Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Symbiosis of a sort, I guess

There are just enough Episcopalians left to want it both ways - congregational and hierarchical.

Creedal Christian finds and shares a comment typical of many people in the pews - "If it isn't about my home congregation, it really doesn't matter." Many Episcopalians say, "Who cares if we split from the Anglican Communion or the rest of Christianity for that matter? If it isn't my own home church, what's the diff?" That's a congregational point of view shared by many Protestants around the world.

What makes it bizarre in the case of Episcopalians is that the denominational leadership have been using the term "hierarchical" more and more to describe themselves. In this view, the church is not congregational, but a top-down organization. The "me and my local church" pew sitters are allowing their offerings to go to lawsuits, international travel junkets, political lobbying, formation of a new, multinational "Episcopal Communion" and other means by which the national church bureaucracy takes more and more control of church identity, resources and operation.

David C. Trimble shares a sad story of one diocese where the congregations are little more than ATMs for a Bishop who's always away enhancing his status in the national bureaucracy.

So "congregational" = "Left alone to die in peace" and "hierarchical" = "OK, just remember us in your will."


Jeffersonian said...

Well, to be fair, David Trimble cites the extreme example of a parish within the diocese mismanaged by Stacy Sauls, one of the most cynically ambitious climbers of the greasy pole of TGC politics. It's probably not quite as bad in other dioceses where the bishop is at least marginally interested in his parishes' health and the Gospel and not pathologically obsessed with his own status and glory.

Alice C. Linsley said...

In Stacy Sauls, the Diocese of Lexington received what it had been set up to receive. Lexington is a haven for homosexuals. They have managed to take over most areas of the city.

Recently, when the local Christian school went before the city council to seek bonding, a gay council member demanded to know what the board members believed about homosexuality. For gay and lesbian activists nothing, absolutely nothing, is as sacred as their "rights" and status. They have a friend in Stacy Sauls, but then he owes Integrity for the slick way it helped him.