Over at Betwixt and Between, *Christopher has been continuing to make wise observations about our present crisis, and I am continuing to think more on this as well. (Danger, Will Robinson, danger!)
In looking over some of my past thoughts on the subject, I came across the following, written in 1988, and it seems to be well relevant to the present situation.
In the Oath of Conformity the ordinand promises to engage to conform to the "doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church" -- not some idealized holy, catholic, and apostolic church, but the real, tangible, institutional Episcopal Church. In much the same way the parties who join in marriage promise to remain faithful not to some ideal married state, but to each other, in the real, tangible, though sometimes flawed union of "for better, for worse." Obedience to discipline only when you agree with it is rather like a marriage of convenience.
As I say, I will continue to reflect on what I am seeing as more and more a clash between idealists (who, ironically, in their ideal efforts bypass the real discipline at a local level in favor of a yet-to-be-constituted authority at some "superior" level) and realists, in the divergent ways of pre/proscription and description.
Tobias Haller BSG