I have been fighting a battle within myself regarding the Episcopal Church and the fact that the majority of its leaders - Bishops and General Convention delegates - support unchristian acts such as blessing sins, sueing (other) Christians, and redefining the faith. I believe that the majority of the HoB ranges from heterodox, to heretical to actually apostate.
So, what should I do about it? I long for a Church where the Gospel is unashamedly proclaimed and where the faith is lived out courageously and where others are brought to faith in Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
But I won't find such a Church on earth. Every congregation and diocese and province has its problems. While the Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ (as we hear in that wonderful hymn) we also know that the Church has been "by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed." Our great heroes of th efaith, from Anthony through Athanasius, the Capodicians, Ratramnus and Radburtus, Benedict, Anselm, Dominic, Francis, Aquinas, Luther, Cramner, Latimer, Ridley, Hooker, Jewel, Wesley, Pusey, and a host of others have all found the problem of heresies in the Church. The problem is not that the Church is beset by heresy. It has always been beset by heresy. The problem is that we lack the discipline to do anything about it in TEC. And because we lacked that discipline in the past, we are in a place where "discipline" is being taken against the orthodox believers.
The conservatives' fight for the soul of TEC has been lost.
So, part of me wants to depart of a place where this is not the case. To a place where conservatives win the day and where I don't have to say "I am an Episcopalian... but a different kind of one."
But, I am convince that God wants me to stay in TEC. I know that I cannot win the battle. Banding together with other conservatives will not even win the battle. But God has shown me that winning the battle is not my job! My job is not success. It is faithfulness. The battle is not mine. It is the Lord's.
The inside "strategy" is not a political one where we hope to overthrow the liberal/revisionist/reappraiser hierarchy. It is a strategy where we band together for mutual support in our faithfulness to the faith delivered to us. My strategy is to be emptied (=kenosis)
of my desire to win and to accept that God has other plans for me rather than victory in this life. The strategy is to be faithful to God and be a faithful witness to God's power to make new. Even when we lose politically and even when we suffer for the Gospel, we are to be faithful. Even in the midst of a people of unclean lips, we are to be faithful. Even when the whole house of TEC plays the harlot and worships at the altar of society, we are to be faithful. Even when God calls TEC "not my people," we are to be faithful.
My strategy is faithfulness in the face of opposition and faithlessness. I am not called to win. I am called to witness.