A Word to Bruce Garner, Elizabeth Kaeton, and Other Assorted Liberals Who Read This Blog

I stand, where I stand, until the Lord calls me from it. My misery or my happiness is not an issue. His will is. I have called upon the Lord to show me the path and help me to walk it. There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. I am walking the path, having to call on the Lord at every fork in the road. I know not where it leads; there are no hard and fast deadlines in time, but there is a hard and fast faith to which I cling.

If the Lord calls me to question most heartily the path you would lead the Episcopal Church down, so be it. If I am to be a witness against you, yours, and your agenda, so be it. If I, a cradle Episcopalian, stand against you who joined the church out of rebellion to your former churches, then that is my role. You have taken the freedom Anglicanism provides to a Christian and gone wacko with it. If you were a cradle Episcopalian (and I just have no explanation for Susan Russell), you might understand this. There were always bounds to that freedom; I pity you were never taught this, that what cannot be proved by scripture cannot be a part of the Church. There is still a valuable place for Anglican Christianity in the world. If TEC chooses to forfeit it, may others take up its cause, for it is worthy.

In other words, people need Jesus, not the Jesus seminar.

I wish I could say I wish peace upon your houses. But I wish Jesus upon your houses, despite the complications that brings.

Brad Drell

UPDATE TO THIS POST: My references to being a cradle Episcopalian have nothing to do with be haughty or proud, for I know the parable of the vineyard workers all too well and know that the Lord favors none by the timing of their arrival into the Kingdom or His service. However, I honestly feel that many join the Episcopal Church because of dissatisfaction with the particular denomination in which they were raised, and they have taken the inquiry and the freedom of Anglicanism that welcomed them in the first place and have turned it on its head. Those of us that suffered through the old style confirmation classes with tests and what not learned those boundaries that always defined Anglicanism. Frankly, not much of that is taught anymore in confirmation classes. Thus, when people see liberal orthodoxy as a pre-requisite or ordination or leadership in the church, incorporate labyrinths, non-Christian liturgy or liturgical elements in their churches, or change the words of the principal Sunday service from those that appear in the Book of Common Prayer (because the point of the BCP is that we are all supposed to use it, together), they have missed the point of Anglicanism as a strain of Christianity altogether. I am extremely sad because of this. Also, what makes me even more sad is that so many of my liberal “friends” tell me I should just get lost and go elsewhere with people that agree with me in disagreeing with them on same sex issues and the authority of scripture. What Anglicanism believes about these things has to be congruent with the Anglican formularies, and when it comes to same sex blessings, congruent with what scripture teaches. Otherwise, it isn’t Anglicanism any more. I am sad because I am an Anglican, that is how I do church, my personal theology, and from where my spiritual roots have always been nourished. But, because I believe what Anglicans have always believed, I am supposed to leave the Episcopal Church so I can be happier? I think that is a pretty superficial definition of happiness. The other point I make is that TEC will lose the mantle of Anglicanism in the United States if it rejects the covenant, and, well, I hope someone, and maybe that is ACNA, will take up the mantle.

45 Responses to “A Word to Bruce Garner, Elizabeth Kaeton, and Other Assorted Liberals Who Read This Blog”

  1. 1 Rob Eaton+ December 10, 2008 at 8:32 am

    To quote the incomparable Dennis Weaver, “There you go.”

  2. 2 W.A. Whitestone December 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Identifying oneself as ‘gay”lesbian’ and such is a violation of one’s Christian baptism and in a sane church, would signal the need for repentance and healing. Putting off the old identity and orientation and re-orienting our hearts, renewing our minds to the Word of God and putting on a new identity in Christ is required of everyone who comes to Christ. There are no special exemptions for anyone.

  3. 3 W.A. Whitestone December 10, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I know (both theologically and experientially) whereof I speak.

  4. 4 Matthew December 10, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Thank you and ‘Amen’.

  5. 5 Bruce Garner December 10, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    No need for your to wish Jesus on my house, Brad, He is already very much here and present in my life.

    I didn’t necessarily become an Episcopalian out of any type of rebellion. I was 14 when I began to question Southern Baptist theology. The key was their teaching in Sunday School books that Jews and Roman Catholics were condemned to hell. Even as a teenager I had a problem with one church leveling that degree of judgment on another. There was something inherently different than the God I understood….again even as a teenager who was searching for a faith community on his spiritual journey. Being a “cradle” doesn’t give anyone a “lock” on The Episcopal Church or any more or less insight into it.

    Again, I wish you well, Brad, but the degree of anger you exude from your posting seems to put that as a goal far into the future. That saddens me. Worship of my Risen Lord and Saviour gives me great joy. I’m sorry you can’t find that same joy. Perhpas in the future.

    Bruce Garner

    P. S. – I am not a “liberal.” I am a moderate whose positions are strongly influenced by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  6. 6 DaveG December 10, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Past president of Integrity describes himself as a “moderate.” I can’t even begin to imagine what it now takes to be a “liberal.”

  7. 7 Timothy Fountain December 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Brad, the first Morning Prayer lesson today is from Isaiah 6:

    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’ And he said, ‘Go and say to this people:
    “Keep listening, but do not comprehend;
    keep looking, but do not understand.”
    Make the mind of this people dull,
    and stop their ears,
    and shut their eyes,
    so that they may not look with their eyes,
    and listen with their ears,
    and comprehend with their minds,
    and turn and be healed.’
    Then I said, ‘How long, O Lord?’ And he said:
    ‘Until cities lie waste
    without inhabitant,
    and houses without people,
    and the land is utterly desolate;
    until the Lord sends everyone far away,
    and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land.
    Even if a tenth part remains in it,
    it will be burned again,
    like a terebinth or an oak
    whose stump remains standing
    when it is felled.’*
    The holy seed is its stump.

  8. 8 Julie December 10, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Amen, Brad. Amen and well said. I admire you…I would have said much more after all I have read of the venom that these people spew and how they converge on and mangle anyone who happens to disagree with them and has the audacity to post on the HOB/D listserv. It’s sickening, and I rarely read the posts anymore.

    Ours is a very sick church, and I grieve for it. My parish is earnestly trying to do the only thing it has left…focus within to pull together and hang on against a denomination that has completely lost its way.

  9. 9 Timothy Fountain December 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    FWIW I shy away from the terms “liberal and conservative” in the current TEC/Anglican mess.

    I have (and have always managed to have) people across the political spectrum in my congregations. Some of my most committed, fruitful parishioners (including a very Spirit filled prayer leader) are political liberals. You see all kinds of political bumber stickers in our parking lot. This goes to what Brad is talking about – Anglicanism traditionally makes room for many points of view, within the boundaries of a common faith represented in the BCP.

    What we have driving TEC is hard to explain – its main feature is enthrallment with LGBTQ or whatever the acronym is this week. It isn’t just the LGBTQ themselves (who make a kind of sense by setting their personal agenda over/against the well being of the whole church) – it is the straight folks who use pro-LGBTQ as the litmus test of one’s place and value in the church.

    I find it pretty weird and incoherent – kinda like what the PB said about not being able to understand the Christianity expressed by the folks in South Carolina. But I digress.

  10. 10 Bob Maxwell+ December 10, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    It’s amazing how the label “moderate” has become the label of choice for present GC members and their friends.

    I have a pothead in my family that always claimed it was just “moderate use.” The pothead came to his senses and got clean and sober while TEC’s river of denial and delusion persists and gets more vocal.

  11. 11 Jim DeLa December 10, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Politics aside, you know what really frosts me? When you have the gall to cop a morally superior attitude for being a “cradle” Episcopalian, as opposed to those who choose to be Episcopalians over over faith traditions. Just becausae your momma was Episcopalian doesn’t mean you know any more about the faith than a former Baptist or Presbyterian or Jew.

    So, when someone joins your congregation do you shake their hand and say “welcome to the fold, but never forget I’ll always be better than you.”? Ick.

    What exactly are the perks of being a “cradle” Episcopalian? Preferred parking at Christmas? A cathedral sky box at Easter?

    Get off your high horse, please. Realize we’re ALL Episcopalians. It might make you a little less angry.

  12. 12 Christopher Johnson December 10, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Outstanding job completely missing Brad’s point there, Jim.

  13. 13 tired December 10, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    It fascinates me what some may “read” in such postings – statements of resistance are construed as ‘anger’ – and a simple statement about the apparent ignorance and misuse of historical Anglican freedom is construed as ‘haughtiness.’ FWIW, the only emotional exudate I take away is resolution and sadness.

    If Brad writes that his happiness or misery is “not an issue,” then I doubt if he is going to pay much attention to such comments. Reappraisers have been angrily decrying reasserters as “angry” and “mean spirited” for clinging to basic Christianity for a long time.

    If anything, it appears to me that the commenters are none too pleased (re: angry) that Brad is waiting on God, and that they may just have to deal with one who is willing to resist their changes and speak the truth.


  14. 14 Branford December 10, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Brad – as a (former) cradle Episcopalian, I understand exactly what you mean. Realizing that I was giving up a tradition of worship that my family was (and is) still part of for hundreds of years was extremely difficult, but given the diocese I am in and given God’s discernment for me and my immediate family, we had to leave. Now in my new denomination, I am carefully learning how those who are “cradle” RCs view life. Because we finally left TEC not out of anger or frustration but because we had reached a peace with God’s call to us to leave, I am pretty good at keeping any residual negative emotions out of my new journey. Occasionally, I find myself mentioning the mess of TEC to others, who vaguely nod and smile, and I quickly change the conversation – realizing that I do not want to taint my new church family with any of the current goings-on of TEC – I definitely do not want to be Lot’s wife!

  15. 15 Branford December 10, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Oh, I forgot to say, in regards to Bruce Garner’s comment above, I see no anger in your comments – I see the gifts of fortitude, wisdom, piety, and awe of the Lord (and probably the other three gifts of the Holy Spirit as well – if only I could remember them!)

  16. 16 Alice C. Linsley December 11, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Brad, You are right that each must do as God leads in reference to staying or leaving the Episcopal Church. There is no time table for these things. I left orained ministry on the Sunday that Gene Robinson was consecrated. I wish I could say that I put my hand to the plow and have never looked back. I’ve never entered an Epsicopal church since that Sunday in November 4 years ago, but I yearn to sing some of my favorite hymns from the Episcopal Hymnal. And at this time of the year I miss Lessons and Carols and Advent Wreathes (both non-existent in the Orthodox Church). There is always a price to pay and the faithful will always pay it because that is what it means to be faithful.

  17. 17 Elizabeth Kaeton December 11, 2008 at 4:28 am

    Oh, my Brad. This is quite a rant. Where to begin?

    Let me just say these two things and finally point you to one who is far more eloquent than I. First, I did not leave the Roman Catholic Church out of a sense of ‘rebellion’. I may not have been born INTO it, but I have grown up IN The Episcopal Church. I most certainly grew OUT of the RCC and grew INTO TEC. For me, it was about spiritual maturity.

    Second, your anger reveals much more about the state of your own soul than it does about me or Bruce or “the other liberal types who read your blog.” I continue to wish you well in whatever you decide to do, Brad. Whenever you decide to do it.

    Finally, Jan Nunley’s post really sums it up for me. I trust you have read it. You can find it here: http://jawbones.typepad.com/jawbones/2008/12/a-word-to-brad.html

    My best to you and your family.

  18. 18 robroy December 11, 2008 at 5:29 am

    “Get off your high horse, please. Realize we’re ALL Episcopalians. It might make you a little less angry.”

    Less angry? I am a cradle Episcopalian, and I am mad as Heck that my church has been taken away from me and my family by those who are homosexualists first then Christians, which is to say they are not Christian at all.

  19. 19 Sarah December 11, 2008 at 5:43 am

    RE: “It fascinates me what some may “read” in such postings – statements of resistance are construed as ‘anger’ . . . ”

    Agreed. But it makes Bruce feel better to see Brad’s determination and courage as “anger” . . . so, hey, let ’em call it “anger.”

    Just as it makes Bruce feel better to announce that he’s a “moderate” when we all quite well that he isn’t.

    The cool thing is . . . Bruce knows that being a “liberal” is a bad thing and can’t bear to claim the truth about his beliefs.

    Nice to know just how negative “liberal” is known to be — even by a liberal. ; > )

  20. 20 Scott+ December 11, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    In driving out the money changers, I think it could be said the Christ was angry.


  21. 21 gec December 11, 2008 at 1:50 pm


    “In other words, people need Jesus, not the Jesus seminar.”

    Well said. For many the institution (TEC) has become an idol of worship replacing God himself. To make the point, do you see anyone writing in such anger about the Christians who have been murdered and driven from their homes in Northern India lately? Or about the Christians being attacked in Jos? No, but just post a personal statement about your feelings regarding TEC and its fall from grace and the liberals unleash all their anger (which to me means that they are threatened by the fact that they “might” be wrong).

  22. 22 Bruce Garner December 11, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Brad, you act as if most Episcopal Churches don’t use the BCP or the Bible anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. My parish utilizes the BCP at all major services and makes use of Enriching Our Worship for special services such as the St. Francis Day Blessing of Animals Eucharist in the Parish Hall. You will find that pattern through out the diocese and probably most of Province IV as well.

    Listen to the sermons that are on our website and you will hear solid Gospel-based preaching. Come visit our classrooms and you will hear the same in the Sunday School program for children, youth and adults.

    What you may find different is our inclusion of all the spectrum of God’s creation in our congregation. We have studied and prayed our way into that position. It has been a period of discernment and it’s where we are.

    As to other comments about having your church “taken” from you, I can only say I am sorry you feel that way. I will say that I come from a parish that makes room for all in its pews, regardless of anything. But if you want a lily white, all straight, all male run situation, we are not it. Again that’s part of our discernment of who we are through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    As to the comment about my previous role as National President of Integrity is concerned, the poster needs to do a little research. He will learn that there is the same spectrum of differences of opinion and thought among lesbian and gay people as in the broader population. Sexual orientation doesn’t automatically make you a liberal!


  23. 23 G. I. Joe December 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Behold the crocodile tears flowing from some readers who express puzzlement as to why you can’t share a “common life” in their “big tent.” Short answer — common beliefs, or the absence thereof. As shared beliefs disappear, bonds of affection loosen, mutual respect erodes and tensions build. As the innovations continue many of these “Stay Episcopals” will one day wake up to find themselves saying, “this is NOT my church!”

  24. 24 Julie December 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    If it’s one thing I’ve learned about Bruce Garner after reading hundreds of his posts, it’s that he has an absolute fetish about all white, all straight, all male run stuff. The root of all evil and all that.

    Bruce, I have no doubt whatsoever that your parish is the most inclusive, creative, does-everything, is-everything church there is. In your eyes, anyway. And that’s all that really matters, because it really doesn’t matter to you what anyone else thinks, does it?

    And YES, I’m angry. And, for the record, Schori did portray her opinion that Jesus is not the only way to God. On more than one occasion – God in a samll box and all that. One is entitled to ones own opinions and entitled to differ from traditional Christian beliefs, certainly.

    But that person should not be the head of a Christian church based on the bible. That makes me VERY angry.

  25. 25 Matthew December 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm


    All Saints in Atlanta accomplishes much good. But you wrote some things that simply are not the case. First, the last two times I attended Mass at All Saints there was an open invitation to all persons, irrespective of baptismal status to communion. Second, any church that hosts a program with Borg and Crossan has no claim to orthodoxy. Third, at least one of your priests does not believe in the physical Resurrection.

    All Saints is as it has been, a liberal/progressive/revisionist (use whatever term makes you comfortable) parish. But what All Saints is not is orthodox. Y’all are in a race with St Bart’s to see how much of the true faith and the traditions you can shed the fastest.

  26. 26 Timothy Fountain December 11, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Where did TEC get the idea that a Christian is an emotionless talking head? The soft talking but amoral example of the PB and so many others hardly manifests Christ.

    Along with the examples from the Lord’s own ministry (not least of which is that he fulfills his work via his “Passion”), there are plenty of NT teachings that indicate an affective, expressive life in Christ:

    Blessed are those who mourn…

    Be angry, but do not sin…

    Weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice…

    The attack on Brad here seems to be the old revisionist blather that if a traditionalist shows any feeling, it must be written off as neurosis. Revisionists, if I’ve tracked their “argument” correctly over the years, are not shaped by their environments and are purely rational… all the rest of us are untermenschen, evidently.

  27. 27 Matthew December 11, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    So…. “are we not men, we are DEVO”, was spot on then?

    G, D & R

  28. 28 Sarah December 11, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    RE: “First, the last two times I attended Mass at All Saints there was an open invitation to all persons, irrespective of baptismal status to communion. Second, any church that hosts a program with Borg and Crossan has no claim to orthodoxy. Third, at least one of your priests does not believe in the physical Resurrection.

    All Saints is as it has been, a liberal/progressive/revisionist (use whatever term makes you comfortable) parish. But what All Saints is not is orthodox. Y’all are in a race with St Bart’s to see how much of the true faith and the traditions you can shed the fastest.”

    Thanks, Matthew. Nice nice comment.

  29. 29 Kate December 12, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Why is it that when we disagree with revisionists we are “angry”, no matter what the tone of the writing is?

  30. 30 Milton December 12, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Kate, that’s because religious liberals are masters of accomplishing projection without the use of any AV equipment whatsoever.

    Only liberals’ emotions, words, thoughts and actions are genuine, legitimate and commendable. Didn’t you know that by now? After all, the 2 named in the title and several other of the usual cabal on the HOBD listserv have told Brad and any other lesser orders of humans so for the 2 years I was a kibitzer there and all the time since as far as I can tell.

    ANY thing a religious conservative says can only be motivated by their paranoia/bigotry/misogny/homophobia/hydrophobia/anger/judgmentalism/triumphantalism/overcompensation/fearofpenetration/bible-thumpingcarpaltunnelsyndrome/anger/anger/anger
    at such meek, joyful, inclusive, creative and inventive hermenutical universalists as the aforementioned Bruce, Elizabeth+, et al, the latter of whom must be positively salivating at the prospect of Matt Kennedy+ and family being homeless and churchless in NY after her poisonous campaign to have their children seized by social workers backfired on her. (Yes, many of us do remember that.)

    No, Brad is calmly voicing sadness with resolution and a realistic view of the likely future of his congregation and his diocese, with the faith in God to leave it all in His hands while carrying out the good works that God laid out beforehand for him to walk in, even not always knowing what any other than the very next step might be.

  31. 31 Julie December 12, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Milton…that was wonderful. You made my day. 🙂

  32. 32 Jim DeLa December 12, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Brad is taking a nationwide trend and trying to blame it all on the Very Bad Liberal Episcopalians (VBLEs).

    A 35,000-person poll by the Pew Forum for Religion & Public Life found that 28% of U.S. adults have left their cradle faith for another one — 44% if you’re talking about denominations rather than faiths. The poll suggests great national piety coupled with remarkable disdain for the multi-generational doctrinal and ethnic ties that used to define American religion.

    Shifts are happening everywhere. Attendance is down in EVERY mainline denomination, not just ours. So you see, in reality, it’s not Gene Robinson’s fault. The sooner that’s understood by everyone, the sooner the church can move on and focus on the important issues of the day.

  33. 33 The Lakeland Two December 13, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Brad, you’ve been writing as if you have been in our brains.

    We can quote Scripture, the history of the faith and our experiences until we’re blue in the face – it doesn’t have the same meaning to the liberal element or whatever they want to be called. Words don’t have the same meanings. What should be common ground is quicksand.

    We, as Christ’s followers, are supposed to help show His light and be a guide to Him. That course is not following others off a cliff, nor is it giving into bullying to do so.

    The key issue is and always has been the same – being obedient to God on His terms. We all struggle with it in one form or another. May God help us all to surrender to His will with the help of His Son and Holy Spirit.

  34. 34 The Pilgrim December 13, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Jim DeLa opined…

    “Attendance is down in EVERY mainline denomination, not just ours.”

    Not True Jim. Roman Catholicism shows stunning growth over the last decade. Oh wait. When you say “mainline,” you mean protestant. Okay then, Southern Baptists grew by 4.9%, and the Assemblies of God grew by over 15% to pass TEC in solid membership numbers.

    Now the “Old Guard” denoms (Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian etc.) are all in decline, that is true. But show me denomination other than TEC that shed members at the rate of 700+ A WEEK over the last calendar year. Does not exist. When it comes to losing members, TEC is in a class by itself.

    So Jim, other “mainline denominations” may be in decline, but TEC is in free fall.

  35. 35 Floridian December 13, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Decay of doctrine = decline of attendance and membership.

    People are drawn to truth…to what helps and heals and delivers.

    People crave the REAL efficaceous power of God…

    They want the one who sets them free from sin, NOT the faux religion that affirms sin, that denies the stench and misery and pain and bondage/slavery of sin and tells them they are free TO sin.

    They want the one who has overcome the power of sin, Jesus Christ, Lord, Redeemer.

  36. 36 Carolina December 13, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    The word HIJACKED describes the ruthless takeover of ECUSA.

  37. 37 robroy December 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    “Shifts are happening everywhere. Attendance is down in EVERY mainline denomination, not just ours. So you see, in reality, it’s not Gene Robinson’s fault.”


    First of all, there is only one mainline denomination that had the worst membership decline. Ms Schori, of course, tries to minimize this. In contrast, the Southern Baptists are in crisis mode because their membership statistically is about the same for the past few years. The Assemblies of God and the RC church are growing. Secondly, the Episcopal denomination was holding its own and gaining a little in terms of ASA in the late 90’s and early 2000’s so much so that there was the 20/20 program. Remember that? The goal was to double membership by 2020. Well, 2003 came along and 20/20 went by the wayside. “Father Jake” was recently appointed to try to resurrect it. The venomous “asshat” priest? Yeah, right.

    Add to that the litigious abrasive Ms Schori. She had the worst population adjusted decline of any diocese, actually shrinking the diocese by 10% in the midst of general population boom. Quite an accomplishment.

  38. 38 Milton December 13, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Jim DeLa, don’t worry about declining, even plunging ASA numbers. Gene Robinson’s consecration will bring in floods of new gay and lesbian members now that we finally have an open, honest (instead of those closeted pretenders) partnered gay bishop! What’s that?
    =Robinson was consecrated 5 YEARS AGO? And TEO has lost some 30,000+ members PER YEAR since then? Uhhh, Jim, what’s one definition of insanity? To keep doing the same thing over and over again, expec…, oh, never mind.

  39. 39 muerknz December 13, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Well thankfully for us Catholics the saints Augustine of Hippo, Bonaventure, Francis of Assisi, John of the Cross, Gregory of Nyssa,Teresa of Avila, Thomas Aquinas, Edith Stein, Catherine of Genoa, etc. all came to spiritual maturity within the Catholic Church. There are others who though not canonised are still great figures of spirituality, Thomas Merton or Origin.

    But I have also met spiritually mature Buddhists, Baha’is, Hindus, and Muslims – men and women with a deep love for God who are spiritually nourished by their faith.

    All faiths can produce people with spiritual maturity, otherwise they would soon stop existing.

  40. 40 Alice C. Linsley December 14, 2008 at 3:40 am

    “But I have also met spiritually mature Buddhists, Baha’is, Hindus, and Muslims – men and women with a deep love for God who are spiritually nourished by their faith.

    All faiths can produce people with spiritual maturity, otherwise they would soon stop existing.”

    Spiritual maturity is a vague attainment. I’d rather attain God’s mercy on my eternal soul, which has less to do with spiritual maturity than with humility and repentance.

  41. 41 muerknz December 14, 2008 at 4:26 am

    I don’t know if spiritual maturity is vague or not, but humility is certainly a mark of it. All the great Catholic saints were marked by a deep humility and were focused on the saving power of God rather then their own selves. (I speak of Catholic saints because they are the people I know.)

    I think their humility and maturity came from focusing their gaze on Christ. I don’t think the saints sought Christian spiritual maturity as an object to obtain, I think it was an outpouring from their relationship with the Trinity. Their eyes were wholly on God. By conforming themselves with his Divine Will spiritual graces just came naturally.

  42. 42 ct layperson December 15, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I was raised Episcopalian – no Bible to speak of in Sunday school but the St James lessons featured the seven deadly sins and their opposite cardinal virtues one year, and, most fun, the church year another grade. We made little cardboard altars and colored our frontals as we studied each season. THis was a broad and hazy parish – not high church at all.
    Very silly in a way but it’s useful info, and it did come through clearly that we stood for something and not just everything.
    I was first unbelieving, then appalled, then just sad as I saw the train wreck that TEC became. I supported a parish move to CANA, feeling ultimately that we had no other choice. It was a relief to go, and it’s encouraging to be moving along, in spite of ongoing litigation.
    I enjoy your blog, Brad, and wish you well. I’ve been active in Cursillo at one point, and I specially admire your work with Kairos. Probably not for me at my age but what joy to bring Jesus to people who so need help.

  43. 43 John Moss December 17, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Update response:

    There, with the grace of God, am I.

    Thanks, and may God’s blessings be upon you.

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  1. 1 EPISCO-SNOBS | Midwest Conservative Journal Trackback on December 13, 2008 at 9:17 am

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