Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shutting Doors

Let's see; following their latest Council Meeting, the Diocese of Ft. Worth is now in line to join the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and San Joaquin, moving towards disassociation with TEC. The House of Bishops communique wasn't deemed sufficient for them.

Most recently, the Diocese of California in convention has approved three rites for trial usage, blessing same gender couple's unions, and is urging their Bp. to approve them. Seems they weren't satisfied with what came out of the H.O.B's Meeting either and have decided to take matters into their own hands, too.

So, despite the Church's leadership attempting to keep our TEC from walking off a precipice, the laity is still hell bent on marching straight into oblivion. I'm most fearful other Dioceses will also follow, according to their leanings.

I remember reading and saving a definition of the Elizabethan Settlement once as:
“… via media was the term applied to the Elizabethan Settlement of the 1550’s. … She (Elizabeth) set aside her personal preferences in hopes of gaining national unity and peace. The ‘middle way’ was applied to elements not essential to one’s salvation.

The brilliance of the Elizabethan Settlement was in the way it incorporated various Catholic and Protestant ideas of worship into a single entity. The middle road accepted divergent ideas on items of less importance, ...

… It was not having a large table with room for everyone and every view. … The historic middle way was not a compromise between competing theories about God. It was … ‘not a bridge but a causeway.’ It did not join together two differing religions but was a way through the middle ground of the one true religion. The historic via media did not open new doors to a new Church, but allowed entry through several doors to the same Church.”

I see us all as sinful before God and theologically don't differentiate between those of a greater or lesser nature. Distinguishing between sins mortal & venal is an exercise in futility, IMHO. By denying sinners access to the Church we immediately become unable to seat anyone in the pew.

So my question is: "Why can't we take time to 'do the theology' on these issues that divide us before we begin closing and locking doors on each other?"


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