Fiddling while Rome Burns: The Episcopal Church in America

This is not a detailed piece on the TEC in America, but rather just a short personal anecdote.

I was recently in a beautiful Episcopal church building. Off the fellowship hall was a library room. I poked my head in and looked at the shelves. There were bible commentaries and books by Lewis gathering dust on a shelf blocked by a table. Prominently displayed was a shelf filled with books by Marcus Borg, Karen Armstrong, and most recently, in the return basket, “Goddesses and the Divine Feminine”.

Back outside on the bulletin board where no missionary maps or newsletters, but rather a number of posters about the injustice of Israel encroaching on Palestinian land. Prominently displayed was a promotional flyer for a lecture by John Dominic Crossan, who is going to be passing through town in a few weeks.

A “get to know you” board with Polaroids showed only white hair and expensive clothes. Not a young child in sight or barely a fertile couple.

Thought leaders like Borg and Crossan have quite literally made a career out of undermining and defacing Christianity, yet here they are trumpeted. Instead of proclaiming, “He is risen indeed!” on Easter morning, they have traded that in for “Well isn’t Jesus a nice idea? He’s not risen of course, but the thought is kind of comforting. Amiright?”

Judging by the demographic, this congregation won’t even exist in 15 years time and will be paralyzed and insolvent long before then if it isn’t already. Who stays here amidst the ruin and holds their head up high? Only the people that lit the fire in the first place and want to see it burn all the way to the ground. Everyone who actually cares has jumped ship long ago, except for perhaps the rural elderly who naturally can’t be expected to jump anywhere. The bulk of the last few holdouts that were still hoping for reform bailed about 10 years ago. What remains is simply a bad joke with an incredible amount of real estate.

But no matter really. Christ is building his church, his kingdom is coming. That parts of it look crazy and silly sometimes is of no lasting consequence. Times change but He remains the same.