Friday, July 27, 2012

More Thoughts on the ISM, Cultural Relevance, and Inclusion

After Wednesday’s Saltwater or Sanctification post, I thought it might be good to look at what some other folks have had to say on the topic of the Independent Sacramental Movement, Relevance, and Inclusion.  Here are five pieces from five blogs written over the last few years from a variety of viewpoints.

FindingGrace in Ordinary Time

What If You Woke Up One Day and Weren’t Angry Anymore? engage in those arguments is in many ways to deny the unique charism of being Independent Catholic. And to buy into the lie that it is sufficient for us to define ourselves merely as an alternative---forever in comparison to another church. Measuring ourselves by standards not our own and based on the documents and canons of a denomination that sees us as "less than" and our sacraments as "illicit".

We should not be so content with so small a vision.


Theology:  Finding Our Own Voice

We are led by the Spirit and offered mysterious sustenance, and yet we grumble and pine for the fleshpots of Egypt  -  proper academic degrees, paid ministerial positions, lovely building with big congregations, secure pensions, well-defined doctrines, and the like.  Most of us learned our theology in such an “Egypt” (e.g., Rome, Canterbury, or Constantinople) and continue to speak in its tongue.  It is high time we looked around and realized we are not in Egypt anymore.

Thoughts at Large from a Bishop at Large

Confessions of a Church Polity Geek: Reflections on Doing the Holy Work of the Beloved Community

... there must be a balance between the pursuit of spirituality, the nurturing of community, and reaching out to the world at large with the church’s message of faith, hope, and love. A church that focuses on spirituality to the neglect of community and mission risks pursuing a false spirituality that is not engaged with real life – a spirituality which is an illusion. A church that is only inward-looking, fostering close relationships among its members without reaching out in love to others, risks becoming a social club. A church that is only concerned with fighting for justice, neglecting spirituality and its own health risks becoming a political club or a social service agency. While there is nothing wrong with either of these, it is not what the church is called to be, and it cannot do those tasks as well as organizations whose mission is to be a political party or a social service agency. All three of these tasks are necessary, and they must be balanced.

Vagrant Vicar

Where Charity and Love Prevail, There the Church is Never Found...

However, the conservatives are not completely to blame. The more liberal camp then made things intolerable. Without a strong voice against some of their plans, they began to steamroll over the opinions and thoughts of others. You must accept women's ordination or you must accept gay marriage... This, too, is as uncompromising as the views of their opponents. They alienated those that were left and made them out to be neo-conservative fanatics. This is especially unfortunate.


It’s Time to Change the Story

So, here is my question – and this one is a challenge – if you come seeking a fresh start, why is it that you still do all the things you used to do? One possible answer is that it is what “catholics” do – also known as “this is what we have always done”. But if you came into the Indie movement seeking a fresh start then would it not be a really helpful exercise to sit down and walk through your personal religious story and ask some questions about “what I do as a “catholic”” and compare that to – what I can do as a “new” Sacramental Christian – an indie believer?