Episcopalians and Jesus

John Ohmer, Uapologetic Theology writes on how Episcopalians claim “Christian” (or don’t).

…One evening during the General Convention in Anaheim, there were five or six of us at the dinner table, enjoying our pre-dinner drinks, and the waiter — who recognized us as customers the past three or four evenings in a row — asked, “What convention are you with?”….

One of us said, “The Episcopal Church.”

He said, “Oh, that’s great! We love having you all here… last month there were a bunch of Christians here…”


I know what he was saying: we were fun, we enjoyed our cocktails, we seemed open-minded… heck, almost like regular people.

How sad that in his mind — as in the minds of many of those in their 20s and 30s — “fun, regular, expansive, open-minded, joyful” is a contradiction with “Christian.”

His comment touched a nerve with me. Something I’ve noticed over the years is that in many Episcopalians’ reaction against the dour, aggressive, judgmental “religionist” attitudes that we don’t like, we’ve become reluctant to claim the name “Christian” as our own, or to say the name “Jesus” very often, for fear of being tagged as “one of them.”

But as I said in my sermon this past Sunday, the Episcopal Church is just that: a Church.

It’s a community which has Jesus at its center — it is not a political movement (of the right or of the left) with a specific cause (or enemy) at its center.

Yes, Jesus at our center. I heard someone say at a recent gathering of young clergy: “How could I have gone to church my whole life and not heard about this man Jesus?”

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