One evening last week I attended an abruptly called meeting at my church to discuss our feelings and reactions to the decisions made at the Episcopal General Convention. More than anything, it was a chance for the leadership of our church to hear how everyone felt. We weren’t making any decisions, voting on anything, or implementing any grand scheme. We were just talking.
The evening basically oscillated between those urging us to stick to the truth of the Bible and make a stand, and those urging us to stand in unity, despite our disagreements. The sanctuary was as packed as a Sunday morning, but the tension was something new.
Throughout the evening I felt torn. I agree with the need for biblical truth, but felt frustrated at the refusal to acknowledge equally committed, equally orthodox, yet completely contradictory views of the Bible. Sometimes they think it’s a simple as reading the black and white text, and sadly it’s not. If that’s the case the Episcopal Church never would have approved the ordination of women. If that were the case, I wonder if Christians would have stood up to oppose slavery. And all this bickering over scripture seems odd considering the Episcopal Church was founded by a guy who wanted to divorce his wife and the Catholic Church wouldn’t let him.
I yearned for unity within the body that night, wondering how many times Christ’s church would fracture and split. How many denominations can we really have?
As I pulled away in my car, alone after the ninety minutes of passion, these words echoed over the radio:
I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
But yes, I’m still running.
You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.