In large measure, as I read the reports coming out, it is good that I am not there. While I am a bible believing Christian I have always loved the breadth and acceptance of the Episcopal Church. In my own recent experience, it allows families with divergent theological viewpoints to continue to worship together. I have seen how the Episcopal Church has been able to reach out and attract intellectuals who would have a difficult time in other churches. As a father of three girls, I am glad women are valued in the Episcopal Church, not just with honor, but with an opportunity to vote and to exercise ministry. I am glad the Episcopal Church is a place where gays and lesbians are welcomed as anyone else. A church that used to, and still does in most places, treats sin and theological disagreement as a pastoral matter and not a bludgeon, knowing that we all agreed to pray from this same prayer book, in the hopes that God would bind the church together in unity. A very beautiful and simple expression of Christianity, that, in its purest form approaches God very humbly.
My problem is that the Episcopal Church, as an extension of so much that is good in her, has taken a good idea to its apparently logical conclusion and made it an absurdity. In so doing, she has turned the Bible on its head, and has become arrogant because of her alleged theological genius.
Someone I know recently became interim rector of a parish and this person was shocked to find that, in this small parish, they had quit saying the creeds but were saying their own made up statement of faith. Some of the resolutions at this General Convention seek to authorize that which is already happening.
What is the sound of one hand clapping? Well, when I read and listen to video and audio in Anahiem, that’s all I am hearing.
A very good friend of mine recently pointed out to me that God’s call on our lives changes, and that mine has most certainly changed. I know that my service as GC deputy and later in the Diocesan reconciliation initiatives was something I was called to do. As I sit here, I know I did not mess up or make a mistake in not going to General Convention. I know that God’s call on my life has brought me to focusing on family and work right now, and still doing work with Kairos.
But, I also think that over the years since GC2003, when my ministry in Kairos was really heavy duty and I became at deputy, blogger, one of the usual suspects in the Vast Conservative Anglican Conspiracy, or what have you, I flat got burned out. It took an emotional toll on my life. I feel like, in the last few months since I resigned, I started getting some of that life back. I really needed to get that life back; it is pretty wonderful.
Maybe someday I might once again become involved in national church politics. But I seriously doubt it. General Convention is not the church. It is a legislative body combined with a dysfunctional family reunion. I don’t particularly mind either one of those. Doing both at the same time is insanity when the subject matter is the heart of your life – God.