Last night, it was difficult to sit in a back pew with my family, as the three of us observed Maundy Thursday services. The Eucharistic celebration is made to remind one, especially in Holy Orders, of the special significance of this feast during Holy Week. ( I've outed myself by one third - for Orthodox Easter is a week later
). Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family.
The difficulty stems, of course, from a conviction that the political act of leaving was motivated by a journey that seeks to " own my truth" as a gay man. The pain is, of course, no longer presiding at the Eucharistic table. It speaks more to my sacerdotal role, as opposed to the right to confirm or to ordain - the exclusive rights of the episcopal charge.
I have always had respect for the more fundamentalist groups, like the AG's. Most Catholic and Anglican parishes in either nation were formed in the past several centuries. Pastors and rectors often become " caretakers" of a work begun long ago. They walk into a 9 to 5 gentrified pastoral reality.
The AG pastor knows nothing of this. He begins in his living room with " two or more gathered in His Name", and in the next instance, he builds an ampitheatre with thousands in attendance for several services on Sunday, and a host of differing activities during the week, especially Wednesday evenings. I understand completely how the Theocons targetted this group more than the Southern Baptists, for example.
The power of the Pentacostal movement has always held an interest for me. Charismatic movements both in Catholicism and Anglicanism have married Pentacostalism with Sacramentalism. - a "convergence" theology with lessening and limited appeal in both communions. Actually, Eastern Orthodox belief in the role of God the Holy Spirit is stronger, especially in their understanding of the epiklesis in the Eucharist or their insistence on the initial wording of the Nicene Creed without the "filioque" clause added by Rome in the eighth century. ( I will resist an explanation - unless one is needed
In conclusion, Daniel, I was especially taken with your last topic sentence...about belief as a substitute for experience. My initial thought is that a major difference between the English and Continental Reformations at the beginning, and certainly between the Schismatic Churches, is that experience is both physical and emotional.....and that the drama and theatre of liturgy and liturgical music with organ....is translated, rather than replaced, by more than a piano and modern music and dance....but by the emotive expressions and glosillalia of the believers. "Imbued by the Holy Spirit, zealotry achieves emotional expressions often missing in a faith steeped in academia and theological truth.