Even the most desirable aims can be pursued in destructive ways. ACNA is involved in such a pursuit when it pushes “social justice” as part of its efforts to become more diverse.
A good number of new generation of Anglican clergy are recovering from very rigid fundamentalist pasts where their heads were packed with lots of scripture but their hearts were left cold.
The truth isn’t “somewhere in the middle.” If you are taking it from both sides, you shouldn’t comfort yourself that you’re probably right because everybody is a little bit wrong. Some people are catastrophically wrong.
The old guy is on the side of the church, but he knows that church growth cannot be in the driver’s seat or the gospel will be thrown out the window as the bus is flying down the road towards the pretty sunset. Of course, as Christians, we must be welcoming, but hospitality cannot be framed as a “tone” issue, a project in the service of which we must all be very winsome about the hard, angular truths of the gospel.
The truth is that Jesus is the gift of God by which we are saved and that he calls us to lead lives of radical obedience and holiness.
No scripture is to be quarantined, to be interpreted in isolation. One must not interpret Romans 13 in isolation from Mark 12:17.
We will remember all the important lessons we learned for maybe a month, max, and then we’ll forget and start complaining about all the usual stuff, trespassing and being trespassed against, and yes, even dying.
If we ever took for granted gathering together in person to worship, we surely do not now! And even most of those who may have considered online worship unimportant take its importance for granted no longer.
I found my plain white unscented tapers (by the mercy of God) and then circled (only in one direction) to the Easter Basket display and bought six horrible little plastic “baskets” and some fake grass, because, woe is me, I am evil too.
Human suffering no longer interests the Vatican. Instead, it celebrates the fish in Venice’s canals.
Through Facebook, Zoom, YouTube, and even Discord, I’ve gotten to worship and learn with favorite priests and parishes from Texas to England, from Reformed Prayer Book Catholic to very Anglo-Catholic.
It is the very job of the Christian to give the answer about suffering—all suffering. Lamentation, without the cross, and even more so, without the resurrection, is a paltry, dusty, foolish, absurd thing. The Christian alone has the deepest most satisfying reason for why, a why that gathers up all the anxiety, all the hopelessness into an eternal hope.
Even as COVID-19 spreads, other, more insidious viruses do, as well.
Beware of politicians looking to crush those who oppose them under cover of plague.
Which is Less bad? Shutting down the economy so that fewer people die? Which it is important to acknowledge, is a terrible terrible decision to make or to have to make because people losing money and jobs is not a good thing and I don’t hear anybody saying that it is. Or, not shutting down the economy and having lots and lots and lots of people die? This is also a bad choice. Really bad. Devastating.
The church rightly reveres Ignatius and Polycarp, who both went cheerfully and without resistance to their martyrdoms. The church also rightly reveres Athanasius, who fled persecution.
We’ve been tearing babies out of the womb and chucking them away, destroying the lives of their mothers and fathers in the process and yeah, the economy, heretofore, has been ticking along fine, but, I would say, with little beauty and less honor and certainly dubious quantities of justice.
If there were no pandemic sickness and the government were to tyrannically demand that we not meet on pain of death, I think we would be obligated to disobey and face the consequences. But in this case, lives are at stake, not the Gospel.
The great thing about a church is that it’s a community no matter what your lifestyle or work. Do you work in an office? That’s great, you can still go to church. Do you work at home? That’s great too.
Tellingly, only one, Bishop Love of Albany, has stood his ground and now faces censure or deposition for his courage.