Fr. Rob Eaton, a prayerful guy out in CA, commented on one of my earlier posts. I was pretty rough after having read the comments from West Texas, so I need to say that Bishop Lillibridge there is a faithful Christian and shepherd, as Fr. Rob pointed out in his comment.
In my response, I confessed that some of the rough edges in my presentation reflect frustration with myself. Here's what I said, and I think it explains my spiritual dilemma:
Rob+, the little parable I wrote was my own mea culpa.
I am certainly among those who bought the lies at the now defunct (well, it still operates but commercial interests use most of it for condos) General Seminary and came out as a young priest polluting the church, betraying God and His people in the process.
Then, even after I realized that I had to get back to Evangelical Faith and Apostolic Order, I bought into "unity in diversity" and the lie that "the crazy stuff is just in a few crazy places - if I just do faithful ministry where I am, that's plenty."
So "let's all work together" is something I recognize as an admission of failure. It's what we say when we've already let people get away with stuff that should have been resisted.
I think that S. Carolina, W. Louisiana, Albany, C. Florida and other places are offering sincere witness to the Gospel. I would say that my parish is attempting the same. But read the new post with quotes from the ELCA... "Let's all pull together because we are all in pain"? Please.
Prayer will continue, and I am grateful for faithful witnesses like yourself who stir us up to do that work. But there's also the reality that I am of a generation of really weak Christians (clergy in particular) who played around with a comfy, compromised Gospel and now bear the consequences.
So I wrestle less with "Stay in TEC or go to ACNA?" than with "Continue in ordained ministry or get a secular job and ask God for (more) mercy on my soul?"