Another lengthy blog discussion… a third way

Okay, I’m doing it again. This time not on Titusonenie and debating the “conservatives,” but I’m debating the “liberals” at Frather Jake Stops the World. The conversation deals with Fr. Jake’s recent post: The Train Won’t Stop Going. The discussion comes from the seven Episcopal bishops visiting Canterbury, presumably about remain in communion with the Sea of Canterbury if the Episcopal Church rejects the Communions method of communion.
Here is the first post I made. It is too lengthy, I know, but my “processing out loud” just never ends.
Sorry for the length… this is a bit of a soapbox.
One point of being “Catholic,” Anglo or otherwise, is to have a very deep-seated understanding that those “scoundrels” are just as much a part of the Body of Christ and just a vital to the Body of Christ as am I or are you. If any of us want to be a Christian, with integrity to the call of Jesus Christ, we cannot say “good riddance,” or that you or I or any of us can get along just fine without the other. It is a fallacy believed by both the “conservatives” with regard to the TEC and the “liberals” with regard to the Communion.
You speak of Postmodern sensibilities, but for this postmodern I see very little difference in the way the “conservatives” (really anti-liberals) are acting and the way the “liberals” (really anti-conservatives) are acting. Duncan and Bruno, for example, are acting the same way. Both are acting wrongly.
The only difference is that the conservatives are saying, “To hell with the Episcopal Church,” while the liberals are saying, “To hell with the Communion.” The end result of the actions is the same – hubris and the division in the Body of Christ. It is just that one group is acing more “locally” while the other group is more “globally.”
This is what frustrates me about the generation in leadership of this Church and the breakaway groups. In many ways they are both fundamentalistic in their actions. This is a particular scandal to those who claim to be “liberal” (which is why I say anti-conservative rather than truly liberal), because as things work out on the ground they are not really interested in having an open table where everyone can have a place. They are interested in only those who will at least not challenge their forgone conclusions of what is right and proper, if not already agreeing with them. At least the conservatives make no pretense about being “open” to virtually anything.
A young, black, gay seminarian friend of mine kept saying, “I can’t wait until this generation of leadership is gone. Then we can get back to being the Church.” Does anyone see the irony in that statement?
“Anglicans” in the U.S. cannot get along just fine without the TEC. TEC cannot get along just fine without the Communion. To go down this road is to stop being what we have always been and become something that is just like everyone else – just little sects or denominations glowing about ourselves. James Smith in his book, “Whose Afraid of Postmodernism?,” stresses the Modernist fallacy that claims that “particularities” are a source of violence and evil. This notion has lead to a lowest common denominator kind of ecumenicism that has resulted in many churches a depleting membership and a growing irrelevancy of influence for the good within our society. He claims in a Postmodern world, the Church needs to reclaim our particularities, our distinctive, else we will continue to descend into irrelevance within the greater culture. Anglicans are Anglicans because we are in communion with the Sea of Canterbury, part of something far larger than ourselves and of many cultural perspectives, take upon ourselves the Western Tradition through the experience of the English Church (locally employed), and live with the incredible tension of being with people we don’t like or agree with as we all come to the altar of God – regardless of whether the other people hate us or love us.
As a gay priest, a Christian, I can do nothing but always regard those who disagree with me regarding same-sex relationships with respect and be with them, even if they hate me, spit upon me, and try to exclude me from God. That doesn’t mean I agree with them or don’t advocate for different positions. I have no choice but to do such things if I want to follow the commands of Jesus rather than the edicts of an ideology, liberal or conservative.
Bob | Homepage | 09.04.09 – 9:19 am | #