Wednesday, August 12, 2009

“Staying On” – Thoughts of a Life Long Episcopalian Who Intends to Die So

This is a "Must Read" From Phil Turner-

When I was much younger, I lived in Africa; and I lived there at a time when the British Empire was folding up. I was surrounded by people who had spent their lives in the colonies. These people were faced with a terribly painful and frightening question. What were they to do next? Where were they to go? The government had changed. The rules had changed. The colonial period was over, and their mother land seemed a foreign land that promised only uncertainty.

“What then shall we do?” was the question of the hour; and the answers to that question were as various as the people who asked it. Some simply migrated to another part of the shrinking empire. Others, in fact, went home. One answer, however, still intrigues me. Some said, “I’m staying on. The rules have changed, but I’m going to see this through to the end.” Well, I’ve come to a similar conclusion in respect to the church into which I was born and in which I was formed as a Christian. The rules have changed. The leadership is hostile to the things I hold most dear. The present culture of The Episcopal Church is so unlike that of the church in which I was raised that I feel more like a visiting anthropologist than a native speaker. The gospel of radical inclusion espoused by our present leadership bears only marginal resemblance to the faith into which I was baptized.

What then shall I do is a question I have asked myself on any number of occasions. It is a question on the lips of a man who has become a stranger in his own house. The answer I have given is “I’m staying on!” At various times and in various places I have stated my reasons for this decision. Recently I received an email from a woman who asked me to gather these reasons in one place and send them to her. I confess I sat on her note for over two months without response. I suppose in part because I needed to gather my thoughts. In part, however, the reasons that have convinced me are ones that will hardly seem convincing to many others. I’m a person that takes great pride in being convincing. I’m averse to questions that pose a threat. They take me places I don’t want to go.

I know, however, that the question both demands and deserves an answer. Why stay on?

Read it all here-

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