Doug Leblanc: Christ’s church will not merely survive; it will prevail

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Further, when Christians take different sides on theological questions, we cannot all be correct. At the Last Judgment, we all will know God's truth with the greatest clarity. Until then, we can -- we should -- be more alert to how our fellow Christians may be serving God and what we may learn from them.

Another Lambeth Conference has convened and adjourned. Does anyone doubt that most of the tensions within the church will persist in the months and years ahead?

I've often fallen prey to a false assumption that conflict -- whether in my marriage or in the church -- is an inherent evil. I live as a better Christian by remembering this advice from premarital counseling: Conflict is not the problem.

It's in how we respond to conflict that we practice the presence of God -- or the presence of hell. Where do I prefer to dwell in that moment? For what eternal place am I preparing my body and soul?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsLambeth 2008* TheologyEcclesiology

10 Comments
Posted September 30, 2008 at 7:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. archangelica wrote:

This article captures my heart on our current difficulties with almost perfect precision. Yes! Yes! Yes!
I like and appreciate Unitarian Universalists in manys as a church for those seekers who need to soak in “Natural Theology” before being given the graces to accept the revelation of Christ and the Scriptures. They make for a very fine train in which the seeking soul may prepare to transfer trains for the next part of the journey…the solid food of Truth found only in Christ Jesus the Lord.
This is the most balanced anaylisis of TEC that I have seen in a very long time. It is folk like Doug who make me proud to be an Episcopalian on days when I’m not. This is what hope looks like! Doug is the face of many of us moderates who need to find our voices and speak truth to power at 815.

September 30, 9:22 am | [comment link]
2. Albany+ wrote:

The fact that division in TEc more or less reflects the political divide in our Nation should tell us that we have failed in theological formation. What is consistently most shocking to me is this correspondence between political persuasion and theology. It makes me wonder to what extent the latter is operative at all.

I will be persuaded otherwise when I see, just for example, a prolife Gene Robinson supporter, or some such nuanced thing. That it all falls out politically suggests that there’s little actual theological formation in our churches.

September 30, 9:30 am | [comment link]
3. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “That it all falls out politically suggests that there’s little actual theological formation in our churches.”

No—it merely reveals the starkly different foundational worldviews that both sides have to form both their theology and their politics.  Pointing out “pro-life” or “pro-Gene” or “anti-death penalty” are only the symptoms of the foundation from which the beliefs spring.

It’s the foundations—the bedrock from which we all start—that is so completely opposing and sharply divided.

September 30, 9:52 am | [comment link]
4. Sarah1 wrote:

I should add that I certainly believe that the Church will not fail and will prevail.

I don’t think the same about the Episcopal organization.

September 30, 10:00 am | [comment link]
5. Charming Billy wrote:

#2, I had exactly the same thought about a prolife Gene Robinson. If Robinson’s opinions came down less predictably on the liberal side on every social, political, or ethical issue he comments on, I’d be more inclined to listen him on theological matters; on which he’s less predictably liberal. Having a prolife and gay but otherwise orthodox bishop would be a lot easier for me than a prochoice, paint-by-numbers liberal bishop who happened to be straight.

#3 I think the foundational worldviews that divide the faithful, as Leblanc illustrates with the Solzhenitsyn quote, are divisions of the heart which exist in every individual believers. A foundational division exists in my heart between that part of my life which is under God and that which isn’t. How this matter of the heart plays out in the confusing and ambiguous options life presents us with is not always evident in our political and social decisions.

September 30, 10:13 am | [comment link]
6. Albany* wrote:

Sarah,

I think Jesus would be the real point of what I’m trying to talk about here. It would be rather hard to line Him up with either politcal party, wouldn’t you agree?

September 30, 10:28 am | [comment link]
7. archangelica wrote:

Albany,
I am a pro-life Gene Robinson supporter and I am not alone although, perhaps, just barely.
http://www.plagal.org/
http://www.democratsforlife.org/
Br. Christopher Nicholas

September 30, 10:47 am | [comment link]
8. William P. Sulik wrote:

May our Lord bless brother Doug in his ministry to comfort the comfortable in the Episcopal Church.

September 30, 10:51 am | [comment link]
9. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

Archangelica,

Once again, I’m glad that you post at T19. I commend you for your stand on the ultimate first order issue.

September 30, 12:25 pm | [comment link]
10. rob k wrote:

I’m totally pro-life, and hope and believe that the resolution of the sexual issue will happen in a saner time, with the leadership for that resolution coming from the RC Church.

October 1, 5:22 am | [comment link]
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