An Episcopal blogger gets it right by giving evangelicals a “dressing down” for their spiritual arrogance. In part she says,
I would challenge the conservative/evangelical faction to start accepting their own place and stop trying to evangelize by pointing fingers. Talk about what YOU believe, not what’s wrong with what WE believe. Stop trying to make yourselves sound superior by putting us down for seeing the value of ALL God’s children that our baptismal covenant describes, not just the ones that are heterosexuals or allow priests who don’t happen to have a certain level of male hormones and equipment. We really are complimentary parts of a whole, you know. Our dedication to the social gospel meshes nicely with your emphasis on conversion of the soul. Our emphasized parts of the Bible are different from yours but between us we cover pretty much the whole thing. We could use maybe a little of your zeal for evangelism but I think you could use our acceptance of reason and experience and intelligence as well as scripture. Your desire for a hierarchical and covenanted church based on your beliefs and interpretations contrasts with our focus more on the priesthood of all believers and democratic polity. The two parts of the whole, Yours and Mine, together make a strong statement, stronger than either of us can make alone.
I wish evangelicals/conservatives could see that there is room at the table for all of us. I could throw in the idea that Jesus didn’t refuse to celebrate the Last Supper with Judas who would betray him so why must conservatives/evangelicals refuse to share an altar rail with people whom they see as impure, imperfect and sinful. We’re all sinners, every last one of us whether Christian or not. Maybe if we talked more about the good news and less about what the other side does wrong, we both might be stronger.
And we wouldn’t have to be like Southern Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Calvinists or anybody else. We could just be us — two parts of a whole, working together to bring about the kingdom of God both now and hereafter sharing a Book of Common Prayer as well as a Holy Bible. Now that might be the best kind of evangelism of all. There is room for those of us who like quiet contemplation as well as those who like feel-it-in-the-gut, dance-it-in-the-aisle praise bands. There is room for the social activist and the evangelical preacher.
If there was room for Judas, then who are we (or you) to say “There is no room for you unless…”
Amen to this as well. Boy, bloggers are beginning to see the big picture about the spiritual pride of evangelicals and I hope evangelicals take it to heart. NO ONE wants to hear how super spiritual you are and how sinful the rest of us are! I hope the backlash continues because only then will the Church become the inclusive community it was intended to be.