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Katherine Tyler Scott
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Katherine Tyler Scott

Katherine Tyler Scott is Managing Partner of Ki ThoughtBridge, a leadership consultancy, and is author, most recently, of Transforming Leadership: The Episcopal Church of the 21st Century. She is a board member of the International Leadership Association.

Leadership crisis in the Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church, like other mainline Protestant denominations, is not immune from the seismic political, sociological and economic shifts happening today. Most of us are experiencing "a time of no longer and a time of not yet"--an era of rapid, complex change; chronic anxiety; and heightened ambiguity. The comfort of the familiar is fading, and the movement toward an unknown future can feel terrifying.

In times like these, Christians expect religious leadership to help bridge the gap between the ideal and the real, and to equip followers to live out the Gospel in an environment of extreme polarities, i.e., poverty and wealth, insularity and inclusiveness, hostility and hospitality, homogeneity and diversity. The call "to love our neighbors as ourselves" is being drowned out by a barrage of shrill and hate-filled rhetoric. The distance between what Christians profess to believe and what they do seems wider than ever, creating a gap of dysfunction. There are few trusted religious leaders in the public square, whose rational voices, theological gravitas and moral authority can quell the incivility, incendiary rhetoric, and growing intolerance of differences. At a time when the leadership of the church is most needed, there is silence.

The mainline churches are finding themselves on the margins, declining in membership and donations. Some are in the grip of unresolved conflicts and divisions; others are locked in scandal. The main mission is hostage to a host of distracting issues. In short, the church is experiencing a crisis of leadership.

The top-down authoritarian model of the church is no longer effective in a world of new seekers, whose access to information is on par with the leader and where the experience of community is in cyberspace. What will distinguish effective leadership in the church is not just the dissemination of information; it will be the ability to communicate meaning and to translate that meaning into responsible, ethical actions that serve the greater good. Like other sectors, the church is being challenged to lead in new ways that are inclusive and require meaningful involvement, shared authority, a redistribution of power and new forms of community.

The anxiety that so easily flourishes in a time of no longer and a time of not yet frequently pressures leaders to act prematurely to relieve the discomfort. Those leaders who succumb without taking adequate time to think through how to equip their congregants to respond in faith rather than in fear contribute to the creation of a culture of quick fixes and addiction to immediate gratification.

Sheer intellectual ability and objectivity are insufficient to determine the moral good and responsible action. They must be accompanied by the adaptive capacity to hold the tension of the opposites together long enough to understand the problems and the appropriate response. Such leadership requires patience: time and space in which dialogue deepens rather than limits understanding; time and space in which numerous solutions can be generated to address seemingly intractable problems. I believe the potential to lead in these ways lies within most religious institutions. I know it is in the Episcopal Church's DNA.

At its core, the Episcopal Church believes in the compatibility of tradition and reform, the partnership of faith and reason. If the church can remember and reclaim this charism, it will help those who follow to navigate the present currents of complexity, chaos and change with reasoned and mature judgment and action. It will enable the church, and all of us, to exhibit the courage to move from the margin, to stand in the gap, to hold the tension of the opposites together, and to take the risk to tell our truths in the world--a world that desperately needs to shed itself of the tendency to demonize differences.

The church will not thrive in a top-down structure of entitlement in which "power over" rather than "power with" predominates. The authority to serve and to lead is accessible to all. Leaders cannot sequester congregants in beautiful spaces of worship with glorious music and liturgy without also engaging them in deeper reflection about what it means to live one's faith responsibly in the world.

For the sake of us all, the silence is no longer an option.

By Katherine Tyler Scott

 |  April 9, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Category:  Religious leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Diana Butler Bass notwithstanding, THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IS NOT PROTESTANT!!! When you call us that it's like calling us an obscene name. WE ARE CATHOLICS. Think of Rome as the "basis edition" of Catholicism and Anglicans/Episcopalians as the "premier version."

Posted by: davidjustinlynch | April 13, 2010 9:01 AM
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Some confusion here in the comments.

The Episcopal Church is a separate church from the Church of England with its own governance and leadership. The original American bishops were actually ordained from the Church of Scotland, also a separate church. The Archbishop of Canterbury has no authority over the Episcopal church.

The Presiding Bishop presides; she leads by consensus and got her job by being ELECTED by the Bishops and laity. She is not Presiding Bishop for life. Important issues in the Church are decided by all the bishops and by representatives from the laity at Church conventions.

Like all Christians, Episcopalians are called to be evangelical--to witness the Gospel. It's part of being baptized, and Baptism is a very big deal for Episcopalians.

On most Sundays Episcopal priests are expected to preach a sermon based directly on one of the readings from the Bible.

The Gospel of Jesus is very surprising--inclusive toward humble sinners and generous to the poor, interested in the spirit and not the letter of the Law, and not very sympathetic to the powerful and self-righteous. There are those in the present political climate who would consider it to be too liberal.

Posted by: JaninArlington | April 12, 2010 8:09 AM
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An insightful and beautifully written article. As a former Lutheran pastor I can heartedly agree with the assessment of Church in this present time.

The time for paradigm change, however, has long passed. Religions die, that's just a simple matter of fact. Religions die and Christianity is one of them. It's painful, I know, but it's inevitable. Oh well, mistakes were made. BIG mistakes were made. Now it's too late....thank God.

Posted by: Karmicquickdraw | April 12, 2010 7:35 AM
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this is a fine interrogative piece, querying,and offering a commentary as well, gentle and nuanced it reflects many of the problems affecting Episcopal Churches of all colours..the nature of the very Episcopacy, that as the writer says .."power with.." and not "power over"..is a good reflection and summation of her approach

Posted by: ciaranmacgonigal | April 12, 2010 4:15 AM
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As an Episcopalian who belongs to a church that is both vibrant and growing, I take exception with this article.

Posted by: n01cat1 | April 12, 2010 3:15 AM
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To the person who referred to him/herself as a 'recovering evangelical': I'm glad you found a more comfortable home in TEC. Good for you, and I hope the blessings grow over the years. Perhaps you'll eventually find the peace of heart to quit painting with such broad strokes. While I don't know the nature of your experience in the Evangelical church, or that it qualifies as a microcosm of the evangelical church, I know that evangelicalism (which was begun essentially by priests of the Church of England; Whitefield and the Wesleys) is larger, broader, and more theologically diverse in this country than the official brand of Anglicanism. Ironically, in labeling yourself as a victim (recovering evangelical) you identify with the same class of self-pious scold you were apparently trying to escape. That turn of phrase is illiberal, and not worthy of a Christian, mainline or not. Unfortunately, it has become far too common.

Posted by: danno | April 12, 2010 12:08 AM
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Mrs. Scott and the episcopalian hierarchy are suffering from an excess of inclusiveness. People who stand for everything stand for nothing. The church should set standards for membership and be unwelcoming towards those who do not accept the standards. Adherence to the creeds still appearing in the book of common prayer would be a good place to start.

Posted by: miglefitz | April 11, 2010 11:50 PM
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Article is tripe. Most leadership consultants I have read are equally worthless. If Episcopal Church wants to grow, get rid of Shori and pick up J Bruno out of Los Angeles, CA. A visionary leader and consensus builder.

Posted by: freespeechrocks | April 11, 2010 11:23 PM
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For Episcopalians longing for a Church with the legitimate authority and courage to serenely and lovingly uphold the same faith and the same moral values taught in Sacred Scripture, which Christians have always believed in:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_ben-xvi_apc_20091104_anglicanorum-coetibus_en.html

Posted by: elizdelphi | April 11, 2010 10:42 PM
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The author is clueless or deluded. She speaks against centralized authority but ignores the fact that Mrs Schori's unanswered power grab is resulting in greater authority, mostly uncanonical, than in the entire history of the denomination. The spineless bishops have allowed her to cow the bishops into doing whatever she wishes. A great example is the fiasco in Virginia. Bp Lee was working out amicable separation when Mrs Schori ordered him to break off talks and sue the departing churches. The result has been catastrophic for the diocese.

She writes for the need to embrace "tension of the opposites together long enough to understand the problems and the appropriate response." Again, she is 100% wrong. What is happening in the Episcopal denomination is that conservatives are being threatened and run off. A great example is the diocese of South Carolina - the only diocese that has shown year after year growth. Mrs Schori has hired a lawyer and is threatening the godly leadership of the diocese. See http://tinyurl.com/ybbdnvl Soon the denomination will be completely uniform in the their radical liberal leanings.

Posted by: GiveMeThat | April 11, 2010 10:35 PM
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Good article. Malis - your thread is great - I think you have nailed it. Most of the rest - a bunch of scolds. Dim old people whining about change - they were Pharisees in Jesus' time.

Posted by: dwldwl | April 11, 2010 9:48 PM
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I am a recently confirmed Episcopalian and a recovering former Evangelical. I can tell you that the Episcopal churches that I have attended have been the most reverent, Christ centered, loving, intelligent, thoughtful, inclusive and spiritually moving places I have ever experienced. No denomination has a lock on God. I have never heard anyone deny the divinity of Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit and the supremacy of God in an Episcopal church. Food for thought: If anyone says that they believe the bible to be the literal word of God and they still have two eyes, then they are lying. Remember: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." Peace be with all of you.

Posted by: jmurphydesign | April 11, 2010 8:57 PM
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Jesus wept.

When Ms. Scott and the Episcopalian church leadership recognize that by turning their backs years and years ago on the belief of a literal incarnate deity in human form, who was physically resurrected from the dead, they will perhaps resurrect their own church.

You do not have to take literally all parts of the Bible to be a Christian, but the Episcopalian church sold out long ago to those essential things which brought them life and meaning beyond the recitation of words every Sunday.

Ironically, the African Episcopalian church is more vibrant and dynamic than ever before, and the response of the American church is to condemn their brethren for their short-sighted and ignorant disputing of the American church leadership.

It's colonialism all over again.

Posted by: missyb1 | April 11, 2010 8:39 PM
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Boring topic for the general readership. This might be more appropriate for an Episcopal newspaper, but otherwise, who cares?

Posted by: harrumph1 | April 11, 2010 8:31 PM
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Thanks for a thoughtful article. The comments are a complete waste of time.

Posted by: tfburke19 | April 11, 2010 8:30 PM
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SamD2, ummmm, this isn't 'On Faith,' it's 'On Leadership.' I agree with you that's it's a pretty shallow column... typical of the Leadership Consultants that seem to cycle through my company, distinguished chiefly by a rewriting of an old aphorism, Those who can't lead, consult on Leadership."

Posted by: malis | April 11, 2010 8:11 PM
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I wonder how many members of the modern Episcopal church know who Cramner, Ridley, and Latimer were or even if they care. Simply put, these men stood for something and I cannot find what the modern Episcopal church does. This is why I am a lapsed member.

Posted by: jeffreed | April 11, 2010 8:10 PM
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Interestingly, I have to say I've found most of the comments more interesting than the article itself, which is vague to the point of meaningless (bloodless academic drivel, indeed)--usually, in this Faith portion of the Post, I find that there are very interesting and meaningful columns, and then I read the crazy, incoherent responses that make me weep to be a religious person myself. Odd, why is this one different? Perhaps b/c even former Episcopalians tend to be more humane and thoughtful than the average?

Posted by: samd2 | April 11, 2010 8:04 PM
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pvilso24, probably unintentionally, brings up an interesting topic. Worldwide, the religions that are expanding the most are the ‘hot’ religions using emotional populism to stir up anger at some enemy (most specifically fundamentalist Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism. As another example, the only growth in Judaism is in a variety of Ultra-Orthodox sects).

At the same time, the more intentionally rational, traditionally ‘cool’ religions (such as Episcopalianism) are shrinking, often because that very rationality doesn’t drive the emotional intensity of purpose that drives evangelism (to put it in business terms, sales people that try to sell a product enthusiastically, regardless of the suitability of the product to the customer, move more product than those who wait for customers to come to them).

(btw, Feel free to use ‘Dionysian’ and ‘Apollonian’ if you’re already familiar with this topic—and have you ever heard of an Apollonian sales rally?)

Tying this to our current topic, it is my observation that some are trying to exploit people’s unease with homosexuality by saying that Gays themselves are a source of danger—that is, encouraging an emotion-driven, populist campaign to identify Gays as different…“the Other” who must be fought for the good of society. That is, unless I’m mistaken, by far the primary driver of the ongoing Episcopalian schism.

Posted by: malis | April 11, 2010 7:34 PM
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Jesus wept.

When Ms. Scott and the Episcopalian church leadership recognize that by turning their backs years and years ago on the belief of a literal incarnate deity in human form, who was physically resurrected from the dead, they will perhaps resurrect their own church.

You do not have to take literally all parts of the Bible to be a Christian, but the Episcopalian church sold out long ago to those essential things which brought them life and meaning beyond the recitation of words every Sunday.

Ironically, the African Episcopalian church is more vibrant and dynamic than ever before, and the response of the American church is to condemn their brethren for their short-sighted and ignorant disputing of the American church leadership.

It's colonialism all over again.

Posted by: missyb1 | April 11, 2010 7:25 PM
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The author fails to identify why the Episcopalian Church is struggling... nor curiously mention either Christ or the Bible.

The ECA leadership refused to vote on Christ's divinity in 2007. That foundation of Christianity was considered too divisive.

Its leadership honors and increasingly follows the teachings of former Bishop John Shelby Spong (think Jesus seminar, Living the Questions)... teachings that deny Christs divinity, embrace "sin" (gay sex and marriage), consider the Bible (falsely) to be hostile to woman and minorities and the environment. Teachings that embrace a liberal ecumenical left-wing worldview.

The church leadership itself has evolved into a liberal nominally-Christian elite that would rather condemn Israel than risk its ecumenical theology and challenge Islamic extremism and liberal culture (think hollywood).

Abandoning traditional Christianity and making the Church more "inclusive" has left many of its followers without a home... its liberal Church little more than a Sunday morning social club.

I've read the once 4 million member church (1960) is now at 2 million in a nation where 78% recently said Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead.

Satan has indeed worked his will on this church... this church, which I was once was proudly a member of, is now dying. Perhaps this is God's will ?

It is all very sad. Episcopalians need our prayers. May God forgive them.

Posted by: pvilso24 | April 11, 2010 6:56 PM
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It’s obvious that most of the Episcopal schismatics (nationwide) are merely ultra-right conservatives who are uncomfortable with the evolution of modern society (some to the point of fear). They like the warm comfort of staying inside a group of likeminded people, and of leaders who reinforce their beliefs and prejudices.

As is often the case, they are making their case through the arguments of religious fundamentalism. The fundamentalists who, in their self-reinforcing echo chambers, think they can freeze society in some idyllic past that never existed (with several folks here that’s, oh, an America of the 50's—though with a couple, it’s closer to a Europe of the 1250's). They’re always so confident the world will agree with them, and then so surprised when it doesn't.

Consider a simple fact. Organized religions direct their followers what to believe, basing their direction on leaders’ interpretation of scripture—varying opinions of what they’d prefer the text to mean. In much the same way, individuals select a church (far more than a ‘religion’) based on their degree of comfort with the social norms of the church—on their own degree of conformance with the political and social views of its leaders and members.

Question to the conservative Episcopal schismatics…nationally, you’ve lost the ‘election’ which would have let you guide the future direction of American Episcopalianism. Why go the all the trouble of establishing a new ‘American Anglican’ splinter sect, when you could just join the Southern Baptist Convention? The differences in theology seem tiny compared to the agreements on everything else.

But that would be too easy. No, they’ll continue their version of ‘Sunni/Shia’ internecine warfare (attacking the evil apostates of the other side) as if anything they’re doing had the tiniest scintilla of importance in the wider world; but actually ending up with just one more sliver sect of Christianity joining the thousands already out there.

Posted by: malis | April 11, 2010 6:31 PM
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The main religions as well as many who call themselves conservatives and evangelicals are too ignorant of SATAN'S disguises. The BIBLE says Satan main disguise today is religion.The ANTI CHRIST means counterfeit and unless one knows how to test for authenticity, which according to the WRITTEN WORD most don't ,the false church will exalt SELF made objectives and pick and chose the biblical points it wants to follow. The catholic church should take a close look at itself as why many of the priests were not ANOITED with HOLINESS as well as the Episcopals ,to the degree to uphold TRUTH.Why did many Conservatives and Evangelicals misinterpret the economic boom which was based on LIES as the new millenium?The only true CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST and many of the religionists are still eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than the TREE OF LIFE.THE SIGNS OF WHAT THEY ARE BEING FED IS MANIFESTED IN THEIR LIVES AND CONCERNS .

Posted by: mars7578 | April 11, 2010 6:15 PM
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Mainline Protestant denominations were captured by liberal activists many years ago. Wonderful, well-meaning people who work very hard to carry out half of a believer's obligations: to reflect God's love to one another and serve the people.
As a group, they tend to the intellectual side and are filled with doubt and misgivings about the other half: the personal relationship with God and fundamental tenets of the Christian faith, starting with an unwavering belief that God exists, that Jesus Christ is his son, that he was crucified, dead, buried, and rose again the third day. The most prominent writers and thinkers among them, those given the most press, are full of doubt and spend their considerable intellects 'reimaging' God as they wish Him to be today, not as the Bible tells us He is. And treating anyone who dares say that with the utter disdain intellectuals reserve for the 'less intelligent' who can't salute their obvious intellectual superiority. Which, unfortunately, is the large majority of traditional believers. And therin lies the problem: most intellectuals tend to the secular, non-believing contemporary world. There aren't enough of them to fill churches. So they leave to more vibrant Christian communities--the Evangelicals--who enjoy their faith unreservedly and also work hard to 'serve the people' in food pantries and many other ways. Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodists are well on their way to becoming small, mostly East Coast/West Coast/college town boutique, liberal communities working political agendas in
buildings that say Christian on the outside but are mostly about secular political issues.

Posted by: seguintx | April 11, 2010 4:52 PM
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"immune to," not "immune from"

Posted by: dcsuburb | April 11, 2010 3:39 PM
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Episcopal Church is the Church of England in America and their belief system is controlled by the German House of Windsor who control this monstrosity of a church. Many will soon return to the Catholic Church as the Pope signed a contract that permits Anglican bishops and priests to return to the Catholic Church even though they are married. The Catholic Catechism is the belief system they must accept. Anglican bishops will be part of the Roman Catholic Council of Bishops in each respective country. Tradition minded groups in UK and Australia are already going thru the process to join the Catholic Church.

Posted by: mascmen7 | April 11, 2010 12:58 PM
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The leadership crisis that the Episcopal Church is int the midst of springs not from an unwillingness to speak out- but rather from an unwillingness to be true to the faith. It is a Christian church of feel good trendy relativism rather than one that bases itself ont eh absolute truths of the scriptures. they pick and choose portions of the Bible that they follow, and when they don't like what it says - they ignore them. So Sinful behavior that is culturally popular- is no longer sinful behavior because the Episcopal church wants to be "relevant". Want to assume the leadership role again- to start growing instead of melting away to nothingness? Then stop focusing on social causes near to your hearts but far from what God teaches us. Christ tells us that the FIRST Two Commandments - IN THIS ORDER are: LOVE GOD above ALL things- then Love our neighbors as ourselves. Loving God means abandoning our own self centered aproach to life, obeying his commandments- acknowledging our sinful ways and repenting of them- not reinterpreting his laws and his commandments to coincide with our desires so that we have nothing to repent of. The Episcopal Church in the US is pretty unlikely to do this though so your decline and fall is going to continue. They are nice settings for social gatherings though- all that stained glass surrounding the handful that bother to show up in their churches on Sundays.

Posted by: bruno3 | April 11, 2010 12:17 PM
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When church leaders abandon the teachings of the Holy Bible, they cannot expect the congregation to follow

Posted by: johntu | April 11, 2010 12:17 PM
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Not sure I completely agree with you Georgetowner1.

The "christian" churches thriving are not teaching the bible (at least Jesus' teachings) . They are teaching a "feel good", secular, capitalistic, materialistic version, where the sky god either brings wealth with your generous tithing's or you bribe him with "good works" in order to receive his "blessings". "Good works" here is defined in political terms (vote for or against a, b, or c).

There is little "christianity" in today's fundamental Christian teachings. To attract followers and donations, you must a) create an "us"; b) create a "them"; c) create a philosophy of "us" is better than "them"; d) god loves "us" not "them"; e) as god loves "us", wealth will follow, unless "them" are taking it away from "us"; f) ignore inconsistencies in the good book, knowledge/free thinking is bad, intellectualism is bad, 'cause they ask questions, and questions anger the sky god, see e above; g) "them is less than "us" so we may do as we wish to "them".

Get the picture.

Today's christianity leaves out christ, his words, and deeds. Today's christianity is taught and viewed in terms of politics.

This of course is the same for fundamentalist Islam and Judaism.

Posted by: mjcc1987 | April 11, 2010 11:43 AM
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Only the British monarch and Parliament can tell the Episcopal/Anglican church what to believe and teach. Let them get to work. HENRY VIII and ELIZABETH I wouldn't be lazy about this.

Posted by: ravitchn | April 11, 2010 10:56 AM
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This article seems to make an interesting statement: the need for the Episcopalian Church to adapt to a very different environment. However, the author remains vague about what she means to adapting to "differences." What differences are you talking about? Differences in the way contemporary people view religion (which people--are you talking about congregations in the US, Europe, Africa, Latin America?)? Are you talking about differences of race, gender, and sexual orientation? While the thrust of your article was well thought through you also have to come down on specifics.

Posted by: Roger10 | April 11, 2010 10:15 AM
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Whatever denomination or nondenomination, Christian churches that strive to follow the Bible (and not interpret it to serve the secular world's particular desires so as to have more members), are thriving. The Bible teaches 'give unto Caesar what is Caesar's', so anyone outside is free to believe what they choose to believe or not believe. But as Biblically-based Christians yield to that, the world must yield to allow us to have our beliefs, too, primarily that Christ is the Son of God and that He died for our sins.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | April 11, 2010 9:52 AM
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Many of us are "religious" but not in the form of any organized religion. We see the churches telling people that "their" God is better than any other church's God and if they don't believe exactly what their church believes they will go directly to hell.

We hear ministers, preachers, bishops, priests, rabbis telling us that the natural disasters are God's punishment for the areas affected. If they believe that, then they believe that God is a mass murderer and has no compassion or love.

Organized religion has, in so many cases, become nothing but big business. Bigger donations, bigger churches, bigger houses and cars for the leaders - outward signs of success.

It is not only the Episcopal Church but many others that have changed or are changing. There is not the blind obedience that we saw in the past. To me this is a good thing.

Posted by: Utahreb | April 11, 2010 9:23 AM
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The Episcopal church, like the Catholic or other denominations, real crisis is absolutism over faith. The world is 6,000 years old, no if, ands, or but about it. God says-period. There is no wiggle room.

We MUST have definitive answers to everything no matter how we must twist the bible. We hate the gays 'cause god said so. Um, let me see, a mention or two about "da gays" over hundreds about the sanctity of marriage, yet divorce and cohabitation is ok to overlook.

The "christain" churches have abandon their faith in exchange for a piece of "power here on earth". As people seek groups "they agree with", churches divide and subdivide in order to accommodate the people's prejudice and preferences.

Hate gays? Well, we have a church for you. Need some ego stroking for the afterlife? No problem, you will rule a world in the next life, says the LDS - cool! Want to know that your greed is good? We have a lot of churches for you.

Fundamentalism (essential word here is "mental") is in its essence, seeking absolute answer where there are none. Therefore, Fundamentalist churches, synagogues, and mosques, are heretical by their very nature.

Posted by: mjcc1987 | April 11, 2010 9:13 AM
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Religions by their very nature are exclusive. You either are or are not. This universalist notion of inclusion and reason is not religion but a social club. Organized religions have shifted from saving the eternal soul to promoting social justice (whatever that means).

Posted by: mike27 | April 11, 2010 8:29 AM
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In an age that demands logic over faith, how can DRYRUNFARM1 defend the following statement?:
"The Church holds that the Old Testament and the Gospels are the true word of God - unless the Old Testament or the Gospels dictate absolutes the Church deems offensive or divisive."

It implies that the Church is editorially superior to God since it accepts that the "true word of God" can be "offensive or divisive"?

Posted by: skatsivelos | April 11, 2010 8:19 AM
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An essential quality of things that are is identity. That is, of things that are, one can say of them that which true or false. What can one say of the Episcopal Church that is true without qualification?

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the ecclesiastical head of the Anglican fellowship - unless one happens to belong to a parish that rejects his official position on homosexuality in the Church.

The Church holds that the Old Testament and the Gospels are the true word of God - unless the Old Testament or the Gospels dictate absolutes the Church deems offensive or divisive.

The Church has abandoned its identity.

Lead? Lead where? Why? To what end? Following what authority? The Church has no answers to these questions.

So, having failed as a Christian church, the proposition now is to follow the path of Taoist Buddhism - to be lead without leading, to follow without being led, to believe without beliefs.

Is it any wonder why the Anglican fellowship is in such a state, world-wide?

Posted by: dryrunfarm1 | April 11, 2010 6:08 AM
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@patriots_rule: you like to throw around a lot of comment, but where do you get that Episcopal priests "don't believe in (...) christianity"? You make a comment like that, and it doesn't build a lot of credibility. The Episcopal Church is a Christian church. The priests I know certainly are Christian.

Posted by: billhensleyokc | April 11, 2010 12:40 AM
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The episcopal church is in trouble because of years of vague, liberal and sloppy theology poured down on on yawing parishoners.

Most episcopal priests couldn't preach their way out of a paper bag, because they don't believe in anything remotely resembling christianity.

This article is a classic example of middling, uncommitted verbosity which has bored us all to the death for years:
"Sheer intellectual ability and objectivity are insufficient to determine the moral good and responsible action. They must be accompanied by the adaptive capacity to hold the tension of the opposites together long enough to understand the problems and the appropriate response. "

What Christian EVER believed "Sheer intellectual ability and objectivity" were sufficient for faith?

What believer is looking for "adaptive capacity to hold the tension of the opposites together" in a pastor?

Bloodless academic drivel.

Posted by: patriots_rule | April 11, 2010 12:22 AM
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