Imago Dei

Christianity declines in the West all the while seekers of truth, of life well lived, and of a good society only grow. Those who seek such things are looking not to the Church, which claims to provide what is needed for a “good life,” but they look elsewhere. General society no longer finds the Church or Christians compelling. If they look upon us and see themselves only, why should they heed or consider what we say about God’s good life?
Civil society, with respect to the common good, continues to decay into hyper-individualism, unrestrained consumerism, conflict, selfishness, fear and loneliness. The present experience of the Church joins in… and is compromised.
If we are created in the Image of God, why do we not look like it? Why do we not treat one another as Christ calls us in the two Great Commandments? Why do most of our lives look more like the lives of people who make no claim of God, rather than the great Fathers and Mothers of the Christian Faith and Tradition? We worthily strive to do good works to serve and save humanity, but without the realization of the Cure of Souls the good works are empty – anyone can do good works and material good works last only for a time.
Is it that the Systems-of-this-World are too alluring and seductive for average people to recognize their fallacious promises? Is it that too much energy or effort is required to turn from the fallacy to a way of living that is so contrary to our current culture all wrapped up in the Systems? Is it that average people see no real alternative? Is it that Satan or the Enemies-of-our-Faith are too strong? Is it that we misunderstand what it means to be Christian in Western society – in the similar way that the Jewish leadership of Jesus’ time misunderstood what it meant to live out the Covenant with God? Is it that there really is no God and we deceive ourselves? Could it be that we have never really experienced God or the life God grants to us in the first place? It is a seditious life God calls us to – we are given a radical invitation, but few pick up the call. Have I?
If those who are yet to find God do not see something different and compelling about our lives (the essential nature of how we consider ourselves and the dispositions we possess and the way to treat one another), then why should they consider what we have to say? If there is no discernible difference between “us” and “them,” than are the claims made by Christians of a better way of life misguided, naïve, duplicitous, false? What?
The two Great Commands of Jesus compel us to live in such a way that we find life, that we find freedom, that we find healing. If these claims cannot be experienced honestly by even those who insist they are true, then we must ask why not? Why does the Church not grow? Because of us?
This is not an attempt to reform The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, or anything other than ourselves – our souls and bodies. We come together and are tired of the internal fighting that destroys the unity of Christ’s Mystical Body; we are tired of the continual accusation and hubris as we take upon ourselves the role of Judge; we are tired to the incessant compulsion to attempt to jettison tradition and remake the Faith in our own image rather than trust the lived experience of faithful men and women of over 2,000 years. Here is what we want to do: Live life to the full as God intends. We, as Anglicans, used to be able to recognize that desire in even those with whom we vehemently disagreed and with whom we still broke bread together even in the midst of great debate and argument.
We have been co-opted by the Systems-of-this-World and are blind to their deteriorative effects upon us – to the detriment of the call of God for a better world that can only be realized through the regeneration of mind, heart, and soul. We recognize it, and we strive to be not a part of it any longer so that we can be for our own good and the good of the world a people. It starts with me, with you, with each of us that seek God in truth and candor. Let us be about the Cure of Souls.