Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Save us from the sin of Saul

From Tuesday Morning Prayer:

Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray, pardon my sin, and return with me, so that I may worship the LORD." Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel." (I Samuel 15:24-26)

My generation of Episcopal clergy (yes, me included) are predisposed to people-pleasing. The ordination process, for whatever reasons, favored this personality type.

My conversion to a more traditional Christian faith and to a different style of leadership began when I got sick of dishonestly twisting Bible passages to fit "the party line" and to "stroke" the parishioners.

The Episcopal Church General Convention is run by very assertive activists who are empowered by very weak Bishops and other clergy. Decisions are made out of fear when "the voice of the people" gets loud. The volume goes up to drown out God's warnings about their bad choices.

When Saul caved in, it cost him not just a title, but God's blessing upon his efforts.

Please ask God to save General Convention, especially the House of Bishops, from the sin of Saul. Bishops are entrusted "to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church" - ask God to give them strength in the face of demands to violate these. Pray in the name of Jesus, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. Amen.

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