Monday, July 19, 2010

Why I love the Episcopal Church

Certainly among non-Christians, there is nothing that makes them less comfortable than the idea of Evangelism. The fact is though that it is a duty of Christians to evangelize.

This is why I love the Episcopal Church Listen to Father Mattew address a conference of young Christians on the topic. He pulls no punches about how most American Christians approach this. I love Father Matthew.





Don't worry, there will be more Sorcery and occult stuff later in the week. I just thought  that this was worth spreading.

18 comments:

Robert said...

"The fact is though that it is a duty of Christians to evangelize."

And hence, no matter how kind a spin you put on it like this fellow it comes down to a basic tenant of looking down upon all others not of their faith.

I am reading Fama Fraternitatis and the so-called enlightened esoteric Rosicrucians are infected with this same arrogant poison. So much for esoteric Christianity being any different.

Balthazar said...

Thanks for sharing this Jason. I thought it was pretty awesome, and I have always been fond of the Episcopalian presentation of the faith. The irrational hatred of all Christians and Christian symbolism is something I come up against a lot in the online occult scene. It's unfortunate because there are a lot of really cool and good Christian folks out there being painted with a nasty brush.

茂慧茂慧 said...

拒絕冒險和成長的人,終將被生命的潮流陶汰。..................................................

陳佑發 said...

人生像一杯茶,若一飲而盡,會提早見到杯底..................................................

Lavanah said...

What Robert said. As a non, and never was Christian, even kind, gentle "Episcopalian-style" evangelism is unacceptable.

Brother Christopher said...

I do enjoy what Father Matthew has to say, and I think he says it in a way that is approachable. Although I am not currently christian, I was raised in a very christian home, went to church every sunday until I was 20, and was read the bible (and personally read the bible) growing up. A while back I read an interesting interpretation of the direction to evangelize to everyone, that the current method that most people go about doing it is not what scripture means. The scripture meant to live a good life and be an example of good christianity, not this preaching on street corners and soapboxes nonsense that people do, and other tricks that some ex-evanelicals I have met have confessed to engaging in. So, I like what Father Matthew says because it seems to be in accord with that idea. If you are living your life by christian values, and your life is good and improving in a way that is apparent to others, I think they will engage you, and thus you can evangelize them.

I do feel that I should point out that as a homophile, that now in my life as I will not have much of an association with christianity beyond an awareness of it, it's contributions to culture and society, and the appreciation of good christians who do live the life following the Jesus teaching of Loving God and Loving others.

Jason Miller, said...

@Robert and @Lavanah

It has nothing to do with looking down upon others.

Lets put it this way. If you found that something you were into (GD, Paganism, my course :-) did something amazing for you and you thought it could do something for others, wouldn't you take opportunities to let people know? If not why?

We are not talking about going door to door or shoving things down peoples throat. Father Matthew is simply talking about talking.

We all evangelize. We may do it for a non-Christian religion. We may do it for a book. We may do it for a video game, but every time you bring it up to someone with the intent of sharing, you are evangelizing - sharing the good news.

The need for this video is that because fundie Christians have gone crazy with witnessing aggressively that normal Christians (80% or more) actually feel less able to even bring up their spiritual views than someone from another religion.

Most of the time, you do not seek out people to evangelize to. If you are walking the walk it will show in your life and people will ask.

As for it being a duty of Christianity, they are hardly the first religion to think so. In fact, the first religion to evangelize was Buddhism!

Jason Miller, said...

@ Christopher.

Thanks so much for that.

Episcopalians are so dedicated to the equal treatment of Homosexuals that people are leaving their church in droves over it. If you ever were looking for a place to explore the Christian mysteries again, I would check them out.

Lavanah said...

Because the attempted selling of a book, product or course contains no moral or ethical judgement of the potential buyer, whereas the selling of religion does.

I feel just as strong about the evangelicism of any religion, not just the ones I do not practice.

Jason Miller, said...

@ Lavanah

But it doesn't. The whole point of the video is that it doesn't. Why do you feel that someone sharing something about their religion or spiritual system impeaches the ethics of the person that is listening?

Let me ask you a question, do you feel that people who do are not Pagan have an ethical failure? I am assuming the answer is no. If someone was to say to you:

"What do you think about Capital Punishment on a spiritual level?"

"You seem to be very centered and compassionate, is that a spiritual thing?"

"Wow, you cast that spell and it worked! How did you do that?"

Would you answer the question honestly from your perspective and share your religious views or would you say "I am sorry I cannot comment because I don't want to push my beliefs on others?"

Another question: In the post above I pointed out to Christopher that Episcopals are not only Homosexual friendly, but are actually suffering in terms of loosing congregants because the leaders of the church feel so strongly about equal rights for Homosexuals, Homosexual ordination, and Homosexual marriage?

I was clearly evangelizing, but I was also pointing out something that I honestly thought he would appreciate knowing if he did'nt already (which he probably did). Was I wrong?

Lavanah said...

I don't believe that someone sharing something about their religion or spiritual system impeaches the ethics of the person that is listening. I believe that a system that requires it's believers to share inflicts a moral judgement upon those being shared with, the judgement resultant depending on the effect on the listener.

As for your other questions, I am not convinced that they have anything to do with religion. If, as in the example you are holding up in posting this video, someone observes you living a "right life" and follows your example and lives a "right life" but without ever asking about religion or Jesus or Gods or whatever, is this successful evangelising or not?

Much of this comes down to the framework within which our personalities have formed. (I've been doing a lot of thinking about framework and non-esoteric subjects, lately) Is "your" version of the Golden Rule from the Book of Matthew or the one worded by Hillel?

Lavanah said...

Oh, and as for your comment to Christopher-I certainly hold no objections to such discussions or evangelisings (I don't think I have ever used that word so much before in my entire life!)within a faith-just leave the rest of us out of it.

Norma said...

I don't understand why some people think that any sort of evangelism is poisonous or unacceptable. I think this misses the point.

I dislike aggressive evangelism that is hateful ("You are going to HELL if you are not JUST LIKE ME! You must believe as I do or SUFFER!"). But by that same token, standing in a non-Christian position and saying that xyz tenet of the Christian faith is "unacceptable" is just as closed-minded.

Believe what you will believe. Some religions belive they have the only 'right' way. For those who find comfort there, who I am to say that they are 'wrong' or 'deluded' so long as they aren't using this to excuse doing evil things?

I'll just be over here, quietly doing my own thing, thanks. It's not really even my business what other people think of me, when you come right down to it.

Ron said...

In the US, evangelism is acceptable for Constitutional reasons and for tolerance/diversity reasons. Evangelism can become harassment if taken there and that can be dealt with. Christians aren't the only people that engages in evangelism in the US. It comes from multiple religious people (including Pagan), non-religious people like Atheists, partisans on the right and left, vegans/vegetarians, global warming believers and skeptics, anti-gunners/pro-gunners and on and on. And many of those evangelizers use moral and ethical arguments.

Personally, I handle evangelizers of any persuasion in one of two ways: in an old Gnostic way of just agreeing with everything they say while smiling or inserting some Eristic energy into the mix. Either way it is always much fun.

Good discussion of differing views!

Robert said...

>It has nothing to do with looking down upon others.

How can someone say, “you’re spiritual viewpoint is against the will of God” “You deserve to be far away from God,” or “Love Jesus it is Hell without Him” and do so without looking down on others?

>>Lets put it this way. If you found that something you were into (GD, Paganism, my course :-) did something amazing for you and you thought it could do something for others, wouldn't you take opportunities to let people know? If not why?

NO. I've never gone to my friends at work and recommended your course. There is no reason for me to assume interest. I have non-magickal friends, I have never recommended your course to them. I have a friend that is deeply Lutheran, I have never told him he should abandon or enhance his faith by sharing mine. I’ve never told him a thing about GD, which has enhanced my life significantly. Though, I did answer his questions about magick such as, “Is it liked Charmed?”

I do speak on GD, pagan and magickal topics and I do speak well of your course but I do so to those that have already expressed interest in like topics. However, GD is NOT for everyone. The same way as Buddhism is not for everyone. Why should I assume it is so? To do so constitutes an unbelievable arrogance not to mention complete ignorance of the GD system.

I regularly engage in conversations that compare systems or aspects of paganism.

>We are not talking about going door to door or shoving things down peoples throat. Father Matthew is simply talking about talking.

I disagree. As you said, it is the duty of all Christians to evangelize. It is the sheer volume of the activity that makes even the kind-hearted individual obnoxiously overbearing. Someday I should count the bumper stickers that bombard the “good news” to me I see every day. If I see one, I see twenty a day. That doesn’t count door knockers, tv ads, t-shirts, prayers in people’s offices, ads on the sides of buses, billboards outside of churches and all the rest. In this part of the country, one is bombarded with this message. Have you ever been irritated by a song played too often on the radio?

>We all evangelize. We may do it for a non-Christian religion. We may do it for a book. We may do it for a video game, but every time you bring it up to someone with the intent of sharing, you are evangelizing - sharing the good news.

Again, I disagree. There is a fundamental difference between sharing one’s liking of a work of fiction and declaring another’s religion, god(s) and spiritual life invalid, inferior and wrong.

>The need for this video is that because fundie Christians have gone crazy with witnessing aggressively that normal Christians (80% or more) actually feel less able to even bring up their spiritual views than someone from another religion.

On that I agree. There is a fundamental need for greater kindness in evangelism. I’d much rather be approached by this man than the many that I have encountered. Regardless, given the reaction one can get when one challenges another’s magickal technique, why are you so amazed at the anger directed at those who fundamentally (pun intended) devalue one’s spiritual self and personal sacrifices?

>Most of the time, you do not seek out people to evangelize to. If you are walking the walk it will show in your life and people will ask.

Yes but then why all the bumper stickers, door to door knockers, and the conference this man is addressing? Either they are not living their religion to draw such questions or they are driven by other motives.

>As for it being a duty of Christianity, they are hardly the first religion to think so. In fact, the first religion to evangelize was Buddhism!

Faulty logic. Just because another religion does it or did it does not mean the practice is okay.

Robert said...

>It has nothing to do with looking down upon others.

How can someone say, “you’re spiritual viewpoint is against the will of God” “You deserve to be far away from God,” or “Love Jesus it is Hell without Him” and do so without looking down on others?

>>Lets put it this way. If you found that something you were into (GD, Paganism, my course :-) did something amazing for you and you thought it could do something for others, wouldn't you take opportunities to let people know? If not why?

NO. I've never gone to my friends at work and recommended your course. There is no reason for me to assume interest. I have non-magickal friends, I have never recommended your course to them. I have a friend that is deeply Lutheran, I have never told him he should abandon or enhance his faith by sharing mine. I’ve never told him a thing about GD, which has enhanced my life significantly. Though, I did answer his questions about magick such as, “Is it liked Charmed?”

I do speak on GD, pagan and magickal topics and I do speak well of your course but I do so to those that have already expressed interest in like topics. However, GD is NOT for everyone. The same way as Buddhism is not for everyone. Why should I assume it is so? To do so constitutes an unbelievable arrogance not to mention complete ignorance of the GD system.

I regularly engage in conversations that compare systems or aspects of paganism.

>We are not talking about going door to door or shoving things down peoples throat. Father Matthew is simply talking about talking.

I disagree. As you said, it is the duty of all Christians to evangelize. It is the sheer volume of the activity that makes even the kind-hearted individual obnoxiously overbearing. Someday I should count the bumper stickers that bombard the “good news” to me I see every day. If I see one, I see twenty a day. That doesn’t count door knockers, tv ads, t-shirts, prayers in people’s offices, ads on the sides of buses, billboards outside of churches and all the rest. In this part of the country, one is bombarded with this message. Have you ever been irritated by a song played too often on the radio?

Robert said...

sorry for the multiples. It appeared to not take either post as they were too long. Now, I find both the original and truncated version.

Jason Miller, said...

@Robert

You are not connecting this at all with the video I posted or anything else that has been said.

For instance you write:

>How can someone say, “you’re spiritual viewpoint is against the will of God” “You deserve to be far away from God,” or “Love Jesus it is Hell without Him” and do so without looking down on others?

What video did you watch Robert? These are exactly the things that Father Matthew was arguing AGAINST.

>NO. I've never gone to my friends at work and recommended your course. There is no reason for me to assume interest. I have non-magickal friends, I have never recommended your course to them.

You seem to be confusing the concept of Evangelizing, literally meaning sharing good news, with the concept of wildly and frantically witnessing to anyone and everyone that you meet. Again, not at all what this video was about since it specifically condemned aggressive Christian evangelize tactics.

I am not even going to address the rest of your points because clearly I hit some kind of nerve and you are reacting primarily to your frustration with Fundamentalist Christians, not to the video I posted, the points that I made, or anything else that is going on here.