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WOE IS ME

“Those of us who deplore the methodology of General Convention infallibility still cannot give up the essential catholicity and liberality of Anglicanism merely because we managed to be born at a time in which the Province in which we serve seems good at erring and straying. Nothing is for ever except God and His purpose.

I am convinced that one of the great errors of this generation is that we all believe that we are stuck in a moment of time, believe that what now is is crucial and that we must fix it now or God will lose and the church fail. This is a lie from our father below.

Now if TEC abolishes its formularies, creates a liturgy incapable of grace-bearing, and annuls ministry, then that’s quite another matter. For now patient faithfulness is the calling of some of us, as best we can, under the mercy. I think I am more convinced of this now than I was a few days ago.”

I wrote the above to the Covenant web site in response to some lugubrious commentary by traditionalist writers. I don’t want to be unfair, but whatever “persecution” we may experience in TEC is very comfortable in comparison with that encountered by Christians in other parts of the world today and that which our spiritual ancestors suffered. We are not a very tough or brave lot today. I wonder whether there may be depression in the DNA of American traditionalists! We moan and groan, seek escape routes, use the web to attack and defame while sipping good scotch and enjoying brie and crackers. This sort of attitude seems general and not the exclusive preserve of those of us who claim the title orthodox. Cross-bearing is distinctly uncomfortable. Not getting our own way instantly or even generationally is good for us. Sef-sacrifice, suffering is the Christian menu.

It would be lovely to have lived in a golden age when all was peaceful. When, pray tell, was that? That state is not behind us, but before us, in the new Jerusalem, and God is good to give us a foretaste of that which shall be at each Eucharist, when we pray and read the Scriptures, when we do good and when we suffer bravely and cheerfully. “See how these Christians love one another. That was said of dying Christians in the arena as the crowds enjoyed cruel martyrdom. Where are our good Bishop Polycarps today?

4 Responses

  1. How much radicalism–right and left–do you suppose is generational in nature?

    Our current unpleasantness might well be informed by very contingent matters transcending ideology; for instance, I cannot imagine the WWII-generation communicants in my parish driving a wedge into the church this hard.

  2. Fr Tony –

    This is well said. I particularly appreciate the point about persecution. I’m reminded of the Showtime series _The Tudors_, which is a fairly realistic (so say some of the historians) portrayal of the bloodthirstiness of that time period. I would not have wanted to live then.

    RFSJ+

  3. One does not (hopefully not, anyway) minister to the poor by telling them to buck up, that the lower castes in India are far worse off than anyone here. That does not alleviate poverty or hunger here.

    So God would have us ignore wrongdoing in the church here and now in the hope that He’ll come along and fix it sometime in the future? That’s definitely not the example Jesus set. It would make the reformation uneccessary and require us to return to Roman Catholicism.

    In a word, nonsense, Fr Tony. It’s time for reformed Anglicanism NOW.

  4. Oh, yum to the brie and crackers, my traditionalist friend! I could not post comments to some subsequent of your posts — sorry.

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