"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

20 September 2008

Starting Over (moved)

Yesterday, they threw me out.

No, not me personally. They don't even know who I am. Likely they don't care either. But they threw me out anyway.

"They" is my church. The national body of my church deposed my bishop yesterday. And in doing so they sent a resounding message to so many others. And it was not the message they intended to send.

In deposing Bob Duncan they intended to tell the rest of us, those of us who dare to follow Bishop Bob (surely in their estimation like lemmings) that our subversive behavior will not be tolerated, we will be punished, we must cease and desist... it is no doubt "for our own good." They intended to show us where the power lies. They surely intended for us to see and submit. They intended nothing wholesome.

In deposing Bob Duncan they instead sent a much clearer message. We know where the true power lies and that power never in his life wore a mitre, a fancy ring, a little white dog-collar. We know where the true power lies, and it is not with those who deposed my bishop. As a friend said, they did their worst, and we're still here.

In deposing Bob Duncan, they showed us instead that there is no place for us in their little club. Each one of us, was essentially if not truly deposed from the Episcopal Church. There is no recognized authority in the Episcopal Church with which we will not clash. There is no restraint to keep those authorities from being rid of us, changing the rules and making up martial law for the sake of calculated expedience, when the time comes that the clash takes place. When they find me, they will be rid of me too.

In ridding themselves of Bob Duncan, they made it clear, they wish to be rid also of me. We are alike, Bishop Bob and I. We don't look alike, sound alike or even think alike. But we are as alike as any two children of the same father can be. We are walking the same path, living the same commandments, fighting the same fight, and worshipping the same Lord. We are both sinners, both redeemed, both slaves to the one who has freed us, both bought with a price. When Bishop Bob is at his worst, he is my brother whom I love. When he is at his best, he is my father in God whom I strive to imitate.

They may never find me. They may never actually get around to throwing out one so lowly and politically worthless as I. But it does not matter. In their hearts, they did that yesterday.

So today is a new day. A good reason to renew this old blog. Tomorrow, the next day... my life hasn't changed like my bishop's has. I still have loose ends to tie up. I'll still go to my old Episcopal Church on Sunday, for now. But I now know beyond any shadow of a doubt that this servant is waiting at tables at which she has no place. It's only a matter of time.

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