Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, October 13, 11

Every day people are straying away
from the church and going back to God.

Lenny Bruce, comedian; he was born
on this date, 1925 (and died at age 40)

OK. Let this be said. I can only say so much in my short Reflections ….. and I’m usually exaggerating to make a point ….. and yes there are lot of people in lots of churches, temples, mosques, etc trying their best to be holy and do good. Some are better than others ….. and the definition of “good” and of “holy” are for better or for worse in the eye of the beholder.

That said: I’m with Lenny. Many (my brain wants to say most) religious organizations, and especially their polities and their leadership structures, definitely could use a re-think. Yes, I would say that about my own Episcopal Church too. To refuse a man ordination as a bishop because he practiced Buddhist yoga and held positive views about other religious theologies, or to defrock a priest because he wanted to have dialogue with Muslims in church - what utter rubbish! Well I remember a former Roman Catholic who became a member of an Episcopal church I was serving. I asked him why he switched. He said, “Fifteen years of anti-abortion and anti-Gays ….. what kind of spiritual life is that!” He joined the two Jews who worshipped with us, who were more interested in God than “church”.

One thing I can say about my years of parish ministry, which had a lot of faults: everyone in those congregations knew without a doubt how magnificent is the Love of God and how spectacularly they were loved. And I would say that if there was ever any strong motivation to repentance or goodness or justice or healing, it flowed from that knowledge.

The God of Compassion, Love, Justice, Kindness, Mercy comes first. “Church” second. And I would say that the first “work” of any “church” is to make sure that the “church” is made in the image of God and not the other way around.


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