Saturday, February 16, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

I can speak that way of Father Will Brown, because he's young enough to be my son, and, in fact, was a college buddy of my actual son. But this, from a comment thread on Covenant, is simply too deliciously apposite not to deserve wider exposure:

I honestly believe a big part of the problem with TEC is that it is run by Boomers who can't stop congratulating themselves for not being Southern Baptists.

Discuss amongst yourselves.


Anonymous said...

Well, the covenant thread from which this quote was taken is pretty interesting...

Whenever I see comments like these, I think about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14), and I'm always reluctant to join in a chorus of 'the problem with those other folk is...', even though I have definite sympathies with one side of the division. It works both ways - there are those who can't stop celebrating their self-differentiation from conservative christianity (I've run into this far too many times in the TEC churches I've attended), and those who thank God they aren't like those knee-jerk anti-conservative liberals masquerading as Christians (while this wording is perhaps exaggerated, I've many comment boxes of numerous blogs that go a long way in this direction).

But leaving aside which group is more to blame, perhaps there is a more general truth pointed to by that comment. Perhaps one of the central problems in the TEC is a strong tendency to get stuck in group identity issues, whether by positive or negative association.


Anonymous said...

I remember many years ago visiting one of the most liberal parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada. It was near where I lived and I wanted to try it out. It was very small, with a mere handful of parishioners, but obviously had money.

Anyway, I was swarmed at coffee hour by parishioners who saw me as a prospective new member (and judging by their reaction to me, not many newcomers ever showed up). They spent the entire coffee hour telling me how much more enlightened their parish was as compared to other Christian churches (which they seemed to think were a bunch of rubes). This would have been back in the mid-1990's and even then they proclaimed that one of the signs of their enlightenment was their embrace of same-sex blessings.

Now I was (and am) of a conservative mind on issues of theology and morality and I got out of there as quickly as I could whilst still maintaining a polite demeanor. But I will not soon forget the time I was welcomed by the tiny boomer liberal parish with the schtick "you should join us because THANK GOD, we aren't like those kooky fundamentalists who don't approve of same-sex blessings."