Monday, October 03, 2005

Reflections on Fr. Eric Dudley’s sad letter.

Last night, I was struck by Fr. Eric Dudley’s letter of resignation as rector of St. John’s Episcopal, Tallahassee, Florida.

It reminded me of several points I’ve made on this blog. First, that a number of good, faithful men feel compelled to leave ECUSA is yet one more indicator not only that something is very wrong with it, but that its condition is getting worse.

Which brings me to the second point. Although leaving ECUSA (or any mainline denomination) is not a decision to be taken lightly, neither is a decision to stay. No matter how good one’s motives may be to stay in ECUSA, the costs can be great. Fr. Dudley’s account of the costs to him personally and to his family reminds me of Fr. Al Kimel’s account. (In fact, note Fr. Kimel’s comment #56 on the above link.)

And I think good men like Frs. Dudley and Kimel leaving should make orthodox people think twice about staying.

Eric+ also notes the potential spiritual costs to upcoming generations, as well as the very practical costs of striving for the Faith in a denomination headed for utter apostasy. That’s like praising the virtues of Auburn in an Alabama booster club. There may be better things to do. As he says, “I would much rather pour my life and ministry into building a strong Anglicanism in America based on the solid Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Finally, having an orthodox bishop does not give one immunity. The Diocese of Florida had a staunchly orthodox bishop, only to have him succeeded by a “moderate” loser – an apparent factor in the timing of Fr. Dudley’s departure.

In any case, it is another sad day in the Episcopal Church USA, and one that should give those who remain pause.

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