Fr. David Simmons has posted an essay in response to an op-ed piece in the Washington Post yesterday. David’s essay tries to point to the reasons that folks can so profoundly mis-characterize the Episcopal Church.
Link: Ayia Iluvatar.
The situation at Falls Church seem similar. I think the problem is that many of those on the right have isolated themselves from the church for too long – long enough for them to think their decades-old experience is still the norm. They don’t really know what the average seminarian today is being taught or what the average priest is preaching and they don’t care. Their remembrances are much more comfortable.
I suspect that our real sin as the Episcopal Church has nothing to do with sexuality. It has to do with allowing ourselves to “ghettoize” into special-interest groups, pretending that OUR Episcopal Church was the true one, when the truth is, we ALL are the Episcopal Church. All the more shame if we allow our preconceptions, based on old data, to separate us.
I posted a response in the same vein to the HoB/D list and even sent a letter to the editors of the Washington Post:
First is a question: At what point in the history of the Anglican Church did it ever broadly hold to the principle of “Sola Scriptura”? I am certain that there have been groups within the umbrella of a broad Anglicanism who have held to this, but has there ever been a time when the principle was explicitly identified as Anglican and not as a principle held by the continental reformers? I am not aware of such a time.
Second, as The Rev. Tom Woodward of The Episcopal Majority keeps reminding us, this charge that the Episcopal Church as a whole is blithely picking and choosing its doctrines from among the latest intellectual fasions is just not true. The vast majority of all Episcopalians across the spectrum of the present Church are responding to careful readings of the Holy Scriptures. We disagree with each other on how the Scriptures are to be read and which commandments take priority in our day. We are not tossing scripture aside as if it was inconvenient to our social reform program.
The Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon, of the Diocese of South Carolina has been very helpful in consistently insisting that when we debate in the Episcopal Church, we start by listening to what each other is saying and then respond to what is being said, rather than create straw-men for sake of scoring rhetorical points. The authors of the piece in the Post does not seem to have done this.