Saturday, January 06, 2007

I Left My Old Church for a Reason

I became Catholic 5 years ago this Easter. It took a few years, because I felt very loyal to the Anglican Church where I was raised. I still miss my old parish, St. George's, which had a simple yet beautiful building with wonderful stained glass windows, and several wonderful families. One of the windows was donated by my family, and has special meaning.

But I had to leave the church. It became clear to me that the Anglican church was moving quickly away from orthodox Christian teaching. If you read this blog, you know that I'm of a rather conservative political bent, and part of me wondered whether I was just over reacting. It grieves me, but this past week has just reinforced my decision, twice.

A few days ago I read Mark Steyn's account of an article in the Niagara Anglican. Here are the lines he attributes to Canon Tim Smart (a canon in the Anglican Church ranks higher than a normal priest but lower than a bishop):

Next to having sex, a good bowel movement rates pretty high on most people's scale of things that satisfy. In fact, as you grow older, a good poop can be as rewarding as a good romp under the covers. You know the relief that comes after having been frustrated for so many days to finally stand proudly before your accomplishment floating in the toilet bowl and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

. . .

The New Testament tells us that Jesus ate a lot. He went to wedding banquets, to people's homes for dinner and he apparently ate a lot of loaves and fishes. After all that eating and drinking, do you suppose that he waited until he was seated upon the heavenly throne to take a crap? Or, did he squat down behind a bush with James and John, farting and pushing like the rest of us?

. . .

Did Jesus defecate while he was here on earth? Of course he did! I suppose if we knew the exact spot where he laid down his 'load', today a shrine would be erected to remember the event; the Church of the Holy Sh_t.

. . .

Did Jesus have sex? Again, like crapping, the gospels are silent on the subject of Jesus' sex life . . . maybe later in life, as popular teacher and preacher, he did have sex with some of his women admirers. But I'm just guessing, basing my theory not on anything biblical or scholarly, but on what I know about guys.

I just want to cry. This man supposedly has dedicated is life to serving Christ and spreading the gospel. Instead, a journal that's supposed to keep church members informed and feed them spiritually just delivers a spiritual kick in the teeth to those who bother to read it. Unfortunately, this isn't new it's been this way in the Anglican Church for at least 10 years.

On Friday the Globe and Mail had a front page article that shows how whole-heartedly the Church has abandoned its mission to share the good news and offer discipleship to believers. The newest Anglican bishop in Canada has said he wants to incorporate Native spirituality into the Church. Here are the highlights of the article by Micahel Valpy:

The Anglican Church of Canada's newly appointed national bishop to native peoples says his job will be to bend mainstream Christian theology so that it fits with aboriginal spiritual beliefs.

. . .

My task over the next few years is to midwife the creation of a native jurisdiction within the Canadian church. In my opinion, it is the most important work that anyone could do in the church at this day and hour. As many people have said, it will bring transformation to the whole church.

. . .

Jesus, he said, was a compelling figure in native society _ not so much with the divine dimensions in which he's clothed by mainstream Christian theology but existentially as a teacher and a model for human life. Aboriginal elders blended this view of Jesus as teacher and model with native spiritual beliefs, but took it beneath the surface to avoid confrontation with colonial church leaders.

Christian missionaries died to share their faith that Jesus is God made flesh and that he gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins. Now the Anglican leadership in Canada seems set to totally abandon the most basic foundations of the faith. Unfortunately, for much of the leadership, it seems to have happened a long time ago. It's also the reason why parishes like the one I grew up in are struggling just to stay open.

Incidentally, I'm so glad to be part of the Catholic Church, where the hierarchy takes seriously the need to stamp out heresy from its teaching. My new church may have some short comings, but I know that under the leadership of Pope Benedict, the truth is not negotiable.

I will pray for the Anglican Church. I will ask God to:

  • Forgive the Anglican Church leadership for their apostacy.
  • Reveal Himself to the current members of the church.
  • Fill the Anglican Church with His Holy Spirit.
  • Reinvigorate parishes and bring people back to worship there.

Please join me if you can.


ukok said...

As a former Anglican myself I appreciate your dismay at Anglicanism.

Prayers ascending.

Patrick O'Neil said...

Thanks UK. This is a real encouragement. Blessings!