Monday, November 18, 2013

The Apostasy of Division

           There is a great misunderstanding being promoted by conservatives who have left The Episcopal Church, a misunderstanding that is the flip side of the revisionist heresy of the liberals.  Conservatives think that by forcing a change they can re-establish old truth.  Liberals think that that by forcing a change they can establish new truth.  Neither side has theologically, or biblically, thought the issues through. 

In part the mistake of the revisionists is that you can’t drive out the impurity by expelling conservatives from your midst.  You will, in your own way, become the new conservatives, a new cast of fundamentalist liberals. That is already clearly happening and in some dioceses those with conservative views are not tolerated and have been driven from the church.

The great misunderstanding of some of the conservatives who have willingly, perhaps even eagerly, left The Episcopal Church is that you can’t come out from amongst them and be clean; you take your sins with you.  If they have left a diocese with a godly bishop there is no excuse for their actions, nor should they glibly slough off the words of Jesus, “Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:11). 

Trapped in the middle is the greater part of what used to be The Episcopal Church.  Some have been driven out with the conservatives who have left seeking purity; some have stayed to struggle in the midst of a church which is increasingly in danger of becoming apostate.  All are wounded and grieved by the actions and attitudes of rigid militants on either side.

Both sides of the coin are reacting emotionally rather than rationally, establishing on either side what they “feel” as the foundation on which to build a new purified church. 

The hope for health for the Church is in those who are trapped in the middle.  It is not enough to wait passively.  Waiting passively will only contribute to the current decline in the Church.  Those trapped in the middle must find their voice and let their views be known.

Not only that, but what they say must be based on a sound biblical theology that is informed by the tradition and history of the Church.  This voice must reflect not only a love of the truth, but a love of Him who alone is the way, the truth, and the life.