Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Little Rant, If I May...

With permission of the one being quoted below...

This falls under the category of sad, unnecessary division and disappointment in South Carolina:

So the other day, a fine Christian woman from our (TEC) congregation recently became engaged to a fine, Christian fellow. Some friends of hers who belong to churches in the (Non-TEC) Diocese of South Carolina asked her (and so she passed along the question to the clergy here at St. George's), and I quote: "I was told that some of my friends [from congregations in the non-TEC diocese] would be uncomfortable at best, and not supposed to attend, at worst [a ceremony that occurs in a TEC church]."

                                                       Let that sink in for a moment.

My goodness, what are these people being told? I heard someone who used to be a colleague (I still consider us brothers, even if he doesn't) twice say that TEC people subscribe to a "different religion". I couldn't disagree more. But even at that, do you really want to go there? I hope these people don't have any Jewish friends because they might be "uncomfortable at best, and not supposed to attend, at worst", their friends' children's bar and and bat mitzvahs. In the famous words of the Sunday Night Football broadcast crew...."COME ON, MAN!" I am sure these people would not feel uncomfortable, but rather amazed and enthralled, at a Jewish ceremony. But is a TEC church so far afield that to attend would be participating in something that is even more different than Christianity is from Judaism? Is a TEC congregation so awash in evil that to step inside would render one "unclean"? Or has the vilification of all that is TEC now taken so deep a root in the non-TEC psyche that reconciliation or even conversation is not now possible?

I continue to be saddened and disappointed that there is this strong undercurrent of division in the Body. As a deeply devout Christian in TEC, I want to know who told her that, and who has been filling their heads with this tripe? God have mercy on us.



  1. Chris, this not only saddens me; it sickens me. Where is the grace and compassion we as Christians are supposed to show? This division reminds me to much of past church splits where relationships were damaged and some even destroyed. I can't begin to imagine how those nonbelievers must be thinking as well as some believers! I can't see these actions bringing any sheep to the fold. This can't be God's will as He is a God of love and grace!

  2. It's sad. Jesus weeps.

    "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."


  3. Ok, I'm going to take your question seriously, though perhaps you don't mean it.

    They're being told quotes of TEC's bishops probably. The PB's and Bishop Budde's disbelief/indifference to the Resurrection and Jesus is "one of the great teachers like Buddha and Gandhi" not God. Or Jefferts-Schori's sermon about how Paul's removal of the of the fortuneteller's demonic spirit was actually him stealing her spiritual gifts. How about Bishop Spong's Good Friday message of "the people of the New Testament are....as real as Harry Potter"? Or the Pagan/Episcopal, Buddhist/Episcopal, and Muslim/Episcopal priests who weren't disciplined until the general public started laughing?

    Unfortunately the disbelief in the other's Christianity happens on both sides. I've read many blog posts by liberals who don't believe that anyone can be a Christian and not believe in Gay marriage and priests. Some believe that anyone against gay marriage etc. is not really human. Even the PB equated those who left TEC with terrorists and school shooters. So conservatives are hardly alone in thinking the worst of others.

    I believe and am glad there are people of faith in TEC, but I'm not surprised that some people who take the Creeds literally listen to several TEC bishops and hear Universalism/Humanism instead of Christianity coming from their mouths. Unfortunately, since the PB has admitted she deliberately "reinterprets" traditional terms and enjoys making conservatives mad, the next sermon or interview will give them more reasons to think so.

    Chris H.

  4. So, Chris H. (not Chris Huff, incidentally; that's ME!), I get it that there have been syncretistic voices in TEC, as in all institutions. Things get said that are pretty wacky, for sure. And you are right that disbelief in each other's Christianity happens on both sides. And it's that disbelief (and distrust, really) that has contributed to a complete stoppage of community, conversation, grace, openness, etc. Many of Lawrence's followers were happy as clams until they left without consulting anyone. And then ALL OF A SUDDEN there's this abstract (for them) "need" to be pure and "orthodox", when that wasn't on their radar screens at all. And...if the courts handed their sancutaries over the to TEC, I suspect there would be a stunning change in loyalty by many who are more tied to their buildings than they are to the Bible, Doctrine or Creed. I know, because I am a native, and some of these people are blood relatives. What happened was that the one with the keys made a move, and there was a stampede, with propaganda and rhetoric still rampant to this day. None of this was necessary. All that has been accomplished now is that reconciliation (our chief ministry, by the way) has been rendered nearly impossible. Oh, you can trot out funky statements and "proofs" of heresy. It didn't seem to matter before. It passes and God raises up people to preach the Good News in each generation. But this has sent me on a search for "believing Episcopalians", and I have seen a vibrant, passionate faith throughout TEC that, despite the vitriol from the fringes at either end of the spectrum, stands for Love, not suspicion, accusation and hate.
    Chris H(uff), axtwosix blog author

  5. It sounds as though the "other Chris H." is regurgitating something someone has said, as opposed to something he has personally experienced. "That's a form of gossip and you can see why Paul vehemently discouraged it.

    When we gossip about another, especially when the person is not present AND when we've never taken the time to know the person, we assassinate the person's character. Thou shall not kill. - rick


  7. Perhaps EDSC has not read that Bible they are so fond of pointing to but loath to obey

    1 John 5:1 New International Version (NIV)

    "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. "

  8. Rule of war: demonize your opponent.