Saturday, February 27, 2010

Here's a liberal Episcopalian who is not afraid to out the dysfunctional 'leadership' of the denomination

Sunday Jeremiad: Petty Prophets of the Blue Beast - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest

This is significant because Mead agrees with most of the goals of the progressive church agenda. Still, borrowing from our Lutheran neighbors, he "nails some cyber-theses to the virtual door" of the national church bunker:

"1. Nobody cares what you think while your tiny church is falling apart...

2. American Episcopal bishops have so spectacularly screwed up their relations with Africa that they are in no position to lecture secular leaders on international politics...

3. In the contemporary world the job of the clergy isn’t to provide political leadership. It is to help laypeople grow into better, wiser political leaders...

4. The Blue Social Model isn’t the Kingdom of God..."

Here's how he closes:

"I want to be clear here. Liberal mainline Protestantism is not just a ghastly mistake and a return to literalism and fundamentalism is not the way out of the current impasse. The great historical riches and insights of the mainline denominations are more important than ever today. The liberal, questing spirit that refuses to take ancient truths for granted and that challenges historic orthodoxies in the light of lived experience has a vital and necessary place in the life of the church. It’s important that the mainline churches halt their disintegration and decline and regain the strength to play their role in the American religious system. I am not writing all these terrible things about bishops because I want them to fail. God has work for the mainline church to do, and God’s work in the world will suffer if we fail.

But the Blue Beast cannot save American society and it cannot save the mainline church. Until we come to terms with these truths and start living them we can neither help ourselves nor do much to help anybody else."

My suggestion is that we start by cutting off funds for and cooperation with lawsuits, pricey travel junkets, and bloated national conventions until there are some significant results in denominational peacemaking, reconciliation and articulation of the Christian message. There is a healthy model in play in the Diocese of Central Florida. Scroll down and read the whole section called "A Time of Rebuilding."


Keith said...

These are brilliant, how ever, our bishops will not heed the warnings of these 'thesis'. The HOB lacks the people to say to our leadership at 815 this has gone too far. Remember the Neutron Bomb? It killed people but left buildings standing. That's 815's strategy in a nutshell. It kills congregations and keeps the buildings

TLF+ said...

Keith - agreed. These bishops will not listen. This mess has to collapse - whether simply to dust that blows away or to debris that God will use to build something new. I believe that there will be some of the latter.