I am part of a denomination with a USA after it. If we aren’t apostate, we are damn close.
There are a number of books coming out about mass exodus from the mainline churches to more traditional Communions and evangelical churches. Since many of the USA denominations have Sith in leadership, what to the faithful do?
28 thoughts on “Terminus Mainlinus”
I sure hate to, but I guess I’ll expose my ignorance and ask you to clarify that last question for me. Since I’m from a very different religious background, I’m not sure what your reference to USA denominations and “Sith in leadership” is all about… but I’m very curious to find out.
I’m talking the ‘United’ churches like the Presbyterian USA, United Methodist, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America–what were once considered the ‘mainline’ churches and now are the ‘oldline’ liberal churches (though there are strong traditional believers in all of the above). The ‘Sith’ I was referring to are the leaders of these bodies who would rather have their churches die and promote their leftist agenda than to have traditional, orthodox beleivers exist. That is overstating the Sithness, but unfortunately is pretty accurate.
I’m afraid you are all too familiar with the option I chose.
Time is a slippery thing. It ebbs and flows instead of only going one direction like we are predisposed to believe. Who really thinks that our collective 2000 years of Christian history is a long time in the grand scheme of things?
So here are some thoughts from a non-Anglican about the great, but imperfect (like the rest of us), tradition that is Anglicanism. Do you want to be like the split “Ps?” (A reference to the Presbyterian denomination and their propensity to split due to splitting hairs.) Split begets split. If you can keep the infighting under the same roof then I say do so if at all possible. Rome is quite good at keeping its internal problems in-house, which is an admirable quality in my estimation. When you take a realistic look at the early church without being too sentimental or overly romantic I think one would be hard pressed to make a case for their unity as we often presume was the case. They had fight after fight and disagreement after disagreement. Then (now too) it depended on who could seize and align power the quickest which determined whose anathema counted. The more things change…well…you know the rest of the story.
My humble (and I could be real wrong here) opinion as to the Anglican Communion is that you stick it out as best you can. It seems reasonable given that wherever you go you’ll find their behinds stink too. Are there times when one must part company? Sure. God hates divorce but it happens. Sometimes the “issues” get to big to shoulder the burden “alone,” and unless you’re Atlas you’ll crumple under the weight. But my sense of things in general as to church is that people give up too easily and get too hung up on if they are sitting in the right pew (or no pew as may be the case for the traditional EO) etc. I remember reading a while back about the relationship between Lewis and Tolkien, where the latter actually started to become angry and not engage in friendship the way he had before because Lewis would not follow in the footsteps of Anglicans before him, i.e. Chesterton, and become Roman Catholic. Not very Christ like it seems to me. I also remember reading an interview between Tom Howard (convert from “High Church” Anglicanism to RC) and Schaeffer, as in Jr. the EO convert, where Frankie busted Howard’s chops on when he was going to take the final step and in so many words become an authentic Christian and convert to Orthodoxy. Just didn’t smell right if you get my drift (and I like Schaeffer a lot too). And the funny thing is, Howard (big time scholar) could have wiped the floors with Frankie, but chose not to do so and remained ever the gentleman.
The more Christianity splinters into schizophrenia the less obvious and cogent and authentic our witness will be.
Constantine, your last remark is packed with truth, and is the very reason I continue to contend that denominationalism (with all its many splits) serves only to separate brothers in Christ. None is any better than another, and none is any WORSE than another. They all represent artificial barriers that I don’t believe God honors.
Do you believe profanity is mainline or traditional and will that be part of you daughters homeschool spelling tests?
I learned my profanity from my older brothers. (grin)
I would posit that hell, ass, and damn are all traditional… but only in the King James Version. In other words, “Damn thine ass!” as opposed to “damn yo ass!” which is mainstream.
You forgot “piss”, angevoix. I distinctly remember that being in the KJV from my impressionable and easily-shocked youth. The Bible is a naughty book!
Urine deep trouble if you think piss is in the Bible.
Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, [and] him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.
I Kings 14:10 KJV
King Jim! How the hell could you?!
I knew it was in there somewhere, and I knew it had something to do with a wall…
See what you started Mr. tsk?
“…tinkleth against the wall…” just doesn’t carry the same weight, somehow. Thanks for finding it, Dan. I don’t have the KJV on my shelves anymore, and I feel my vocabulary dwindling by the minute.
Interestingly, it seems most other translations have totally left this line out of the translation, even though (as I understand it) it is very much there in the original.
I also learned (teachable moments) that the phrase translated “pisseth against the wall” was a common denigrating way to refer to men back in the day.
Ain’t bible study [expletive deleted] great?
Wow that was some interesting commentary. I hope all have been well in my absence. I would like neo to expand on the topic of …
“leaders of these bodies who would rather have their churches die and promote their leftist agenda than to have traditional, orthodox beleivers exist”
do you have any examples of this in churches that you have been in? Aren’t the traditional, orthodox churches outdated and boring? Do they still meet people where they are in “today’s” world? I like the new churches with drama, cool lighting and loud rock style music. What is wrong with those churches?
Yea, they’re boring and irrelevant.
Rock on, dude.
What is the criteria for boring and irrelevant? Is it the style of worship, or is it a the ability of a church to manifest the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven?” If the message of Christ gets lost in the style, whether it be so musty and stale that it is indiscernable to modern man, or if in its attempts to be hip and relevant the message is lost or muddled… Is it really about style? Jesus dressed and walked and communicated in the style that was appropriate to the time period of His day…
I’m not advocating one style or the other…I love it all. I guess I would advocate meeting people where they are at.
Well, I’d say the “faithful” are any who are trying to listen to the voice of God in their lives, and that wouldn’t be limited to traditionalists, in my book. I’m not keen on labelling someone as “Sith” because they disagree about religious issues.
There’s always the Catholic church that remains “one”… if you don’t count the rift with the Orthodox. Being Catholic, I can tell you there are plenty of factions within it, which I’d count as denominations, but the Church continues to call itself unified. I’ve read plenty of right-wing literature from within the welcoming arms of the Church Proper to reassure me that I am indeed going to hell unless I straighten up and pray the rosary the right way, fast on the right days, and don’t try to interfere with my own fertility. But we’re all one, yes indeedy.
I think the idea of complete unity and agreement anywhere is a fantasy. I don’t have a problem with moving to find a better fit, but the reality is that the religious shoes will always pinch a little, here or there.
The shoes pinch a lot sometimes! There is such thing, madcap, despite our many differences in Christendom, as the ‘historic Christian faith.’ I’m talking basic, orthodox, Nicene Christianity–the worship of the Triune God. Those who pretend to be a part of the faith and deny those basic essentials–I have no hesitation calling them ‘Sith.’ Of course there is a little bit if Sith in all of us, but to deny what you promise to uphold reeks of the Dark Side. It is much more serious than ‘religious differences.’ (I’m talking leaders that deny the divinity of Christ, the Virgin birth, etc.)
Your question feels disingenuous. I thought you had a hard time with the Christian thing, and now you’re going to a big rock & roll church? Reveal yourself stranger.
(I’m talking leaders that deny the divinity of Christ, the Virgin birth, etc.)
I’m with you there, Fr. Neo. Just to think of it makes me queezy… Thanks for clarifying.
Is the label helpful? Does it promote an attitude of amiable discussion that might win them to your point of view?
I’m willing to agree that those who don’t agree with basic doctrine shouldn’t try to swing the entire denomination with them, and in the interest of integrity they should find their own forum for their views. But I maintain that this type of pejorative labelling isn’t a good tool for promoting your views; it closes off discussion and turns people away.
I’m not into labels either. I have two post on my blog concerning this. (old ones.) But can I still say these people give me the willies in a duck before the lightening hits ya kinda way…?
Fr. Neo said
“to deny what you promise to uphold reeks of the Dark Side.”
That is a powerful quote.
‘Sith’ is a label only I would use. My favorite Sith actually was redeemed in the end!
(fatherneo is also a Star Wars geek, madcap.)
My favorite Sith actually was redeemed in the end!
Ahh…and how could this be Padre?
Your “Sith” is redeemed in the end? Sounds like you’re leaning towards an Orthodox view of ultimate redemption – watch out or we might all be saved in spite of ourselves!
In spite of ourselves indeed!