Three Brief Positives for Mississippi Episcopalians
At first glance, you may not think these three positives are “happy things”—but as I’ve watched the past few days unfold, I’ve been struck by them afresh.
1) You can take heart that all over the United States, in almost every Episcopal diocese, Episcopalians who believe the Gospel have had done to them just what Bishop Duncan Gray did to you. One can go through and count up all the dioceses with bishops who have lied to you, manipulated you, calculated how to get you to stay silent and inactive, attempted to control you, tried to figure out how to keep you giving and supporting, and betrayed their promises to you—and it’s almost every single diocese. StandFirm and other blogs have posted details of those stories—over and over and over and over again—during an almost ten-year period; they’re sitting nicely archived for future research and wonderment.
That’s the way this generation of Episcopal bishops is. We don’t know precisely why that is—it’s just the kind of leadership that has come up through The Episcopal Church over this past generation. It’s very very rare that a bishop has been open and aboveboard, honest and frank, in their public pronouncements. Instead, they’ve relied on sophistry, double meanings that confuse people and blur decisions, shamelessly lied, and bullied their way through their dioceses, hidden their intentions, and only when they feel safe to maintain their power, have they revealed their hearts—the truth about who they are and what they believe. We may speculate about why that is—basic cowardice and self preservation, a scheming, grasping, sly disposition, or a simple sociopathic disorder—we just don’t know. But we do know that the vast vast vast majority of Episcopal bishops in this generation have demonstrated what they are over a ten year period. They are not honest, and they do not serve the Gospel or you. You must protect yourself and your loved ones from them. Many many thousands now have chosen to leave The Episcopal Church in order to protect themselves. Others who have stayed have taken other steps to protect themselves.
But you have to take some comfort in the fact that you have many thousands of brothers and sisters whose hearts have been stunned and broken and horrified and repulsed by the deceit, guile, and gross betrayal of their bishops.
You are not alone.
2) This will teach you a lot—and it has taught tens of thousands of other Episcopalians who believe the Gospel much too. They’ll mull over the mistakes they made, the passivity they showed, and the misreading of character they trusted. They will carry the lessons they’ve learned, the caution and wisdom they’ve achieved, the ability to see manipulation and cowardice more easily, into all of their endeavors: their work, their churches, and please God, into secular politics, which I’ve noticed conservative Episcopalians entering.
If the Spirit of Christ is within us, we will learn from suffering and the evil done to us by those who purported to be our spiritual leaders.
It’s not wrong to be angry.
But far more important than emotions, which come and go, hold on to those lessons that you’ll discover, and remember the mistakes you made. People often get better at things by messing up. You will too.
3) The truth shall set you free indeed.
I really believe that. No matter how painful or devastating or initially horrifying truth is . . . we don’t get better until we see it. And if we live in not-truth, we become—our own selves become—more and more distorted and mis-shapen and dysfunctional to live in a delusory world that is false and misleading.
Be thankful that you see the truth about this one person who has claimed leadership and influence and power and authority over your life.
Freedom sometimes doesn’t feel fun, and casual, and breezy. But if we’re fortunate, freedom is what we get.
in one small area of your life, you have that truth that leads to freedom.
Thank God for His mercies!
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