Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A valiant Christian living under a hostile government

A very thoughtful post from Fr. Timothy Fountain up on Northern Plains Anglicans. For those of us laity in traditional Anglican churches in revisionist dioceses, I think this post helps us understand better what our clergy have been going through:

. . . As a priest, I have spiritual needs that will influence my decision – needs that cannot be met by my relationship with my congregation. I cannot seem to get that reality across to my current TEC parish, which is overwhelmingly orthodox by just about any measure and which shows me great affection.

A spiritual leader needs to be under Biblical oversight. Without this, a rector or vicar is more vulnerable to temptations of various kinds. Pride becomes a great danger – “We don’t worry about the rest of the church – we have you” is one of things I’ve heard from well meaning parishioners here. That is dangerous to my soul, however lovingly intended. . .

. . . I don’t have a conclusion. What’s next is in God’s hands.

I’m reasonably certain that institutional TEC will not rejoin Christianity any time soon. That means a) I will be out of TEC altogether or b) I will remain in it under some kind of dhimmitude. I have made preparation either way, and will walk through whatever door God opens. I am blessed by my family’s courage and support in this – they will endure whatever sufferings or sacrifices come.

A few weeks ago, as we prayed together, my wife and I were drawn to Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The seemingly trivial word “while” is what caught us. We are in Dr. Seuss’ “Waiting Place”; or sitting like explorers on a becalmed sea. “While” we wait, “while” God’s plan unfolds, we’ve done all that we can to argue points, explore options, and make choices. We’ve done all we can to warn Good Shepherd about TEC’s corruption (and we’ve been clear and emphatic about this). We’ve knocked on other doors. “While” the conclusion remains open, there’s no more to do.

“While” we wait for what’s next, we rely on what Scripture tells us: God does not need us to force a particular outcome. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And it is on the cross – the one that TEC rejects but that still “towers over the wrecks of time”- where God will always show his love for us, wherever we are.

[boldface mine]
Read it all.

No comments: