Every once in awhile, a commenter on one of the orthodox Anglican blogs will raise the question: “Why not just leave?” Sometimes they’re asking, “Why not leave the Episcopal Church?” Often these are ECUSA revisionists who are irritated because they’ve won the battle, or at least they thought they had, yet we’re not dead, we’re not willing to admit we’ve been defeated, and we refuse to quit fighting. We’re ruining their victory. My own bishop [Andrew Smith of Connecticut] raised just this question for over half of his most recent annual diocesan convention speech. The answer, of course, is simple. We intend to keep you up at night.
But sometimes the question is not “Why don’t you leave the Episcopal Church?,” but “Why don’t you leave Anglicanism?” Those who ask are often former Episcopalians who have found relief in another church, often Roman Catholic or Orthodox, and they are asking us to join them.
These are people who left Anglicanism because they saw that the ECUSAn ship was sinking. Often they speak out of genuine concern. They now stand safely on the shore, and they are offering a hand, as they fear it is only a matter of time before we sink beneath the waves. I do appreciate their concerns, which, I believe, are genuine.
Others, however, have left Anglicanism, and look back with either the hurt of disappointed lovers, or the anger of those who seem to believe themselves betrayed, who have been sold a bill of goods. The message I too often hear from these people is that not only is the ship sinking, but it was never anything but a leaky tub anyway, and the damned thing deserved to sink. Sometimes I detect even a note of gleefulness that the useless hulk is going down, and those who stay aboard deserve their fate. But whether they’re hurt, or angry, or gleeful, the message is the same. Anglicanism was a bad deal from the start. But it’s not too late to get aboard the real ship, the one ship that will never sink. (more…)