American Orthodox

June 21, 2006

Pick and Choose Christianity

Filed under: General Orthodoxy — americanorthodox @ 11:54 am

I’d like to say I told you so, but of course, I would never do that. But with all due respect to orthodox (note the small ‘o’) Anglicans and Protestants of other varietals, what has happened in the ECUSA and the Presbyterian Church this week is, well, inevitable.

Protestantism was the first successful “pick and choose” Christianity. When you admit that the individual, and not the Church, has the ultimate authority in terms of faith, which is the fundamental principle behind Protestantism, then abandonment of the Faith is the only possible result.

But before I go on, neither electing a female primate nor consecrating non-celibate gay bishops is really the issue. The issue is that these two things are part of a constellation, a larger movement, toward Unitarian Univeralism in copes and mitres. The ECUSA has been there for a long time now, actually, but the recent convention has highlighted that.

The problem with this is that you can’t take one thing out of the constellation. You get it all. Gender-inclusive language, crane dancing liturgies, drumming seminars, gay bishops, female prelates, these are all part of this constellation. It’s all or nothing.

Allow female ordination, and you get sweat lodge ceremonies and great spirit worship. New Age nonsense masquerading as “inclusive” Christianity. And of course, “inclusive” is the problem — because it is the purpose of the Church to EXclude, and not INclude. It is the purpose of the Church to embody the Faith, not water it down so somebody who is essentially a pagan can play along with you.

And this is the inevitable result of Protestantism, where it must lead, eventually. Because if each individual can decide how the Faith is defined for that individual, if Faith is relativized, as Protestants have been relativizing Faith since the Reformation, then there can be no Faith — just a collection of different faiths, held by the different members of the church.

And the Church exists no more.

The Church of England has been on this path since its formation, by joining with the Reformation, and including the whole spectrum of Christianity at the time. The Anglicans left the Church long ago, not recently, or at this latest convention. And pardon my lack of sympathy, but they have none but themselves to blame.

For no Faith and no Church is the only possible outcome of pick and choose Christianity. If you can believe God is a woman, then you can believe God is a piece of toast, or a crystal, or a big green frog, or a space alien (and that’s as close to Scientology as you’ll ever see met get). If you can abandon the Trinitarian theology that has been with the Church since the earliest days in favor of a less “offensive” and more “inclusive” and say that “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” could be “Mother, Child, and Womb” or “Rock, Redeemer, and Friend,” as the Presbyterians did this week, then why couldn’t the Trinity be “Devil, Demon, and Hell Spirit” or “Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic”?

I’m glad some will be coming to Orthodoxy over this — but I have to ask, “What took you so long?”


1 Comment »

  1. […] I’ve commented on the recent madness from the ECUSA and the Presbyterians from an ecclesiastical perspective on American Orthodox. But even if you take the trumpeting elephant out of the room, it’s still madness. […]

    Pingback by Right Wing Nation » Blog Archive » Anybody Home? — June 21, 2006 @ 1:54 pm

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