“And now I say unto you, refrain from these men and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it…”
–Rabbi Gamaliel (Teacher of St. Paul) in Acts 5:38-39
I consider myself a rather conservative Christian overall. By that, I mean I tend to look back to what came before for advice on how to proceed in the present. To be honest, I feel if more “conservatives” (politically speaking) would do this, they would agilely avoid the seething welter of madness that currently styles itself “neo-conservatism.” But I digress.
I hold to classical tenets like the veracity of Scripture, Christ as the God-Man, the wisdom of the saints,1 and the idiocy of a clown Eucharist.2 However, I have also latched onto some beliefs that may isolate me slightly from the Lewis-Chesterton school of thought I have identified with for so long. I realize all of them relate to the fascinating subject of sex and gender except for the one with the surest biblical and patristic foundations: apokatastasis, or restitutio omnium, or universal salvation, which will be discussed in another entry.
So what remains? Why, the ordination of women and the ordination/acceptance of homosexuals, of course. I was drawn into this mess after casting my lot with the now infamous Episcopal Church in the United States. The hierachs’ zeal for forcible reform will indeed prove their undoing, but I still feel the Continuing Anglicans’ garrulous schism has small justification. Case in point, I don’t think God withdraws His presence from the eucharistic elements if a lady (created in God’s image) prays the epiklesis. Maybe that pushes me back into the Protestant camp, but for me, the priest is imago Dei, not alter Christus… at least, not any more than any other human being is.
Ugh… I hope I’m not just buttressing my fantasies here. G. K. Chesterton went looking for heresy and found orthodoxy–I hope I don’t just find more old heresies. If the curious experiments of various churches recently fail miserably and drives everyone away (as their critics expect), then obviously it was all a project of manmade pride. If it succeeds, however, and draws previously untouched men and women to a lifetime that begins a wondrous eternity, then, well… I would say it was the Lord’s doing, wouldn’t you?