The IRD and Talk To Action

While I know that everyone with a thorn-in-their-craw tend to be a bit biased, here is a website/blog I just discoverd called Talk to Action: Reclaiming Citizenship, History, and Faith. There is a whole lot of stuff on the website about the IRD (Institute on Religion and Democracy).
I remember reading about the IRD years ago in a Christianity Today article entitled, “Turning the Mainline Around.” The IRD not only works in Washington to return American back to its ideas of a Christian and biblical government, it realizes that one of the primary ways of doing just that is through religions institutions. Within the IRD, there are five mainline denominational “communities” that work to, “…give flesh to the IRD’s mission of working to reform churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad…” The IRD works with the “reformers” within the Episcopal Church and the four other mainline denominations. Look at what has happened to the Southern Baptist Convention over the last 30 years to see the desired outcome of the IRD with regard to the other mainline denominations.
So, anyway, the website that I came across has a section entitled, “The Shadow-War: the battle for mainstream faith.” The purposes, it seems, is to report on what is happening with the IRD as they fight to “reform” what they perceive as the heretical mainline denominations.
Well, I just thought it interesting. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I know that the published goals of the IRD suggest a leaning towards doing whatever they can to achieve their goals – either bring mainline denominations into line with their own “right” social, political, and theological beliefs or to see that those denominations are so discredited that they will not be able to stand in the way of the IRD achieving their goals in the social and political spheres.

Continuing San Joaquin

There has been lots of stuff going back-and-forth over the last few days concerning the mess in the Diocese of San Joaquin. You can find all manner of verbiage on the normal and various websites (Titusonenine, Father Jake Stops the World, Preludium, Standfirm, Episcopal Cafe, etc.). I will still contend that Fr. Dan Martins of Confessions of a Carioca presents the “best” analysis. I think this because:
1. He was a member of the San Jaoquine Standing Committee up until he relocated to the Diocese of Northern Indiana. He knows the people, what they think, how they act.
2. He worked to avoid the very thing that happened – an attempt to pull the diocese out of the Episcopal Church and align with the Province of the Southern Cone.
3. He is all about following the process – adhering to the Constitution and Canons of TEC.
This is a problem I have with many who might call themselves “liberals” or “progressives” – feelings trump the Rule of Law (not legalism, but due process!). I encounter this all the time in my own conversations. “Well, you might be right that this or that is provided for in the Canons, but…” There is no , “but…”, IMHO. If we really want to solve this, really solve it and not just force our own viewpoints or dogma or ideology upon the rest of the Church or Communion, then we do have to follow due process. What we are left with otherwise is simply chaos. This is a triumph of the very wrong cultural proclivities of “hyper-individualism” and “identity-politics” of this country. Without due process and the adherence to established order, we are lost!
So many like to condemn the conservatives in that they are not patient enough. Well, liberals, neither are you. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and yes, we do have time to let the process complete itself. We really, really do.