Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What in the Hell Is Wrong With Virginia?

So, several weeks back we find an Episcopal parish in Virginia presenting the essentially apostate John Dominic Crossam in a lenten program. Now we find out that on Good Friday another parish in the diocese had John Shelby Spong preaching his heresies, which seem to have gotten worse than ever. What is the matter with Bishop Johnston, that he thinks there is anything at all OK about giving these guys lectern time, much less allowing them to preach?

There is no way in hell that a man who denounces the Nicene Creed has any business doing anything that bears the slightest resemblance to teaching in this church. Those of us with a little theological sophistication can tell that Crossan and Spong and their ilk are shovelling theological crap of their own excretion, but the average parishioner (and for that matter cleric) shouldn't be made to sort through this dung heap. The failure to defrock Spong needs to be rethought; unfortunately Crossan isn't one of ours that we can discipline him, but the failure of the lofty persons at 815 to denounce these presentations leads one to suspect that either they share the same inability to repeat the Creed and mean it, or that they are so absorbed in keeping their grip on church buildings that they've lost interest in what is said inside them, other than when it comes to a-heterosexual approval. It's hardly out of the question that both are true.

This is where the deeper rot in the church lies. I can see how we can disagree on sexual morality and on the ministerial authority on women, even to the extent of disagreeing with Paul's teaching. When we cannot step up to a commitment to the most basic statements of theological principle, to which we all state allegiance every Sunday, it sends the message that we are intellectual frauds. In a Catholic or Orthodox church, the priest who allowed this nonsense would be called on the carpet by the bishop and would stand a real risk of being inhibited and deprived of office. And they would be entirely right to do so. Our bishops should be doing likewise, lest we be reduced to The Dilettante Episcopal Church.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen, Brother!

- Dick Mitchell