Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Killing a Church: a review of "Mortal Follies: Episcopalians and the Crisis of Mainline Christianity" by William Murchison

[...] In attempting to elevate the poor and racial minorities, the Episcopal Church, like other social organs of liberalism, unintentionally but actively contributed to their further social impoverishment. Likewise, in its 40 year pursuit of "diversity" and pluralism, Episcopalianism is now succumbing to uniformity. The last General Convention insisted that all Episcopalians shall oppose Defense of Marriage laws, seemingly without regard to personal conscience.

Murchison laments this long and tragic decline of a once great church body. He offers no specific solutions for recovery except reliance on the Holy Spirit and historic Christianity's mystical doctrines, which no Episcopal prelate can ever truly override. About 100,000 mostly former Episcopalians have formed the new Anglican Church in North America, which, while not yet recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is recognized by most global Anglican archbishops. And at last year's Episcopal General Convention, at least two dozen bishops responded to the votes for gay clergy and same-sex unions by affirming their own continued fidelity to the historic faith and the global Anglican Communion.

So in parts of what used to the great Episcopal Church in America, there are embers of renewal, even while most of the old temple collapses, with most of its attending priests apparently not even noticing. Murchison, whose own conservative diocese is so far remaining in the Episcopal Church, tells the story well, with some sadness, but also hope. Anglicans both inside and outside the Episcopal Church will appreciate his account. Read more

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