Sunday, August 12, 2012

Go Ahead, Be Angry... for a While

Whenever St. Paul writes a letter to one of the early churches, as he does in today's reading from Ephesians 4:25-5:2, I am always struck by the way his message carries meaning for the Church of today as a whole as well as for individual congregations.

"So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (NRSV)

The problem is that we will argue over just what constitutes "evil talk" and just what is useful for "building up."

The evidence to date is that the words that come out of Episcopal church General Conventions do the opposite of building up the Church, and are a large part of the reason for the decline and fall of the denomination.

For that I  am angry, and I will be critical, but I won't, and don't you, lose sleep over it.

Criticism is a necessary corrective part of the process of building up. To those on the receiving end, it always feels like "destructive criticism" when their closely held beliefs, desires, and dreams are exposed as harmful and destructive to the Church, and I myself have been accused of holding such destructive desires (to which I say "Balderdash!"). "Constructive criticism" however, has never, never worked with the revisionist elites that are running the Episcopal church into the ground.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:47 AM

    "The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism." Norman Vincent Peale