were at the door and they played for keeps increased. The claimants of diversity and tolerance would brook no dissent and had no problem with silencing those who strayed from the new order.
It was time to go.
Now some can say that the Episcopal Church is just reaping the seeds it has sown. After all a good argument can be made that the chaos of American mainline Protestant life is simply the completion of the process set loose when the Reformation detached a whole section of Christianity even further from its roots. The gap between there being no Pope to everyone being their own Pope is not that far at all.
But it doesn’t make it any easier.
A great community of faith has been desecrated at its very core and no longer can seriously claim to be Christian in any historic sense of the word. It has de-evolved into a society of people ruled by their feelings and understanding the life, the faith, the sacraments, the dogma, and the rituals of Christian life as a means to the satisfaction of their urges and not the upward lift of man to God. Bluntly it is a church ruled by its crotch.
And time will take care of the situation. Some day in the near future when the endowments run out and the membership rolls sink even further the problems will be solved by the extinction of the organization that nurtures them. After all if a church proclaims that it really doesn’t matter what you believe or do (except for some vague kind of social work) people will get the hints and decide to do something else besides hear a well dressed pagan tell them what they already believe. Its already happening.
But what a cost. What a loss of good that could be done. What souls will find no rest either in this life or the one to come! And for what? A fleeting passion? A passing urge? The worship of the moment? So much is being given away for so little in return.
And that is why, in the end, only sadness remains.