Monday, 11 May 2009

Episcopal Church in chaos

Now that I have your attention!

Of course my beloved Church is not in the chaos which its detractors allege (and try to cause).

Despite what some evangelicals, and the fundamentalists in our midst would say we are not preaching a new gospel or inventing a new religion.

We are faithful to the creeds, to the sacraments, and to the scriptures, and it is that very faithfulness which constrains us to be inclusive of those whom the world would deem to be worthless or rubbish.

We are a Church which in parish after parish, diocese after diocese asks "what would Jesus do?" And then, by the grace of God, tries to do it!

We speak peace to those who differ with us. We ask that they should speak peace to us.

We do this is in the tradition of many wise christian leaders of the past; not least that of the Puritan John Robinson (Pastor to the "Pilgrims" who left England for these shores).

Read these words from a Puritan!

Quotes from John Robinson's writings

"That which is commonly called schism ariseth from the conceit of faith or want of love." "We seek enlightenment from others who see further into the matter, for we are always prepared to give way modestly to those who teach better things." (Admonitio ad Lectorem, preface to Robert Parker, De Politeia)

"Disputations in religion are sometimes necessary, but always dangerous."

"But we should affect strife with none, but study, as far as we can to accord with all; accounting it a benefit, when we can so do with any. We ought to be firmly persuaded in our hearts of the truth, and goodness of the religion, which we embrace in all things; yet as knowing ourselves to be men, whose property it is to err and to be deceived in many things; and accordingly both to converse with men in that modesty of mind, as always to desire to learn something better, or further by them, if it may be." (Works, I, 37-39)

"If in anything we err, advertise us brotherly, with desire of our information, and not, as our countrymen's manner for the most part is, with a mind of reproaching us, or gratifying of others; and whom thou findest in error, thou shalt not leave in obstinacy, nor as having a mind prone to schism. Err we may, alas! Too easily: but heretics, by the grace of God, we will not be." (Works, III, 77-78)

"I profess myself always one of them who still desire to learn something better and further what the good will of God is." (Works, III, 102)

"As for men, how uncharitable they are. How injurious in relating their own misinformed collections for their opinions! As if the Word of God came out of them or to them alone." (Works, III, 239)

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