as an Episcopalian, that is…I feel like my reader might be going WHA??? Which would have been my reaction a couple years ago.
Formerly I discounted the Episcopal Church as a Christian church because they had long gone in for such a subjective approach to Christianity that it had lost all objective meaning (and not without evidence, such as the priest who declared herself a Muslim and expected to remain a priest.)
Ironically, in the evangelical world there’s an attractive emphasis on steady, objective meanings, but a funny thing happens in worship and spiritual practice — a lot of the heavy lifting shifts to the subjective.
“I feel the spirit is really moving here today.”
“I sense God is telling me to…”
“I sense that we’re under spiritual attack.”
That’s very subjective.
What I’ve found so ironic about worship in the Episcopal church is how un-subjective it is. Everything in the worship service is structured and employed to be declarative of central truths and doctrines of Christianity. Bible readings, creeds, prayer, music, art, corporate and individual liturgical actions, architecture, symbolism — these do the heavy lifting to outline the basics of Christian faith. Regardless of how you “feel” or what you “sense” on any particular morning, you take your place within that outline. Your part is to come in and kneel down and receive. This I can do. This I love to do.
I haven’t blogged a lot about my “journey” in this direction but if you’re curious–and I know some of my old friends who find my blog might be–I do have a couple other posts related to this: