Ecclesiological Storm Sighting; or, my brilliant prophecy

I wrote this back at the end of last year. It’s a rare (and obviously prophetic) glimpse of slighty scared and very uncertain pre-Catholic me.

There are lots of reasons I love living in Sydney but one of the biggest is  this: we don’t have any cyclones. Or earthquakes. Or tsunamis. Or other  seriously hazardous, tree-felling, roof-lifting or sandbag-inducing weather  phenomena.

Those things scare me; but its also the build-up that scares  me. The weather reports that get more frequent as the isobars get closer and the  usually chirpy weatherman gets grimmer. And everyone is talking about it: “Will  it become a category 3? Where will it make landfall? Should we all just leave?  Now?” (Incidentally, the answer to the last questions is always “Yes. Yes you  should.”)

A cyclone not in Sydney

I have one of those storms approaching right now. It’s  actually a theological storm, or rather an ecclesiological one.

I know  its coming but I have no idea how severe it will be. Will it just be a drenching  downpour that cleans some of the grime away? Or will it be a cyclone that picks  me up and deposits me in Kansas? Will the wind just rattle the windows or tear  the roof off?

Just so you know, my rough guide is:

Category 1: rethinking hymns (I feel enthusiastic about traditional stuff… and probably even more of snob.)

Category 2: rethinking predestination (I become an Arminian and annoy all my Calvinist friends)

Category 3: rethinking saints, works and popes (I become Catholic to the confusion of everyone.)

Category 4: rethinking the Trinity (I become a  very “progressive” Christian/Mormon/Unitarian; my friends try to save me. Again.)

Category 5: rethinking Jesus (I become a Buddhist/Atheist/Wiccan/Muslim and… get a whole bunch of new friends! Oh dear.)

Seriously, I just don’t know. At the end of this questioning, or rather this season of questioning, I don’t know what sort of Christian I will  be. I could be a Catholic. Or a Progressive. And for a self-described  Evangelical, that is very scary.

What my life could feel like…

But unlike real storms that will flood  your house or make you wish you had decent insurance, there’s no good in  leaving. There’s no point running for the hills, or escaping to the (moral) high  ground. I can’t even bunker down and sand-bag my own precious beliefs because I  don’t know which ones are worth protecting yet.

And I don’t want to. At  the end of his world-up-ending Sermon on the Mount Jesus says,

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and  puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat  against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the  rock.

I want to be founded on the Rock. I  want to put Jesus’ words into practice and to follow Him  completely.

So I’m not going to run from this storm. I don’t know  how my present “home” in Evangelical Anglicanism will fare and I don’t know in  which house of worship I’ll end up. But the storm is coming. Jesus is the Rock.  And I want my Spiritual home – whether Evangelical, Catholic, Progressive or  something else entirely – to be built only on Him.

Because in Him, I can  withstand any storm.

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