Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Why I Stay: a Response to Kate (and others who might be wondering)

My response to a challenge from Kate on this post where she asks why my "time, talents and money are still with the ACoC."

Time and Talents
Here is my—what? Rationale? Too strong a word, perhaps, it's more a heart-faith thing for me. I'm not sure I can defend it all that well. However, here goes:
  • I am not aware that the LORD has given me permission to leave my post
  • Radner's observation in Hope Among the Fragments seems to apply to me; i.e., we have two choices: go to Rome, or stay. Further splits are a problem for me. 
  • Jeremiah didn't leave…an example there
  • Jesus seems to suggest that both wheat and weeds ought to be allowed to grow together for now. I am uncomfortably aware of my own weediness should the weeds be gathered and burned at the moment.
  • I'd have to leave too many of the people I love and was called to serve at StB
  • to support my Bishop
All that said, I do not like the way in which some ACoC bishops and dioceses treat ANiC folk. The property grab (see my naughty doodle here) and use of secular courts is very unlovely. Do I find it comfortable in the ACoC? No. Do I think my staying will change its course? No. But following Jesus is not as much about my personal tastes and comfort as it is being obedient, nor is it as much about being effective and right as faithful. And this is where I've been put.

I have to confess I rather envy (sin, I know) the folk who have left. It sounds wonderful to be among like-minded people in a growing, tension free (or at least tension free-er) community.

Money
My tithe is due to the LORD through my local church. It seems to me that has little to do with whether I approve of what is done with the money or not. I don't always approve of the way my own congregation uses it. If folk further up the line misuse that money they will have to answer for that.

…and So?
Not very tidy or well reasoned, but that's about it. See here for a previous attempt at answering the same question based on some better reasoned arguments from smarter folk than me.