For John, BLUF: Do we have cultural standards? Nothing to see here; just move along.
At The American Conservative Blogger Rod Dreher wrote, Saturday, about standards in religious organizations.
It starts out by examining celebrating Asparagus at the Anglican cathedral in Worcester, UK. Some condemned this activity as demeaning of true religion. My sense is that Mr Dreher sees this as a little off, but not morally wrong.
But, this is his 1305 Post, which is on top of a 0925 Post:
This is a little more complicated, but it is also about standards. Will the United Methodist Church continue to resist the ordination of a Lesbian Bishop, as their Brothers and Sisters in Africa want, or will they eventually fold to the desires of the Progressives amongst their congregations. For now the UMC High Court is hanging tough.
So, what happens next? Will one or the other side fold? Will there be a schism? Will the UMC just disappear?
Writer Dreher thinks this goes to a larger issue for all Christian Churches, what do they teach about human sexuality?
Frankly, I’m pretty cynical about this stuff in all American churches, broadly speaking. So many people — pastors and lay leaders — just don’t want to touch the whole question of Christian sexual teaching. Too controversial. The mainstream culture knows what it believes about sex and sexuality, and it never misses an opportunity to catechize us vividly and emotionally. What do we in the church offer our people? Mostly, I think, an uncomfortable silence.The Blogger tries to end with this quote, by Mr Philip Rieff, back in 1966:
The death of a culture begins when its normative institutions fail to communicate ideals in ways that remain inwardly compelling, first of all to the cultural elites themselves. Many spokesmen for our established normative institutions are aware of their failure and yet remain powerless to generate in themselves the necessary unwitting part of their culture that merits the name of faith. “Is not the very fact that so wretchedly little binding address is heard in the church,” asked Karl Barth, rhetorically, in 1939, “accountable for a goodly share of her misery—is it not perhaps the misery?” The misery of this culture is acutely stated by the special misery of its normative institutions. Our more general misery is that, having broken with those institutionalized credibilities from which its moral energy derived, new credibilities are not yet operationally effective and, perhaps, cannot become so in a culture constantly probing its own unwitting part.Then he gets a Reader Comment which he tacks on at the end.
Do we want our religious leaders to take stands, or are we happy with things the way they are? Up here in Lowell, at least in my Parish, we hardly ever have alter servers. Where my youngest son and his family go to Mass, in Fauquier County, I usually count ten to twelve alter boys, and they are all boys. I put it down to them being more orthodox in the Arlington Diocese.♠
In the Article there is a mention of the Q Conference. This is run by the Fermi Project, founded by Gabe and Rebekah Lyons back in 2003. There are small groups of Christians out there exploring what it means to be Christian. And up here in the Lowell area we have people concerned about what it means to live a Christian life and exploring, in small groups, that same question.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Of course they offer the Extraordinary Form of Mass, the liturgy of the 1962 Roman Missal, widely referred to as the Tridentine Mass. Not every Mass.