Fr. Dale Matson
There is a gradual loss of identity within The Episcopal Church. I believe that what was once a Christian church is now becoming an activist organization; a faith based initiative. Like so many colleges that were begun by Christian denominations, TEC too, is now becoming secular. TEC leadership has become human focused to the extent that there are no barriers to inclusion. Baptism is “ancient” and “normative” but not necessary for inclusion in the body of Christ.
They are, in fact, ashamed of Christ and willing to see Him as only an avenue to a liberated life of self-affirmation in the here and now. I’m OK and Your OK. It is now the “I am special” church, yet the members no longer see themselves as what St. Paul referred to as a “peculiar people” who are called out of a worldly life as witnesses to the transforming love of Jesus Christ. They are not called to holy living and they are not in search of Christ. They are not sinners seeking God’s mercy; they are victims in search of justice. They are called to “live into” their natural selves, whatever that might be. In short, TEC has lost the pearl of great price; Jesus Christ Who is our true and authentic self. He is also the identity and head of the corporate and mystical body, the church. He is the Logos and the affect driven leadership is not interested in God informed reason any longer. They are too busy tithing their dill of diversity.
They don’t see the need to repent individually for personal sin but they do repent organizationally for failures to discover the blessed uniqueness of each kind of new personhood; for the insensitivity to other cultures. Whom did they fail to include this time around? We will see next time around.
The leadership seems almost “affect driven” in their need to avoid discernment as being judgmental and hateful and all in the name of inclusivity. The gate to the Kingdom of God is narrow but the red doors of TEC are wide open. TEC, as it sheds doctrine, reminds me of a cell that no longer has a semi permeable membrane to filter out what is harmful and to allow in what is nurturing. The organization is like Star Trek’s “Vger” moving through space and time collecting this and that, becoming an eclectic blob and seeking its creator “The god of our understanding”.
There seems to be a condescending anger and stealth cynicism that is resident in the leadership. They use phrases that are intended to send one message to the pew sitters while winking at one another that they have taken one more brick out of the church foundation of tradition. They know that only rubes believe in Scripture as God’s Word, Hell, Heaven, Christ’s divinity and even bodily resurrection. Reason informed by science is hip not knowledge revealed by God. The Kingdom of God is the material world of the here and now. TEC is an advocate of the millennium development goals and a sustainable planet, not the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
To whom will they leave the planet? They are too concerned about their carbon footprint (not the one shod for the preparation of the Gospel) to breed. They are vocal and proud advocates for abortion with a seminary head that calls abortion a blessing. TEC leadership has lost Christ and He can do no mighty works there. They have traded in the saving red blood of Jesus for a green earth gospel. After all, would a loving God crucify His Son? What kind of God is that?
I write this because there is still a faithful remnant and God has honored their presence, obedience and witness. At some point if they too also leave or are driven out, then Christ will remove His lampstand and the church will be a church in name only.