Visitors to Stand Firm in Faith, had they not heeded the warnings, were probably surprised to see the entirely new format yesterday evening. And it was a pleasant surprise; the changes take Stand Firm into a new dimension as a blog and in reality as a news source.
As Greg Griffith explained, the changes are more than cosmetic:
I have said for years that the battle being fought in the Episcopal Church mirrors in many ways the battle that’s being fought in America: In the church, the battle is over what it means to be a Christian; in the nation, the battle is over what it means to be an American. The battle lines, the formations, the nature of the skirmishes, the casualties… all are eerily similar.
Add to that the fact that the battle to which we’ve had front-row seats all these years is one that several other denominations – the Methodists and Lutherans, for example – are just beginning to fight, and I believe the future direction of this site becomes inevitable: We must take this show and lift it above Anglicanism, to confront more directly the forces that are trying to do to other religious bodies what they have already done to the Episcopal Church, to offer comfort and camaraderie and counsel to our allies on other fronts.
One reason why I decided to enter the Anglican/Episcopal web world (before 2005) and blogosphere (after that date) is the realisation that the Episcopal Church, where I grew up and had seen these battles fought in Round I, was to both make the connection between what has been going on in and around TEC for years was in advance of what is now happening both in the general culture and in other churches.
I should also add that I believe that, although Greg mentions the Methodists and Lutherans, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are not as far from facing the same issues–in the West at least–than they think. I find an irritating unwillingness to discuss these issues amongst my bretheren there, but just because we’re unwilling to discuss things doesn’t mean we won’t have to, if for no other reason than our ever-expanding government will force us to.
Did I say bretheren? Stand Firm, in its blogroll, lists Positive Infinity as an “Anglican” blog. I am honoured by the designation. It’s a sign that this attempt to take the church a step forward in its “John 17” challenge in a meaningful–not the sappy, inchoate ecumenism we see so many other places–way has succeeded.
God bless everyone at Stand Firm as they move forward.