Thursday, July 21, 2005

the mess we're in

Father Jake has a good discussion going on over at his place about the events surrounding the Connecticut Six. Now it is not my custom to comment on political events in the church; I'm with posters such as Father Jake, Costly Grace et. al., who think there is much more to the story than any of us know. One of the things I've learned from studying systems is that outsiders rarely make the system better unless they come in as a detached reconciler to help pull apart some of the threads.

But what is has made me think of, as Jake said in one of his comments to the original post, that homosexuality is the presenting issue to our major problem. He defines it as one of authority.

I'd like to push that a little further. I think we have serious issues in the Church; authority is one of them. But as I blogged about earlier, in my journeys as a supply clergy in various dioceses (not just Oklahoma, I hasten to add), I see so many people who just look worn out. When I see them I think of "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."

I think Christendom, the church set up as a keeper of power and status, has failed us. I think the Church in the West (I can't speak to the East because I don't have familiarity with it) has been selling people a bill of goods that does NOT include the Good News. If it was the Good News, than why do so many churches run away from their problems? Why aren't they empowered to deal with all the bad behavior of clergy and laity that has happened over the centuries? Why do so many churches hide from the realities of life? Why do we find ourselves silent? If we really believed that Christ died once for all on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, why does it matter who is Bishop of New Hampshire? Or what color the carpet is in the chancel? If we really believed in the God who yes, winnows and judges us but above all offers us mercy and hope, why would we care about any of this? I think the kerfuffle the church is experiencing reveals, on ALL SIDES, how much we are truly, as a body, functional atheists.

Why is it that every time I attend a Cursillo closing I hear person after person get up and say "this is the first time I have experienced Christian community?" Why is it that more often than not they are people who have grown up in the church?

How is a locksmith or finding a bishop who suits your every taste going to solve these problems?


At 5:09 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The UCC has the beginnings of these problems, with a more conservative group using a variety of techniques to encourage churches to hire pastors that will either set them against the denomination or perhaps try to take them right out of it. No locksmiths yet, thanks be to God.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

P.S. I just noticed you are a Knitters Without Borders person, too! I have the mug...

At 8:48 AM, Blogger frog said...

Excellent post. Thank you.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Excellent thought. I don't know what to think about developments like these, other than that they're a massive failure of charity.

Just found your blog, and love that it's named after Julian's hazelnut! Mine's after her other famous reflection.


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