Back in September, I was involved in a small discussion in Bristol of Anglican leaders who are feeling pretty disillusioned. There were many reasons for this sense of bleakness, but my task was to try and figure out what some of the factors might be.
So here are my thoughts, such as they are. It’s fairly unchanged from what was discussed on the day, apart from a bit of tidying up. As I said, some aspect of this will probably be relevant only to a small subculture, although I do think that there are resonances in others. In some ways, this stands as a follow-on from my blog series 18 months ago, O Tempora! O Mores!
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Mark this is very helpful.
I think what I find most distressing, is the lack of repentance/owning of failures, the sweeping of things under the carpet, which is leading (in me at any rate) a general feeling of distrust of leaders/those in authority.
I expect leaders to be human and sin ( I grew up in NI- I expected leaders to be poor on occasion), it’s the denials and DARVO which get me, especially in people claiming to be Christians-the ones at home I could forgive as hard to tell which ones were the actual Christians and which were just cultural-but in England in conservative evangelical circles, well I expected them all to be properly Christian. And then the list of those who’ve done wrong seems endless, and can I trust those who are accusing others of wrongdoing, especially when it gets to minutiae of facebook/twitter things? Who is trustworthy? Who knows the truth? -apart from God of course, but as a sheep lost in the middle I just don’t know where to turn sometimes.
And then I look at ReNew or Gafcon or AMIE and honestly my heart sinks.
I’d like a nice Normal church which is just boring and ordinary and not a RESOURCE church and doesn’t run programmes and treats people kindly and see them as people and not projects to be hurried through the system, but sticks to the bible but not in a “STICKS TO THE BIBLE” way.
Also I always thought Iwerne was weird and offensive (couldn’t believe people who I thought were sound thought it was a good idea) but presumed it was because a) I’m not English and b) I’m not Anglican, see also judging people by their Keswick attendance/service/Christians in sport/new Word Alive.
Anyway thank you for being one of the few that I trust to do the right thing. Missing Nancy terribly as would value so much her wisdom on this.
thanks so much Emma