To Those Who Are Angry
It’s like the rising of the sun. Whenever we post an article about orthodox Episcopalians taking a stand of any kind - the departure of the South Carolinian deputation from the floor of General Convention being the most recent - it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable “Fly you fools!” comment shows up on the thread. Many such comments are obviously written out of anger - laced with sarcasm, righteous indignation, misspelled words, and the implicit (or explicit) charge of cowardice and/or stupidity.
As one who has ‘flown’ I have no idea from whence this need of leavers to whack stayers arises? What is the point of it? What is it about their decision that has any bearing whatsoever on our ministry or mission? Shouldn’t we rather pray for and support them in any way we can? It is before their own Master (and ours) that they stand or fall.
If we want to “hold them accountable” as Christian brothers, let’s do so according to scripture, the measure and “norming norm” that God has provided for that very purpose.
To date no one has produced any hard evidence from scripture that those who remain in TEC “must” leave as a matter of fidelity to Christ. To do so, that person would have to demonstrate that remaining “requires” doing what God forbids and/or not doing what God commands. Exodus analogies and vague references to 2nd Corinthians 6, while provocative, don’t suffice.
It is absolutely true that Christians remaining in TEC must do so militantly: stay to fight, no cooperation, no collaboration, no funding, nothing to provide aid or comfort to the enemy. But that seems to be precisely what Bishop Lawrence has done and is doing. There are certainly collaborators in TEC but +Lawrence is obviously not one of them.
So what really is the problem? If they stay faithfully and fight, even in a desperate, losing cause, is there some evil in that? Is there some scriptural text I’ve overlooked that that forbids Christians from giving themselves over to what appears to be a hopeless struggle? The truth is quite the opposite. Our God defeated death after all.
Even in the world self-sacrifice in a losing battle is considered a noble thing - Leonidas and his 500, the Alamo, the French paratroopers at Dien Bien Phu leap immediately to mind. Why do we sniff at similar sacrifices in a spiritual battle?
If you cannot understand why someone would want to stay, why be bothered by it? If they’re not in violation of God’s commands, why do they owe you or me any explanation at all? Why not let them go about their work in peace and with our blessing?
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