Monday, December 14, 2009

And while we're talking about lies...

The Episcopal Church had a big ol' ad in USA Today. You can see it here.

The second-to-last claim it makes is

We clebrate our unity in Christ while honoring our differences, always putting the work of love before uniformity of opinion.

That's the claim. The national FACTS are:

  • Membership profile is disproportionately affluent, older, white and homosexual, and with a high number of clergy relative to the small number of active members. This is even more exaggerated in denominational leadership.
  • Disproportionately low presence of men, young adults, teens, children and working class people.
  • Decline by attrition and lack of evangelism, indicating current members' inability and/or unwillingness to interact with people who are not already part of their social circle.
  • More use of disciplinary sanctions against dissenting clergy than at any time in Episcopal Church history.
  • Millions of dollars in litigation over church property, even when dissenting congregations offer to pay for title. Not to mention the elimination of national staff and programs while increasing the lawsuit budget and hiring a personal litigator for the Presiding Bishop.
  • De facto exclusion of traditional Christians from governing bodies and ordination as clergy.

Yep, some mad love and honoring of differences in the Episcopal Church today. South Dakota presents an interesting anomaly. The diocese is multi-ethnic; clergy are hard to recruit and retain; congregations serve some of the poorest counties in the United States. But it's current trend is the same as the rest of the denomination: fading away by attrition.


Floridian said...

The last one, their ACTUAL exclusion and intoleranc of orthodox viewpoint is right we have learned the hard and painful way.

Welcome back! Keep speaking truth to power in love, with the humility and meekness, but uncompromising frankness of Christ, Fr. Tim!

TLF+ said...

Thanks, Floridian. I gotta work on love. Getting better at humble & meek - God's let life sand some edges.

peggy38 said...

Also notice that they say they believe in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit but no mention of the Trinity.

You can believe in the above but not believe that they are co-equal and co-eternal.

But this they know full well. Why shy away from mentioning the correct term?

I have some theories, none of which involve any kind of actual unabashed belief in the Trinity ie that most distinctive belief upon which Christian orthodoxy is founded.

TLF+ said...

Good point, Peggy. Their emptying and twisting of faith language is one of the more creative ways in which they lie.

Keith said...

There are two organizations in America that are undergoing purity purges. One is the Republican party, the other, the Episcopal Church. As a straight, moderate African American male priest, I have come to the conclusion that I stand a better chance being elected a Senator from South Carolina, than becoming a bishop in TEC.It is disheartening when I see the advertisement and know in my heart that it is not true. It is depressing to know that because of my beliefs my chances of working in parish ministry are being diminished. I love and trust in God, but I don't trust 815.

TLF+ said...

It is true, Keith. There are lots of closed and locked doors in TEC. Closet is open, but lots of other stuff is shut.