Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wasting Away Again in Resolutionville, and the HoB Redefines the Birth of the Church?

I am not a fan of "resolutions" introduced at conventions or other such gatherings. The typical resolution put forward is a non-binding statement designed to make someone feel good while accomplishing absolutely nothing. Witness the last convention of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina where somebody from St. Martins in the Fields presented a resolution urging politicians to stop negative campaign ads.
BE IT RESOLVED, That the 88th Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina calls those who seek election to office, those who support candidates for office and those who will be affected by the elections and subsequent actions of the General Assembly, to put aside partisan politics; refrain from unnecessary or inappropriate personal attacks upon the character of those running for office; be guided by our Lord’s call for justice for all and heed the wisdom of our founding fathers who sought “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”; and reach out to find workable, honorable and lasting ways to weather the current storm and do justice by and for all the citizens of this state, most especially those who are dependent on their more fortunate brothers and sisters for a helping hand.
I have not seen any change in either the quantity or the quality of negative political ads showing up on my idiot box since this resolution passed with only a smattering of "No" votes.

Why not resolve that the Church pray for God fearing, peaceful, and intelligent political debate? That's right, make a resolution that the church can put into action by doing what it is supposed to do. Doh!

One problem that Upper SC has set itself up for by passing this type of resolution is that they have opened the door for more and more convention time in the future to be taken up by not just silly resolutions, but crazier ones by the bucket load. I fear that next year we will have a resolution about keeping the retirement age in France at age sixty, and another about "hate crimes." Two years from now we will have one about "gun control," another about spaying and neutering your pets, and another about non-celibate gay clergy. Yes, I am suggesting that the domino theory might apply to church politics.

People should be discouraged from making inane resolutions. I am afraid that our convention's "Yes" vote will encourage not only more of the same, but worse sounding resolutions on things that cannot even be imagined by this lowly pewster.

Taking it up a notch, for another fine example of how purple breasted church people fritter away their hours, let's take a look at a theological resource that was recently approved by our House of Bishops at +Waldo's first visit with that august body on Sept. 21, 2010. First consider it totally out of the original context (which I will explain below). The opening words say it all,
"The church was born out of the passionate conviction of a growing number of people that, united with the crucified and risen Jesus in baptism, and empowered by the same Spirit that empowered him in his humanity, they could welcome one another, and everyone else, just the way Jesus did. They rightly discerned the social critique embedded in Jesus’ own total availability to others, and, beginning with the admission of the Gentiles and the blurring of distinctions between slave and free, rich and poor, they organized themselves as a community geared to transform Jesus’ personal example into a collective way of life that could challenge prevailing cultural and social norms."
This was the preamble to a resource for the church to use on the issue of "illegal immigration." A resource that is of zero use whatsoever. The preamble however, is useful to study because it can help to explain why the church has lost its way.

Would someone please explain to the bishops the story of the birth of the Church? What about the shocking news that death has lost its power? Who could believe that God had lived and died for us? Who wouldn't want to share the good news that God loves us this much? What led people to give up their lives for these outrageous claims?

The bishops' preamble makes the birth of the Church seem sound like the birth of a political party, inspired by a really great guy. They might as well have written, "We march in solidarity under the banner of ____(insert name of a great guy)." What were the Episcopal bishops smoking when they wrote/signed on to this one?

As a commenter at T19 opined in stronger words than mine,
 "...not only is this document an expression of humanism, as suggested. Its avoidance of the real reason for 'Church', as the object and agent of the Divine Plan of Cosmic Salvation, is not just a mistake. It is damnable!"
I agree.

I wonder if our Bishop voted "Yes" when this thing came up?

U.P., sipping a glass of cabernet...
(Not a fan of wasting away in "Resolutionville")


  1. 'bout to pour some Pinot Noir here, Pewster. Watch NPA on Thurs. - I will have a Dem. attack ad being run in South Dakota on display. Pretty vile. Resolution isn't working.

  2. Not that you need to hear it, but the Bishops could certainly use a refresher course on Christ's divine establishment of the church as his Bride, for whom he shall return. Sometimes I cringe at the thought of what He will find when He does.


  3. R. Sherman - the Lord wondered the same thing! (Luke 18:8)