Is a split natural?
Below is something that I wrote in August of 2006. Yes it would be nice if the Episcopal Church would stay in the Anglican Communion, but I think that it is more important that the Episcopal Church follows what the Holy Trinity has in store for it. People talk about the traditions of the church, and after thinking about it, the Episcopal Church is not breaking tradition, for it has been a denomination that has been a welcoming one to all through it's history.
People have been saying different things about what is going to happen to the Episcopal Church and it being in the Anglican Communion, from the communion having a two-tier system where the Episcopal Church will be in the lower tier, then the other being that it will be "thrown out" of the communion. With the two-tier system, in a way I hope that if that happens that the Episcopal Church then gives the Anglican Communion second tier money. Would you pay for a first class ticket and be happy if you were placed in coach? With the second case, I think that a few others within the communion will also leave, and when the Anglican Communion see the amount of money that they will no longer have, they will try and go for a few years then try and get the ones that left back. It's sad that things are going this way, but with what I wrote below, I realize that it is something that is natural in Christianity.
I hope that you enjoy.
He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
With the current situation within the Anglican Communion, it makes me wonder if what we are really experiencing is something that is really a natural thing?
The next time that you are out somewhere, I would like for you to take a look at a tree. I'm not talking about just some simple small tree that really hasn't become firm and established, but one that has been around for a good while.
Now think of the trunk of that tree as being Christianity. Don't look at it as being a denomination, but just being Christianity. Go up and really look at that trunk. Really look at it. Touch it. Smell it. Hug It.
Look up. Look at the branches coming off of the trunk. Some of them are big, while others are small. Now think of those branches being the different denominations. You see that really big branch? Those are the Roman Catholics. That branch to the right of it, those are the Eastern Orthodox. Not to far up are the Quakers, and then there are the Amish, the Mormons, the Baptist, the COGIC, and so many many more.
Then you spot it. It's that special branch called the Anglican Branch. Oh that branch is so beautiful and wonderful. Don't you just want to sit on that branch? Now out of safety, don't climb the tree to that branch, but imagine yourself sitting on that branch. There you are, sitting right next to the trunk and looking out at the length of that branch. Isn't that a nice long branch? Oh ever so wonderful and beautiful.
As you look out at this branch, you notice the branches that stick out from it. There is the CofE, Canada, Nigeria, Belize, South Africa, Japan, New Zealand, and so many others. Ahhhh, you see this really wonderful branch. Yes, that's the one, the one that you really love. It the branch that is officially named The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, but out of simplicity you call it the Episcopal Church, or the ECUSA, or TEC.
Now you work your way over to the ECUSA and you really like what you see. Oh it is so wonderful. As you look at it, you notice these stems. So are going to the left, and some are going to the right. So are going up, while others are going down. All of these stems are going in different directions for different reasons.
You then come down from the tree and look at all of the branches coming out from the trunk. You notice that all the same is true with all of the branches, in that they have stems and branches that break off from them. Then you look closely and see branches that are dying off. On the ground around the trunk you see branches that have fallen off of the tree and died. You also see branches that are mixed with other branches, some of which have merged back together into one.
Now walk back from the tree so that you can see the entire thing. You suddenly realize that those mighty branches coming out of the trunk were like those small stems that you saw on the ECUSA branch. Even though all of those branches are going in different directions, they all have the one thing that keeps them connected. They all are all part of that mighty trunk called Christianity.
So is the split that is something that is natural? Yes. Do I hope and pray that we split. No, I hope and pray that we do stay as one to become even stronger in helping to hold up our part when a big strong wind comes along. But if we do split, I hope that we could be one of those branches that split apart but yet merge back together.
Now go out and hug a tree, and don't forget to hug your friends and family also.