Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Self-Destruction of the Episcopal Church?

I’ve been wondering this week if we’re witnessing a phenomenon mentioned time and again in Scripture: people who willfully oppose God and His people often act in ways that bring about their destruction. The Psalms talk again and again of those who lay nets for God’s people falling into them themselves. Paul wrote in Romans 1 that willful sin debases even the minds of those who persist in it so that they irrationally destroy themselves.

In a similar vein, Euripides said, “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

Are witnessing this in recent events in the Episcopal Church?

At General Convention, TEC bishops and delegates elected the most divisive, most extremist, least qualified candidate available. If they desired to hold the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion together or at least keep bloodshed to a minimum, that surely wasn’t the way to do it. She, Katharine Schori, then promptly alienated Christians with her statements, beginning with calling Jesus “our mother.”

Then this past weekend, she hit a new low with her already infamous remarks about the childbearing and intelligence of Catholics. (Here’s another lampoon of those remarks, from a Catholic wedding no less.) Doesn’t she realize that many Episcopalians feel kinship with the Catholic church? And not a few cast furtive glances across the Tiber. I imagine yet more have decided to jump in and swim across thanks to her remarks. And a great many less Catholic-minded Anglicans find her remarks beyond the pale.

Then “almost immediately,” as a certain English comedy troupe would say, came her letter to +Schofield inviting him to shove off . . . in Christian love, of course. Does she not realize that sort of conduct serves only to alienate further those who are deliberating their future in the Episcopal Church? Did she give any thought to how this sort of vicious attack on the orthodox may use up the remaining patience of the Primates?

Even liberal-minded Anglicans sympathetic to Schori are noting (if quietly) that she is showing little if any political sense. And that’s being charitable. She’s flat out not thinking straight. If there’s a way to act in a more self-destructive manner, it’s hard to imagine it.

We may be witnessing the Episcopal Church bringing about and accelerating its own self-destruction. And in that way, for a change, the Episcopal Church may be downright Biblical.

Housekeeping: As I’m sure many of you will be, I will be quite busy the next few days. So it’s unlikely I’ll post until next week. (But you never know with me.) Until then, have a great Thanksgiving!

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