Friday, October 14, 2011

The Moral High Ground and Public Relations

Fr.Dale Matson

"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name” (Matthew 24:9 NASB).

What the Episcopal Church leadership has accomplished equally well in their assault on the faith once delivered is control of the narrative. In the court of public opinion, it is they who are defending the moral high ground. It is they who are both the victims and the defenders of the victims. In the new gospel of inclusivism it is God who advocates for big tent Christianity and the traditionalists who are discriminatory and bigoted. It is they who embrace diversity and the traditionalists who call for conversion of manners and repentance. It is they who respect the rights of all individuals and the traditionalists who call for responsibility and accountability.

It is The Episcopal Church that avoids putting God in a box and understands the importance of cultural and historical context when understanding the chauvinist patriarchs like Paul the Apostle. It is the leadership that carefully defines and restricts the behaviors of the traditionalist bishops through new canons while granting the blank check of a “generous pastoral response” to circumvent existing constraints.

It is the Episcopal Church that takes on the politically correct issues of social justice and world hunger but calls the murder of unborn children a blessing. They call for unity and call for sanctions against those who would speak against unity, yet on the world stage of Anglicanism; they want autonomy, no accountability and the right to innovate.

The traditionalists have fought the Episcopal Church in their manner with litigation on their turf the courts. TEC has redefined the polity of the church as hierarchical and the courts and public believe this. It is not the means but the ends. It is consequentialism that not only justifies the means, it determines the means. Never mind the theological rationale for an action. It is ultimately “What seemed good to us.” There is an after the fact making up of the rules to justify the behaviors. They are not rational. They are rationalizing.
And who are the traditionalists? They are the people who can no longer identify with a church with a behaviorally derived theology that diminishes Holy Scripture to justify idolatry. Traditionalists still confess and believe the creeds. They still cling to God’s mercy and the hope of salvation not a free pass of universal salvation from a god who has no hell or heaven. They still believe that Christ is who He says He is. Christ is God and the only way to eternal life.

The traditionalists have lost the battle of public opinion and are losing the battle in the courts. They have lost the battle for TEC. Traditionalists remain a remnant within the Episcopal Church where once they were the majority. They are being persecuted for His name’s sake. They continue to leave and die; leaving behind those who are driving an agenda of what they believe is the worthy goal of self-discovery and self affirmation but is in reality self-immolation. They have reversed the goals of the Kingdom of God. They seek everything else and believe that is the Kingdom of God.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33).    

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