Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Position on The Covenant

If The Episcopal Church signs on to the Covenant, I'm out.
I did not join in 1982 to be part of another Rome, yet another Christian imperium ruled by a curia of bishops, and especially a Calvinist one.
As a gay man, I refuse to be a part of any organization where I am not a full and equal member, where I must accommodate and submit to those who refuse to recognize my full humanity for reasons that are arbitrary and discredited.
I refuse to be part of any organization, especially a religious one, that declares that membership in The Family of Humankind comes with qualifications.
I refuse to be part of any "Christian" organization whose fundamental guiding principle is "God loves those who deserve it."

I'd feel the same way about anyone else who was also arbitrarily excluded or accepted "with conditions," say women for example.

If Anglicanism becomes a "Rome Lite," then why not just save the subway fare and head down the street to St. Cecilia's? Why not? There wouldn't be any difference, or any that would mean anything to me anymore. Or even better, why not have brunch more often with my husband (soon to be legal here in New York)?

And besides, here in Williamsburg Brooklyn, within a few blocks from me is The Revolution Church for when I really need that Christian fellowship as well as any number of house churches where I would be fully welcome.

Until the unlikely event that the Episcopal Church self destructs so our bishops can continue to have tea with the Queen and Archbishop every ten years, I will continue to think of myself as Episcopalian, perhaps the only church in Christendom that says bluntly, "No, we don't have all the answers. No one does. We're trying to find our way through this life in the dark with the sputtering lamp of imperfect faith just like everyone else (whether they admit it or not). Let's travel together."

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Just to be clear, I LOVE the Episcopal Church, and have since I joined it in 1982. Since 2003 with the consecration of Bishop Robinson, and since the consecration of Bishop Glasspool, and all the grief that the church has taken for both of those actions, that love has only intensified. The whole church has not only taken up my cause, but actually come over to where I live and joined me in the exile and suffering that have always been facts of life for me and people like me. My church shares in the scorn I bear. How could I not love it for that? I hope and pray that this experience will inspire me to go and do likewise for others unjustly scorned and dwelling in exile.

The whole point of the Covenant is to punish the Episcopal Church for acting on its collective conscience, for doing what it saw was so clearly right and urgent. I can't imagine this church would willingly acquiesce to so transparently punitive a document which would fundamentally alter its nature, and end its uniquely democratic polity based on the conviction that the Holy Spirit dwells in and speaks through ALL of the Church and not just in its designated officers. After suffering so much grief, and prevailing by simply surviving and continuing to grow and evolve, why should this church sign a document which essentially demands its capitulation?

6 comments:

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Amen.

(This will be harder for me, since my spouse is a priest, but still....)

toujoursdan said...

I think the whole thing is going to be watered down to become meaningless or collapses entirely, but I completely understand your feelings.

JCF said...

I don't really think this is a danger (of TEC signing on). I think we've already been burned too many times w/ a "Smile & Nod" approach...

Ciss B said...

I think the ABC is going to come away from this very badly. I believe many more provinces will reject it than accept it in the end.

JCF said...

Must not feed troll. Must not feed troll. Must not feed troll. Sad Brad clean-up time!

MarkBrunson said...

I think a great many will be out, and that's what enrages me - especially with those like a certain poster over at Preludium whose constant tantrums and whining about "You want to force me out!" conveniently overlook the fact that that poster has NO problem whatsoever with forcing a great many others out - not just to another denomination, but, in most cases, out of church altogether, as TEC has been one of the few affirming, accepting and readily-accessible safe havens for them - one which rejects the Lawyer-God while embracing traditional worship styles.