Archive for April, 2011

Things that Abide

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

At the end of Holy Week, on Good Friday, in anticipation of Easter, it may be useful for us Episcopalians to remind ourselves of the important things. The important things are the ultimate things: truth and beauty and goodness, life now and life in eternity. As the philosophers used to say, “God, freedom and immortality”–the questions that never can be fully answered.

As the events we commemorate at this time of year force us to consider all these issues, they also remind us that church organization and politics, in comparison, hardly matter. Ecclesiastical matters are among the things that are passing away; now is the time for us to hold fast to those things that abide. Jesus lives. —J. Douglas Ousley

Korans and Bibles

Monday, April 18th, 2011

A blog that helps support persecuted Christians recently noted that “while Western leaders have rightfully denounced the Koran-burning, they have failed to criticize the endless persecution of Christians by radical Muslims.”

Indeed, throughout the world, from Nigeria to Egypt, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Indonesia–allegedly devout Muslims slaughter nonviolent Christians in the name of their religion. Yet all of these incidents together haven’t been reported as much as the few that have resulted from the Koran-burning in the US. We can “rightly denounce” that action and still denounce on a whole other level the savage retribution again Christians who had nothing to do with the burning, and the many unremarked persecutions of other Christians who simply want to practice their own Religion of the Book in peace. —J. Douglas Ousley

Church for a New Age?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

In a recent address to the Church Club of New York, Dean Samuel Lloyd of the Washington National Cathedral claimed that the church is undergoing the sort of revolution that happens only once every 500 years. Several commentators in the Church of England have also made the assertion, even employing the dreaded phrase, “paradigm shift.”

Maybe they are right. And maybe the church will emerge healthier and stronger after the amazing period of change. If, for example, it goes from being a club to being a movement, as Dean Lloyd foresees, that would be a reform for the better. But there have been so many prophecies of revolutionary change over the years–in the 1950’s, “the church in the nuclear age;” in the 1960’s, “the church in the Age of Aquarius;” post-9/11, “the church in the age of terror,”–that one hesitates to say that our age will be different from all other ages.

–J. Douglas Ousley