Friday, September 30, 2011

Episcopal Cathedral Church of Saint John to close in Wilmington, Delaware

The headline says it all, but you can read the letter from the Vestry regarding the cathedral's closing here. An Episcopal cathedral, with programs, ministries, and a full-fledged choir school, going out of business as of next July.... It's stunning, and it made me very, very sad.

It might be noted that the cathedral website contains this statement on diversity and inclusion:
The Cathedral Church of Saint John is a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive congregation which offers innovative opportunities for children, youth, and adults to find a special niche for spiritual growth and nurture within a small group setting. Our membership is diverse in age, career interests, sexual orientation, and racial and cultural backgrounds. Community service, diversity, and excellence in liturgy and music are hallmarks of the Cathedral.
Our Call:

As the Cathedral Church of Saint John, we believe that God is calling us:

To be a welcoming and supportive community to our diverse congregation;
To nurture children, youth, and adults in our congregation and urban neighborhood;
To be personal Disciples of Christ and public witnesses of the Gospel; and
To be a resource to the clergy and people of the [sic - This is where the statement ends in mid-sentence.]

Apparently the emphasis on diversity and inclusion wasn't sufficient to build a congregation big enough even to continue to operate.

This is where the Episcopal Church has made a huge mistake: substituting inclusion and social justice for evangelism. (But when you have lost sight of the biblical gospel, what else can you expect?) It was the death of the 20/20 program, and to the extent that the rest of the Episcopal church follows this trend (and it is!) it will be the death of the denomination.

Don't misunderstand me: Evangelism is supposed to be inclusive. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel..." (Mark 16:15). The gospel is about diversity: "make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:19). But inclusion and diversity (social justice, the Millennium Development Goals, etc.) apart from the authentic, saving Gospel of Jesus Christ is a futile and empty thing--one that offers no true salvation but only death.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Young Americans Can’t Think Morally

by Dennis Prager (from National Review Online)

Last week, David Brooks of the New York Times wrote a column on an academic study concerning the nearly complete lack of a moral vocabulary among most American young people. Here are excerpts from Brooks’s summary of the study of Americans aged 18 to 23. It was led by “the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith”:

● “Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing.”

● “When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all.”

please visit the original site and read it all.

● “Moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner.”

● “The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste.”

● “As one put it, ‘I mean, I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it. But different people feel different ways, so I couldn’t speak on behalf of anyone else as to what’s right and wrong.’”

● “Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.”

Please visit the original site and read it all.