Reflecting on a recent break from blogging, the Rev. Scott Gunn has written a post that brings to mind the first sentence of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. (For non-English majors it’s: In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more.)
It deserves to be read in full, but here is a taste:
For all the talk about a massive crisis in the church, the goings-on of the Anglican Communion are simply not as important as the every day struggles of faithful people, trying to lead faithful lives. When a grieving family contacts the church, they don’t care what +Henry Orombi thinks about Anglicanism or whether CANA and the ACN will patch things up. When I met with parents to talk about baptism for their child, not one person asked me for my views on same-sex blessings. People expect me to climb into the pulpit every week and proclaim the Good News. They don’t really want to hear a polity lesson or a rehearsal of the “bad news.”
So the next time I hear someone say this or that is tearing apart the church, I’m going to be more irritated than usual. I’ll ask, “Exactly how is it that +Gene Robinson is tearing the fabric of the Communion?” “How can it be that +Martyn Minns is ruining the church?” There is a crisis only in the minds of a few overly anxious people, in the pens of reporters eager to sell newspapers, in the keystrokes of some obsessed bloggers (yours truly among them, sometimes), and in the preaching of some clergy who might benefit from being a bigger fish in a smaller pond. But to most people, most of the time, there is just the church.