Tuesday, July 7, 2015

ain't dead yet

I probably shouldn't write this, but it's late and my dog just made me puke.

Here's my id.  I remember in high school, when I was taking college history courses, having a professor tell me religion, Christianity in particular, was dead after the Enlightenment.

We're still here.

In 2003, the Episcopal Church ordained an openly gay man bishop.  Lies were told about said bishop and never retracted. Using the term loosely, the conservatives announced the impending doom of the Episcopal Church and the dissolution of the Anglican Communion.

We're still here.

In case any of you are math challenged, that's 12 years in which we are supposed to have died out.  Last week, in a move non Episcopalians weren't aware we hadn't already made, the Church amended it's marriage canons to allow same sex marriage.  They're saying that same thing again.  But last Sunday we had a good crowd for summer. We even had another baptism.

I remember another time everyone who knew anything said that we were all wrong.  I'm struck by where the voice of reason came from:
Acts 5:33When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
The literal old guard was trying to figure out what to do about the apostles.   First they were going to kill them, and then someone remembered that God is still God.

Yes, God is still God.  My God is not so small that he can't set the Church, his Church, straight (pun intended) on the subject of sexual morality if it matters to him.  If we're wrong, I'm sure God can damn well get our attention on this subject.

They've been saying for 2,000 years that we're going to die out. That we're wrong.  They've said time and time again that we'd gone too far.  They said it when the Church let gentiles in without following Jewish law.  They said it when the Romans came for us and we outlasted their empire.  They've said over and over again that we've gone too far. Many times we didn't go far enough.  But God is faithful and he loves us too much to leave us where he found us.

I think we're going to be okay.  More than that, we owe it to this church to stay.   I don't know about the rest of you, but I owe this church.  They've put up with me for 18 years now.  Endured my ignorance and my eye rolling.  Nodding off in church during high school.  The meanness I subjected people to when I was sure I was right. (I wasn't)  They didn't introduce me to God but they taught me how to love him.  I owe the Episcopal Church. I'd venture to say I'm not alone.

I can't be the only "dog" these people have fed twice who won't go away.

I'd also venture to say that with or without me or you or several others, we're going to be here in 100 years.  If this is a colossal screw up, we're going to need all the help we can get.