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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Friday, October 06, 2006

No, thank you.

Sorry for the extended absence, friends. It's been necessary.

Today I received a recruiting letter from a group calling itself "Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion." The language was, to put it in the kindest possible light, reactionary. This was my response. It perhaps explains why you will rarely read commentary here about what my parishioners term "The Goings On In The National Church."

Dear Sir:

Today I received your organization's email letter.

You are correct in one regard: I am indeed a priest of The Episcopal Church. As such, I have taken vows before God, testifying that "I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation," and promising to "conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church." I take those vows seriously. Were I to follow the path you suggest, I would be in violation of both the promise and the testimony.

Yes-- there are many ways in which I am ashamed of the actions of the church leadership in recent days. Like you, I find it appalling that bishops and other leaders move away from the truths of the Gospel. However, I believe that those who are fostering schismatic division with name-calling and condemnation (such as I read in your letter) to be just as guilty of this sort of sinful movement as those who have skirted or ignored the commonly accepted tenets of the faith without due regard for traditional teachings and faithful community discernment. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," Paul's epistle to the Romans reminds us; "there is no one who is righteous, not one." Nowhere is this more evident than in the current debate.

I will not be party to it. I have but one ax to grind, sir, and that is the Gospel-- the good news of Jesus Christ, and the saving love of God offered to all people. As a disciple of our Lord, it is my privilege and solemn obligation to try to live and show by word and action the joy of this grace. I will be party to nothing that gets in the way of that.

The parable of the weeds in Matthew's gospel (Chapter 13) reminds us that the kingdom of God is not a pure and spotless community, nor will it be this side of the end of the age-- at which point the Master will do the sorting. I am not so arrogant as to try to usurp that position.

I do not know from what source you acquired my email address, nor do I care; it is certainly public knowledge. I will ask, however, that you remove my email address from your list, and that you not send me any more of your propaganda.

In Christ's service,


Blogger net said...


October 08, 2006 5:25 AM  

Blogger St. Casserole said...

Amen and God bless you!

October 10, 2006 3:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I was just "next blogging" along and came upon your neck of the cyberwoods. While I am not a Christian, this post reminded me of why some Christians are the coolest people I know, and that there is hope for tolerant and sane indiv'idls to reason together on a journey toward a better world. Plus, you're a Python fan - say no more!

October 10, 2006 11:37 PM  

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