February 9, 2010

veils

There is a resolution that will come before the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast that is the first in a two step process to officially change our name. Apparently a graduate of the Protestant Episcopal Seminary in Virginia, who will go unnamed, is spearheading this effort and our high-church(ish) bishop is all for it.

As the resident low church Protestant in this diocese, I wonder about it. As I read the story of Moses' shining face and his veil and then I read Paul's interpretation of the veil, I can't help but wonder which "side" is arguing for a veil to cover our faces?

I realize that it doesn't matter one iota whether Protestant is in our name or not, but it does matter that we think about these things. Heck, it is important that as the Body of Christ we think and pray and discern in all things. What does it say, the southern depths of the Baptist belt, to remove Protestant from our name? Does it make it harder to reach out to those who may be rejecting their old ways and seeking a new way to express their thinking faith?

The Church is notorious for putting veils on important things. We water down the gospel to make it more appealing. We argue about this, when we really care about that. We buy more land and build more buildings and collect more debt while the poor among us go hungry and the rich among us follow our example to their own peril.

No matter how hard we try to make them invisible, institutions are veils, that's just the way it is. We argue of the beading and the details of the veil, but it is a veil none the less. My hope this day, and in the days leading up to our Convention later this month, is that we get out of the way and let God's glory shine.

1 comment:

Sarah Beth ♥ said...

Steve....you make somegood points bt I respectfully disagee with you. We Anglicans ae not Catholic, butw are also not fully Protestant.